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Revolutionize your communications: Migrating to a cloud-based platform

Published: May 23, 2018
Author: Abraham Bendayan

The immense benefits offered by cloud-based unified communications (UC) solutions are widely known. The business transformation made possible by migrating to a fully-featured solutions provider can help you connect your employees and customers, control operating costs, drive productivity and streamline your business processes.

But very few of us look forward to the disruption brought about by transitioning from a legacy phone system to an as-a-service UC solution like Verizon Unified Communications and Collaboration as a Service (UCCaaS)—it’s a complex and challenging process. Especially when you’re migrating a business-critical system that the organization depends on to work reliably.

Adoption of a poorly designed and implemented solution can lead to compromised communications which will have far reaching impacts to both your internal staff and operations, but more importantly, to your customers. In a highly competitive marketplace, a critical misstep can put you well behind your competition—so getting it right the first time is vital.

Prepare for success

Managing the people and processes involved is one of the most important aspects of a successful UC migration.

A successful project begins with meticulous planning and coordination between the customer and the provider’s delivery team. In addition, since employees may be reluctant to embrace the new technology (despite the benefits), it’s important to communicate reasons for the changes and timelines across the organization. Business transformation cannot be successful without the business partners’ involvement in all phases of the project.

Security is another big consideration for organizations migrating to cloud-based UC—whether it’s related to the underlying network, applications or data centers. It’s not unusual to be concerned about migrating to the cloud. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to smooth the process, while maintaining—or even strengthening—data security.

1: Invest in planning

The planning stage of migration is crucial. Investing in this will pay dividends later. Start by developing a comprehensive migration timeline for all sites, including the employees involved and their assigned roles and responsibilities. As part of this process, you will need to conduct thorough site surveys (or have a third party do so). Gathering this information will help you to identify pilot sites that will serve as initial locations. These should represent a cross-section of your organization’s site types, but not be mission-critical to the day-to-day operation of your business.

2: Consider business outcomes

Planning your business objectives is equally important. Think about the specific communications requirements of each site or location. For example, a customer-facing office might require call “hunt groups” or hold music—functions which aren’t needed at your distribution center. This will help your UC provider to identify the most appropriate infrastructure for your site locations.

A UC migration is also a great opportunity to identify any outdated telecom infrastructure your organization no longer needs, such as old devices or orphaned phone lines. By removing these, you can have a direct positive impact on ROI and further justify your migration to the new communications platform.

3: Get the support you need

By choosing a company with complete UC and consulting portfolios like Verizon, you’ll be supported throughout the migration process. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so your provider should create a tailored strategy for your organization, robust guidelines for employees to follow and a dedicated support team. This will help to reduce the impact of migration on your daily operations, and help to maintain your business continuity. Ideally, your provider will also identify realistic timelines considering the scope of work and the objectives you want to achieve.

With the right support and careful preparation, you’ll be able to take any challenges in stride. The fruits of your UC migration will help improve communications and collaboration capabilities and streamline business operations.

At Verizon, we’ve honed our approach to a cloud-based UC migration over many years and thousands of customer sites. If you’re planning a transition to the cloud, our whitepaper provides best practices for migrating to a cloud-based UC solution like UCCaaS. It’s a valuable resource to share with your organization’s communications and IT security specialists. Download the whitepaper here.  

Abraham Bendayan is a Principal Consultant with Verizon Enterprise Services. Abraham has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Florida International University.