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IBM Attrition Scenarios The information in this section has been gathered through my hands-on experience with customers who have decided to move from IBM Sametime to the Microsoft UC platform based on scenarios that factor in cost, functionality, and feature set. The purpose of offering this information here is to provide you with some leverage when caught in a competitive selling situation. Cost Comparisons The question of cost as its related to software licenses of IBM Sametime or Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 and Office Communicator 2005, surprisingly enough, has not been a primary concern with the enterprise and federal organizations that I have worked with. More often than not, customers have analyzed the technical infrastructure and support costs that are incurred by supporting either application. The defining factor in infrastructure costs that does tend to tilt customers toward the Microsoft solution is the enormous capacity of users that a Microsoft server can support up to 15,000 users using the Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 Standard Edition version, and up to 100,000 users per pool using the Enterprise Edition version of the software. As a case study, one enterprise customer I worked with, who was one of the largest IBM customers in the world, had 11 servers running with IBM Lotus Domino supporting 55,000 users. The server count has been reduced to five servers running Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 Enterprise Edition, and supports 100,000 users. These costs add up in terms of the physical cost of each server, as well as the cost for supporting each server. The customers I have worked with use outsourced network support and in some cases pay up to $15,000 per month just for patch cable management. Needless to say, these support costs add up and affect the bottom line of the overall cost of the chosen solution. To attract new customers, Microsoft created early adopter cost savings programs for their licenses, which proved to be successful. Along with the features and functionality provided with the Microsoft solution, these price discounts were almost impossible to turn down. As an additional strategy to make the costs for Microsoft UC software licenses even more attractive, Microsoft included the licenses via a customer s existing Enterprise Agreement. This strategy enabled easier transition in terms of initial costs and future upgrade costs. In response, IBM, because of the increased attraction, in some cases began throwing their software at customers in hopes of retaining them, which underscored IBM s understanding that they were losing market presence in this area. Actual costs have been measured, and in some cases the cost of supporting and deploying the Microsoft UC solution is one-third of the cost of IBM s Sametime environment. This includes license costs. The following table compares the estimated costs to two customers who have migrated from IBM Sametime to Microsoft Live Communications Server: Customer IBM Licenses Costs Microsoft Licenses Costs Server Consolidation Numbers Enterprise 55K licenses at $1.5M 100K licenses at $1M 11 IBM to 5 Microsoft Commercial Enterprise 100K licenses at $3M 100K licenses at $1M 20 IBM to 9 Microsoft Federal Note: Due to confidentiality agreements, exact dollar amounts and organization names are not displayed. 43 Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 in the Enterprise
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