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August 16, 2007

Incumbent Voice Providers Have No Automatic Lock on Customer UC Rollouts

Over the past number of weeks we have been asking readers to share their views on a broad range of topics regarding Unified Communications (News - Alert) — from perspectives on the fundamental business value of UC, to which end-user job functions are likely to see the greatest impact from using UC applications. In our latest research survey conducted in partnership with IntelliCom Analytics, we wanted to zero in on how well positioned the incumbent voice platform vendors are in terms of being the provider of choice when the enterprise decides to deploy Unified Communications.

With 505 businesses participating in the survey, the findings strongly suggest that incumbent voice platform providers should not presume that they will automatically be chosen by their customers to provide Unified Communications solutions as well.
The likelihood of a voice platform vendor also being chosen to provide UC varied widely across the major vendors, as well as between North American-headquartered companies and those in the other Global Regions.
For North American businesses, Avaya (News - Alert) was deemed by 77% of businesses having Avaya voice platforms to also be their preferred provider of UC, while decision makers in Global firms gave Alcatel (News - Alert) — at 56% — their top vote of confidence. Of the twelve major vendors that were assessed, only Alcatel and Cisco fell into the top five slots on a world-wide basis.
On a somewhat sobering note for the traditional voice platform providers, for those businesses that chose to select a UC provider other than their incumbent voice platform provider, Microsoft (News - Alert) was selected by a clear margin – with 31% of North American firms and 21% of Global businesses — as the top choice for providing UC applications and solutions, with Cisco (News - Alert) coming in a somewhat distant second.
“Who is your primary voice platform provider, and how does that compare to who are you using — or are planning to use — as your primary Unified Communications provider?”


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