Earlier this week we released global research enterprise social use and perceptions, and all this week we’re diving into specific industries to take a deeper look at the data. Today, we’ll see how telecommunications employees responded to the survey. The research, conducted among more than 8,000 information workers in 32 countries, found that 71 percent of telecom employees use social tools for communicating with colleagues, among the highest percentage of all industries surveyed. This makes sense when thinking about the world’s top operators, many of which operate in a number of different countries, with many locations in each region. The ability to collaborate quickly and seamlessly is vital to business performance.

Similarly, telecom respondents were among the most likely – 45 percent – to feel that their company understands the benefits of social tools. They were also the least likely of all industries surveyed – 30 percent – to feel that their management underestimates the benefits of social tools in the workplace.

These data points illustrate how important social tools can be to the telecom industry, but to take things a step further, it’s also important for operators to use these social tools because they are often providing them as a service to their business customers. For example, many of the world’s top operators are syndication partners for Office 365, which includes SharePoint, Lync, and Exchange email. Syndication partners sell, bill, and support Office 365 cloud services, bundled with their existing products to SMB customers. As service providers, they are looked to as trusted advisors to help their customers collaborate and work more effectively, so it only stands to reason that they would be among the leaders in implementing these tools themselves. In fact, earlier this month Telefónica announced that it is deploying Microsoft Office 365 and Yammer as part of a strategic initiative utilizing IT for better business results and a competitive edge.

In all, undertaking this research has uncovered some compelling insights in to enterprise social tools across industries, and at Microsoft we look forward to working with our customers and partners to help companies transform their businesses and achieve their strategic goals.

Head over to the Microsoft Vertical Industries blog to see how workers in the media & publishing and manufacturing industries responded to the survey.