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Collaboration and Productivity Continue to Drive Unified Communications Investments

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Trends and driving forces behind IT investments and how Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) systems are deployed within an enterprise infrastructure have been revealed in a new IDG report, A Look at the CIO and UC&C.

UC&C, which is simply another acronym for Unified Communications (UC), will continue to grow substantially in the coming years. An estimated 56 percent of large businesses and 66 percent of smaller business plan to implement or upgrade UC&C solutions within the next year. 

So what are the primary drivers for UC&C investments? Collaboration (43 percent), productivity (44 percent) and flexibility (36 percent) top the list. The fact is, companies are investing in productivity more than ever before: 12 percent of respondents said that their overall investments towards supporting UC&C initiatives will rise in the next 12 months.

As for how organizations plan on deploying UC&C internally, the trends are clear: web, audio, and video-conferencing services topped the list with a whopping 49 percent of respondents aiming to push their investments towards these media initiatives. Next, IP telephony (IPT) rang in at a close second with 49 percent of respondents identifying IPT as a top priority. Third place was split at 45 percent, between collaborative applications -- such as file sharing -- and unified messaging (i.e. email, fax, voicemail).

Cloud technology has gained considerable traction simply because of its proven capacity to enhance and streamline automation, orchestration, provisioning, and deployment. So it is not surprising that 70 percent of organizations aim to integrate cloud technology in their UC plans.

Low total cost of ownership (45 percent) was among the most important vendor attributes when evaluating UC&C vendors. Given the evolution of this increasingly user-friendly technology, leveraging results through UC&C is a viable reality.