The migration of unified communications (UC) to the cloud is a recent trend that’s quickly building momentum among organizations. A recent survey predicts a sharp increase in UC market penetration, from 7 percent of the overall UC space today to a whopping 41 percent by 2020. With the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market quickly moving into the mainstream, even small enterprises are taking careful steps towards transitioning to the cloud.
Nevertheless, there are still concerns from many IT teams about the potential risks of migrating to the cloud. Some wonder if the move will negatively impact the quality of the UC experience. Not only must companies be concerned about internal network performance, but there’s also the ISP’s network and the public Internet to worry about.
The potential for costly performance missteps is what makes moving UC to the cloud an exceptional challenge for many organizations. Fortunately, there are several best practices that businesses can follow when it comes time to transition UC to the cloud.
Assess and Test Throughout the Migration
To ensure overall readiness and quality, it’s essential to assess and test the network environment at all junctures of the migration process:
- Assess where the company lies in terms of performance and create benchmarks to provide a marker for quality maintenance.
- Investigate potential breaking points through comprehensive testing of all current modalities.
- Test for future usage patterns and the type of usage envisioned for the organization.
- Make daily testing a priority, as the network environment is subject to continuous changes.
Consider the Hybrid Approach
There’s nothing wrong with transitioning to the cloud based on a hybrid approach. This allows some systems to be immediately moved to the cloud while others are momentarily run on-premises. Most hybrid UC solutions are capable of plugging into existing on-premises infrastructure and integrating it with cloud services.
Organizations interested in this approach must first determine if their current Internet connection has the capacity required for cloud applications. It’s important for organizations to have a reliable connection that offers the bandwidth and level of service needed to meet their data requirements.
Beware of the Pilot Trap
It’s not unusual to start out with a cloud pilot to see where things go. But a successful pilot with 500 users is not the same as a live cloud environment with an additional 5,000 users and the increased traffic that comes with them. It’s important for organizations to ensure that their ISP has provisioned enough bandwidth to accommodate all potential users.
Take a Proactive Approach Toward Quality and Performance Monitoring
Proactive monitoring of call quality and performance can aid greatly in troubleshooting issues and isolating problems that could significantly impact the user experience. Proactive performance management is also a must when dealing with the hybrid cloud environment, due largely to the number of vendors involved.
Plan for the Long-Term
It’s important for organizations to create a long-term performance management and user experience management strategy. Not only should it support a broad spectrum of vendors during the transition to the cloud, but it should also provide a holistic approach to communications experience management, especially as more of the organization’s UC operations are migrated.
Following the above best practices will ensure that any organization will maintain a strong and robust user experience. Contact us and learn how eXemplify can assist your organization when it comes to unified communications.