83% of European firms think that the value of UC increases when it is extended to customers
Fifty-eight percent of European organisations are deploying unified communications (UC) platform and will complete the deployment by 2012, according to survey by the software and IT services firm Aspect.
The survey into European organisations' attitudes towards multichannel communications and the likely impact of UC on business performance also revealed that 17% of the firms have already deployed the UC platforms, while 41% of survey respondents expect to deploy the platforms within the next 2 years.
The survey found that European organisations use a wide variety of communications tools from e-mail to mobile devices, traditional voice (PSTN/PBX), conferencing, VoIP, instant messaging (IM), document sharing, presence and video.
Aspect said that 56% of organisations responding to the UC-Trends 2010 survey use six or more of these tools.
According to report, 'Improved Employee Productivity' is seen by 22% of respondents as the main benefit of investing in a UC platform, while 'Travel cost reduction' (12%), 'Mobile Office' (13%), and 'Saving Time and Resources using Presence' (12%) were other key benefits associated with UC.
Respondents also recognised the huge impact that UC could have on service quality - with a massive 83% agreeing that the value of UC increases when it is extended to customers.
Thirty-two percent of individuals believe that UC will enable 'Cross Channel Communications', while 18% say that it will 'Improve Response Rates by Connecting to Knowledge Agents Outside the Contact Centre' and 17% that it will enable 'Better Interaction with Field/Mobile Workers'.
Mark King, senior VP Europe at Aspect, said: "While European organisations are increasingly supporting multichannel communications they're not doing so in a co-ordinated way - and this represents many lost opportunities to improve communications and business performance.
"For if investing in a unified platform for multichannel communications is perceived to improve 'individual productivity' and 'reduce travel costs' - and extending UC to customers improves multichannel communications and improves access to external knowledge workers - then conversely, the opposite must be true.
"By supporting multichannel communications without investing in unified platforms then productivity isn't as high as it could be, travel costs are higher than they need to be, contact centre communications with external knowledge workers are not optimised, and so on.
Mr King added that these are not only missed opportunities to impact the quality of internal and external company communications, they are also missed opportunities to improve business performance.