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April 20, 2015

Enterprise networks unfit for UC despite surging demand

UK badly lagging behind Europe on readiness.

By Alexander Sword

Deployment of unified communications (UC) technology in European enterprises is lagging behind demand, according to research.

A survey commissioned by Easynet found that only 29 percent of organisations had a wide area network (WAN) capable of supporting UC technology across all sites.

In addition, 49 percent said that they would require network upgrades at some sites to benefit from the technology.

Accordingly, in the UK, only 28 percent of companies felt ready to roll out UC at present. The most prepared European countries were the Netherlands and Belgium, with readiness of 40 and 37 percent respectively.

There was significant diversity in readiness between different industries. 40 percent of telecoms companies were ready, while 41 percent of companies in business and consumer services and 38 percent of IT and computer services companies were also able to roll out UC. The least ready industries were manufacturing and banking, with figures of 19 percent and 21 percent respectively.

These findings come despite 60 percent acknowledging that having UC across all business sites brought improved business efficiency and 45 percent improved business agility.

Communication service providers (CSPs) were overwhelmingly trusted to deliver UC, with 85 percent of companies saying that they trusted or completely trusted their CSP to provide it.

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Adrian Thirkill, UK MD for Enterprise at Easynet said; "Companies across sectors recognise the business advantages of running unified communications across their enterprise, yet this research highlights that only just over half of European organisations are currently able to do so.

"Intelligent or Hybrid networks remove the need for massive upgrades and CSPs delivering these can help organisations make the most of their corporate networks and maximise the return of their existing UC investments in order to be as efficient and competitive as possible."

He continued: "Running services across large, complicated and disperse enterprise networks has become a standard requirement. A CSP with broad range of networks, an understanding of their customers’ sectors and proficiency in implementing the latest technologies can really make a difference to the way enterprises run their business."

The survey polled 660 European IT decision-makers of companies with over 1000 employees in Nov-Dec 2014.

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