How Collaboration Can Help Achieve Your Business Goals: A European Perspective

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1 ANALYST CONNECTION How Collaboration Can Help Achieve Your Business Goals: A European Perspective Commissioned by: Verizon and Cisco Jason Andersson July 2015 Marta Muñoz Méndez-Villamil THE POWER OF COLLABORATION Business leaders are regularly challenged with operational issues, business opportunities, and local, regional, and global uncertainties. In this ever-changing business environment of mergers and acquisitions, portfolio adaptations, and consumer-driven demand not only from our customers but also from our partners and employees, we must rethink how we work, collaborate, and share information on a daily basis. A clear communication and collaboration strategy can help organizations maintain human resource excellence and operational efficiency, and help them drive continuous innovation and growth. This document discusses some of the key elements that CIOs and communications and IT infrastructure managers should keep in mind as they make the case to senior management about unified communications and collaboration and the related services required to optimize its success in corporate environments. Cisco and Verizon put the following questions to Marta Muñoz Méndez-Villamil, research director for IDC EMEA's Enterprise Communications and Collaboration program, on behalf of Verizon's customers. Q. How can collaboration help me achieve my business goals? A. IDC's research repeatedly indicates that many organizations are still not familiar with how collaboration solutions can help them improve their business goals. Our recent discussions with a large number of senior decision makers and technology users across European enterprises reveal that while numerous businesses are currently considering implementing a collaboration solution, some doubts remain about how to build a selfsupported business case that can help them generate the necessary support from C-level executives. While collaboration can undoubtedly help reduce the costs associated with travel and communications, in many cases enterprises fail to see beyond the cost implications of the solution, missing some of the most important reasons for implementing a collaboration solution: it is also an extremely powerful resource to help drive the main business imperatives of most corporations, such as: Innovation drive product, process, and market innovation Time to market and agility gain competitive advantage Productivity help increase operational efficiency Customer satisfaction and loyalty increase and maintain market share And ultimately, growth July 2015, IDC #IDCAC01X

2 A strong business case for unified communications and collaboration should not only include a reliable technology component but also needs to demonstrate what business benefits that particular technical solution brings to the organization. Business cases that focus on solving business process or collaboration challenges, which clearly relate to the business objectives, are more likely to receive funding and support than those that do little more than simply cut communication costs. FIGURE 1 This need for collaboration to help achieve the business imperatives is reflected in IDC's latest EMEA Enterprise Communications Survey across IT and communication managers of large corporations, as shown in Figure 1. Collaboration Adoption Drivers Q. What are your organization's UC priorities in the next three years? Note: n = 881 Source: IDC's EMEA Enterprise Communications Survey, 2015 The figure shows that the main additional expectation from most collaboration implementations, apart from lowering total cost of ownership, is that they help improve cross-team collaboration and help achieve corporate goals such as improving internal processes and increasing cost savings IDC #IDCAC01X 2

3 Q. What should my organization be looking for in a partner when considering a UC&C solution? A. Delivering a seamless, highly secure experience is critical to both the implementation and ease of use of any collaboration solution. Partners should have a thoroughly planned and structured infrastructure with the capacity to make the complexities of having multiple physical locations around the world practically irrelevant. To provide all of this, a reliable partner must have the necessary infrastructure in place across the different regions: a strong, reliable network, both globally and locally, using a solid network of reputable partners in remote locations; a range of datacenters to support hosted and cloud solutions outside the customer premises if necessary; and a series of strategically located operational centers to support customers at local level with minimum delay. As well as the necessary infrastructure around the various regions network, operations centers, datacenters, etc. the partner should also have a dedicated force of consultants and professional services available to support customers across locations during and after the implementation stages to drive service adoption. Partners should also have proven experience in deploying complex collaboration solutions with customers around the world, as well as strong relationships with the technology partners in order to obtain the technical support that might be required during the implementation and deployment processes. Q. Who is best placed to manage such migration and implementation? Should organizations use their own internal IT and communications teams to manage the process? A. Migrating to a single platform that can incorporate all aspects of enterprise communications is no mean task. Unifying multiple communication platforms into a single platform can be a complex process, especially when having to integrate the solutions with existing solutions and technologies from different providers. Depending on the scope and reach of the deployment, managing this process can require a substantial amount of time and resources. This is why many companies, particularly for large implementations, are turning to external partners to manage the transition. By using a third party to manage this process and the implementation, companies can free up their own internal resources so they can focus on core business needs instead, making more efficient use of their own IT and communications teams. Also, having a clear understanding of the corporate goals allows the partner to carefully plan and structure the collaboration solution in ways that can help achieve those goals. It is critical, however, that a strong and trusting relationship exists between the company and its partner in order to minimize misunderstanding and maximize the full potential of the collaboration tools. Choosing a partner that has a solid, longstanding relationship with the technology provider is also critical to ensure that the necessary support and technical advice is at hand during the implementation and rollout process IDC #IDCAC01X 3

4 Q. Who needs to be engaged and when to guarantee a smooth process? A. To maximize the value of growth and maturity of UC&C, IDC provides the following guidance, with each of the three time frames involving different stakeholders within the organization: Short term: Assess the UC&C situation as it currently is within your organization from the business and IT perspectives. Identify opportunities to leverage any existing technology and applications in new ways. Consider the various UC&C deployment options including premises, cloud, and hybrid (a mix of premises and cloud) as they emerge. Identify relevant UC&C technology and skills among existing staff, peers, and vendors/partners. Experiment with proof-of-concept and trial projects. Focus on onboarding workers and the end-user experience. In the next one to two years (next budget cycle): Use early quantifiable UC&C wins to demonstrate potential and justify budget allocations. Evaluate existing communication and collaboration technology and its shortcomings, as well as the network infrastructure to support new applications. Assess UC&C skill gaps and plan to hire and/or externally source professional services. Identify business sponsors and champions that will support and promote UC&C projects. Expand projects and begin to define communication and collaboration standards. Merge UC&C into security and governance policies. In the next three to five years: Ensure that UC&C use cases across the organization are supported with appropriate technology, staff, and funding. Engage in business process reengineering in response to feedback and new insights from existing UC&C deployments. Consider leveraging UC&C technology to enhance company innovation. Assess progress and adjust internal investment priorities to match evolving requirements. Ensure balanced resource allocation across all of the deployed UC&C solutions in the organization. Q. How exactly can the "as-a-service" model of unified communications and collaboration (UCaaS) help my organization? A. Deploying UC&C solutions with limited IT resources and little to no capex investment makes UCaaS an attractive proposition for businesses needing to access collaboration sessions from various locations and devices. Even large corporations with substantial IT resources would prefer to dedicate such resources on core business objectives and causes, rather than having those resources focused on what can be relatively large migration and implementation projects. The implications on capex and opex of a UCaaS solution are clearly attractive to a multitude of businesses attempting to bring their cost line under control. But there are other benefits to UCaaS than just cost: The ability to free up people throughout the company who can focus on and be redeployed to more fundamental aspects of the business The opportunity cost of dedicating such resources and budget to existing, on-premises solutions that require space, energy, and maintenance, among other things The scalability that UCaaS solutions offer in terms of usage and users (most solutions can scale up and down depending on the business needs at reasonably short notice) As UCaaS solutions become more mature, businesses are able to deploy UC&C technologies through private or public cloud resources without having to invest in, deploy, or manage expensive on-premises equipment and infrastructure, effectively removing many of the barriers to adoption. As reliability of cloud environments grows across businesses and as security improves around hosted and cloud models, enterprises are becoming increasingly confident about investing in UCaaS solutions IDC #IDCAC01X 4

5 Until recently a number of UCaaS implementations originated as a result of smaller enterprises looking for cost advantages offered by the "aas" model. More recently, however, UCaaS deployments are increasingly originating from larger transformational projects in larger MNCs. As a result, UCaaS is now expanding its addressable market to both smaller companies that used to be outside the scope of the main SPs and vendors and larger corporations. UCaaS implementations will increasingly address customers' business requirements beyond the need to rationalize and integrate different co-existing communication platforms (instant messaging, , telephony, etc.) and will look at the full impact of the solution on the corporate goals. While the SMB segment will be more ready to support full-scale migration to cloud, as this will enable them to control the cost of their communications solutions, larger corporations will continue to opt for hybrid solutions that comprise both on-premises and cloud-based solutions IDC #IDCAC01X 5

6 About IDC International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make factbased decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. About Verizon Enterprise Solutions Verizon Enterprise Solutions (VES) helps clients improve customer experience, drive growth and business performance, and manage risk. With industry-specific solutions provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic networking, Internet of Things, and advanced communications platforms, Verizon Enterprise Solutions helps open new opportunities around the world for innovation, investment, and business transformation. Visit to learn more or follow our conversation on Twitter and in the VES LinkedIn group. About Cisco Systems Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. At Cisco, customers come first, and an integral part of our DNA is creating long-lasting customer partnerships and working with them to identify their needs and provide solutions that support their success. The concept of solutions being driven to address specific customer challenges has been with Cisco since its inception. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners, and has become the worldwide leader in networking transforming how people connect, communicate, and collaborate. Our current offerings fall under several categories: Switching, Routing, Service Provider Video, Collaboration, Security, Wireless, Data Centre and Services. For ongoing news, please go to

7 IDC U.K. Chiswick Tower 389 Chiswick High Road London W4 4AE, United Kingdom idc-insights-community.com Copyright Notice This IDC research document was published as part of an IDC continuous intelligence service, providing written research, analyst interactions, telebriefings, and conferences. Visit to learn more about IDC subscription and consulting services. To view a list of IDC offices worldwide, visit Please contact the IDC Hotline at , ext (or ) or for information on applying the price of this document toward the purchase of an IDC service or for information on additional copies or Web rights. [trademark] Copyright 2015 IDC. Reproduction is forbidden unless authorized. All rights reserved.

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