IBM and 3Com Chop System i VoIP Software and Support Prices
November 19, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Last week, server maker IBM, which is trying to boost System i sales by peddling Voice over IP software on the box, and 3Com, IBM’s original software partner for this effort and a company that was recently taken private by Bain Capital, announced that they were reducing prices on key software components in the VoIP solution they delivered a little more than a year ago.
The pricing and configuration of the 3Com IP Telephony Suite for System i software stack is about as complex as the genetic code of an paramecium, so figuring out the effect of these price cuts on an overall VoIP setup is not easy. But any price cut is always a good thing for shoppers, and the cuts IBM and 3Com announced last week for software licenses and support contracts are substantial. Take a gander here:
IBM has cut the prices on the EPIC Center Server, which is the heart of the 3Com Telephony Suite for System i, by 36.4 percent to $14,000. (This is presumably a per server and/or a per partition license; IBM’s announcement letters are absolutely vague on this.) The price of support for this server was also cut by 25 percent, to $2,250 for a single year or to $6,244 for three years. The EPIC Center Server license comes with 10 inbound voice EPIC agents and 10 integrated voice response (IVR) application interfaces, which link end user telephones directly into applications. The EPIC agents are bundled in packages of five, and prices on these have been slashed by 44.4 percent to $10,000. Support for these agents was cut by 32.5 percent as well. The IVR functionality is sold based on the number of ports accessing the functionality, and is sold in 4-port bundles. The price of a 4-port IVR license dropped by 33.3 percent to $1,200, and support contracts for this software was cut by 25 percent.