Technology is a tool to help you reach your organization’s goals—nothing more. Often, businesses get caught up in how a new solution can boost productivity and convenience without considering how it aligns with the overall goals of the company. Let your business objectives drive your technology solutions—not the other way around.
That begs the question: How do you approach unified communications (UC) migration and update antiquated technology without spending a fortune or majorly disrupting workflows?
How to Successfully Navigate a UC Migration
Assess your system’s current state
To determine if an upgrade is right for your business, start to assess the current state of your telecommunication infrastructure. Consider the risk of system failure, the business value of the current system, and how ready your company is to accept and benefit from a new UC system. It’s recommended to consider a MSP partner, independent from the major OEM, to help you navigate these difficult waters with your company’s best interest in mind, rather than an arbitrary sales quota met at your expense. The right partner will work with you to assess your unique communication needs and business drivers, as well as the organizational readiness required to successfully design, deploy, and utilize an effective UC program.
Prioritize business drivers
First, identify and prioritize your specific business objectives. Then ask yourself: How can UC be the catalyst to achieve those objectives?
Some common business drivers are the following:
- Lower the cost of building/facility and travel expenses
- Recruit and integrate experts in remote locations
- Increase customer satisfaction with a tech-savvy call center
- Increase sales through an integrate social media marketing strategy
- Lower the cost of doing business through system consolidation
An MSP partner is able to use this process to create a customized UC roadmap that is specific to your business objectives, budget cycle, and timeline.
Design the UC solution
New equipment vendors don’t typically have your company’s business goals at the top of their list. They habitually suggest a “rip-and-replace” strategy—without considering a company’s previous UC investment—which can be both costly and disruptive to your business. An MSP, however, will take a more critical look at the existing infrastructure and invest the time and research needed to design the UC solution that is most beneficial to the customer.
Two common alternatives to the “rip-and-replace” method include:
- Continued maintenance: This choice is common for companies that have determined their business objectives can be met without substantial changes to the existing system.
- Reengineer with reuse: New components are added to your current infrastructure when the existing system provides insufficient functionality need to achieve your company’s goals.
Deployment and controlled rollout
In this stage, it’s advised to select a small group of people or sites for a pilot rollout. The initial feedback from this phase will influence an MSP’s overall strategy and design before deployment to the entire organization. A quality MSP will then form a project team, complete with experienced project managers and engineers, to oversee the entire implementation process, cutover, and remedy any unexpected issues.
Training is the final, key step of deployment. After all, new technology is pretty useless if your team doesn’t understand and use the tools.
Operate and Maintain
When the cutover is complete and the system is in full production mode, your MSP will proactively monitor the health and performance of your system to ensure that it delivers the optimal results to your business.