Unified Communications Hold Opportunities, Challenges for SMBs: IDC Report
Approximately 45 percent of medium-sized businesses use some type of conferencing technology.A report from IT research firm IDC found increasing SMB interest in a broad range of enterprise and consumer communications capabilities, including voice over IP (VOIP); conferencing technologies that support audio, Web and video; and unified messaging, which integrates voice and data messaging. Still, the report noted relatively few have implemented a comprehensive, end-to-end unified communications (UC) system that can deliver connectivity and collaboration capabilities beyond the sum of its separate parts. More than one-third of small businesses (firms with less than 100 employees) and nearly three-quarters of medium-size companies (firms with 100-999 employees) currently own at least one unified communications component technology. The report found SMB interest in adding UC technologies is considerable: More than 30 percent of small firms and 55 percent of midsize firms cite plans to add at least one UC component in the next 12 months.
IDC researchers noted VOIP technology has established a solid foothold in the medium-size business segment, and more than 30 percent of firms with 100 to 999 employees use it. IDC said it believes the relative reluctance of smaller firms to deploy VOIP technology may be due to multiple factors, including lack of awareness, unwillingness to invest in new telecommunications infrastructure, and a perception of VOIP as being less secure and providing lower call quality and less resilience during power outages.