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How has the economic downturn affected the mobile unified communications market?

How has the economic downturn affected the mobile unified communications (UC) market? Or has it not affected it at all?

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The recession has had a mixed effect on mobile UC. It has slowed and delayed some projects, especially in companies where UC is in its early days or is largely seen as a trial/luxury, or is mainly driven from the users up. However, over the three-year timespan the recession is expected to have boosted uptake of mobile UC because more companies are evaluating it as a cost cutting and efficiency aid, and in companies where UC is already well used, there has been acceleration of the extension to mobile platforms, to support productivity programs. UC is being adopted where it can be proven to reduce inefficiencies and improve customer relations.

A recent report from Synergy Research Group found the worldwide market for enterprise telephony had been significantly damaged by the downturn, with many major VoIP and conferencing projects on hold, but within that, UC had seen fewer ill effects than other areas.

Financial pressures on small and medium companies had driven a trend to outsourcing UC or looking to managed services, as well as incorporating low cost social networking with UC.

This was first published in August 2009

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