Source: Network World
Written By Irwin Lazar
One of the biggest concerns we hear from IT managers planning for UC isn’t technical, rather it’s the complexity in buying licenses for the various UC applications they wish to deploy. Vendors haven’t made it easy. There are various licensing programs; some are tied to hardware, others to software, and many based on a per-user basis, requiring each person to have their own license so licenses can’t be pooled and tied to usage. To address some of these concerns, Cisco last week announced a simplified UC licensing model that removes the linkage between the license and device. “Cisco User Connect License” is based instead on the user, not the device, or type of server. This approach should go a long way toward easing concerns (and reducing complaints) from Cisco’s customers. Competitors such as Avaya and ShoreTel already license based on role or service, with no linkage of endpoint type to license cost. Other vendors are trying varying approaches to slaying the licensing beast.
One startup out of Hong Kong, Deltapath, joins Fonalty in offering flat rate pricing for its IP-PBX. Buy the appliance and attach as many users as the system will support without ever having to buy an end-user license. These approaches are primarily geared to the SMB market, but all of these varying licensing models point to one thing – vendors are finally getting the message from their customers to deliver simpler, and hopefully less costly, pricing models.