Services cost can represent 8-12% of the three year TCO for communications, including the cost of Systems Integrator (SI) services to plan, build, pilot, and deploy communications infrastructure. In a typical environment with siloed single-stack solutions for each capability, integration services can be challenging to procure and offer little potential to leverage skills across multiple capabilities, resulting in higher spend overall.
The Microsoft approach to communications enables organizations to reduce their services spending to approximately one-third that of the corresponding expense for alternative communications solutions.
This is due to:
Microsoft Services expertise: Microsoft has a broad ecosystem of SIs working with Microsoft-based technologies, such as Windows Server, Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server. This ecosystem extends to Microsoft Communications Server, with more than 400 partners qualified as Voice Ready Partners capable of servicing customer needs. Other communications solutions tend to have smaller, more specialized SI communities whose services can be more challenging to source and procure.
Deployment and administration: Microsoft’s communications solutions are significantly easier to deploy than alternative communications solutions, and use familiar components such as Active Directory and PowerShell. This reduces reliance on SIs, and makes many deployment steps simpler than those for alternative solutions.
Services consolidation: Unlike approaches that require multiple similar services engagements at each large deployment site (e.g. at each cluster), Microsoft has a highly centralized approach to deployment and provisioning that better leverages shared services investments across all sites. For example, when Communications Server is deployed for the first time, it prepares Active Directory for communications entities anywhere in the organization—adding additional servers or users anywhere becomes a relatively trivial deployment. As long as the organization and/or service provider pays attention to design and operational aspects for the enterprise wide deployment up front, Microsoft’s “deploy once-expand-anywhere” architecture significantly reduces aggregate services spend.
Support and Operations
Support and Operations costs can represent 32-36% of the TCO for a communications plaform, including administration, helpdesk, end-user provisioning, and maintenance contract costs.
Administration includes the architecture, engineering, and management staff that maintain the communications environment. Existing enterprise environments often have different administration teams and practices across communications capabilities, increasing administration costs.
Helpdesk costs include Tier 1 helpdesk operations – the initial point of contact for end-users – and escalated support arrangements. This function is often outsourced. Like administration, existing enterprise environments often have
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