As cloud technology continues to advance, more and more business operations are migrated over onto the cloud, leading to significant growth in the cloud communications (UCaaS) market in recent years.
Gartner, in its recent UCaaS Magic Quadrant report, predicted that by 2021, 90% of IT leaders will not purchase any new premises-based Unified Communications (UC) infrastructure. Of course, any migration involving your business communications is going to be complicated.
Christopher May of nojitter.com thoroughly lays out everything that needs to be accounted for during a migration, including “multiple applications (voice, messaging, presence/IM, voice/Web/video conferencing, workstream collaboration, document sharing, etc.), multiple devices and numbers (desk, soft, mobile, personal, home office, etc.), various features (voice alone has more than 200 features) and numerous settings and preferences for each function.”
On top of migrating each application, the data stored in each application needs to be migrated too. A UCaaS migration isn’t an easy process, and each requires thorough preparation and a sound execution strategy.
Let’s take a look at where migrations tend to go wrong and how to use data to back up your process.
Solving Data Transfer Issues
According to May, manual UC migrations typically result in 8% to 9% error rates. Errors usually occur during the transfer of data to the new system, which can take time and is prone to human data input mistakes. This is hard to avoid during a traditional changeover process, which is why the industry is looking for solutions.
One approach that is looking increasingly promising is big data and automation.
By removing the need for manual data input and spreadsheets, the UC migration process is significantly improved. Per May’s article, here’s how the technology works:
- Automatically discover and extract the legacy user/phone data (based on standard vendor templates and key design criteria) to ensure that only the necessary, live, phone settings are retrieved (i.e., avoids a single “dump” of data from the legacy PBX)
- Clean and normalize the data against multiple secondary data feeds (e.g., accurate user/number data from Active Directory) that can be automatically cross-referenced with the PBX data; collating messaging data; etc.
- Upgrade the data using big data “kettle” transforms (i.e., applying business logic, based on business criteria) to re-create the advanced UC-ready data automatically
- Validate the data before and during loading into the UCaaS platform (again, applying vendor templates to the data)
- Automatically test the newly loaded platform to ensure that calls can be made successfully
The promise of big data and migration automation is exciting. The technology is poised to remove many headaches from the process, but UCaaS migration automation doesn’t just eliminate errors from the changeover process; it makes the whole process straightforward and easier to manage.
Big Overall Improvements
What other promised benefits does this big data and migration automation hold for businesses? May shares in his article how the technology will improve almost every aspect of a communications migration to the cloud, including:
- Faster migrations due to less required effort to prepare an organization for the move
- Error rates less than 1%
- Reduced odds of disruption to services post-migration
- The option to significantly improve your system’s base design
And then May notes the benefits from automating the UCaaS migration, including:
- Cost savings as low as 50%
- End-users are much less likely to notice the migration and do not have to re-populate their personalized settings
- Higher adoption rates
- UCaaS providers will now have the ability to differentiate on migrations
When deciding to move your communications to the cloud, the process of implementing the solution can often be overlooked. Finally deciding which solution you need is exciting, but there’s still a long way to go. Automation is encouraging and should be considered before you decide to move your communications to the cloud.
One way to make sure your UCaaS migration goes off without a hitch is to work with a telecommunications consultant. Bandwidth Simplified take on all the responsibility of finding your business a solution that makes sense and getting it implemented into your system effectively. Learn more about how we can help with your migration here.