IDC Finds Increasing Hype Around Unified Communications Is Affecting How Customers Select Telephony Systems and Services ; IDC Publishes Two Survey Reports on Key Trends in Enterprise VoIP

FRAMINGHAM, MA – October 14, 2008 – The increasing attention and buzz around unified communications (UC) is affecting how customers select telephony systems and services, according to survey results from the fifth annual Enterprise VoIP Survey conducted by IDC in conjunction with InfoWorld magazine.

"This year's survey results show that end users have become more sophisticated about their understanding of unified communications, as well as having higher expectations about what solutions providers should be able to offer," said Nora Freedman, senior analyst, Enterprise Networks.

The IDC study, Key Trends in Enterprise VoIP 2008: Customer Perspectives on Unified Communications (Doc #213779), concentrates on the results of all questions about end users' perspectives on UC in relation to what it means to their organizations, which vendors have the most strategic value, and which applications will be integrated with their communications infrastructure. Among the key findings of this study are the following:

* This year, Microsoft, Cisco, Avaya, and IBM were ranked by survey respondents as the top 4 strategic vendors in their companies' UC adoption plans. This is in contrast to the 2007 results, where respondents ranked Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft, and Nortel as their top 4 UC vendors.

* Over 41% of respondents believe that the advanced applications that allow for the integration of their company's business communications with its critical business applications should come directly from Microsoft Exchange or IBM Lotus Notes or Domino environments.

* When asked to choose between two definitions of unified communications, 79% of respondents believe that UC is a desktop or mobile-based solution or platform that combines a common inbox for email/fax/voicemail, advanced IP telephony calling and management, Web/audio/videoconferencing, instant messaging, and presence management, which can be integrated with business-critical applications.

A second IDC study, Key Trends in Enterprise VoIP 2008: North American Enterprises' Buying Behavior (Doc #213913), focuses on the results of questions about how U.S. enterprises are buying their telephony systems and services. Among the key findings of this study are the following:

* The introduction of desktop-based IP telephony solutions by Microsoft and IBM has resulted in a shift in focus on the source of key advanced communications functionality and call control.

* The top 5 selection criteria in 2008 for enterprise telephony systems (including TDM and IP PBXs) are product performance, equipment reliability, total cost of ownership, security features, and technical support.

* Long distance savings, ability to integrate with existing business applications, and cost savings when compared with legacy equipment are the three most popular reasons why survey respondents are currently using or planning to use IP telephony within the next 12 months.

* Unified messaging, remote/teleworkers solutions, and videoconferencing are the top 3 VoIP applications that are expected to drive future investment in respondents' data and telephony network budgets.

These two reports are part of a four part series based on the Enterprise VoIP Survey. Completed in May and June 2008, this was a Web-based survey of InfoWorld readers, 90% of whom were located in the United States and Canada. Additional documents in the Key Trends in Enterprise VoIP series will focus on other aspects of the market, including the characteristics of the telephony infrastructure installed base and IP telephones.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 100 countries. For more than 44 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.