SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Beth Schultz
Beth Schultz is editor of No Jitter and program co-chair for Enterprise Connect. Beth has more than two decades of...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Beth Schultz | April 21, 2017 |

 
   

Cloud Communications, With a Caveat or Two

Cloud Communications, With a Caveat or Two Being a cloud believer is OK, but don't get caught up in migration frenzy.

Being a cloud believer is OK, but don't get caught up in migration frenzy.

If you buy into the latest vendor hype, you'll come to the belief that cloud architecture is heaven sent for your enterprise's communications and collaboration needs. But beware: Your fall to earth may be painful -- and, as Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, pointed out in a recent No Jitter post, cost is what's likely going to send you into a freefall.

Overall, companies that move UC and collaboration from on-premises to cloud architecture will see first-year costs -- on capital, infrastructure, and operational spending -- increase nearly 50%, noted Gareiss based on results of her firm's recently released 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study involving feedback from 723 organizations. Wanting to dig into that startling figure and other study data, we invited Gareiss to share more insight as our guest this week's episode on our No Jitter On Air podcast.

If there's one thing Gareiss would like enterprise communications and collaboration decision makers to be cognizant of, it's that cloud is more expensive than an on-prem alternative. Her experiences presenting Nemertes data as part of the Enterprise Connect conference program over the years bears this out. She recounted:

    "I remember the first time I said this at an Enterprise Connect session ... most of the audience looked at me like I had three heads. By the next year about a third of the audience was agreeing with me. By last year, maybe about half the audience was, and this year even more, so it's kind of nice to see that validation."

Common culprits of increased operational spending are staffing, subscriptions, network transport, and security audits, as Gareiss explained. I encourage you to read her No Jitter post, "Cloud UCC Cost-Savings Fallacy: What You Need to Know," for a more granular breakdown of operational spending, and tune into the No Jitter On Air episode, "Takeaways & Tips on UC&C Spending," for additional insight, including cloud costs by type of provider (pure play vs. legacy UC, for example) and a look at on-premises considerations, as well.

In the meantime, here are three takeaways she shared during our podcast chat:

  1. "Don't go to the cloud to save money, because you'll be disappointed."
  2. If you do go to the cloud, consider using software-defined WAN to help offset the increased network costs of such a move. Heck, she added, think about using SD-WAN even if you're not migrating your communications and collaboration systems to the cloud.
  3. "When you're looking at anything [to do] with unified communications and collaboration, take the time to run a cost analysis." The range of costs is really broad -- on a per-unit basis from $454 at smaller companies to $2,581 at larger companies, she said, citing Nemertes data. "Consider all the costs, not just the obvious ones." So this would mean taking into account spending on things like staffing, partner management, user awareness, and business interactions, she added.

And here's one more bit of Nemertes data I'll leave with you for further contemplation. If you haven't shifted to the cloud yet, you're not alone. The majority of companies that participated in the Nemertes study still rely on an on-prem platform for UC and collaboration -- 47% being entirely on prem, and 10% have an on-prem/cloud mix, Gareiss said. The shift to cloud is happening, to be sure, but not at a rapid clip.

The moral: Being a believer is OK, but you don't have to sacrifice your company's well-being by making the move to the cloud before you fully understand what you're getting into.

Follow Beth Schultz and No Jitter on Twitter and Google+!
@nojitter
@Beth_Schultz
Beth Schultz on Google+





COMMENTS



July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.