India Makes the Most of Its UC&C Investments

by Sharon Lobo    Oct 21, 2009

Every organisation uses various modes of electronic communications such as e-mail, SMS, Fax, voicemail, video messaging, etc. for its daily activities. However for better productivity, the accessibility to all these media from a single interface is necessary, hence there is the need for a Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) technology.

UC&C not only simplifies communications but also increases the business performance of organisations. This is achieved by deploying more advanced Internet Protocol-enabled UC&C tools, such as voice over IP, immersive video and fixed mobile convergence solutions. All these facts were unveiled by a recent study titled ‘Meetings Around the World II’, conducted by Frost & Sullivan and sponsored by Verizon and Cisco. This study used a new index — Return on Collaboration (RoC) — to quantifiably measure the return on deploying collaboration technologies in terms of improvement across business-critical areas. Let us see what impact has UC&C had on Indian organisations.

Indian organisations are using UC&C to the maximum effect
In one of the world’s fastest growing economies, Indian companies are aggressively using advanced UC&C technology to equip their workers to compete on the world stage. Even though India spends less on UC&C tools as compared to other developed nations, it still makes the most of its collaboration investment. For instance, in 2008 Indian organisations spent the equivalent of 42.97 million INR ($888,000 USD) on UC&C technology, which is nearly a third as much as Japan, and less than half of what many other countries spend. Yet, Indian companies are achieving more than a six-fold Return on Collaboration (RoC) with an average overall ROC score of 6.7.

Also with a RoC score of 7.4 in the study, the effects of collaboration technology on Indian R&D are highly visible in the product development process. These results suggest these companies are able to use a relatively modest investment in collaboration with great impact in product and customer development. However, the strongest impact of UC&C is in the business-critical area of sales, where Indian companies are seeing a return of almost nine times their deployment spending. This is because UC&C gives Indian companies a powerful tool to touch customers, which enables sales to close fast.

Indian organisations use sophisticated UC&C technology
Indian organisations are second only to organisations in China in terms of deploying more sophisticated technology. Indian companies have leaped into advanced communications rapidly, with 58 percent of them deploying UC&C in the past 12 months. Most Indian organisations have traditional UC&C tools: 77 percent have integrated voice/e-mail/instant messaging, and 61 percent have audio, web and video conferencing capabilities. However, a relatively large number of Indian organisations also have deployed advanced, IP-based technology, such as presence enabled applications (45 percent) — which allow users to view others’ availability status and readiness to communicate, integrated soft-phones (41 percent), and immersive video (36 percent).

Apart from using sophisticated technology, IT managers of Indian companies with a mix of corporate and technology policies have made collaboration virtually anytime, anywhere possible. Almost 60 percent of Indian companies have a formal telecommuting policy in place. Additionally, IT departments are also deploying UC&C technology to enable telephone features and management capabilities on mobile devices (62 percent) and fixed-mobile convergence environments (56 percent).

Indian workers prefer a collaborative work style
The UC&C technology used by Indian organisations enables their employees to conduct business-critical functions with customers and partners around the world, from virtually any location at anytime of the day or night. Therefore it is not surprising that a majority of Indian employees prefer UC&C as now they are able to maintain a better balance between life and work.