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Research finds that operators are not taking advantage of revenue-generating potential of Unified Communications

Feb. 5, 2013

Businesses keen to move to Unified Communications but need operators to show them the way.

Research conducted by MDS, a leading provider of managed service revenue and customer management solutions, has found that 75% of IT and telecoms decision-makers are actively seeking to move towards a Unified Communications (UC) infrastructure in the next 12 months, despite 61% admitting they are uncertain of the value it will bring to their business.

Promisingly for operators, 93% of respondents believed that IT and communications services received through the same provider are seen to be ‘of value’, providing some insight into the appetite for Unified Communications, yet 57% believe this increasing convergence makes it more difficult to review their telecoms infrastructure.

These statistics show confusion among buyers, suggesting many operators are missing a trick in terms of communicating value to their customers, and must adapt their service delivery to provide a more transparent and integrated proposition for enterprises to measure against.

A study by The Radicati Group in 2011 found that the value of the UC market is expected to reach $7.7 billion in 2015, almost doubling from a value of $4 billion in 2011. With the UC market demonstrating a potentially lucrative revenue-generating opportunity, these findings further indicate that operators cannot allow the market to pass them by when they are in a unique position to serve it with a combination of IT and communications offerings.

Matt Hooper, CMO for MDS, commented, “These findings justify what many in telecoms have believed over the last few years – that enterprises are gradually migrating to a Unified Communications infrastructure. However, what has been previously unknown to the market is the scope of the opportunity for operators, and more precisely, exactly what needs to be done to validate the business case for moving to UC. Clearly businesses, especially SMEs, are keen to receive IT and communications services under a single umbrella offering, but operators in some cases are failing to deliver a compelling and clear proposition for an integrated customer experience. Cutting through the noise, operators cannot afford to let the UC opportunity slip by – the market is indicating the need for simple yet effective UC solutions, and operators must deliver them to cash in from what is a position of strength.

“In order to demonstrate the touted value of UC, operators must look to provide clear propositions, with transparent pricing and ensure salespeople are able to highlight the proposition benefits of UC. With continued changes in the market driven by cloud and consumptive business models, communications and IT services are being pushed ever-closer together, providing a great opportunity to offer bundled UC packages that will be attractive to the enterprise segment. Operators must better educate the enterprise market if they are to unify services under a single package and deliver the services that businesses clearly have the appetite for.”

The findings are the result of research conducted among 205 IT/Telecoms decision makers in the UK.

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