T3i Group Sees Enterprise Interest in Unified Communications Moving from Ownership of Systems and Support to Managed and Hosted Services Models

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The scope of managed services is expanding as decision-makers outsource services to advance employee communications, yet strive to retain secure network environments.

A recent T3i Group survey of enterprise decision-makers from U.S. and international companies found that demand for managed services supporting unified communications will grow in parallel with the development of service provider offerings. The scope of managed services is expanding as decision-makers outsource services to advance employee communications, yet strive to retain secure network environments. T3i Group surveyed a panel of 250 U.S. and international enterprise and SMB (small/medium business) decision-makers, and found more than a dozen managed services that they identified as prospective near-term implementations.

According to a recently-released T3i Group report entitled "InfoTrack for Enterprise Services: Managed and Hosted Services," support savings, reduced IT headcount and hardware expenditures are the major factors improving services adoption. Businesses are realizing that they can increase their capabilities by department, expand call center competencies and secure sensitive corporate information through managed services contracts.

IT decision-makers are increasingly comfortable with hosted IP telephony and applications, in which customers lease the service without up-front expenditures or on-premise systems. As the global economy continues to decline, the squeeze on IT expenditures will further drive businesses along the continuum from system ownership to managed networks to hosted and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions in which large cash outlays are replaced with reduced monthly operating expenditures.

T3i Group's research found that one-third of U.S. businesses interviewed will consider deploying a hosted IP telephony solution for their business phones and more than half of IT decision-makers are prospective managed services customers. Of more than 35 managed and hosted services that the report covered, ten were identified as likely near-term investments, including UC applications for collaboration and conferencing, and security operations such as managed firewalls and threat monitoring.

The "InfoTrack for Enterprise Services: Managed and Hosted Services" report also includes satisfaction ratings and insights from current managed services customers, as well as their estimates of support savings. The research identified ten services which reduced customer spending on support costs by more than 20%. Recent T3i Group studies have found IT departments, and SMBs, in particular, are moving toward outsourced support contracts to reduce "time and materials-based" expenditures. "Now that managed services implementations are demonstrating fundamental cost savings, a trend is taking hold" said Russell Horowitz, Market Research Specialist at T3i Group and co-author of this report. He continued, "We are not surprised that service adoption has increased; fewer decision-makers are less worried about the quality of off-premises solutions, and the lure of advanced communications features has driven customers to managed and hosted solutions."

The research assessed satisfaction measurements on price, service performance and account management, among other criteria. IT decision-makers using managed services registered high satisfaction scores for managed VPNs, voice and network security, conferencing and contact center applications. As the economy and green movement usher in more telecommuting programs that alter the traditional office environment, T3i Group anticipates that the demand for remote connectivity, managed applications and security will further increase.

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 (at) 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 (at) t3igroup.com

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