Hazy UC visibility clouds videoconferencing surge

Growing mainstream adoption of videoconferencing and cloud technology is being dampened by lack of visibility or enterprise management and IT administrators into unified communications (UC) user experience, according to a recent survey.

In general, enterprise organizations are moving beyond voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and more readily embracing technologies under the UC banner, according to Network Instruments LLC (NI), a provider of network appliance performance monitoring tools.

The company’s 2013 State of Network report released today indicated that well over 61 per cent of respondents across the globe have deployed videoconferencing systems. About 70 per cent of those polled said they have deployed VoIP technologies in the workplace. The figures mark a 35 per cent growth in adoption of these two technologies over the last four years, NI officials said.


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The monitoring solution vendor interviewed 170 IT directors, IT consultants, network engineers and other IT professionals from businesses in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, North America and Australia on areas such as: UC adoption challenges, cloud trends and challenges; and key application management issues.

Key UC deployments were:

  • VoIP – 70 per cent
  • Instant messaging – 62 per cent
  • Videoconferencing – 61 per cent
  • Web collaboration applications 52 per cent
  • Fax over IP – 25 per cent


“Interestingly, despite the near ubiquity of UC technologies, organizations were reporting difficulties in gauging performance, how they were being used and the benefits they brought to the business,” said Charles Thompson, director of product strategy for NI. “There was simply inadequacy of understanding due to a lack of monitoring tools.”

The top three UC management challenges reported by respondents were: Lack of visibility into user experience; difficulties in accessing bandwidth usage; and inability to view edge or branch environments.

The NI survey also reported that cloud adoption reached 70 per cent this year representing a 10 per cent increase from 2012 figures.

The top cloud computing technologies were:

  • Internal private cloud – 37 per cent
  • Software-as-a-service – 37 per cent
  • Infrastructure as a service – 18 per cent
  • External private cloud – 14 per cent
  • Platform-as-a-service – 11 per cent

Cloud technologies, according to Brad Reinboldt, senior product manager at NI, were primarily being used in: email (59 per cent); Web hosting (48 per cent); storage (45 per cent); testing and development (41per cent); and database hosting (32 per cent).

“However, respondents indicated that as cloud application ability improves (43 per cent), IT teams troubleshooting capabilities decreased (23 per cent),” said Reinboldt.

“For the sixth year in a row, the number one application challenge faced by organizations was identifying from which silo of IT app issues are coming from,” he said. ”As much as 68 per cent of respondents reported difficulty in determining whether problems are being caused by the network, the system or the application.”