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Does moving to unified communications always have to cost so much? We don’t think so…

Twitter: @brdavies

We hear all the time about how the Internet, mobile devices and apps are rapidly changing the way employees and consumers communicate. At the same time, the enterprises we talk to discuss how difficult it is to satisfy these communication needs because they are required to maintain their extensive base of legacy Private Branch Exchanges (PBXs).

According to a Gartner study, the cost of providing enterprise communications is over USD 600 USD per employee per year, and this number is steadily increasing.1 With this in mind, enterprises are looking for ways to reduce communications infrastructure expenses while enabling a host of new applications.

Challenging current UC costs


When enterprises transition to VoIP and then Unified Communications (UC), many invest in a bundle offered by one of the UC mega vendors. These bundles are initially attractive compared to integrating best-of-breed solutions, but they come with strings attached.

For example, these bundles don’t employ best of breed technology in every possible area, so enterprises are forced to fill gaps arising from their specific needs with 3rd party solutions – incurring some of the very integration costs they were trying to avoid. Also, some of these vendors require the enterprise to purchase all of the surrounding equipment from them alone (e.g. handsets and gateways),  thus locking them into that vendor’s ecosystem – at premium prices. These issues can be compounded if the business has grown through acquisition, or when departments have differing communication needs, or when customization or branding is required on communication-enabled assets.

Enterprise leaders have told us that when other vendors discuss savings measures, they typically propose a solution that ends up costing more. The extra costs can be hidden in the form of a more expensive subscription service, or a bundle with significant UC and up-scopes.Transitioning to a monolithic, all-in-one replacement offer invariably costs more than the enterprise’s current voice networking budget, regardless of what form that solution takes.

Cloud technology will transform enterprise communications

Enterprises looking to consolidate and modernize the UC legacy require more innovative approaches than are offered by the current set of big UC vendors. To meet today’s communication needs, they need an open, cloud-based platform that does everything the legacy did but also adapts to new technology advances – so that similar legacy problems can be avoided. This initial transition must be done without increasing costs; however, IT organizations simply can’t acquire additional budget to replace one system with another that does the same thing – even if it is based on cloud technology.

The Nokia Rapport Enterprise Communications platform is one such solution that allows for replacement of the legacy PBX infrastructure with a new, open platform within the current PBX maintenance budget. Nokia Rapport natively runs on a cloud infrastructure and encourages integration with best-of-breed applications from third party providers. It uses a common communications back-end that collapses multiple silos of technology, allowing the existing legacy systems to be retired while reusing key investments with the new system – such as existing desk phones. Nokia Rapport is a new way of deploying enteprise communications – highly customizable and designed for integration by implementing a wide variety of APIs, SDKs, and snap-in services.

With an open communications platform, the enterprise IT can pick and choose desired features, and also offer compelling and targeted solutions for line-of-business departments. Enterprises can modernize while keeping their business processes intact during the transition with this simpler, more cost-efficient UC infrastructure.

New whitepaper

To see how this transition is possible with Nokia Rapport, read more about the business case for communications transformation in large enterprises in our whitepaper here.

1 Gartner, “IT Key Metrics Data 2016: Key Infrastructure Measures: Voice Network Analysis: Current Year”, December 14, 2015

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #NokiaRapport #UC #UCC

Bryan R. Davies

About Bryan R. Davies

Bryan supports Nokia’s 4G and 5G core portfolio marketing programs. Over his 35-year career in the telecom industry, he has held a variety of roles helping to design the first soft switch systems, architect IMS networks, lead international technical sales teams, and now help to envision and explain the industry’s 5G future.

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