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Reducing Skype for Business Costs via Proactive Management

Author: Irwin Lazar, VP & Service Director

The more enterprises embrace the benefits of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC), the more complex it is for IT professionals to deliver a well-orchestrated solution. This is especially true for those adopting Microsoft Skype for Business (SfB) as their primary telephony platform. Skype for Business, as a pure software application, replaces a voice-optimized hardware and desktop phone deployment model with one in which IP telephony and UC applications run on virtualized servers, with most users relying on softphones as their primary interface. Merging voice onto desktop and laptop computers as well as on mobile devices via VoWiFi means that traditional approaches to ensuring voice quality such as isolating voice traffic onto its own VLAN, and applying appropriate QoS to that VLAN, are no longer feasible. As a result, Nemertes has repeatedly found that Microsoft Skype for Business adopters face higher than average costs than those deploying other platforms.

One means of reducing operating expenses is the use of dedicated tools for Skype for Business operational management. Thus, it’s surprising that just 15.8% of those using Skype for Business for voice in our study, are using monitoring and management tools provided by companies that specialize in such technology. These providers cover various areas of management—including operations, performance, and event management. It is worth noting that many adopters of Skype for Business for telephony are still early on in their deployments and have not yet investigated third-party management tools.

Nemertes interviewed or surveyed more than 700 companies for its annual UCC Total Cost of Operations research project, and found that most organizations that use both performance and operational management tools from vendors who specialize in UCC management and monitoring tools reduced implementation and operational costs. These savings are even more pronounced for those using Skype for Business where use of third-party tools results in a 63% reduction in operational costs and an 11% reduction in implementation costs.

This report reviews the trends in IP telephony and UC that are driving cost changes, specifically for Microsoft Skype for Business, and the need for monitoring and management tools to reduce operational costs.

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