If your organization is in the planning stages of a unified communications & collaboration (UC&C) migration and is nearing the execution phase, now is a great time to take a brief pause to consider if you have checked all the most important items off your migration to-do list.

  • Have you thoroughly vetted all the available vendors and solutions and chosen one that is right for your organization?
  • Do you have the in-house expertise to handle the migration end-to-end, or do you need a partner to support you?
  • Will you be looking at a UCaaS model or staying on-premises?
  • Do you have an adoption plan in place?

While these are all critical questions to answer, often times organizations—and even experienced IT leaders—will forget to address another one other crucial questions:

  • Will my current telecom infrastructure support this migration?

Let’s look at a few examples of how not addressing carrier-related issues can cause problems during a UC&C migration. During a UC&C migration, often times organizations will look to move from primary rate interface (PRI) to session internet protocol (SIP) to increase scalability and enable greater mobility. Moving to SIP during a migration makes plenty of sense, but when an organization makes this decision, it must be sure that it has circuits that will support that move to SIP.

It is critically important that IT leaders know what their carrier infrastructure can support, because solution design may be dictated by those capabilities. Failing to account for circuit capabilities or bandwidth requirements for QoS, for example, can cause major project delays, cost overrun and ultimately a less-than-satisfactory user experience.

During a migration, organizations also must consider the impact telecom can have on disaster recovery and reliability as it relates to UC&C. For instance, some carriers enable failover to a separate network, while others do not. Data is also important to consider for a UC&C migration, because the new platform’s upfront and ongoing cost can be much more effectively controlled by ensuring both voice and data components run on the same circuits. In other words, organizations must begin to look at data and voice as interconnected.

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Like most business initiatives, one of the most important ways to ensure success is to guard against working in silos. So if your organization has separate departments for IT and telecom, make sure they are crossed-trained for a migration project. If you are bringing in outside expertise, make sure you have a project manager to hold all the stakeholders accountable and ensure they are collaborating. After all, you only get one chance to have a project go right the first time.