Cloud may be key to increased unified communication adoption

The benefits of a unified communication (UC) system for small businesses have been proven, but many are still slow to adopt the solution. With the addition of cloud-based delivery models into many UC technologies, that trend may start to change.

A new study released by CompTIA, a nonprofit association for the information technology industry, found that interest in a UC approach is high, as four out of five companies surveyed perceive value in the solution.

"Organizations have a clear vision of what they expect to gain from unified communications – greater employee productivity, reduced costs and a means to improve customer engagement," said Seth Robinson, director of technology analysis for CompTIA. "But, to get there, significant barriers must be overcome."

Of the 500 IT and business executives surveyed for CompTIA's "Second Annual Unified Communications Market Trends" study, a number of UC challenges emerged. Among the top areas of concern are integrating a UC solution with existing technologies, return on investment and reliability. The human factor of stubbornness also appeared, as the survey found employees tend to use what they find most familiar, namely email and voice.

To answer these concerns, more companies are turning to the cloud for UC solutions. The study found that seven out of 10 companies will consider a cloud system model for their UC needs.

"What we are most likely to see is a hybrid approach in many organizations, using the cloud for collaboration and web conferencing, and on-premise infrastructure for data, voice and video," Robinson said.

While cloud-based UC solutions are still a new technology, they are proving to be a popular option and one that many companies are looking into.

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