First off, I have to say that I’ve been covering computer telephony aka IP telephony aka unified communications for MORE THAN 10 years now. Only recently, however, have these solutions become a truly realistic option for the small and midsize businesses that feed most VARs’ sales pipeline.
Now, despite the woe and doom and gloom hanging over any predictions of IT spending, CDW has released a new survey of 766 IT professionals that suggests unified communications solutions should be relatively recession-proof.
Only 6 percent of the folks responding to this poll reported that their unified communications installations were complete. About 20 percent of companies are in the process of deploying the technology, however, and another 33 percent are planning an implementation. Of this group, roughly 70 percent are planning to handle their project sometime during the next two years.
The motivations for these projects include the following:
- Increased profitability potential
- Opportunity to make operating cost reductions
- More reliable
- Improved cross-functional communications
- Better for mobile workforce
Another consideration that is pretty compelling for VARs: unified communications solutions tend to cover whole companies, not just departments.
There are several vertical market or company size considerations worth mentioning:
- Healthcare companies were more likely to consider unified communications than those from other industries
- Midsize businesses are ahead of smaller and enterprise companies, and are keenly interested in the potential for unified communications to help reduce business expense