Webtorials: 75% of enterprises have partially or fully deployed UC

Cloud-based, hybrid UC deployments are increasing
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Three-quarters of enterprises have either partially or fully deployed unified communications (UC) products, according to a survey of 200 IT professionals conducted by Webtorials on behalf of SIP communications provider Sonus Networks (Nasdaq: SONS).

Of those enterprises, 21 percent have fully deployed UC, while 57 percent have partially deployed it, according to the survey contained in the report, "Enterprises Place 2013 Unified Communications Bets."

The survey found that more enterprises are adopting cloud-based and hybrid UC deployment, with a number of premise-based UC deployments expected to decline from 65 percent of current deployments to 31 percent of future deployments.

"Most companies have trialed UC and now it's going to head to more mainstream procurements. How that will be deployed is a top issue, with cloud deployments becoming increasingly important in the near term," Wes Durow, vice president of global marketing and go-to-market operations at Sonus, told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.

Session border controllers (SBCs) are keys to UC system interoperability, service quality and security, Durow said.

Most of the respondents said they purchased SBCs as an on-premise UC product, while 13 percent said they deployed SBCs as part of a service from a SIP trunking provider, and 17 percent said SBCs were part of a hybrid on-premise and services deployment.

According to the survey, enterprise voice was identified at the most important factor in selecting UC vendors, followed by unified messaging, desktop videoconferencing, web conferencing and mobile clients for smartphones and tablets.

Based on the survey, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) is the leading UC vendor for voice, videoconferencing and web conferencing, while Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) leads in instant messaging, presence and enterprise social functions such as internal corporate user profiles, directories and skills search.

"Microsoft pulled up pretty quickly into a challenger position. They continue to strengthen as you see the legacy PBX vendors start to slide backwards," Durow observed.

Durow explained that whether enterprises deploy premised-based or cloud-based UC systems, the demand for SBCs will remain since they "knit together disparate network environments… whether premised-based, cloud or hybrid."

The Webtorials survey highlights UC trends identified by other research, particularly the move toward cloud-based and mobile UC. The cloud-based UC market pits large firms like Cisco, Microsoft and Avaya against smaller firms such as ShoreTel (Nasdaq: SHOR) and 8x8 (Nasdaq: EGHT). The cloud-based UC market was expected to be worth $1.9 billion in 2012, up 15.8 percent over the previous year, according to data released in September by research firm Frost & Sullivan.

For more:
- see the Sonus release
- check out the full report (reg. req.)

Special Report: Cloud-based UC market pits VoIP players against IT, carrier behemoths

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