Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>

Gary Audin | February 12, 2016 |


When and Why to Lease or Buy

When and Why to Lease or Buy A break-down of UC&C hardware and when it makes more sense to buy versus lease.

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.


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.


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.


March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.