At Voicecon 2009 in Orlando last week, Microsoft’s Gurdeep Singh Pall, vice president of the unified communications group, pointed out that the desk phone is a ‘dead man walking’. Organizations spend an average of $300 per phone, plus the additional cost of running the necessary cabling and jacks to each desk and the power consumption of having the phones plugged in. For one or two users it may not be a big deal, but for organizations with 500, or 5,000, or 50,000 users the cost adds up quickly.
Microsoft Unified Communications, and using Microsoft Office Communicator to replace the desk phone, enables organizations to eliminate those costs. The computer is already there. It is already plugged in. It already has the necessary cables and connectivity installed. It can perform the same functions as the desk phone and then some, so it is a redundant waste of money to have a phone sitting there next to the computer.
Pall also described some success stories around Microsoft Office Communications Server including Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom. According to this Network World article, Swisscom’s head of collaboration services, Andreas Arrigoni said “The software helped shorten sales cycles by 20% and freed up 20 minutes per person per day with efficiencies that left time to do more work.” He then added “The system also supports federated presence so workers at Swisscom can see whether individuals at partner companies are available and by what means.”
RIP desk phone. It has been nice knowing you.