Unified Communication (UC) costs are often difficult to quantify, especially as the characteristics of deployments vary greatly among enterprises. While some may implement instant messaging, others might club voice and video conferencing, and still others want integration with desktop systems.
Deployment typically includes a mix of services, which is constantly increasing in complexity as companies look to tie all services into a single bundle. This contributes greatly to their total cost of ownership (TCO).
Enterprises should pay close attention to costs, especially indirect ones like integration and ongoing management, in order to optimize their operations.
Why Costs Are High?
UC implementation costs are generally high. This is due to the growing needs of enterprise customers, the increase in competition, the need to manage services from disparate vendors, and the need to engage with them to navigate interoperability challenges.
Here are some reasons why UC costs are high:
- Implementation of a UC strategy typically involves a continuum of ever-expanding applications and integration points.
- Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) providers must offer several on-premises and cloud environments, across different communication systems, to different users, through different service bundles.
- Despite the growing demand, UC networks are often fractured and made up of many IP communications platforms, endpoints, and services that are costly to administer.
- This leads to providers taking a reactive, rather than a proactive approach to managing the network, that further increases costs of identifying issues, and resolving problems.
How Ucaas Providers Can Help Reduce Costs?
Enterprises often struggle to manage the expectation of immediate consumption of disparate communication services. The need for real-time orchestration, integrated service fulfillment, and workflow management greatly impacts their time-to-market. Additionally, the need to integrate and manage a plethora of vendors, resellers, and distributors. In all this melee, reducing TCO is difficult, if not impossible.
That’s where UCaaS providers bring in their expertise. By managing all communication-related needs through a single platform, UCaaS providers drive greater value and enhance customer satisfaction.
5 Simple Ways UCaaS Providers Can Reduce TCO
- The XaaS Model: UCaaS providers can offer the XaaS model for flexibility to scale and convenience. This allows enterprises to enjoy immediate benefits like reduced hardware and software costs, reduced support and maintenance costs, and reduced IT staffing. They also get access to new releases and updates and the ability to scale up and down as needed. The flexibility, risk avoidances, and opportunity cost advantages are impossible to overlook. Companies can focus on their core businesses rather than on managing and maintaining their communications equipment.
- Seamless Scalability: An enterprise that deals with seasonal workers has a constant need to purchase more capacity as per the business demand. This can significantly increase cost of ownership. When users are added but services are not used to optimum, enterprises pay for unneeded capacity.
Scalable UCaaS solutions ensure unneeded capacity isn’t purchased, while at the same time benefits like try-and-buy can be enjoyed. Since billing is done on a pay-as-you-go or a per-user basis, it’s easy to adjust for seasonal spikes without having to purchase annual licenses. This way, the seasonal demand is easily met by adding the required capacity, and then scaling down as the peak season ends.
- Flexible Billing: UC providers often offer incentives and significant discounts to enterprises who purchase long-term, multi-year contracts. However, this can lead to enterprises using services or communication systems that no longer meet their needs. Flouting contract guidelines can then prove to be a costly, time-intensive project.
By supporting flexible billing such as standard, flexible, recurring, order-based, limit, suppression, or on-demand billing, UCaaS providers can help reduce TCO and allow enterprises to pay only for the services that used. This avoids the expense of being committed to a communication system that serves no purpose.
- Provide high levels of Compliance: With technology advancing and competition becoming more intense, compliance needs across regulatory, legislative and tax requirements are also growing. Failure to comply with the regulations laid down results in humongous costs – financially as well as socially. Loss of customer trust is a result that eventually leads to loss of face in the market.
UCaaS providers, through their years of expertise, can ensure high levels of compliance. This helps enterprises keep compliance costs under control, and also eliminate the risk of being barred from operating in the market.
- Smart Staffing: Talent shortage is at an all-time low. Bringing in expert talent to support UC deployments can be cost-prohibitive, especially after calculating cost of training.
UCaaS providers, through smart staffing, provide instant access to the skills necessary for seamless UC deployments, without enterprises having to hunt for highly sought-after engineers with certifications. Enterprises are enabled to maintain lean IT teams, and easily and efficiently manage UC implementation, maintenance, and testing.
As communication needs of enterprises grow in complexity, TCO and operational costs rise exponentially. That’s where UCaaS providers can help reduce TCO.
By adopting the XaaS model, offering seamless scalability, supporting flexible billing, ensuring high levels of compliance, and staffing smartly, UCaaS providers help enterprises seamlessly manage their multi-vendor environments and adjusting their UC strategy as the market and demand grow.