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The TCO discussion and analysis below excludes certain communications items, including email, hosted services, room video conferencing systems, telephony carrier charges, mobile devices, and call centers in the interest of focusing on core, controllable cost levers in the enterprise when evaluating alternative approaches.  While Communications Server can address most organizations communications requirements, these specific elements are heavily influenced by customer and partner considerations.

The Microsoft approach results in opportunities for significant consolidation across several dimensions:

Infrastructure consolidation: As noted above, a single, unified infrastructure using Communications Server “14” can address most organizations’ communications requirements.

Physical consolidation: Microsoft’s solution is the highly scalable among enterprise-grade solutions, with both a “scale-up” and a “scale-out” model.   


The scale-up model allows a single pool (a collection of 5-10 servers maintained in a datacenter) to service communications needs, across all capabilities, for up to and beyond 100,000 users


The scale-out model allows very large enterprises (e.g. with 300,000 employees) to deploy multiple pools across a few globally-coordinated datacenters (e.g. one pool in Chicago to service the Americas, another in Paris to service EMEA, another in Singapore to serve all of Asia-Pacific).    

This high scale enables an enterprise to consolidate all of its communications operations into a small number of datacenters, and, with high centralized call volumes, negotiate bulk arrangements for PSTN connectivity with carriers to a greater extent than possible with other approaches

Operations consolidation: Rather than having one team per capability for administration, support, and other operations, organizations can share fewer teams across all communications capabilities, serving more end users from internal training investments and driving service efficiencies & cost reductions.

License consolidation: Large organizations can reduce the burden of complying with multiple different  license terms and managing different maintenance and support agreement timeframes by consolidating all of their Microsoft licensing under a single Enterprise Agreement.  These customers may also realize substantial discounts across the full Microsoft stack through offers such as the ECAL Suite.  

TCO reductions facilitated by Microsoft’s solutions across different TCO components are described below relative to the TCO of an alternative IP Telephony solution from a large provider of IP Telephony and networking solutions.


End-user devices, such as telephone handsets, typically account for 10-20% of the three year TCO for enterprise communications and 30% of the initial purchase price (which includes devices, hardware, software, and services).

© 2010 Microsoft Corporation.6

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