TMCnet - World's Largest Communications and Technology Community



tmc logo
November 2009 | Volume 12 / Number 11
Integrator’s Corner

Reaping Value through Unified Communications Cost Optimization

How can a company save money and optimize spending on its unified communications system?

One area that doesn’t get enough attention is service and maintenance contracts. If you haven't reviewed your contracts in the last year, pull these out. Compare what you purchased against your organization’s needs. Make your solution provider work for you. Educate them on your needs and then challenge them to craft an optimized support plan. Really understand what you've purchased and how this might change at next renewal.

Also, what is your software upgrade status? Does your support contract include major and minor upgrades? Major software revisions seem to be released every year. Getting too far behind can result in significant consulting expense to bring the system up to current specifications.

Many vendors have multiple licensing schemes optimized for certain mixes of users and applications. Understand your licensing options and determine if a change would be to your advantage.

An educated and trained staff can be a great cost saver. Beyond the obvious, staff that knows the business can match up needs with system capabilities. To do this, staff needs to be knowledgeable on features and functions of the existing applications. Be sure to bundle training credits into any upcoming purchases.

Do you have a test and development environment? Traditionally this has been a very expensive proposition, but with server virtualization technology and software demo licenses, a full telephony test environment can be installed and run on pair of inexpensive multi-core workstation class machines. You won't be able to do system load testing, but you can validate configuration, new features and test upgrades.

For hard dollar savings immediately, align your support and maintenance contracts with business needs. If maintenance includes application upgrades, keep your environment up-to-date. Look at the different licensing options that may fit the business. Longer term, invest in staff training, along with building a test environment. With care and attention, current and future costs can be controlled and optimized. IT

Ward Andersen is a principle consultant for Forsythe Solutions Group ( He has worked in the network and voice industries for 20 years. After working on large company toll bypass projects in the 1990s, he graduated to server-based VoIP telephony for enterprises. He is currently in search of the perfect communication application.

» Internet Telephony Magazine Table of Contents

Today @ TMC
Upcoming Events
ITEXPO West 2012
October 2- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
The World's Premier Managed Services and Cloud Computing Event
Click for Dates and Locations
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
Cloud Communications Summit
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas