The Asia-Pacific unified communications (UC) market is still in the very early stages of development and continues to face many challenges, according to a new report by Springboard Research.
Released Wednesday, the report found that only few organizations in the region are aware of UC offerings or understand how their disparate communication tools or systems can be synchronized.
Springboard defines UC as the integration of disparate communication systems, including wired and wireless telephone systems, devices such as PCs and phones, and applications including e-mail, instant messaging and Web conferencing. These systems, devices and applications are integrated and accessible through a single phone number or Internet address, and not limited to a communication device or tool.
Ravi Shekhar Pandey, research manager at Springboard Research, noted a disparity in how organizations perceive the value of such tools.
"In large enterprises, the IT departments view UC as an evolution in convergence that organizations must adopt, while SMBs (small and midsize businesses) are more concerned about improving communications and finding solutions to their business problems, and therefore, are paying less attention to UC," Pandey said in the report.
The study also uncovered low user satisfaction with UC, where only 13 percent of respondents in the survey described their experience as "very satisfying". A high percentage of respondents are "somewhat satisfied", according to the study, which polled 469 CIOs, IT and business managers at over 400 large and SMB organizations in Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
Some 21 percent of respondents had deployed UC, and companies with more than 500 employees were the leading adopters, according to Springboard.
China led the region in adoption, with 35 percent of respondents having deployed UC.
Springboard's findings also revealed that organizations in Australia and India are more likely to deploy UC over the next 12 months than anywhere else in the region.
Pandey added that a "significant number" of companies are planning to purchase voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) products over the next 12 months.
"This, we believe, will accelerate adoption in the region as VoIP is an important aspect of UC, and once a VoIP system is in place, organizations will be more inclined to unify communications in their organization," he said.