Financial services is often considered one of the more stodgy industries — stuck in the past and slow to change. When it comes to unified communications (UC), however, a different picture emerges.

In 2013, research firm Ovum released the results of a long-term study of UC adoption. The data show that 87 percent of financial services firms had adopted UC, compared to a 75 percent average UC adoption rate across industries. Financial services organizations had also adopted mobile UC, web conferencing and instant messaging at rates more than 10 percent higher than the cross-industry average.

According to Ovum analysts, these results reflect the financial services industry’s long history of IT investment and technology expertise. But the need to enhance customer service also played a role. Financial services organizations are using collaboration tools that enhance the customer experience through faster decision-making and streamlined business processes.

These trends reflect the changing nature of the financial services industry. Financial services firms must manage complex customer interactions and enable access to subject-matter experts. In today’s fast-paced environment, slow response times can mean lost business. Organizations need communications tools that can allow real-time collaboration between employees, managers and customers. UC also helps firms increase sales opportunities and improve productivity, all while reducing costs.

The Ovum study found that most financial services firms had adopted on-premises UC platforms rather than cloud-based solutions. This is due in part to the need for strong security. Client communications, account numbers, financial transactions and other sensitive information must be kept private and secure as it travels across locations, mobile personnel and communications channels.

Financial services firms don’t want to manage their UC platforms, however. The Ovum study found strong interest in managed UC solutions, either on-premises or in a private-cloud environment. Unsurprisingly, financial services firms were skeptical of multitenant, public-cloud solutions where the communications infrastructure is shared across multiple organizations.

IPC’s FastSpectrum ® solution was designed for organizations that desire a fully managed, cloud-economics model that is highly secure. With FastSpectrum, IPC deploys state-of-the-art ShoreTel technology and AT&T connectivity in an enterprise-class data center. IPC handles the build-out of the single-tenant, private-cloud environment and provides ongoing management and support.

IPC’s financing strategies for FastSpectrum give customers the option to take ownership of their technology without large, upfront investments in depreciating assets. Purchases are financed through an operating expense leasing arrangement designed to run side-by-side with the managed service contract. At the end of the 36-month lease/service term, customers can choose to renew the agreement, refresh or return the equipment, or buy the gear and convert everything to an on-premises deployment.

IPC has enjoyed long-term relationships with many financial services firms, and understands their need for both responsive communications and the highest levels of security, manageability, reliability and compliance. Let us show you how FastSpectrum combines enterprise-class technology, managed services and financing to meet these requirements.