IP Telephony and Unified Communications Total Cost of Ownership

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March 28, 2014

Understanding the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of IP Telephony (IPT) and Unified Communications (UC) alternatives is critical for sound decision-making. Nemertes recommends considering capital, implementation, and operational costs in TCO analysis.

Nemertes recently interviewed and surveyed 189 enterprises to gather cost data for seven leading IPT and UC vendors: Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, NEC, ShoreTel, and Mitel. We then used this data to develop a first-year TCO analysis comparing each vendor to overall aggregate costs and comparing 2014 TCO data to data gathered for last year’s TCO study. Nemertes finds that real-world IP telephony costs have dropped by 28% over the last year, while integrated UC costs have increased by 83%. Costs still vary based on size of deployment and product, meaning that no single vendor is the most cost-effective (defined as offering the lowest TCO) for every situation.

Enterprise IT leaders should invest the necessary time and care to make sure they understand all areas of cost and develop a complete TCO picture in support of IPT and UC purchasing decisions.

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