Unified communications, cloud-based services and SMBs

The Webtorials Analyst Group has recently released two State-of-the-Market Reports. "2011 SMB Communications Plans and Priorities" and "2011 Unified Communications and Cloud-Based Services Report" are a complementary set of reports that, while focused on SMBs, are quite pertinent to organizations of all sizes. Over the next few newsletters, we'll be sharing key findings and excerpting from these two reports.

In the "2011 SMB Communications Plans and Priorities" report, we focused on the issues facing SMBs. This is an extremely vibrant and critical segment of our economy. However, it's also a segment that has often been overlooked in terms of point-products and services. It has often been assumed that a consumer-oriented product or a "branch office" product would be sufficient to serve the needs of this market. And both assumptions are false.

The most striking finding from this first report, not surprisingly, was that SMBs are concerned above all else about a rapid ROI. If a proven technical solution can pay for itself in terms of increased productivity, it will be met with open arms.

At the same time, the SMB does not have a large IT team to research, deploy and staff initiatives. Instead, they must be more concerned about the productivity per worker.

The key findings of this first study, then are:

• Financial considerations to ensure the maximum performance at the lowest price are the primary drivers.

• Mobility and unified communications are recognized as key technologies.

• Most respondents see their current solutions as being "good," but they also would like to improve their capabilities.

• There is a very high amount of interest in cloud-based solutions.

• There is an excellent prognosis for cloud-based AaaS (Anything as a Service), but the market opportunities are still emerging.

We'll examine these findings in more detail in the next newsletter.

Learn more about this topic

Cloud UC service to embrace Android

Verizon to offer cloud-based unified communications

The morphing of VoIP into unified communications

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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