UC journey begins with three steps

May 31, 2018
Tom Mangan

You see the potential of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to transform your business. A single cloud-based platform for voice, video, and text communications enables all of your people to connect on any Internet-connected device at any time, in any location. The same applies to collaborations with your vendors and suppliers.

Whether you have a legacy PBX system or an on-premises UC platform, you need a comprehensive plan to migrate your communications to the cloud. It’s an intricate process with dozens of interrelated parts that must be configured to work in unison.

Indeed, the complexity of the transition creates a strong argument for partnering with a UCaaS provider to coordinate the move and manage all the new technology after implementation.

Planning your move starts with three principal stages: A system audit, an assessment of investment opportunities, and business preparations. Here’s a quick look at all three:

Stage 1: Audit your current communications system

It’s critical to avoid disruptions when your new system goes live. Therefore, you must document every current feature, application, device, and hardware component. The audit looks for things including:

  • Phone lines and extensions
  • Contact information
  • CRM system integration
  • High-demand services that people use every day
  • Low-demand services that you might not have to migrate
  • Employees’ mobile devices and numbers
  • User profiles, including permissions and log-in credentials

Be sure to review the location of every piece of equipment. You need an accurate inventory of what you have and where you have it.

Your audit will vary widely depending on the type of migration. If you’re transitioning from an antiquated PBX system, your audit could be a reasonably simple assessment of current hardware and services.

If, however, you’re migrating to an enterprise UC system to the cloud, you’ll have to ensure that a vast assortment of services, software, and devices dovetail successfully. That’s a much bigger job that typically requires the services of an experienced UCaaS provider like CBTS.

Stage 2: Identify investment opportunities

UCaaS presents a wealth of choices that you must assess carefully to identify the most lucrative opportunities. Popular UC services include:

  • Video conferencing. Video can unlock limitless collaboration and customer service opportunities for your organization.
  • Collaboration tools. App-centric services that allow teams to meet, message, call, whiteboard, and share.
  • Contact center. If your current customer support system is overwhelmed, you may need advanced contact center features to help more customers and ease the strain on your staff.
  • If you need to know the physical location of staff members, then presence capability can enable it.
  • Every device is a network endpoint that generates data. Every app provides further insights. Software to visualize all these data sources can help you figure out who is generating the most sales and which support calls leave customers the most satisfied, for instance.

You may feel like a kid in a candy store if you’re new to UC. It’s important to understand that each app, feature, and device has pros and cons; you must establish priorities for the services that seem most promising. Perform a cost-benefit analysis of different features.

Stage 3: Prepare your business

Launching a new phone system can generate chaos across your business. You don’t want your executives fumbling through new features in front of prospective clients. And, of course, you want the transition to be invisible to customers. Keep the following in mind:

  • A cloud migration is the ideal time to replace or refresh equipment that’s been online a few years.
  • A phased implementation can help work out the bugs with a minimum of risk. Start with departments or divisions where downtime and confusion have less serious consequences.
  • Test your system thoroughly in advance and try to replicate the migration process as closely as possible.
  • Get early stakeholder buy in. If executives and supervisors start preparing their team early for the transition, there should be less confusion and chaos when the transition day arrives.
  • Thoroughly train all employees. The more people know about the system before it goes live, the fewer problems you’ll have.
  • Provide thorough documentation. When processes and techniques are written down, there’s less risk of problems ensuing because a crucial person is on vacation or has left the company.
  • Inform vendors and suppliers. Take time to determine how you can integrate your UC system with their systems.

Your migration will have iterations. You can’t anticipate every problem or please every customer during the transition. But careful planning and preparation can anticipate and eliminate most problems.

With UCaaS, you’ll never go it alone

Running UC in the cloud requires in-depth training, experience, and certifications across a broad range of technologies and disciplines. That’s more trouble than a lot of companies want to embrace.

These complications underscore the appeal of UCaaS from CBTS: Our experts decode all the details and make everything assimilate so your employees, customers, partners, and vendors enjoy seamless digital communications. And it doesn’t end at implementation—CBTS stays with you every step of the way through management, maintenance, and 24x7x365 support.

Download our free eGuide to start your journey today.

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