When and Why to Lease or Buy
A break-down of UC&C hardware and when it makes more sense to buy versus lease.
What to buy and why depends on the financial situation of the enterprise, whether capex or opex driven. It also depends on the enterprise's reactions to plummeting hardware prices and the rapid obsolescence of technology. The enterprise needs to evaluate each type of hardware separately. You buy some technologies, lease others, or use cloud services. This blog is a continuation to "Why Leasing Makes Sense."What to Buy and When
Not all hardware is a candidate for purchase. The buy decision depends on how long of an operational life the hardware has as well as how soon it will be obsoleted. Another consideration is the migration from legacy to IP connections. If the migration is planned for less than three years, it is probably not a good decision to buy unless the hardware can be repurposed for another location such as moving a gateway from the data center to a remote branch. If this action extends the hardware life beyond three years, a buy decision is better.
Decisions will also depend how much of the hardware is on premises and if a cloud solution is to be used. The following hardware discussion does not cover mobile devices, LAN switches, routers, management systems, or troubleshooting technology. These are a separate blog discussion in their own right.The IP Phone
IP phones come in a variety of models from basic to executive. The IP phone is usually SIP based, which is compatible with the majority of IP PBXs and cloud services. A variation is the Skype for Business IP phone. If the enterprise is using SIP phones but is planning a move to Skype then a dual purpose phone, SIP and Skype, should be purchased. Otherwise the move to Skype may obsolete the SIP-only phone. Most IP phones are well designed and have useful life of several years. IP phones should be a purchase unless the IT staff can argue for a lease, which is unlikely. You will need IP phones whether the UC&C implementation is in the cloud, on premises, or a hybrid solution.Video Endpoint
The same argument for video endpoints can follow the buy justifications for IP phones. Therefore leasing video hardware is difficult to justify. You will need video endpoints whether the UC&C implementation is in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid solution. The buy vs. lease decision process is the same.The Desktop PC
The desktop PC/Mac has its own life cycle, which will probably not be influenced by applying it to UC&C. It can act as an IP phone and a video endpoint. The desktop decision will be independent of the UC&C implementation regardless of whether it is in the cloud, on premises, or a hybrid solution.A Legacy to IP Gateway (Internal and PSTN)
Legacy telecom technology appears to be holding on a lot longer than the pundits predicted. There are two considerations: connecting to internal legacy devices and connecting to the PSTN. Assuming that both legacy connections will disappear, then a getaway should probably be leased -- unless these connections are expected to last more than three years, then the gateway should be purchased. If the gateway is deployed for a cloud connection, then the decision process is the same.
It may be cheaper to continue connecting the internal legacy devices through a gateway when compared to upgrading those devices to be IP compatible. In this case, the gateway should be purchased.
A Session Border Controller (SBC) is the better PSTN connection choice. If the SBC is planned, then the PSTN gateway should be leased.A White Board
The white board hardware will probably have a long life that is extended by software upgrades. This is a good candidate for purchase.Session Border Controller (SBC)
The SBC hardware will probably have a long life, also extended by software upgrades. This is a candidate for purchase. A lease decision may be appropriate if the enterprise will require a considerable capacity (number of SIP sessions) increase in less than three years.Server
The server is a different animal. Server technology eclipses the installed technology in less than three years. This is reason enough to lease servers. Another factor is the software upgrades to IP PBX software. When the IP PBX software is upgraded with new releases, it is not uncommon that the new release demands a more powerful server. In either case, leasing the server is the better decision. If the UC&C implementation is cloud based then there is no need for servers.Storage
UC&C conversations and collaborations come in many forms with email storage becoming a headache. There is also the growing storage of video, white board, chat, and IM files, all of which are increasing in volume. So on-premises storage can be rapidly overwhelmed. Storage systems are dropping in price rapidly while expanding their storage capacity. The price drop is especially true of cloud storage. It may be cheaper to store and archive UC&C files in the cloud and avoid on-premises storage. If on-premises storage is required, then storage systems should be leased.
Learn more about UC&C at Enterprise Connect 2016, March 7 to 10, in Orlando, Fla. View the Unified Communications and Collaboration track sessions; register now using the code NJPOST to receive $200 off the current conference price.