Deploying SharePoint is like buying a cheap printer at your local computer store. The low sticker price might tempt you, but once you buy the print cartridges and other peripherals, the costs quickly mount up. And it turns out that discount printer isn’t as easy to use as the sales guy promised either.

SharePoint requirements lead to skyrocketing costs. Take SharePoint administration, for instance. Managing SharePoint often requires specialist training, and in many instances, dedicated operational staff. SharePoint touches many points in an IT business—the network, security, databases and desktop—so the number of support staff can quickly spiral too. Then you have to factor in help desk staff to support external users, and content managers to maintain and secure the individual team sites.

People aren’t the only cost. SharePoint requirements push up the overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) too. Let’s start with licensing. Let’s assume you procured SharePoint as part of an Enterprise Agreement, that you purchased SQL Server using the ‘per processor/core’ model and you are using the complete Microsoft stack of solutions: Forefront for SharePoint (for anti-virus) and Unified Access Gateway (for publishing SharePoint outside your firewall).

Internal user software licensing cost = Number of Internal Users* (cost of the Microsoft Core CAL Suite + cost of UAG CAL + cost of anti-virus) + (cost of SQL Server per proc * number of SQL procs) + cost of Windows Server * number of SharePoint Servers and number of SQL Servers) + (cost of SharePoint Server * number of SharePoint Servers) + (cost of backup solution * number of SharePoint servers).

Now, you also need to factor in the cost of external users. External users cannot be covered by an Enterprise Agreement’s Core CAL, therefore we need to break the SharePoint requirements down into their component parts:

External user software licensing cost = Number of External Users * (cost of Windows Server CAL + cost of SharePoint CAL + cost of UAG CAL).

To enable parity with cloud services that include the price of service updates in the total cost, SharePoint requirements should include Microsoft’s Software Assurance (maintenance) cost. This is already included within an Enterprise Agreement, but you’ll need to know how much of your overall licensing cost is for SA vs. the capital licensing cost—typically 30% over 3 years. Additionally, licensing such as the anti-virus solution is a subscription cost and should be calculated as an operating expenditure (OPEX).

Let’s not forget the SharePoint hardware requirements. The popular and realistic HP SharePoint Sizer model defaults to the more expensive blade option and tends to bias a storage area network-based solution over directly-attached storage and other options that may artificially inflate your (already high) costs.

Other SharePoint requirements easily overlooked are power and cooling. The power can be calculated by multiplying your server wattage by your kW/h price for the entire year. As a rule of thumb for cooling costs, you can simply double your power cost.

It’s difficult to keep your cool in the face of all these SharePoint requirements.

So why not make it easier for yourself? Rather than the long list of SharePoint requirements, a cloud platform like Huddle gives you easy, secure cross-firewall collaboration for a fraction of the cost of SharePoint. No people administration costs because it’s so easy to deploy and use; no upfront licensing and capital expenditure; and no on-premise infrastructure costs either.

Just collaboration—pure and simple.

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