Right now, enterprise collaboration strategies are being relied on more than ever.

They’re also under serious scrutiny.

As business leaders and technology executives examine their collaboration investments, they’re seeking ways to ensure performance, streamline the user experience, and improve security.

But they’re finding something else, too: the financial realities of their collaboration strategy. Many see costs that are inflated beyond their expectations.

To shed light on the causes of these costs, let’s examine some of the key trends our Cisco Performance IT team sees as they assess collaboration architectures in the field.

Factors contributing to high enterprise collaboration costs

A critical inefficiency that our team observes in the field is the failure to leverage networking investments to enable voice communications. By not taking advantage of the opportunity, many organizations end up overpaying for voice circuits and PSTN connectivity that they no longer truly require.

For example, a high relative spend (i.e. greater than 35% of collaboration budgets) on dedicated PSTN/voice circuits is often an indicator of low adoption of VoIP for voice communication needs. Organizations spending significantly on PSTN connectivity costs could likely improve their financial picture by leveraging networking investments to enable voice communications instead.

In that same vein, using PSTN connectivity rather than VoIP connections for conference calls and meetings also inflates costs. Relying on network-based methods for these essential business functions is often a more efficient use of funds—and offers a simpler, more robust user experience, too.

Meanwhile, increasing or flat capital expenses tend to suggest an over-reliance on physical endpoints, or the slow adoption of a mixed hardware/software endpoint approach. Collaboration capital expenses that exceed 15% of an organization’s total collaboration spend often indicate that an organization is over-spending on endpoints.

Finally, we often observe inefficient operating models that result from a fragmented collaboration architecture. These typically exhibit a large spend on staffing, contract labor, and managed services per each knowledge worker supported and are driven by a siloed operational model.

Segmented teams for voice, video, chat, and other functionality areas can also increase staffing needs artificially. Inconsistencies across global operating procedures for collaboration tools often lead to less-than-ideal workflows and higher costs.

A proven way to optimize your collaboration spend

Cisco Performance IT is a methodology developed to help organizations optimize and streamline their collaboration investments while also ensuring an ideal end-user experience.

It’s a proven approach to IT modernization that has helped many of our customers achieve network, collaboration, and data center transformation.

In collaboration engagements, we help enterprise companies consolidate legacy platforms and tools, improve performance, enhance security, streamline the user experience, and transition to a more flexible operating model.

Our experts examine the existing strategy and make recommendations to remedy inefficiencies and increase performance. Improvements to operational and technological efficiency significantly offset the costs of any required investments.

We also provide a roadmap for transformation alongside a financial justification.

Using Cisco Performance IT, our customers have transformed their collaboration strategy and realized results such as:

  • Self-funded transformation: Lower future operating costs below current-day costs with new, more efficient collaboration infrastructure.
  • Business growth transformation: Reduce the collaboration spend growth rate compared to overall business growth.
  • Cost-out transformation: Minimize hard costs through asset reduction and simplification to lower collaboration run rate costs.

To learn more about how enterprise collaboration strategies can benefit from Cisco Performance IT, a great place to start is our eBook: Destination Collaboration: An Executive’s Guide to Optimizing Investments and Maximizing Productivity.


Ian Rutherford

Vice President

Cisco Performance IT