Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Challenges to Enterprise Adoption of Multi-Tenant Messaging Services

Mid-Large Enterprises, typically defined as circa 3,000 to 20,000 employee’s, face a common and well defined set of challenges when it comes to evolving their messaging delivery model from a traditional in-house approach to an outsourced model delivered by a service provider. Enterprises of this size are typically fluid in size and shape, geographically dispersed, and operate a set of processes and procedures with clear demarcations of responsibility and accountability.

Multi-tenant services provide a good economic alternative to in-house messaging delivery, but are more suited to the sub 500 user market segment than for Enterprise customers due to the limited ability of multi-tenant environments to accommodate the needs of Enterprise requirements for:

Merger & Acquisitions (Complex Active Directory structures, Multiple Domains, Multiple Global Address Lists)
Geography (User Access, Data Jurisdiction)
Compliance (E-Discovery, Data Retention, Policy Enforcement)
Security (Authentication, Encryption, Permissions)
Business Continuity Planning (including Disaster Recovery)
Availability & Performance Monitoring and Reporting
Application & Data Dependencies (Integration, Migration)
Bespoke Billing

Enterprise organisations will undertake detailed Risk Management exercises and are naturally wary of the complexities and dependencies unique to their business which frequently do not lend themselves to a on-size fits all service. The challenges described above mean that multi-tenant services are not yet mature enough to deliver against Enterprise requirements. Further, widespread adoption and market penetration of multi-tenant is not apparent leaving only the avant-garde CIO to adopt this service delivery model as a mechanism to satisfy Enterprise messaging requirements.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

In-House Delivery Model for Messaging: The Total Cost of Ownership


Email is the most visible and widely used application within Enterprise organisations and is often used as the barometer for IT capability and service performance by end-users.
However, Email is no longer just Email. Instead, Email is an entire Eco-system of inter-related services spanning areas such security, compliance, end-user mobility, and service continuity.
To compound complexity, Enterprises are increasingly reliant on email, infrastructure is often distributed over national and international geographies with each region operating its own localised service typically shares sharing minimal commonality with other geographies and operating their own localised processes.  


Understanding the true total cost of owning and operating the Email Eco-system via an internal service delivery model can be challenging.
Forrester estimates the true cost to be around £15 per mailbox per month for a single site deployment that excludes long term archiving, service continuity (multi-site resilience) and e-discovery. This extra capability is estimated at a further £10 per mailbox per month.
Our experience at Cable&Wireless has yielded similar cost profiles in our customer base supporting Forrester’s TCO figures. For example, an IT function with 5,000 mailboxes demonstrated DIY costs of between £12.75 and £14.50 per mailbox per month. 

TCO Components

In order to fully understand the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of an Email Eco-system, there are a number of tangible cost components to consider.
Tangible costs are those costs that can fully or partially apportion directly to the provision of Email services. They typically fall under the following headings:
  • Staff Costs
  • Environment Costs
  • Solution Infrastructure Costs
  • Solution Software Costs & Licensing
  • Connectivity Costs
  • Service Management Costs
  • Finance Costs
  • In-Life Upgrade & Refresh Costs

Intangible Costs, although not measurable are also worth considering in any TCO model to ensure a fair and complete exercise is completed. These include:
  • Opportunity Cost - what else could IT resource deliver if they were not focused on delivering commodity email services
  • End-Users - can end-users communicate and function more productively, with higher levels of satisfaction
  • Perception of IT - can the profile of an IT function be improved by delivering a better service and gain support for additional IT transformation projects