Much of the talk lately has been focused around the ‘new’ Skype for Business, and that is to be expected. But a side conversation has started inspired by Robin Gareiss’ article, “Evaluating Cloud UC Costs”. This is an important topic and, if we can, begin to nail down how to measure the overall costs we will all be able to support these projects in a more concrete manner.
All those costs are real, and so is the trepidation of organizations about not only the cost but vendor lock-in. What is missing though is how new automation technologies not only reduce deployment costs by 60%, but future-proof the deployment so it can be simply moved to another cloud vendor, or back on-premise.
Initial Cost Reduction via Automation
As you’ll read, Robin does a great job of showing how on premises UC is more expensive the first year, largely because of the capital expenditures for the added computing and communications hardware. Of course hardware providers provide attractive lease options to level out much of this cost so companies can more easily justify in-house solutions. However, even with that option, the cost per user for in-house is much higher the first year since companies have to build/buy hardware and software to support X users and initially only 5% of X will use the new system.
Total cost of ownership (not on per seat basis) is higher for in-house at first but as more users begin using the system cloud services begin growing very rapidly in proportion to not only the number of users but the volume of use/user. This cost can be hard to predict and so cloud computing costs can begin increasing rapidly with no way to control them or predict how much the cost will be in the future. That is scary for any business.
So how can you level the playing field a bit to make the move to the cloud less scary (and costly)? In addition, what if I want to bring it back in-house? That is where costs get really hefty and you get stuck. Obviously the more you can automate and replicate the UC deployment, the better off you will be today and tomorrow. For example, we have seen this work with our Skype for Business deployments.
How UC Automation and Replication Reduces Cost and Enhances Agility
Using a UC automated deployment technology, such as Arganteal, you can cut development time of the deployment by 60%…which of course leads to significant cost savings, but I won’t go into full sales mode for you here 😉
And yes, we all love cold hard savings, but it’s really the replication that provides a higher level of agility, something Eric Krapf of ‘No Jitter’ recently discussed. Ultimately, as usage grows, companies naturally begin looking for alternative cloud services or may even have the desire to bring the service back in-house. But now, the automation you did for the initial deployment is still all there and can be redeployed whenever needed. This gives a greater sense of ease for businesses, because there is no cloud vendor lock-in.
We put together a quick demo of the Arganteal solution below so folks could understand how this works: