IDC: UC moving mainstream in Asia

The next year or two will see unified communications adoption among mainstream enterprise users outpace today's adoption by cutting-edge users.

The trend in enterprise adoption of unified communications (UC) is moving from the cutting edge to the more mainstream audience in the Asia-Pacific region, says IDC.

According to a research report released Monday, the next year or two will see UC adoption among this mid-market segment ramping up--what the analyst firm terms as "tech mimics", which tend to adopt technology after "tech innovators".

Adoption by the tech mimics is expected to ramp up faster than that of the tech innovators, which form the current 23 percent of Asia-Pacific enterprises which have already deployed or are pilot-testing UC deployments, according to IDC.

Shalini Verma, IDC research manager, communications, IDC Asia-Pacific, defined in the paper, tech mimics as typically large enterprises of over 1,000 employees that rely on proven technology.

Peter Bocquet, director of product and sales support at Tandberg, told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail there has been a "vast shift in corporate mindset in favor of UC" with companies pressing departments to cut costs.

According to the IDC report, "a good deal of [enterprises'] innovation budget will now be channeled towards reducing costs such as the cost of communication".

Bocquet said demand for high-end systems remains strong as well, in spite of the economic downturn, because such systems cost the equivalent of "two international business trips", so "the technology pays for itself".

He added that videoconferencing has attracted a lot of interest from companies, many of which want to extend the function from office conference rooms into homes. "One of our key findings is that UC is a great tool for attracting top talent as it is a great precursor to a better work-life balance."

The report, too, reflected that companies were looking increasingly to having employees work remotely through UC. More than 40 percent of respondents said they implemented telecommuting policies because of the availability of new UC tools.

IDC added that survey respondents said they preferred to procure UC products from their local carriers, IT service providers and systems integrators.