[WHITE PAPER] Compare IP Telephony And UCC Vendors And Assess Your Total Cost Of Operation
A new white paper takes a fresh look at how businesses should evaluate costs related to IP telephony and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) technologies and, in the process, notes an important change in a standard industry term that goes beyond syntax.
“Total Cost of ‘Ownership’ isn’t as relevant as it once was, particularly with emerging cloud and hybrid architectures,” writes Nemertes Research President Robin Gareiss in the white paper, “How to Keep UCC Costs Down as Complexity Grows”. “Now, we analyze Total Cost of ‘Operations’ which better reflects the importance of ongoing operational costs.”
Nemertes, a research advisory and strategic consulting firm that specializes in analyzing and quantifying the business value of emerging technologies, has conducted research to substantiate these costs by interviewing and surveying hundreds of companies during the past 11 years. This year’s study included input from roughly 300 companies using various combinations of IP telephony and UCC, architected in the cloud, on-premises, or both.
“With the growing adoption and complexity of UCC, IT leaders must conduct a thorough assessment of architecture, providers, features and operational costs,” noted Gareiss. “Evaluating these costs is not a straightforward initiative, not only because of multi-vendor environments, but also because companies are shifting architectures to hybrid or cloud.”
The white paper provides insights about overall adoption trends, the movement to cloud and hybrid environments, and all associated costs. It also includes examples of cost comparisons between providers. Although IP telephony often is a part of UCC, for the purposes of this study, the two components were separated.
“IP telephony simply includes voice communications, while UCC includes instant messaging, presence, audio/video/web conferencing, and unified messaging— typically in an integrated suite,” said Gareiss.
Though some companies do integrate IP telephony and UCC from a single provider (particularly small companies), many manage the deployments separately. The voice or network team manages IP telephony, while the messaging team handles UCC in midsize and large organizations, Gareiss said.
Noting that IP telephony and UCC deployments are becoming increasingly complex and broad, Gareiss stated that along with an increased focus on how such solutions can make a company more effective and productive, IT leaders must also re-examine costs.
“If cost savings is the primary driver, be sure to evaluate all costs and determine which vendor will achieve that goal,” said Gareiss. “Regardless of which architecture ultimately wins, selecting a provider with an affordable operational cost is the most important TCO component (vs. capital or implementation). Operational cost figures extend much longer than the one-time capital or implementation costs."