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 >>

Beth Schultz | February 05, 2018 |


'Know Thyself' Key to Getting a Good UCaaS Deal

'Know Thyself' Key to Getting a Good UCaaS Deal UC consultant Marty Parker explains why you need to gather all cost data before going out to bid for cloud comms services.

UC consultant Marty Parker explains why you need to gather all cost data before going out to bid for cloud comms services.

Any enterprise communications executive planning for a new or upgraded UC system should take UC-as-a-service options into consideration, as UC consultant Marty Parker, principal of UniComm Consulting, wrote in his recent No Jitter post, "UCaaS Costs: Your Choices Matter Most!" Will the final decision always be in the cloud's favor? No, of course not. But unless there's an organizational prohibition against the use of cloud services, then UCaaS needs to be part of the conversation.

In a follow-up No Jitter On Air podcast, Parker shared two examples of clients he's guided through the evaluation process. In one instance, a university client with a tight budget and an attractive maintenance agreement on its installed IP PBX, which is under support and "will be for years to come," determined it would see no cost efficiencies by moving to a new system, whether on premises or in the cloud. Plain and simple, "sometimes what you have is going to do the job really well," Parker said of this client's experience.

In a second example, moving trunking into the cloud served the needs of a large company with hundreds of locations around the country. The company had been "paying dearly for local telephony," with T1 connections to its local offices, and couldn't move to UCaaS fast enough, Parker said.

The university is at one extreme of the decision spectrum and the large company at the other, and many variations sit in between the two, Parker said. But you should know that wherever your organization might fall, "knowing thyself" is critical if you're to get a clean cost comparison, he added.

That means collecting every bit of information on current costs, including those related to maintenance, staffing, network support, connectivity, and the helpdesk, for example, Parker said. Once you have all your costs on the table, you can figure out your target spend. Do you want to maintain that figure, or say, shave 20% off of it?

Having a detailed cost analysis will give you the opportunity to talk to UCaaS vendors in a comprehensive way, he added. "You can ask them all sorts of questions, ... and talk to them about what they can do for each of these costs."

And all the cost data really works well for vendors, too, Parker said. "If you can say, 'This is what I need, this is how much I use today, this is how many trunk minutes I'm using, this is how many calls we have, here's my data. This is what I need you to do -- I need all these features, I want this kind of support, this kind of integration, and I want this kind of identity management, this kind of security,' then you can give them a target," he said. "The more certainty they have, the lower they're willing to make the price."

If you're precise on your requirements and your current spending, a UCaaS provider can be more accommodating and precise in its response," added Parker, noting that he's built a model that shows the total five-year cost and monthly cost per user for UCaaS, continuing with the current on-premises systems, and adding a new IP PBX on prem. He'll be sharing that model, for download, next month in a session on migration cost factors he'll be presenting at Enterprise Connect 2018.

The upshot: "Be flexible and be opportunistic, but be diligent," he said.

For more of Parker's advice, click on the podcast player below. You'll get tips on:

  • Taking advantage of integrating communications with business applications
  • Which factors are most important to consider when evaluating the UCaaS decision/li>
  • How to assess staff requirements and understand career development opportunities
  • Avoiding common pitfalls

And, don't miss your opportunity to see Parker live and get his cost model in-hand. As he mentioned, he'll be presenting the Enterprise Connect session, "How Cost Factors Affect Your Cloud Migration," taking place Tuesday, March 13, at 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Learn more about Cloud Communications at Enterprise Connect 2018, March 12 to 15, in Orlando, Fla. Register now using the code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Early Bird Pricing or get a free Expo Plus pass.

Related content:


October 24, 2018

With disparate workplaces and ever-expanding volumes of information to manage, the challenges for collaborating effectively are only intensifying. Many critical applications are not integrated, and

October 10, 2018

Businesses are growing across international borders quicker than ever, but scaling operations to follow suit can be a harder, longer process.

This webinar focuses on scaling your next-generat

September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular 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.