Enterprise Uptake of Collaboration Services Gains Ground; Cloud Contact, Mobility and Video Lead the Way

Cindy Whelan

Cindy Whelan

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises are moving beyond foundational collaboration technologies to embrace cloud and mobility options.
  • Cloud-based contact center services and video are gaining ground with enterprises.

In August 2014, Current Analysis completed primary research regarding current and planned enterprise investment in four areas: cloud, mobility, network and collaboration services. The research utilized a wide ranging survey of enterprise IT executives, most of whom were responsible for defining, evaluating and selecting the providers and services used by their company. The majority of the companies surveyed had between 100 and 5,000 employees, although there were several with up to 10,000 or more employees.

Trends in current and planned collaboration service deployments included some that were expected and in keeping with trends that we’ve been seeing in the market, along with indication that some newer trends are gaining momentum. First, the expected: audio conferencing and unified messaging were among the top five UC technologies already in use by enterprises, alongside IM/presence (IM/P) services via ‘consumer’ clients such AIM, Skype, and Google Hangouts. These results are in line with the results of a similar survey Current Analysis conducted in 2012 and reflect ongoing adoption of services that have been in the marketplace for quite some time. Results showed comparatively low deployment of IP telephony with mobile integration and single number services, despite the fact that these services have been in the market for some time, potentially reflecting the fact that older solutions were a bit clunky.

Survey respondents were also asked about planned collaboration technology deployments. The top five service areas identified by responders reflected continued trends towards cloud-based services and mobility, and IP telephony services with mobile integration and single number reach options did show up on this top five list. However, these results indicated that enterprises planned to consider some comparatively new technologies for customer care: cloud contact center services and live video to support customers through the enterprise website. Cloud-based contact center services led the list of technologies these enterprises were planning to deploy over the next 12 months: 49% of the 335 responders in this section indicated they had already deployed cloud-based contact center services, and nearly 60% (98) of the remaining companies plan to deploy cloud-based contact center services in the coming year. Contact center operators are not known for taking risks, and the fact that nearly 80% of the companies surveyed had deployed or planned to deploy some level of cloud-based contact center services may be attributable to several factors, including wider availability of cloud-based contact centers from major providers, actual case studies and reference customers with live deployments, and enterprises becoming more comfortable with the security and reliability capabilities of their providers. The use of live video on a website for customer care and support is another new area, reflecting increasing uptake of business video conferencing and WebRTC, along with enterprise desire to support a wide variety of engagement options, enabling customers to contact enterprises in their preferred communication mode.

Collaboration survey findings are in keeping with trends that we are seeing in the market and in service provider offers. Services such as IP telephony and unified messaging continue to grow steadily, as do newer options such as video conferencing, which requires a shift in corporate culture. All of which indicates that enterprises are steadily embracing tools that can help employees to work more productively and more efficiently.

About Cindy Whelan
As Principal Analyst, Business Network & Wholesale Services, Cindy analyzes companies, events, products, technologies and technology initiatives in the telecom network services industry.

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