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Executive Summary

Microsoft Communications Server “14” provides customers the opportunity to reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) for communications by 39% vs. other solutions.  Communications Server offers savings via infrastructure and operational consolidation and specific opportunities to reduce initial and ongoing costs in terms of devices, hardware, software, network provisioning, implementation services, and support.  By taking advantage of these options, organizations can significantly reduce both capital and operating expenses for communications.  


Communications, including e-mail, telephony, audio conferencing, video, instant messaging, and web conferencing are a vital element of any organization’s infrastructure and operations, and enterprises incur significant expense deploying and operating the systems that provide these functions.  For an organization with 5,000 employees, the total expense incurred across these systems usually exceeds US$ 2.5 million per year– including hardware, maintenance contracts, device/handsets, software licenses, service contracts, network provisioning, monthly network charges, administration, user provisioning, and support.  Often, enterprises have different solutions for e-mail, telephony, video, and other communications capabilities, with each solution incurring its own capital and operational expense within its infrastructure silo – each system has a separate hardware footprint, maintenance contract, external implementation services, and internal support staff.

In contrast, a communications solution based on Microsoft Communications Server “14” allows organizations to streamline their communications infrastructure and significantly reduce their TCO for communications, while delivering the reliability and quality required for mission-critical business communications.  By integrating voice, audio conferencing, video conferencing, web conferencing, instant messaging and presence within a consolidated infrastructure and operations model, Microsoft Unified Communications allows organizations to leverage a single set of infrastructure investments and operational approaches across the entire spectrum of business communications.   

One approach that allows Microsoft to offer a choice of innovative solutions at significantly lower cost is to eschew the proprietary, hardware-focused approach to communications of competing vendors.  Instead, with Communications Server, Microsoft has taken an approach based on published interfaces and vendor choice, an approach that uses standard server hardware and fosters broad multi-vendor choice for end user devices, servers, network infrastructure, and network services.   This approach enables customers to choose among multiple vendors, each pursuing innovation targeted to address specific needs while competing vigorously on features and price.  Microsoft’s approach to building a horizontal ecosystem moves the communications ecosystem toward an innovation and competition environment similar to the open, vibrant PC ecosystem and away from the closed, proprietary, and expensive mainframe approach to communications.

© 2010 Microsoft Corporation.2

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