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[October 6, 2005]

SMBs See the Worth of Converged Communications

By Michelle Pasquerello, Online Channels Editor, TMCnet


New research issued by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) reveals that small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are looking to amplify usage of converged solutions within the next 18 months, a recent release stated.

Implementing a converged communication solution will enable VARs and solution providers to reduce the cost of internal/external communication systems, streamline management of voice and data networks and improve overall employee productivity.

The survey, conducted from 300 U.S. businesses with an employee range of 20-500, discloses that 40 percent of said businesses are currently evaluating new communications solutions that deliver voice and data applications over a common network.

Summary of Findings

  • 25 percent of SMBs said they have already deployed unified messages systems, whereas 41 percent have not but recognize its business value.
  • 16 percent of respondents said they have already deployed business application integration (click-to-dial directories, caller ID with a CRM system), whereas 47 percent have not but recognize its business value.

According to the studys release, the speed at which businesses migrate to a converged solution depends wholly on comfort with newer technologies, obsolescence of legacy voice equipment or budget availability.

"These plans for deployment and evaluation are even more impressive when you consider that nearly two-thirds of these companies said they are generally satisfied with their existing communications systems," said John Venator, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. "Small and medium-sized businesses clearly believe converged voice and data networks and applications have real business value, whether it is through reducing the cost of internal and external communications systems; streamlining management of voice and data networks; or improving productivity throughout their operations."

About 40 percent of responding companies participating in the Web survey came from the professional services, healthcare facilities and services, financial and real estate services, and retail trade sectors.

CompTIA commissioned IDC to evaluate the awareness and use of convergent technologies in the U.S. small and mid-sized business (SMB) market.

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Michelle Pasquerello is the Online Channels Editor at TMCnet and writes a blog about WiMAX and other wireless technologies as well as cool iPod developments. Her musings can be found at: http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/wimax/.

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