August 21, 2017
Driven by the need to improve usability, simplify management, reduce integration challenges, and minimize operating costs, an increasing percentage of organizations are consolidating, or have already consolidated, their disparate unified communications and collaboration applications onto a single primary vendor and its ecosystem. Moving to a single primary vendor improves the end-user experience by enabling a set of natively integrated applications including voice, video, chat, and screen sharing. Consolidation also reduces or eliminates the cost and complexity of integration and enables organizations to align their collaboration strategies with their chosen vendor’s roadmap. However, those who have consolidated, or are planning to consolidate, should be aware of potential for vendor lock-in, reduced pricing leverage, and potentially a restricted ability to take advantage of rapidly emerging collaboration technologies.
As a result, IT leaders should:
- Evaluate costs of consolidating on a single primary vendor, including first-year costs for procurement of necessary licenses, network infrastructure, training, and implementation
- Determine business value of delivering a UCC experience with single click access to start meetings comprising of audio, video, and web conferencing
- Evaluate the ability of your collaboration vendors to provide a broad set of applications, either natively or through their partner ecosystems. Likely you will find the best path forward is leveraging one of your existing UC platform vendors as the basis for consolidation
- Consider your risk profile and your willingness to have your collaboration strategy closely aligned with a single primary vendor, and the potential loss of bargaining power as you eliminate alternative vendors from the mix
- Evaluate vendor roadmaps to determine who’s offerings best align with your own demands, especially as providers increasingly shift the basis of their UC platforms to team collaboration applications (e.g. Cisco Spark, RingCentral Glip, etc.)
- Don’t underestimate the internal organizational struggles when trying to select a single vendor. Those who today are responsible for one vendor will lobby for that provider. It’s crucial to have an objective voice to advise on the best solution for the company’s UCC strategy.