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Hosted UC Goes Beyond the Gartner MQ--and Requires Best Practices

September 17, 2013 | Telepresence Options

gartner magic quadrant

Story and images by Melanie Turek / Frost & Sullivan

When it comes to deploying a hosted solution, finding the best provider is only half the battle.

There's been a good deal of discussion around the Gartner UC Magic Quadrant in the past few weeks (seehttp://www.nojitter.com/post/240159794�andhttp://www.nojitter.com/post/240159864), and much of it hits on the fact that when it comes to UC, hosted providers are a critical part of the market--and typically account for a large bucket of "others" in any market sizing approach. My colleague Elka Popova covers more than 30 of what must be at least 80 UCaaS providers in her annual Hosted UC market study (available to Frost & Sullivan clients at�www.frost.com); many of them account for both large implementations and revenue streams, as well as innovative feature and functionality development. No wonder our research shows that the adoption of hosted IP telephony and UCC services is growing at a steady pace, with the installed user base expanding at about 25 to 30% year-over-year.

But when it comes to deploying a hosted solution, finding the best provider is only half the battle. From an end-user and IT point of view, who ranks where in a quartered box matters less than how to ensure a successful implementation that meets everyone's business needs and delivers a strong return on investment. To help companies navigate the waters, Elka recently published a guide to implementation best practices titled "A Sustainable Approach to Hosted IP Telephony and UCC Services Deployment."

In the paper, Elka recommends steps that businesses can take in order to first properly assess their existing communications environments and then select the most appropriate hosted communications solution and provider:

* Inventory Existing Communications Investments.�Consider age, functionality, feasibility of upgrade, and amortization schedules of existing investments before making a final decision on whether to engage with a hosted services provider. If certain communications systems have been fully depreciated, businesses may reasonably consider hosted alternatives that provide the same or greater functionality as well as some additional benefits such as better flexibility and reduced CAPEX. The same is true for Greenfield environments, and for net-new technology deployments (i.e. if you are introducing video conferencing for the first time across the organization).

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