More with less: supporting the expansion of Unified Communications

More with less: supporting the expansion of Unified Communications

Any discussion of unified communications begins by looking at the struggles IT organizations face today, says Wiam Girgis, Softchoice Senior Solutions Architect.

That’s because, he notes, unified communications solutions—the integration of voice, video, mobility and presence services across endpoints, devices, and applications—are helping organizations to overcome some of today’s most significant challenges, in particular doing more with less.

“Many organizations are trying to expand their business while containing or reducing expenses,” he notes. “Many businesses have remote workers or are looking to expand customer service across multiple geographic locations, so the need for unified communications becomes more important.”

And, like compute and storage, organizations are moving communications to the cloud to seek flexibility and efficiency. Because of this, Girgis adds, “Businesses are finding appeal in solutions that take their communications far beyond the dial tone.”

This blog is part of a three-part Cisco ‘Ask an Expert’ series that looks at how hybrid IT is influencing the technology topics of the network, data center, and unified communications. We discuss with Girgis the benefits of unified communications, but also look at the challenges organizations face around successfully deploying unified communications (UC) solutions on their networks.

[Read more…]

If You Aren’t 100% Virtualized, You’re Missing Out

Softchoice at VMWare Partner Exchange 2013

The Softchoice team recently wrapped up the week at VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) and one thing was clear: many companies are still lagging behind in their virtualization efforts. In my opinion, this is a big problem. You should be 100% virtualized.

Let start with the why

First (and always first) lets look at dollars. VMware shared a study of a Fortune 100 enterprise they completed with McKinsey & Company. The question that was asked: how much could you save by running your current IT Operations with virtualization and all the modern tools and were not held back by your current legacy systems. The answer? 70% savings in CAPEX and 50% savings in OPEX.

And if that’s not compelling enough, read on for an even more compelling reason you should be 100% virtualized.

[Read more…]

To Microsoft or Cisco? That is the (UC) question

At the risk of oversimplifying, one of the biggest points of contention when it comes to deploying or expanding a unified communications (UC) solution comes down to a question of direction: Which way should you go: Microsoft or Cisco – or both?

At Softchoice, we believe you can’t make technology decisions without a solid understanding of where you are today and where you want to go. Whether you do this yourself, or leverage our expertise in this area, we believe the answer is using an assessment-led process to determine the ideal technological approach.

Specifically, selecting the right vendor for a unified collaboration platform involves a navigating a confusing path of what you already have implemented, how much of it you have rolled out, what you have rights to (from a Microsoft standpoint) and a host of other non-quantitative considerations, such as brand relationships, existing skill sets in your organization and end-user preference.

Whether an organization is currently set up as a Microsoft or a Cisco shop, or has a mix of both, each will have its own needs and each will be required to take a deep look to determine the best path forward.

[Read more…]