The recent article “Adding up the real costs of so-called ‘free’ Microsoft Lync” highlights the hidden costs associated with a Microsoft Lync deployment.

These costs include server OS licenses, server hardware, IP phones, gateways for branch survivability, analog endpoints and adapters, and additional software assurance/support costs. To make matters worse, the licensing scheme for Microsoft Lync 2010 is extremely confusing. In fact, Microsoft publishes a 32-page guide to help customers understand their licensing.

ShoreTel, on the other hand, makes it easy for customers to understand what they’re buying. A ShoreTel deployment requires just one generic server, ShoreTel switches/appliances, and ShoreTel phones to provide a complete unified communications solution. Furthermore, ShoreTel’s licensing scheme is simple to understand. Options exist as to whether to include an extension only, mailbox only, or extension and mailbox. Then a customer just has to select their end-user client capabilities; whether to include a soft phone, video, and IM/presence. To top things off, ShoreTel’s support plans include free software assurance (upgrades).

Ease of deployment is just another way that ShoreTel leads the industry with its “brilliantly simple” solution. Before making a unified communications purchase decision, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Digital transformation has become a top initiative for business and IT leaders. In today’s business world, sustainable market leadership is no longer based solely on which company has the best products or even the best people. Instead, organizations that are agile and can quickly adapt to rapidly evolving market trends will become market leaders.

Geoff Murase

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