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WHITE PAPER




                             Taking a Strategic Approach to Unified
                                Communications: Best of Breed vs.
                                            Single Vendor Solutions
                                                      An Osterman Research White Paper
                                                                                   Published April 2012

                 sponsored by
          SPON




                   sponsored by
                                                                                      Osterman Research, Inc.
                                                    P.O. Box 1058 • Black Diamond, Washington • 98010-1058 • USA
                                      Tel: +1 253 630 5839 • Fax: +1 253 458 0934 • info@ostermanresearch.com
                                                             www.ostermanresearch.com • twitter.com/mosterman
Taking a Strategic Approach to
                                                                                            Unified Communications: Best
                                                                                            of Breed vs. Single Vendor
                                                                                            Solutions
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Unified communications provides a number of benefits to any organization:

•   The ability for users to have an integrated experience that combines their email,
    voice, Web conferencing, mobile and real time communications and collaboration
    into a single, cohesive experience.

•   The ability to have available a consistent interface on any platform, from any
    location. This enables employees to work from home or while traveling and
    remain as productive as they are while in the office.

•   The ability for employees to make decisions more quickly by having all of the
    information and other tools necessary to communicate and collaborate,
    regardless of their location.

•   Significantly reduced IT and telephony costs by integrating various modes of
    communication into a single and consistent communications platform.                     An open approach
                                                                                            to unified commun-
THE MIGRATION TO UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS
Organizations are migrating toward unified communications because of two key                ications permits the
issues with conventional communication systems:                                             re-use of existing
                                                                                            PBXs and other
•   Integration of data
                                                                                            systems, and
    In a conventional communications scenario, users employ an email system on a
    desktop computer, laptop or mobile device; make telephone calls and access              provides the
    email on a desktop telephone or on their mobile device; participate in instant          necessary flexibility
    messaging conversations with a standalone client on their computing                     to allow organ-
    platform(s); participate in Web conferencing sessions with yet another
    standalone client, and so on. These tools allow users to be productive, but the
                                                                                            izations to adopt a
    standalone nature of these applications negatively impacts productivity when            wider variety of less
    users try to share data between the various communication modes or when they            expensive on-
    are out of the office. Further, messaging and telephony are often managed by            premise and cloud-
    separate groups, creating additional problems.
                                                                                            based applications.
•   Organizational flexibility and agility                                                  Moreover, the use of
    Conventional communications tend to limit the flexibility that organizations have       open solutions
    in allowing employees to work remotely. For example, while employees can                provides more
    access corporate email from virtually any Web browser, accessing telephony, fax,
    Web conferencing and other systems is not as easily accomplished when users             flexibility and lower
    are working remotely. This limits the ability of organizations to enable telework       overall costs over
    and thereby drives up overall IT and telephony costs.                                   the long term.
KEY TAKEAWAYS
While unified communications can clearly enable more efficient and more consistent
communications across any platform, for users in any location, there are different
approaches to implementing a unified communications system. A single-vendor
approach, such as Microsoft Exchange in combination with Microsoft Lync, can
provide a robust unified communications experience and can make users more
productive. However, an open approach that leverages cloud-based productivity
applications, such as Google Apps integrated with a software and hardware agnostic
unified communication platform like Esnatech Office-LinX, permits the re-use of
existing PBXs and other systems, and provides the necessary flexibility to allow
organizations to adopt a wider variety of less expensive on-premise and cloud-based
applications. Moreover, the use of best-of-breed solutions provides more flexibility
and lower overall costs over the long term.




©2012 Osterman Research, Inc.                                                           1
Taking a Strategic Approach to
                                                                                               Unified Communications: Best
                                                                                               of Breed vs. Single Vendor
                                                                                               Solutions
WHY UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS?
The term “unified communications” is what its name implies – a set of communication
tools that are assembled into a single interface and integrated into a single
management system. Unified communications includes a variety of communications
and collaboration tools: email, calendaring and scheduling, voice/telephony and real-
time communications capabilities that are presented to a user through a thick client
and/or a browser-based interface. Other functions that may be included in a unified
communications system include text messaging/SMS capabilities, fax services,
mobility services and Web conferencing. Many unified communications systems also
integrate security capabilities like intrusion prevention, anti-spam services and anti-
virus capabilities.
                                                                                               CASE STUDY
COMMUNICATION SILOES LIMIT EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY
In a conventional communications system in the typical workplace each computer                 The City of
user normally has:                                                                             Westerville, Ohio
•   An email client that includes calendaring and scheduling (usually Microsoft
                                                                                               migrated to Google
    Outlook)                                                                                   Apps and needed a
•   Customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage and                              new phone system
    communicate with customers and prospects                                                   that would provide
•   A desktop telephone
•   An instant messaging client
                                                                                               full unified
•   A mobile phone that, among other things, offers text messaging/SMS services                communications
•   Availability of a departmental fax machine                                                 services within
                                                                                               Google Apps. The
NON-UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS CREATES PROBLEMS                                                    city selected a Mitel
This configuration of separate communications tools and interfaces works reasonably
well while the user is in the office, but there are some significant limitations. For          phone system that
example, email messages are accessed in an email client on the computer, calls are             was SIP integrated
made and voicemail messages are accessed through the telephone, and instant                    to the Esnatech
messaging conversations are conducted in a separate client. When faxes are sent or
received, users must walk to the fax machine and process individual pieces of paper.
                                                                                               UC&C application
However, when users need to work remotely, their desktop telephone cannot be                   server. This
used, and faxes are largely inaccessible without the assistance of someone else in the         extended Mitel
office who can re-send or read the faxed information. The only communication mode              dialing, presence
that works more or less like that of the in-office experience is email, normally
accessed through a Webmail interface.
                                                                                               and messaging
                                                                                               services directly into
Although this conventional and widely used approach to communications allows users             Gmail and Google
to be productive to a point, consider the benefits of a unified communications                 Apps, enabling
system:
                                                                                               employees to access
•   Users can send or receive email, make calls, access voicemail, conduct instant             voice and fax
    messaging conversations, and send or receive faxes from a single interface.                messages from
    Moreover, data can be shared digitally between all of these communication
    modes.
                                                                                               Gmail and initiate
                                                                                               calls off the Mitel
•   All of these capabilities are accessible on any platform, regardless of location – a       phone system
    desktop computer, a laptop or a mobile device – and also using a thick client or a         directly from Google
    Web browser.
                                                                                               Apps.
UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS MAKES PEOPLE AND
COMPANIES MORE EFFICIENT
Obviously, the unified communications scenario is preferable for users who need to
work more efficiently, particularly when traveling or when they must work from
home. However, such a unified communications system is also preferable for the IT
and telephony groups in a company because they are not managing individual
communication silos, but instead are managing a single, integrated system. This




©2012 Osterman Research, Inc.                                                              2
Taking a Strategic Approach to
                                                                                             Unified Communications: Best
                                                                                             of Breed vs. Single Vendor
                                                                                             Solutions
results in synergies that would not be possible in a conventional communications
scenario.

Organizations that deploy unified communications systems also benefit in several
other important ways:

•   Users with access to all of their communication tools from a single interface can        THE “HOTELING”
    be just as productive when on the road or when working from home (e.g.,
    during periods of inclement weather) as when they are in the office. This gives          CONCEPT
    decision makers the flexibility to allow their employees to work from anywhere,
                                                                                             If a 500-employee
    resulting in an enhanced user experience and potentially greater retention of
    employees.                                                                               company has a
                                                                                             teleworking plan, it
•   From a more strategic perspective, however, because employees who have                   can reduce its office
    access to all of their communication modes from a single interface can be highly
    productive, this allows organizations to operate with much less office space than
                                                                                             space by 20% if
    would otherwise be required if an office or cubicle must be made available for           each employee
    every employee. Osterman Research estimates that the typical organization can            works at home just
    save $600 per employee per year in just facilities costs when employees can              one day per week.
    work from home just one day per week – the “hoteling” concept used by many
    companies, including Boeing and IBM.
                                                                                             This reduces office
                                                                                             space by an average
TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP CAN BE DRAMATICALLY LOWER                                            of 150 square feet
WITH AN OPEN SOLUTION                                                                        per teleworker
More important, however, are the costs associated with the particular unified                (cubicle, common
communications solutions that will be deployed. For example, an organization of
5,000 users that deploys a combination of on-premise Microsoft Exchange and
                                                                                             space, etc.).
Microsoft Lync will spend roughly $4.8 million for basic unified communications
functionality, but could spend up to $9.5 million for a fully configured system that         If office space is $20
includes compliance-focused archiving, Lync Online Voice and voicemail. This                 per square foot per
translates to a per user cost, assuming a three-year lifecycle, of $27 to $53 per
month.
                                                                                             year (typical cost in
                                                                                             an urban area), the
However, using an open approach – such as Google Apps in combination with                    cost savings are
Esnatech solutions – the annual cost would be $65 to $120 per year, or $5.40 to              $600 per employee:
$10.00 per user per month.

                                                                                             Without telework:
TAKING A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO                                                               Space for 500
                                                                                             employees x 150sf
UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS                                                                       each x $20/sf = $1.5
Once the decision has been made to adopt unified communications and to realize the           million
cost and efficiency benefits that it can provide, the next decision comes down to what
type of unified communications system should be deployed. While there are a
number of unified communications vendors offering a variety of solutions, the                With telework:
decision really comes down to whether a single vendor or open approach should be             Space for 400
followed.                                                                                    employees x 150sf
                                                                                             each x $20/sf
USE OF A SINGLE VENDOR APPROACH
The use of a single vendor unified communications system does offer some
                                                                                             = $1.2 million
advantages. For example, Lync – Microsoft’s unified communications platform –
integrates instant messaging, voice, audio, video and Web conferencing services via a        Savings:
single interface. Lync also integrates presence management so that ad hoc voice              $300,000 or $600
calls and video meetings can be initiated quickly between team members and others
on Lync. Lync integrates with non-Microsoft services as well, such as AOL Instant            per employee
Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger.                                                              ($300,000 ÷ 500
                                                                                             employees = $600)
Although Lync provides solid functionality, perhaps its most important benefit is that
it comes from a leading vendor. Given Microsoft’s position in the communications,




©2012 Osterman Research, Inc.                                                            3
Taking a Strategic Approach to
                                                                                                 Unified Communications: Best
                                                                                                 of Breed vs. Single Vendor
                                                                                                 Solutions
applications and server markets, the decision to implement Microsoft’s single vendor
technology approach can be easily defended.

However, the disadvantage of using any single vendor technology, particularly for a
critical infrastructure backbone like unified communications, is that it provides
minimal interoperability with solutions from other vendors. Whether for corporate
politics or other reasons, quite often a single vendor technology simply will not
interoperate with leading competitive solutions, thereby limiting the utility of the
technology to a reasonably small subset of the user environment. Also, many single
vendor solutions like Lync require significant investments to deploy and manage.
They do not allow full value to be extracted from existing solutions because of the
“rip-and-replace” nature of their deployment and they permit less organizational
flexibility than most organizations prefer.

USING A BEST-OF-BREED APPROACH
Using an open approach to unified communications, on the other hand, provides
more flexibility because adopters are not wedded to a single vendor approach. Other
important advantages of an open approach to unified communications include:                      Open solutions are
                                                                                                 better suited to help
•   As with many leading, single vendor solutions, an open unified communications
    technology can provide the same high level of robust functionality.                          organizations
                                                                                                 realize the full value
•   There are several vendors in the space that have a long track record in providing            from their existing
    cloud services, presence and interoperability – vendors that have expertise and
    experience in offering highly scalable and efficient unified communications
                                                                                                 hardware and
    platforms.                                                                                   software
                                                                                                 deployments.
•   Open approaches are consistently less expensive than single vendor solutions                 Because the right
    and offer much lower total cost of ownership initially and over the long term.
                                                                                                 open solutions can
•   For example, when the vendor of a single vendor solution is selected to provide              be integrated into
    unified communications or other functionality, the customer is more or less                  existing infra-
    locked in to that vendor and the associated third-party ecosystem unless they                structure, this
    opt to undergo an expensive rip-and-replace exercise to switch to another
    vendor. However, when an open vendor is used, this provides “forward                         further drives down
    flexibility” that enables switching to another vendor’s underlying technology                the total cost of
    without a complete rip-and-replace. This offers decision makers a somewhat                   ownership because
    safer decision, a less costly migration path, and the ability to change vendor
                                                                                                 of the extended life
    direction much more easily.
                                                                                                 of existing systems.
•   Open solutions are better suited to help organizations realize the full value from
    their existing hardware and software deployments. Because the right open
    solutions can be integrated into existing infrastructure, this further drives down
    the total cost of ownership because of the extended life of existing systems.

•   The net result is much greater organizational flexibility because of the wider
    interoperability of open solutions and the longer life of the existing infrastructure.

PRICING COMPARISON
A comparison of the costs of Microsoft Lync with Google Apps/Esnatech will vary
based on the size of the organization, the specific features to be deployed and other
factors. However, a review of the following table demonstrates the dramatically
lower cost of ownership when using a combination of Google Apps and Esnatech
Unified Communications for Google™ Apps compared to Microsoft Exchange in
combination with Microsoft Lync or Microsoft Office 365 in combination with Microsoft
Lync or Microsoft Lync Online.

Just using these rough comparisons, a 1,000-user organization will save $246 per
user, per year using a combination of Google Apps and Esnatech Unified
Communications for Google™ Apps compared to on-premise offerings from Microsoft;




©2012 Osterman Research, Inc.                                                                4
Taking a Strategic Approach to
                                                                                                Unified Communications: Best
                                                                                                of Breed vs. Single Vendor
                                                                                                Solutions
savings will be lower when comparing Office 365 to Google Apps/Esnatech, but are
still substantial at $150 per user per year. It is important to note that there are other
cost savings, as well, including:

•     Avoiding the cost of replacing a PBX by extending its life until it needs to be
      replaced instead of replacing it prematurely.

•     Avoidance of rip-and-replace costs in mixed environments.

•      Power costs, which can total several thousand dollars per year in larger
      environments.

•     No need to purchase mobile phones for users because of the ability of Google
      Apps/Esnatech to interoperate with any mobile OS.

Three-Year Cost Comparison of On-Premise Microsoft Exchange/
Lync vs. Esnatech/Google Apps
Annual Costs per User

                                                                             Google
                                                                             Apps/
     Exchange                                              Microsoft        Esnatech
     Server (Dell PowerEdge T510)                           $9,512              -
     Three-year 24x7 support, four-hour response            $8,796              -
     AV/AS appliance (Barracuda Spam & Virus
                                                             $4,397             -
     Firewall 200)
     Exchange Server software                                $15,996            -
     Exchange Client access licenses, 1,000                  $67,000            -
     Exchange software maintenance for 1,000 clients        $105,000            -
     Windows Server 2008                                     $14,796            -
     Exchange Server OS software client access
                                                             $38,951            -
     licenses or equivalent
     Outlook, 1,000                                         $100,000             -
     Google Apps                                               -             $150,000
                                                                              Google
                                                                              Apps/
     Lync                                                  Microsoft        Esnatech
     Server (Dell PowerEdge T510)                            $9,512              -
     Three-year 24x7 support, four-hour response             $8,796              -
     Lync Server Software                                    $3,999              -
     Lync Instant Messaging and Presence                   $138,000              -
     Lync software maintenance for 1,000 clients            $69,397              -
     Unified Communications for Google™ Apps                    -            $210,000
                                                                              Google
                                                                              Apps/
     Labor                                                   Microsoft      Esnatech
     IT admin cost (Year 1)                                  $160,000            -
     IT admin cost (Year 2)                                  $168,000            -
     IT admin cost (Year 3)                                  $176,400            -
                                               TOTAL       $1,098,552       $360,000
                       TOTAL PER USER PER YEAR                 $366            $120
    Note: 2.0 FTE IT admins required to support the Microsoft environment
    Source: Osterman Research estimates and published data




©2012 Osterman Research, Inc.                                                               5
Taking a Strategic Approach to
                                                                                               Unified Communications: Best
                                                                                               of Breed vs. Single Vendor
                                                                                               Solutions
Basic Pricing Comparison of Microsoft Office 365/Lync vs. Esnatech/
Google Apps
Annual Costs per User

                                                                            Google
                                              Google Apps/                  Apps/
   Function                     Microsoft       Esnatech      Microsoft    Esnatech
   Email, word
   processing,             Microsoft Office
                                               Google Apps       $168         $50
   spreadsheet,             365 Plan E2
   presentations
   Unified                                       Unified
   communications           Microsoft Lync  Communications
                                                                 $66          $70
   (mobility, speech and    Online Plan 2     for Google™
   presence services)                             Apps
                                 TOTAL PER USER PER YEAR        $234         $120
                                                                                               CASE STUDY
Another consideration when comparing the cost of competing on-premise solutions is             Township High
the complexity of the architecture required to support unified communications. While           School District 214
Microsoft’s unified communications solutions offer robust functionality, they require          in Illinois migrated
the use of multiple servers to perform the various roles associated with unified
messaging, fax services, speech services and other critical roles. Moreover, the cost
                                                                                               to Google Apps in
of the Microsoft stack is relatively expensive compared to other solutions, particularly       2009. They needed
for video functionality. Some solutions, such as Esnatech’s, can satisfy these roles           a UC solution that
using a much less complex, single-server approach. In fact, a hybrid approach that             would improve the
allows enterprises to connect to third-party applications can provide additional
benefits and potential cost savings. While Lync integrates with a variety of third-            current system in
party applications, services and systems, it may not satisfy all of an organization’s          place, but maintain
integration requirements.                                                                      the functionality
                                                                                               that was already
THE IMPORTANCE OF INNOVATION
Another important issue to consider is not only the current offerings from a particular
                                                                                               available. Esnatech
provider or the cost of obtaining these solutions, but also the innovation that a              Office-LinX
provider can offer that will add value over time. For example, in the context of               seamlessly
unified communications, Google offers Hangouts, a video conferencing service that              connected their
enables up to nine people to participate in a group video session. Google+ is a
rapidly growing social network that provides a number of innovative features like
                                                                                               phone system to
grouping particular users into “circles”, or affinity groups with whom users can share         Google Apps and
only certain types of information. Google is one of the top two mobile platform                provided the staff
providers and continues to provide innovative solutions to integrate unified                   with single inbox
communications and other technologies into the mobile experience.
                                                                                               access to all voice
Esnatech is working closely with Google to enable new and innovative applications              and email messages,
that will expand the envelope of unified communications. For example, Esnatech                 presence
federates live phone status and federates presence into the Google cloud which, in
                                                                                               information shared
turn, can feed into any new Google applications. This enables Gmail to become a full
collaboration interface using a completely Web-based set of applications.                      across Google Talk
                                                                                               and Calendar and
                                                                                               fixed-to-mobile
SUMMARY                                                                                        convergence.
Unified communications offers any organization a wide range of benefits, not least of
which is the ability to enable telework and other remote work more effectively by
providing users with a consistent interface to all of their communication and
collaboration functions. However, there are various ways of deploying unified
communications, using single vendor approaches or those that are based on open
systems. The latter, while providing more flexibility in how systems are deployed, is
also significantly less expensive than single vendor solutions. While the combination
of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Lync, and other single-vendor solutions, offer
robust functionality, the single vendor approach is much more expensive than a



©2012 Osterman Research, Inc.                                                              6
Taking a Strategic Approach to
                                                                                                           Unified Communications: Best
                                                                                                           of Breed vs. Single Vendor
                                                                                                           Solutions
multi-vendor, open approach such as the combination of Google Apps and Esnatech
Unified Communications for Google™ Apps.



ABOUT ESNATECH
Esnatech is a global leader in cloud-enabled Integrated Unified Communication
solutions. The award-winning Office-LinX™ platform integrates cloud, mobile and
social communications with traditional voice and messaging to give information
workers the freedom to choose how, when and where they communicate. No costly
hardware upgrades, no new learning curve —just simple and easy access to
communicate and collaborate.

For more information, please visit www.esnatech.com.




© 2012 Osterman Research, Inc. All rights reserved.

No part of this document may be reproduced in any form by any means, nor may it be
distributed without the permission of Osterman Research, Inc., nor may it be resold or
distributed by any entity other than Osterman Research, Inc., without prior written authorization
of Osterman Research, Inc.

Osterman Research, Inc. does not provide legal advice. Nothing in this document constitutes
legal advice, nor shall this document or any software product or other offering referenced herein
serve as a substitute for the reader’s compliance with any laws (including but not limited to any
act, statue, regulation, rule, directive, administrative order, executive order, etc. (collectively,
“Laws”)) referenced in this document. If necessary, the reader should consult with competent
legal counsel regarding any Laws referenced herein. Osterman Research, Inc. makes no
representation or warranty regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information contained
in this document.

THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. ALL EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED REPRESENTATIONS, CONDITIONS AND WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED
WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE
DISCLAIMED, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH DISCLAIMERS ARE DETERMINED TO BE
ILLEGAL.




©2012 Osterman Research, Inc.                                                                          7

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Taking a Strategic Approach to Unified Communications: Best of Breed vs. Single Vendor Solutions

  • 1. WHITE PAPER Taking a Strategic Approach to Unified Communications: Best of Breed vs. Single Vendor Solutions An Osterman Research White Paper Published April 2012 sponsored by SPON sponsored by Osterman Research, Inc. P.O. Box 1058 • Black Diamond, Washington • 98010-1058 • USA Tel: +1 253 630 5839 • Fax: +1 253 458 0934 • info@ostermanresearch.com www.ostermanresearch.com • twitter.com/mosterman
  • 2. Taking a Strategic Approach to Unified Communications: Best of Breed vs. Single Vendor Solutions EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Unified communications provides a number of benefits to any organization: • The ability for users to have an integrated experience that combines their email, voice, Web conferencing, mobile and real time communications and collaboration into a single, cohesive experience. • The ability to have available a consistent interface on any platform, from any location. This enables employees to work from home or while traveling and remain as productive as they are while in the office. • The ability for employees to make decisions more quickly by having all of the information and other tools necessary to communicate and collaborate, regardless of their location. • Significantly reduced IT and telephony costs by integrating various modes of communication into a single and consistent communications platform. An open approach to unified commun- THE MIGRATION TO UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS Organizations are migrating toward unified communications because of two key ications permits the issues with conventional communication systems: re-use of existing PBXs and other • Integration of data systems, and In a conventional communications scenario, users employ an email system on a desktop computer, laptop or mobile device; make telephone calls and access provides the email on a desktop telephone or on their mobile device; participate in instant necessary flexibility messaging conversations with a standalone client on their computing to allow organ- platform(s); participate in Web conferencing sessions with yet another standalone client, and so on. These tools allow users to be productive, but the izations to adopt a standalone nature of these applications negatively impacts productivity when wider variety of less users try to share data between the various communication modes or when they expensive on- are out of the office. Further, messaging and telephony are often managed by premise and cloud- separate groups, creating additional problems. based applications. • Organizational flexibility and agility Moreover, the use of Conventional communications tend to limit the flexibility that organizations have open solutions in allowing employees to work remotely. For example, while employees can provides more access corporate email from virtually any Web browser, accessing telephony, fax, Web conferencing and other systems is not as easily accomplished when users flexibility and lower are working remotely. This limits the ability of organizations to enable telework overall costs over and thereby drives up overall IT and telephony costs. the long term. KEY TAKEAWAYS While unified communications can clearly enable more efficient and more consistent communications across any platform, for users in any location, there are different approaches to implementing a unified communications system. A single-vendor approach, such as Microsoft Exchange in combination with Microsoft Lync, can provide a robust unified communications experience and can make users more productive. However, an open approach that leverages cloud-based productivity applications, such as Google Apps integrated with a software and hardware agnostic unified communication platform like Esnatech Office-LinX, permits the re-use of existing PBXs and other systems, and provides the necessary flexibility to allow organizations to adopt a wider variety of less expensive on-premise and cloud-based applications. Moreover, the use of best-of-breed solutions provides more flexibility and lower overall costs over the long term. ©2012 Osterman Research, Inc. 1
  • 3. Taking a Strategic Approach to Unified Communications: Best of Breed vs. Single Vendor Solutions WHY UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS? The term “unified communications” is what its name implies – a set of communication tools that are assembled into a single interface and integrated into a single management system. Unified communications includes a variety of communications and collaboration tools: email, calendaring and scheduling, voice/telephony and real- time communications capabilities that are presented to a user through a thick client and/or a browser-based interface. Other functions that may be included in a unified communications system include text messaging/SMS capabilities, fax services, mobility services and Web conferencing. Many unified communications systems also integrate security capabilities like intrusion prevention, anti-spam services and anti- virus capabilities. CASE STUDY COMMUNICATION SILOES LIMIT EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY In a conventional communications system in the typical workplace each computer The City of user normally has: Westerville, Ohio • An email client that includes calendaring and scheduling (usually Microsoft migrated to Google Outlook) Apps and needed a • Customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage and new phone system communicate with customers and prospects that would provide • A desktop telephone • An instant messaging client full unified • A mobile phone that, among other things, offers text messaging/SMS services communications • Availability of a departmental fax machine services within Google Apps. The NON-UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS CREATES PROBLEMS city selected a Mitel This configuration of separate communications tools and interfaces works reasonably well while the user is in the office, but there are some significant limitations. For phone system that example, email messages are accessed in an email client on the computer, calls are was SIP integrated made and voicemail messages are accessed through the telephone, and instant to the Esnatech messaging conversations are conducted in a separate client. When faxes are sent or received, users must walk to the fax machine and process individual pieces of paper. UC&C application However, when users need to work remotely, their desktop telephone cannot be server. This used, and faxes are largely inaccessible without the assistance of someone else in the extended Mitel office who can re-send or read the faxed information. The only communication mode dialing, presence that works more or less like that of the in-office experience is email, normally accessed through a Webmail interface. and messaging services directly into Although this conventional and widely used approach to communications allows users Gmail and Google to be productive to a point, consider the benefits of a unified communications Apps, enabling system: employees to access • Users can send or receive email, make calls, access voicemail, conduct instant voice and fax messaging conversations, and send or receive faxes from a single interface. messages from Moreover, data can be shared digitally between all of these communication modes. Gmail and initiate calls off the Mitel • All of these capabilities are accessible on any platform, regardless of location – a phone system desktop computer, a laptop or a mobile device – and also using a thick client or a directly from Google Web browser. Apps. UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS MAKES PEOPLE AND COMPANIES MORE EFFICIENT Obviously, the unified communications scenario is preferable for users who need to work more efficiently, particularly when traveling or when they must work from home. However, such a unified communications system is also preferable for the IT and telephony groups in a company because they are not managing individual communication silos, but instead are managing a single, integrated system. This ©2012 Osterman Research, Inc. 2
  • 4. Taking a Strategic Approach to Unified Communications: Best of Breed vs. Single Vendor Solutions results in synergies that would not be possible in a conventional communications scenario. Organizations that deploy unified communications systems also benefit in several other important ways: • Users with access to all of their communication tools from a single interface can THE “HOTELING” be just as productive when on the road or when working from home (e.g., during periods of inclement weather) as when they are in the office. This gives CONCEPT decision makers the flexibility to allow their employees to work from anywhere, If a 500-employee resulting in an enhanced user experience and potentially greater retention of employees. company has a teleworking plan, it • From a more strategic perspective, however, because employees who have can reduce its office access to all of their communication modes from a single interface can be highly productive, this allows organizations to operate with much less office space than space by 20% if would otherwise be required if an office or cubicle must be made available for each employee every employee. Osterman Research estimates that the typical organization can works at home just save $600 per employee per year in just facilities costs when employees can one day per week. work from home just one day per week – the “hoteling” concept used by many companies, including Boeing and IBM. This reduces office space by an average TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP CAN BE DRAMATICALLY LOWER of 150 square feet WITH AN OPEN SOLUTION per teleworker More important, however, are the costs associated with the particular unified (cubicle, common communications solutions that will be deployed. For example, an organization of 5,000 users that deploys a combination of on-premise Microsoft Exchange and space, etc.). Microsoft Lync will spend roughly $4.8 million for basic unified communications functionality, but could spend up to $9.5 million for a fully configured system that If office space is $20 includes compliance-focused archiving, Lync Online Voice and voicemail. This per square foot per translates to a per user cost, assuming a three-year lifecycle, of $27 to $53 per month. year (typical cost in an urban area), the However, using an open approach – such as Google Apps in combination with cost savings are Esnatech solutions – the annual cost would be $65 to $120 per year, or $5.40 to $600 per employee: $10.00 per user per month. Without telework: TAKING A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO Space for 500 employees x 150sf UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS each x $20/sf = $1.5 Once the decision has been made to adopt unified communications and to realize the million cost and efficiency benefits that it can provide, the next decision comes down to what type of unified communications system should be deployed. While there are a number of unified communications vendors offering a variety of solutions, the With telework: decision really comes down to whether a single vendor or open approach should be Space for 400 followed. employees x 150sf each x $20/sf USE OF A SINGLE VENDOR APPROACH The use of a single vendor unified communications system does offer some = $1.2 million advantages. For example, Lync – Microsoft’s unified communications platform – integrates instant messaging, voice, audio, video and Web conferencing services via a Savings: single interface. Lync also integrates presence management so that ad hoc voice $300,000 or $600 calls and video meetings can be initiated quickly between team members and others on Lync. Lync integrates with non-Microsoft services as well, such as AOL Instant per employee Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger. ($300,000 ÷ 500 employees = $600) Although Lync provides solid functionality, perhaps its most important benefit is that it comes from a leading vendor. Given Microsoft’s position in the communications, ©2012 Osterman Research, Inc. 3
  • 5. Taking a Strategic Approach to Unified Communications: Best of Breed vs. Single Vendor Solutions applications and server markets, the decision to implement Microsoft’s single vendor technology approach can be easily defended. However, the disadvantage of using any single vendor technology, particularly for a critical infrastructure backbone like unified communications, is that it provides minimal interoperability with solutions from other vendors. Whether for corporate politics or other reasons, quite often a single vendor technology simply will not interoperate with leading competitive solutions, thereby limiting the utility of the technology to a reasonably small subset of the user environment. Also, many single vendor solutions like Lync require significant investments to deploy and manage. They do not allow full value to be extracted from existing solutions because of the “rip-and-replace” nature of their deployment and they permit less organizational flexibility than most organizations prefer. USING A BEST-OF-BREED APPROACH Using an open approach to unified communications, on the other hand, provides more flexibility because adopters are not wedded to a single vendor approach. Other important advantages of an open approach to unified communications include: Open solutions are better suited to help • As with many leading, single vendor solutions, an open unified communications technology can provide the same high level of robust functionality. organizations realize the full value • There are several vendors in the space that have a long track record in providing from their existing cloud services, presence and interoperability – vendors that have expertise and experience in offering highly scalable and efficient unified communications hardware and platforms. software deployments. • Open approaches are consistently less expensive than single vendor solutions Because the right and offer much lower total cost of ownership initially and over the long term. open solutions can • For example, when the vendor of a single vendor solution is selected to provide be integrated into unified communications or other functionality, the customer is more or less existing infra- locked in to that vendor and the associated third-party ecosystem unless they structure, this opt to undergo an expensive rip-and-replace exercise to switch to another vendor. However, when an open vendor is used, this provides “forward further drives down flexibility” that enables switching to another vendor’s underlying technology the total cost of without a complete rip-and-replace. This offers decision makers a somewhat ownership because safer decision, a less costly migration path, and the ability to change vendor of the extended life direction much more easily. of existing systems. • Open solutions are better suited to help organizations realize the full value from their existing hardware and software deployments. Because the right open solutions can be integrated into existing infrastructure, this further drives down the total cost of ownership because of the extended life of existing systems. • The net result is much greater organizational flexibility because of the wider interoperability of open solutions and the longer life of the existing infrastructure. PRICING COMPARISON A comparison of the costs of Microsoft Lync with Google Apps/Esnatech will vary based on the size of the organization, the specific features to be deployed and other factors. However, a review of the following table demonstrates the dramatically lower cost of ownership when using a combination of Google Apps and Esnatech Unified Communications for Google™ Apps compared to Microsoft Exchange in combination with Microsoft Lync or Microsoft Office 365 in combination with Microsoft Lync or Microsoft Lync Online. Just using these rough comparisons, a 1,000-user organization will save $246 per user, per year using a combination of Google Apps and Esnatech Unified Communications for Google™ Apps compared to on-premise offerings from Microsoft; ©2012 Osterman Research, Inc. 4
  • 6. Taking a Strategic Approach to Unified Communications: Best of Breed vs. Single Vendor Solutions savings will be lower when comparing Office 365 to Google Apps/Esnatech, but are still substantial at $150 per user per year. It is important to note that there are other cost savings, as well, including: • Avoiding the cost of replacing a PBX by extending its life until it needs to be replaced instead of replacing it prematurely. • Avoidance of rip-and-replace costs in mixed environments. • Power costs, which can total several thousand dollars per year in larger environments. • No need to purchase mobile phones for users because of the ability of Google Apps/Esnatech to interoperate with any mobile OS. Three-Year Cost Comparison of On-Premise Microsoft Exchange/ Lync vs. Esnatech/Google Apps Annual Costs per User Google Apps/ Exchange Microsoft Esnatech Server (Dell PowerEdge T510) $9,512 - Three-year 24x7 support, four-hour response $8,796 - AV/AS appliance (Barracuda Spam & Virus $4,397 - Firewall 200) Exchange Server software $15,996 - Exchange Client access licenses, 1,000 $67,000 - Exchange software maintenance for 1,000 clients $105,000 - Windows Server 2008 $14,796 - Exchange Server OS software client access $38,951 - licenses or equivalent Outlook, 1,000 $100,000 - Google Apps - $150,000 Google Apps/ Lync Microsoft Esnatech Server (Dell PowerEdge T510) $9,512 - Three-year 24x7 support, four-hour response $8,796 - Lync Server Software $3,999 - Lync Instant Messaging and Presence $138,000 - Lync software maintenance for 1,000 clients $69,397 - Unified Communications for Google™ Apps - $210,000 Google Apps/ Labor Microsoft Esnatech IT admin cost (Year 1) $160,000 - IT admin cost (Year 2) $168,000 - IT admin cost (Year 3) $176,400 - TOTAL $1,098,552 $360,000 TOTAL PER USER PER YEAR $366 $120 Note: 2.0 FTE IT admins required to support the Microsoft environment Source: Osterman Research estimates and published data ©2012 Osterman Research, Inc. 5
  • 7. Taking a Strategic Approach to Unified Communications: Best of Breed vs. Single Vendor Solutions Basic Pricing Comparison of Microsoft Office 365/Lync vs. Esnatech/ Google Apps Annual Costs per User Google Google Apps/ Apps/ Function Microsoft Esnatech Microsoft Esnatech Email, word processing, Microsoft Office Google Apps $168 $50 spreadsheet, 365 Plan E2 presentations Unified Unified communications Microsoft Lync Communications $66 $70 (mobility, speech and Online Plan 2 for Google™ presence services) Apps TOTAL PER USER PER YEAR $234 $120 CASE STUDY Another consideration when comparing the cost of competing on-premise solutions is Township High the complexity of the architecture required to support unified communications. While School District 214 Microsoft’s unified communications solutions offer robust functionality, they require in Illinois migrated the use of multiple servers to perform the various roles associated with unified messaging, fax services, speech services and other critical roles. Moreover, the cost to Google Apps in of the Microsoft stack is relatively expensive compared to other solutions, particularly 2009. They needed for video functionality. Some solutions, such as Esnatech’s, can satisfy these roles a UC solution that using a much less complex, single-server approach. In fact, a hybrid approach that would improve the allows enterprises to connect to third-party applications can provide additional benefits and potential cost savings. While Lync integrates with a variety of third- current system in party applications, services and systems, it may not satisfy all of an organization’s place, but maintain integration requirements. the functionality that was already THE IMPORTANCE OF INNOVATION Another important issue to consider is not only the current offerings from a particular available. Esnatech provider or the cost of obtaining these solutions, but also the innovation that a Office-LinX provider can offer that will add value over time. For example, in the context of seamlessly unified communications, Google offers Hangouts, a video conferencing service that connected their enables up to nine people to participate in a group video session. Google+ is a rapidly growing social network that provides a number of innovative features like phone system to grouping particular users into “circles”, or affinity groups with whom users can share Google Apps and only certain types of information. Google is one of the top two mobile platform provided the staff providers and continues to provide innovative solutions to integrate unified with single inbox communications and other technologies into the mobile experience. access to all voice Esnatech is working closely with Google to enable new and innovative applications and email messages, that will expand the envelope of unified communications. For example, Esnatech presence federates live phone status and federates presence into the Google cloud which, in information shared turn, can feed into any new Google applications. This enables Gmail to become a full collaboration interface using a completely Web-based set of applications. across Google Talk and Calendar and fixed-to-mobile SUMMARY convergence. Unified communications offers any organization a wide range of benefits, not least of which is the ability to enable telework and other remote work more effectively by providing users with a consistent interface to all of their communication and collaboration functions. However, there are various ways of deploying unified communications, using single vendor approaches or those that are based on open systems. The latter, while providing more flexibility in how systems are deployed, is also significantly less expensive than single vendor solutions. While the combination of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Lync, and other single-vendor solutions, offer robust functionality, the single vendor approach is much more expensive than a ©2012 Osterman Research, Inc. 6
  • 8. Taking a Strategic Approach to Unified Communications: Best of Breed vs. Single Vendor Solutions multi-vendor, open approach such as the combination of Google Apps and Esnatech Unified Communications for Google™ Apps. ABOUT ESNATECH Esnatech is a global leader in cloud-enabled Integrated Unified Communication solutions. The award-winning Office-LinX™ platform integrates cloud, mobile and social communications with traditional voice and messaging to give information workers the freedom to choose how, when and where they communicate. No costly hardware upgrades, no new learning curve —just simple and easy access to communicate and collaborate. For more information, please visit www.esnatech.com. © 2012 Osterman Research, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form by any means, nor may it be distributed without the permission of Osterman Research, Inc., nor may it be resold or distributed by any entity other than Osterman Research, Inc., without prior written authorization of Osterman Research, Inc. Osterman Research, Inc. does not provide legal advice. Nothing in this document constitutes legal advice, nor shall this document or any software product or other offering referenced herein serve as a substitute for the reader’s compliance with any laws (including but not limited to any act, statue, regulation, rule, directive, administrative order, executive order, etc. (collectively, “Laws”)) referenced in this document. If necessary, the reader should consult with competent legal counsel regarding any Laws referenced herein. Osterman Research, Inc. makes no representation or warranty regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in this document. THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED REPRESENTATIONS, CONDITIONS AND WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE DISCLAIMED, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH DISCLAIMERS ARE DETERMINED TO BE ILLEGAL. ©2012 Osterman Research, Inc. 7