AntonioDiaz - stock.adobe.com
The shift to hybrid working is fuelling customer spending on unified communication (UC), but the channel does face an issue in helping users to manage the emerging divide between those that choose to head back to the office and others that largely stay at home.
Distributor Nuvias UC quizzed IT decision-makers across Europe and has found that UC spending is set to increase and is largely driven by digital transformation – with the technology having shown its value to many over the course of the pandemic.
Nuvias found that, over the past 18 months, 67% of UK IT decision-makers spent more on UC than planned. However, this does not mean there will be a slow down, with just shy of half of respondents expecting to spend even more on the technology in the next year.
High numbers report that their collaboration tools had already had a positive impact on the ability of staff to operate remotely, with many users ready to support the changes brought about by the growth in hybrid working.
The challenge the research identified is for the need for many to get the UC infrastructure in a position where it can support both office and home-based workers.
Getting that challenge mastered is important as there are fears that a cultural divide is emerging, with 73% of UK IT decision-makers talking of ‘in’ and ‘out’ office workers feeling differently about their positions.
The other main theme that emerged from the Nuvias findings was the desire from customers for reduced complexity – many felt that UC offerings were still difficult to master and made demands on technical expertise, which could be a problem.
Jeremy Keefe, CEO at Nuvias UC, said that it was not a surprise that customers wanted the technology to become less difficult to master: “With respondents citing technical complexity (38%) as one of the biggest barriers to making a unified communications deployment successful, there is a clear opportunity for IT resellers to optimise on post-pandemic demand through taking a consultancy-led approach and establishing themselves as the technical experts on all things UC.
“Building close relationships with these experts will separate the leaders from the laggards when it comes to businesses achieving seamless communication and collaboration in a post-pandemic era,” he added.
Last month, Nuvias UC strengthened its own position with a move to acquire German player Alliance Technologies as it looked to extend its geographical coverage across the DACH markets.
Speaking in January about the rationale for the deal, Keefe mentioned the rise in demand for unified comms across Europe as being a big part of the equation.
“We have seen increasing demand for end-to-end UC solutions in continental Europe. In particular, we wanted to have a greater local presence in DACH where partners are looking for distributors with a strong portfolio to meet the varying needs of end-user businesses that are transitioning to a hybrid work environment, combining home/remote working and office-based working,” he said.