unified communications sourcing: make the right choice

There are many different ways of procuring unified communications (UC) and the best choice will depend on your organization’s requirements. Do you go for the cloud, a managed service or on-premise deployment? Read our how-to guide to find out more.

The cloud in the form of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) attracts most headlines in the media, because of its strong growth. Transparency Research valued the global UCaaS market at $5.68 billion in 2013, and predicts that it will grow at a rate of 23.4% from 2014 to 2022.

However, UCaaS isn’t necessarily the right choice for all companies. We believe that there are five factors that will play a part in deciding what sourcing approach works best for your company, namely:

  • Financial requirements: is your company cash-rich, or do you want to pay as you use? The latter is very useful if you are expanding rapidly and need to add users quickly.
  • Comfort with outsourcing: are you happy to outsource or do you prefer to own and manage your systems in-house? This will require the necessary in house skills to manage telephony and IT issues.
  • Level of customization: do you need a customized solution, or are you happy with a plain vanilla version? Some industries have specific requirement for communications, which can make an out-of-the-box product less appropriate.
  • Data security: what level of security do you need for your communications and data? For example you may require additional encryption or end-point security.
  • Legal or regulatory requirements: does your industry have specific location or storage demands? In some jurisdictions, customer data is prohibited from leaving the country.

To meet these wide range of requirements, we believe that there are broadly four different sourcing options for Microsoft Lync and other UC tools , which are summarized below.

option 1: on-premise

This is the traditional procurement approach of buying software licenses and deploying it in your own data center. It involves managing your own UC infrastructure, although the network is most likely to be a managed service. This approach will suit cash-rich companies who want a free hand with customization. Orange can help in the solution build and design phase.

option 2: managed service

The managed Microsoft Lync option is a good match for those companies that want some level of customization, but don’t want to make the same level of capital investment as an on-premise approach. Orange procures the Microsoft Lync unified communications platform and deploys it in the Orange data center that works best for your company. The service is delivered to the user over the Orange network and is priced as a subscription fee per user.

option 3: industrialized private cloud

If customization is less important and you are happy to use a standard service, then a private cloud solution could suit. Essentially, it provides a standardized service with minimal customization using a service pack created on virtualized infrastructure. This allows you to take advantage of the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of a shared cloud platform, such as rapid scaling of users up or down and pay-as-you-use pricing. The Orange private cloud service offers end-to-end network and application quality of service.

option 4: hybrid infrastructure

If you are already an Office 365 user and want to include enterprise voice via Microsoft Lync, then we can provide a hybrid approach, which combines public cloud, private cloud and managed services. It allows you to migrate gradually, while maintaining quality-of-service and security. Orange supports this approach by providing integration of public cloud services, such as Office 365, via a secure and predictable network connectivity service called VPN Galerie.

Get more detail on the different sourcing options in our new how-to guide. For more information on sourcing, technology and implementation for Microsoft Lync, you can check out all of our how-to guides, ebooks and other information online.

Stephane Minana
Stephane Minana

Stephane is a Unified Communications Solution Director covering solution positioning, business development and go-to-market strategies for the European theater. He has extensive knowledge of many facets of the IT industry through his experience working for consulting firms, vendors and IT and telecom service providers.

Stephane has been with Orange Business in Amsterdam since 2008 and has engaged in several service incubation and business development programs for security, consulting, enterprise application management, and in the last three years, unified communications.