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Upside of Unified Communications Solutions

Many businesses today view their technology infrastructure as an enabling platform that allows them to meet or exceed customer service requirements and as a competitive differential that allows them to have an advantage in their marketplace.

Evidently, business decision makers agree with this thought because in a study conducted by Harris Interactive they indicated customer service (54 percent) and upgrade of current infrastructure (47 percent) were the leading categories for technology investment in the months ahead.

Considering that investments in sales and marketing, production and efficiency (39 percent) also made the list, it is safe to say that a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure is important to the future of many organizations. These are just some of the results of the new study, which were presented through Harris Interactive’s latest technology research webinar.

Harris Interactive fields ongoing studies on a range of topical issues within the technology industry and presents the information quarterly. The studies are conducted online with telecommunications business decision makers using an "IT/Telecom Decision Maker Specialty Panel" created and managed by Harris Interactive.

Unified Communications is an emerging technology and service that is poised to provide business users with an easy and efficient way to manage a complex set of communications from a single user interface.

To gauge awareness and the appeal of the technology, Harris Interactive surveyed 340 business decision makers (BDMs) and as expected, awareness is low with only 19 percent of BDMs indicating they are aware of the technology. However, when presented with a description of the concept and its potential benefits, 35 percent indicate it is appealing or very appealing and another 42 percent say that it is somewhat appealing.

In today's fast paced business world, executives, road warriors, and just about anyone with access to a cell phone and email are inundated with information from a variety of sources and formats. Typically, those email or voice messages require quick responses unless one is willing to risk losing a major business opportunity or create customer ill-will.

Companies have no choice but to look for methods and technologies that will help them manage this growing flood of information. Commenting on the survey results, Milton Ellis, Vice President and Sr. Consultant for Harris Interactive's Technology Practice said, "Based on Unified Communication's high level of appeal to BDMs, it appears that the technology could have a bright future ahead. Companies that don't investigate or invest in this technology could find themselves playing catch-up to competitors that can respond more efficiently to the needs of the customer by deploying the technology."

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