ShoreTel, the provider of IP phone systems with fully integrated unified communications (UC), today announced the results of an Aberdeen Group study on the total cost of ownership (TCO) of unified communications solutions.
The survey of 236 different businesses validates that ShoreTel’s unified communications solution is the easiest to use, deploy and manage when compared to other solutions on the market today.
Total cost of ownership is a key metric for assessing costs, benefits and risks of a UC solution – enabling organisations to properly evaluate competing solutions. It aligns their final decision with business needs, while understanding the effects of future requirements and functionalities.
ShoreTel says their UC solution was designed from the ground up to take advantage of IP technology – making it better suited to the realities of business than other “IP-enabled” legacy technology or bolted-together systems, which are inherently complex. The company says the ShoreTel solution is based on a unique, open distributed architecture that integrates seamlessly with existing business applications and processes. Enterprises can scale with ease by simply plugging in an additional switch – without the need to rip and replace infrastructure. Moves, adds and changes (MACs) can easily be performed in-house because of the ability to manage users instead of devices, reducing the time, complexity and cost of system administration. These fundamental differences are what enable ShoreTel to provide the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry.
Specific examples of ShoreTel’s ease of use and TCO advantage are highlighted in Aberdeen’s study:
• ShoreTel is the easiest to implement. ShoreTel customers experienced a 67 percent savings in internal implementation cost per phone when compared to Avaya Aura Communication Manager.
• ShoreTel is the easiest to train and certify. Up-front training costs per administrator for ShoreTel systems were one-third the cost of training an administrator for a Cisco UCM solution. Ongoing annual training costs are 85 percent less than Avaya IP Office and 73 percent less than the average for all telephony.
• ShoreTel is the most flexible. Performing moves, adds, and changes (MACs) on a ShoreTel system took one-third the time it takes to perform MACs on a Microsoft OCS/Lync system, and 60 percent less than the average for all telephony.
• ShoreTel is the easiest and most cost-effective to manage. System management and administration of a ShoreTel system cost 42 percent less than Avaya Aura Communications Manager and 77 percent less than Cisco Unified Communications Manager.
When choosing a Unified Communications solution, enterprises must consider upfront capital costs, infrastructure and training costs, as well as network upgrades, system implementation, maintenance contracts and other factors. Aberdeen notes key insights for evaluating the total cost of ownership of a unified communications solution include:
• Don’t stop with maintenance and software assurance.
• Understand the full cost of labor in managing Unified Communications.
• Depreciate all potential operational costs over five to six years.
All costs were accounted for in the study including capital costs, operational costs, training costs, system administration costs, and ongoing support costs. The study focused on end users and their experiences with UC solutions from Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, Mitel, NEC, ShoreTel and legacy TDM systems. The survey results confirm that ShoreTel has the lowest TCO in the industry.
Hyoun Park, Research Analyst, Aberdeen Group, commented, “Total Cost of Ownership represents a holistic measure of the complete financial impact associated with the Unified Communications purchase decision and should be the most important issue for any IT financial stakeholder purchasing a new system. To uphold corporate fiscal and governance responsibilities, decision makers must fully examine all significant up-front and recurring costs to identify the UC solution offering the greatest value throughout the entire lifespan of the solution.”
Mark Arman, vice president of business development for ShoreTel added, “It’s easy to say you have the lowest TCO in the industry, but this third-party research backs up what ShoreTel’s customers have known for a long time. ShoreTel delivers the industry’s lowest TCO because we designed complexity out and complexity is costly to the end-user. Our brilliantly simple approach to business communications removes the high operating costs and unnecessary complexity and this is fundamentally different from any other provider out there.”