Market Insight

RESEARCH NOTE - 86 Percent of Businesses Surveyed to Use Video Conferencing as Part of Their UC Environment by 2018

March 01, 2017

Diane Myers Diane Myers Senior Research Director, VoIP, UC, and IMS

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Following is information and insight from IHS Markit about our Unified Communication (UC) Strategies and Vendor Leadership North American Enterprise Survey


  • Companies are deploying unified communications (UC) to improve employee productivity and response times and provide employees with increased flexibility
  • Video is an increasingly important component of the UC toolkit: 86 percent of organizations participating in IHS Markit’s UC survey plan to utilize video conferencing as part of their UC solutions by early 2018
  • Survey respondents rated Microsoft and Cisco the top UC vendors 

Our Analysis

Our annual North American unified communications survey focuses on businesses that are integrating multiple types of communication into a unified and cohesive communication experience—on premises or in the cloud.

Businesses are deploying UC to improve employee productivity and response times, as well as to provide employees with mobility and flexibility. Although mobility’s been a key theme in past years, it is now a de facto element in any company’s communications plan.

Video conferencing has momentum

This year, video conferencing stands out as an increasingly important tool that businesses are utilizing or looking to implement. Eighty-six percent of respondent organizations will have rolled video conferencing into their UC solutions by February 2018.

Video conferencing through PBX and UC systems is on the uptick, as they provide a more cost-effective, high-quality experience over dedicated room-based systems. Video has become a viable mechanism for enhancing employee interactions—and as video conferencing becomes more readily available, businesses are using it to communicate more effectively throughout their organizations and with partners and customers.

Adoption of cloud UC is on the rise

There’s been an upsurge of businesses using cloud solutions across the board, and UC is no exception. Currently, 25 percent of respondent UC solutions are utilized within a private cloud, 26 percent are implemented as UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS) and the rest are deployed on premises.

Still, most companies are not yet going “all in” with the cloud, and for this reason it’s important for solution providers to support hybrid deployments that offer businesses a seamless UC solution.

Microsoft, Cisco rated top UC vendors by respondents

We asked our survey respondents to name the top three vendors for eight key buying criteria: financial stability, service and support, installation, product reliability, innovation, price-to-performance ratio, system management and solution breadth.

Microsoft was a clear number-one, followed by Cisco. Microsoft scored the highest across all categories except installation, which went to Cisco. The two vendors are in a tight battle for enterprise UC deployments, and they’re not relinquishing their positions anytime soon.

Vendors that can effectively deliver a broad suite of capabilities in their UC solutions and do so in a simple and easy-to-use manner will be best positioned for success. As well, vendors that have premises-based and cloud capabilities—either directly or through partners—will be better able to capture and migrate customers as they move to the cloud completely or in a hybrid fashion.

UC Survey Synopsis

For its 26-page annual enterprise unified communications survey, IHS Markit conducted in-depth surveys with 207 medium and large organizations in North America about their plans for UC and their perceptions of UC vendors. The study looks at where organizations are unifying various types of communication, why they are doing so, which capabilities they need, where they are deploying solutions and which vendors and service providers they are likely to use.

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