Is True TCO Important? By J.R. Simmons

The answer to the first question, apparently, is most of the time.

Total is a very ambitious target. It is very difficult to capture all costs when projecting or comparing -- whether it is for actual proposals in hand or for a general business case. Each unknown variable will impact the accuracy, and at some point the analysis must focus on the cost categories that "move the needle." But labeling a selective life-cycle cost analysis as a "Total Cost of Ownership" is misleading.

A couple of years ago an independent research firm published a report on the TCO for UC. As part of the report description, they identified seven upfront cost categories (Capex) and 21 ongoing cost categories (Opex). However, the same report preamble stated they only looked at five of the upfront cost factors and only seven of the ongoing cost factors. At least they were clear on what was included.

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