Business VoIP is top UC application, survey reveals

A new study from the US has identified business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) as the main service currently being exploited via unified communications (UC) technologies.

The study, by the respected media commentary and advice firm TechTarget, found that UC – whereby communications from different sources are able to be received at a common convenient reception point – is most frequently utilised in the form of business VoIP by 63.2% of IT professionals surveyed.

Other traditionally popular internet protocol (IP) telephony applications also featured prominently in the survey – with 59.7% saying they use UC for audio conferences and 45.4% citing video conferencing over the internet as a key benefit of UC.

In line with views previously expressed by several commentators, the study revealed there was some confusion over what UC actually includes – with 30% of those surveyed disagreeing with the idea that collaborative social media deployments in the workplace should be classed as UC applications.

Meanwhile, 55.5% stated that UC applications such as business VoIP had led to lower communications bills, while IP telephony applications including video conferencing were seen as helpful in avoiding the need to spend time travelling by 47.1% of respondents.

Among the obstacles cited preventing adoption of such UC services, the survey found that 32.5% did not feel they have sufficient on-site personnel with the necessary technical knowledge – while 25% were uncertain about the cost required for implementation.

Concerns regarding the technical support and costs needed for business VoIP and IP telephony adoption have been mirrored in many other countries, including the UK – particularly among small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) where IT budgets are relatively restricted.

This, however, has led many SMEs to simply seek out the services of a host company such as a business VoIP provider or VoIP reseller, whereby such applications can be deployed at a more accessible rate, and with full 24-hour technical back-up.