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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cutting Total Cost of Ownership by 50% with a true Enterprise Plug-n-Play at the expense of good ID-Ten-T stories

Summary: When analyzing the total cost of ownership (TCO), it is important to keep in mind that more than 50% of IT cost and resources are usually devoted to support and maintenance. So, an enterprise "plug-n-play" SFTA appliance that eliminates the bulk of support and maintenance expenditures can do magic to your performance numbers!


When an IT manager thinks about implementing a new solution, he takes into account the cost of the entire life cycle – the total cost of ownership (TCO), in other words. There’s the obvious cost of the purchase price to start, but that cost is often dwarfed by support and maintenance expenditures. What’s more, there are often hidden support overhead costs that the IT department does not consider when calculating the TCO of a solution.

According to a Gartner analysis, these hidden costs – for example, non-technical, non-IS personnel attempting to resolve end user computing problems -- can be as much as 24 percent of the entire IS budget. Furthermore, the cost of new technology is not limited to the IT organization because the same report states that end-user time spent on non-job-related PC activities accounts for more than 40 percent of a PC's total cost and more than 50 percent of IT-related expenses are incurred outside the IS organization.

One classic example of a "waste of time” that costs a company money is user time spent freeing up disk space, such as when his email storage has reached its limit and the person must delete or archive messages to be able to use the application again.

Given the extra costs of support, it’s a wonder that companies choose to install new IT solutions at all!

I mention all of these issues with support costs because just the other day, an Accellion customer – the CIO at a large teaching hospital – said he has virtually no support costs associated with the implementation of the Accellion SFTA solution. Ad hoc secure file transfer of very large files used to be a constant source of complaint from his users, but, with SFTA, his Help Desk gets no calls from end users needing to send large files. With the lessened burden on his organization, this is a true case of saving money by spending money.

If you think this is unusual, I will tell you that we hear the same thing regularly from other Accellion customers. For example, Daniel G. Rhodes, IT Director at the law firm of Foley & Lardner, has implemented SFTA to help lawyers and clients exchange files securely without IT intervention, as outlined in this announcement. (And, we all know how time-pressed and hard-to-please attorneys can be.)

With practically no need for technical support, can it be that the Accellion Secure File Transfer Appliance is the first true enterprise "plug and play" solution?

Our customers tell us that they install the appliances, integrate the interface with their directory services, and away they go! Training requirements are minimum, if any, because the solution user interface is intuitive. Support for SFTA has almost become a sinecure because end users don't have questions. I suppose the major drawback of deploying an SFTA is the virtual elimination of good ID-Ten-T errors war stories!



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