With the recession having forced business decision makers to change their investment priorities, communication vendors and service providers are re-assessing their challenges and opportunities for growth. One of the top questions on communication vendors and service providers’ minds is how perceptions of unified communications (UC) have changed and how the down economy is impacting demand for the individual communication applications as well as demand for UC as an integrated set of voice, data and video applications with pervasive presence across all communication media.
UC Awareness and Usage on the Rise
We conducted an end-user survey of over 100 C-level executives at U.S.-based multi-national corporations (MNCs) that sought to accomplish the following objectives:
Measure awareness of communication and collaboration tools
Identify leading communication and collaboration vendors and service providers
Identify frequency and level of communication and collaboration tool usage
Determine importance of communication and collaboration tools
Understand the effect of the recession on communication and collaboration tools
Determine future intentions for deploying communication and collaboration tools within organizations
We sought to understand the degree of awareness, usage and importance of the following applications:
- Audio conferencing
- Web conferencing
- Video conferencing
- Instant messaging
- Unified messaging
- Unified communications
One of the most positive findings was the fact that over 30% of respondents were aware of all these applications. Most respondents (80%) were aware of VoIP and the three main types of conferencing applications, whereas about 31% were aware of UC (the lowest awareness level of all applications). Interestingly enough, over 30% of respondents also claimed to be using UC within their organizations, which may indicate that, due to varying UC definitions, users identify UC with IP telephony and/or other advanced communication applications. Another reassuring survey finding was the fact that at least 30% of the respondents found all the communication applications listed above to be “very important” and at least 73% found each one of these applications to be either “very important” or “somewhat important”.
The really bright spot was the finding that 74% of the respondents expect their budget for communication and collaboration products and services to increase or stay the same with only 26% anticipating a budget reduction over the next 12 months. Some of the stated reasons for increasing spending included expansion and growth at the respondents’ organizations and industries as well as technology advances and replacement of outdated systems and use of new applications. Respondents who stated that they planned to continue or increase their usage of UC explained their decisions listing a number of actual and anticipated benefits including: cost savings, productivity and the ability to better communicate both internally and externally.
Finally, one other interesting phenomenon revealed by the survey was the respondents’ strong intentions to increase their usage of managed and hosted services. Only 18% planned to decrease their usage, whereas the rest intended to either “somewhat increase” or “significantly increase” their usage of such services.
The days are numbered for all Free Conference Call services, it’s simply a matter of time. The big telcos have been a bit pissy for having to aid their competitors indirectly via the USF. The emotion over this has been coming to boil for years now and recently Free Conference Call provider Foonz fell, just a few days ago.
I am sure glad we decided to pull out of that Free Conference Call game long ago. Our conference call service “Lypp” (formerly Gaboogie) started by offering free conferencing but quickly decide that was a bad idea (duh!). Lypp is now cash flow positive, growing like crazy and not showing any signs of slowing down.
Gaboogie has just won the Red Herring Canada Top 50 award in the category of Communications based on our Lypp Conference Call application. We would like to thank Red Herring Canada for the recognition and all of our supporters and clients for making this possible.
The company continues to grow organically and we are very excited about what the future holds.
Thanks again to all who made this happen!
Erik Lagerway – President
Gaboogie Canada Inc.
Just a quick post… We quietly launched our International service for Lypp teleconferencing this evening. Users from Australia, UK, Germany and many more countries, can now sign-up and start using Lypp teleconferencing. Existing and new users in North America can also now include participants from 20+ countries. We only charge you for minutes you use and there are NO additional long distance costs if you use the outbound calling feature.
Since Lypp calls you and your attendees there is little or no need for an International Toll Free number. Use the Lypp for Outlook Add-in or the Lypp.com website and simply set it and forget it. Lypp notifies and calls everyone for you at the time of the meeting. The only thing you have to remember is to answer the phone when it rings.
Yes, Conference Calls and now International Conference Calls are just that simple at Lypp.
WebHuddle’s Web Conferencing and Desktop Sharing solution has integrated Teleconferencing / Conference Calling via Lypp.
WebHuddle is an open source Web Conferencing & Desktop Sharing solution that works on both Mac & Windows. It is both free to download and use. For a limited time WebHuddle is offering free Teleconferencing via Lypp as well. WebHuddle + Lypp works rather well even though it is in early beta.