Hi. I'm Michael Keenan from Dell Software. I'm the product manager for Unified Communications Command Suite. We're talking to Art Schoeller today from Forrester Research. Art is the vice president and principal analyst for the unified communication and contact center markets. Art, welcome.
Michael, thanks so much. And I want to express my appreciation to the folks at Dell for sponsoring this video today and the opportunity to share our research on what's going on with unified communications.
Art, what trends are you seeing in the unified communications markets?
As of 2015, I think there's a real maturity around what's in unified communications-- real-time voice, real-time video, instant messaging presence, web conferencing. When I talk to customers today, it's pretty solid in terms of defining the working set of capabilities.
The things that are going on in terms of adoption though is that we see a lot of companies have gone down the path of adoption. We've got some very high numbers-- 97% for IP telephony, about 84% for instant messaging and presence. Some type of video, whether it's desktop video or room-based video also in the high 90s.
So, Art, are the UC applications delivering the quality of experience that workers really need?
About 38% of the enterprises that we've surveyed come back and say that there's still an awareness problem. So that's not the quality problem that you've mentioned in your question. But we at Forrester feel that IT-- because no one else will take the job, it's not the "if they build it will they come"-- it's you still need to incent them and educate them and encourage them and promote usage. So there's that 38% that say, we've still got a lot of users who are unaware of the tools.
Another one-- about 24%-- say that we're not really sure the business benefit. And now we get down to sort of the quality of the system, how are users using it, what kind of quality is there in the system that might be another barrier that's getting in the way of adoption. So we hear this very frequently from customers-- is the struggle with adoption.
But I think there's a number of times with sitting underneath that is we built it, but we might not have connected all the right dots together to make sure that the right quality of experience is out there for the users. And this is a very tenuous space as well.
With collaboration technologies and UC in specific, users have a choice. They can download something from the web, boom, like that. They don't even need to swipe a credit card. So CIOs have the struggle in terms of encouraging use of the system's infrastructure and applications that they've deployed versus users who kind of go off the ranch and go grab something else. And it's a quick download and off they go. If you don't have a well-performing set of applications and infrastructure that provide a good quality experience, they're gone.
So what processes do companies use to find out what features are being used by which workers?
You know, they have to do a lot of work with surveying users, going out and reaching out more than perhaps that IT organizations are used to doing that. I find pretty consistently people will-- IT organizations will purchase unified communications software. There's a certain set of, I hate to say it, more rudimentary-type tools present with the package.
And they will try to make use of those, try to look at some utilization, and kind of call it a day. How many IM sessions were held? How many web-conferencing sessions were held? And taking that as a baseline and looking at growth. But I always would like to see as a best practice-- when you say best practice maybe only about 5, 10% of the companies actually do this-- go deeper, go really into a set of tools that can perhaps capture various groups of users and how they're utilizing things and go at a more granular level of detail into the types of capabilities that they're making use of. And then take the corrective actions.
And it's usually we probably need a bit more training. Or there are times when there are actually quality problems that are unknown to the IT department that are out there that are concerning users. So I always say there's an opportunity go deeper to improve the investment, and it sometimes takes additional set of tools.
Right. So are there tools that cross all the competing platforms?
So you're not really seeing the UC vendors themselves reaching across and providing monitoring tools for the other guy. It really does take an independent third party who is sufficiently aware of those systems from those vendors, is able to get into them, pull out the right analytics out of those systems, to aggregate that data. And to a certain extent, normalize that data into a common language that's then understandable. And you get out of the swivel chair management. You're on one pane of glass.
So, Art, what are you looking for in a third-party tool?
I think it's better to have the integration to multiple sources and multiple vendors, to be able to tap all the endpoints and get the experience all the way through the stack, to be able to have the regular monitoring and reporting against the defined set of metrics so you could baseline and look at improvements.
And then for the intermittence, the ability to have a great set of tools that all those folks from the different parts of the organization can agree to the single source of truth. We're trying to troubleshoot this. We can drill down into and find the right facts and figures to identify the problems.
And a lot of times it's more the transients that are going to really drive you crazy. But you have the right data and the right tools to be able to
The Unified Communications Command Suite delivers aggregated analytics for on premises, hybrid or cloud UC deployments and provides analytics and diagnostics for the major Microsoft and Cisco UC platforms.