Companies Still Struggle With Integrated Communications

Only about one-quarter of enterprises are expected to standardize and unify their communications by 2027, new report finds

Despite advances in unified communications and collaborative computing, companies still struggle to integrate their digital communications across the enterprise and connect with customers seamlessly, according to a new study from Ventana Research, the software research business of Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2024 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Digital Communications notes dozens of software providers and tools for digital communications are used across the typical enterprise with little to no integration or interoperability. According to a Ventana Research forecast, through 2027, only one-quarter of enterprises will have standardized their digital communications to provide the highest level of resilience and unification.

“The historic fragmentation of communications and collaboration technologies has created significant challenges for enterprises that have portions of their workforce on disparate software,” said Mark Smith, partner of Software Research at ISG. “This situation has created an unnecessary increase in costs and resources that can be addressed through the simplification of software and platforms that integrate into business applications.”

Organizations invest in digital communications to increase the productivity of individuals and teams in the context of their roles and responsibilities. These systems enable seamless collaboration among workers to provide effective interactions and impactful communication experiences across the workforce and with external constituents.

“This situation has created an unnecessary increase in costs and resources that can be addressed through the simplification of software and platforms that integrate into business applications.”

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The study notes digital communications are essential to meet the needs of distributed workforces operating from retail outlets to corporate offices and home locations, using mobile devices and computers, and connecting via chat, audio or video. Dramatic technological changes have made it simpler and more cost-effective to embed and enable these interactions in every business process.

With advances in cloud computing, digital communications technologies have evolved into a platform and software-as-a-service engagement and subscription model, the study says. The industry has positioned communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) offerings to enable unified communications, support collaboration tools and provide seamless communication between parties.

Platforms and premium software suites should maximize the use of artificial intelligence and machine language to support intuitive interactions across text, video and voice, the study says. Increasingly, use of generative AI like ChatGPT and large language models are becoming integrated into digital communications platforms, the study notes.

For its 2024 Buyers Guide study, Ventana Research evaluated software providers across four digital communications categories – Communications as a Platform (CPaaS), Premium Suites, Basic Suites and Overall Digital Communications (Combining Premium Suites and CPaaS) – and produced a separate Buyers Guide for each. A total of 23 unique software providers were assessed: 8×8, Avaya, Bandwidth, Bird, Cisco, CM, Dialpad, Google, GoTo, Infobip, Intelepeer, Kaltura, Microsoft, Plivo, RingCentral, Route Mobile, Sangoma, Sinch, Twilio, Vonage, Wildix, Zoho and Zoom.

Ventana Research designates the top three software providers as Leaders in each category. For the 2024 study, the leading providers are, in ranked order:

CPaaS: Twilio, Infobip and Ring Central

Premium Suites: RingCentral, Zoom and Microsoft

Basic Suites: Zoho, RingCentral and Microsoft

Overall: RingCentral, Zoom and Microsoft

The Ventana Research Buyers Guides for Digital Communications are the distillation of more than a year of market and product research efforts. The research is not sponsored nor influenced by software providers and is conducted solely to help enterprises optimize their business and IT software investments.

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