T3i Group Says Demand for Maintenance Service Providers Will Increase as Corporations Adopt an Ever Growing Array of Unified Communications Technologies

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A panel of 250 U.S. and international enterprise and SMB decision-makers suggest IT departments are no longer capable of providing maintenance independently, and that external services organizations may be better qualified and staffed to provide the requisite services and support.

A recent T3i Group survey of enterprise decision-makers found that the use and scope of telephony system maintenance contracts are growing. Facing large software-based technology investments with new integration requirements, businesses realize that they lack the expertise they need to manage their communications systems. Companies indicated a willingness to trade some IT employee headcounts in exchange for maintenance services partnerships.

A panel of 250 U.S. and international enterprise and SMB (small/medium business) decision-makers suggested that IT departments are no longer capable of providing maintenance independently, and that external services organizations may be better qualified and staffed to provide the requisite services and support. According to a recently-released T3i Group report entitled "InfoTrack for Enterprise Services: Maintenance Services," as more businesses adopt converged communication technologies, they will increasingly seek out specialized service providers to guide companies through technology implementations, ongoing system monitoring, maintenance and recommendations.

InfoTrack's research also found that the decision to contract for a maintenance service is no longer triggered primarily by the sale of a communication system. Security concerns, software requirements, patch management, communications applications and end points, in conjunction with overly stretched IT departments all factor in to decisions to expand maintenance services support. Risk avoidance has also become a significant driver of growth in maintenance contracts.

The panel was also asked to identify their preferred sources of information when considering prospective maintenance services providers. Decision-makers cited peer referrals, trade shows, white papers and internet research as preferred sources of information on maintenance services providers, ahead of new marketing media such as web banners, whether on search engines or newsletter sites. Information gathering on specific services, such as network security and software management, also lead to greater overall maintenance services adoption.

"IT departments are no longer able to dictate company-wide communications technology selection," said Russell Horowitz, Market Research Specialist at T3i Group and co-author of this report. He continued, "Employees are downloading web-based applications such as Instant Messaging (IM), videoconferencing and collaboration tools, selecting their own smartphones and demanding connectivity with office email and voice systems. In addition, the pendulum is swinging to functional departments that want software applications that tie into the existing network and departmental business processes. The proliferation of user-driven technology is accompanied by complex synchronization, security and support issues, all taxing the IT manager."

Maintenance services customers indicated high levels of satisfaction with the overall performance and support offered by their providers. End users cited speed of repairs, including remote troubleshooting and system monitoring, as well as efficient, knowledgeable on-site repair engineers, as examples of successful service components. Maintenance services satisfaction scores were lowest with account management and reporting.

About the InfoTrack for Enterprise Services (IES) Program

The InfoTrack for Enterprise Services (IES) program publishes several comprehensive, primary research studies each year, with the professional services reports focusing on unified communications market analysis. The IES program combines competitor information with market demand and issues analysis. For more information about InfoTrack for Enterprise Services, please visit http://www.t3igroup.com/marketresearch/enterprisesvcs or contact Susan Hobart, shobart@t3igroup.com or 973/602-0127.

About T3i Group LLC

T3i Group LLC provides market research, data, analysis, and consulting and advisory services to the telecommunications industry. It has clients in 46 countries and conducts its business through four operating units: InfoTech, which publishes reports that analyze shipment, revenue, market share and other pertinent data of importance to telecommunications equipment manufacturers; TelecomTactics, which maintains a database of the features and functionality of major telephony systems; Tarifica, which maintains a database of pricing-related information covering 400 telecommunications carriers operating in 130 countries; and TelecomWeb (http://www.telecomweb.com), which is a content provider with an editorial staff that authors and posts telecommunications-industry news stories every business day. The site also serves as T3i Group's primary delivery mechanism for distributing its reports, analyses and data to subscribers.

T3i Group LLC is headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, with additional offices in New York City, London, England and Cherry Hill, NJ.

Press Contact: Debra Baker, 301/905-7703, dbaker@t3igroup.com

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