Communications Blog • 8 MIN READ

How to Completely Ruin your UC Cloud Migration

Skip Chilcott

Written by Skip Chilcott

With the launch of our UC Cloud Migration Checklist identifying the best practice steps to follow to have a successful UC move to the cloud we looked at the biggest pitfalls companies fall into that can ruin an otherwise smooth transition.  
Click here to download our UC cloud migration checklist.  

Moving Everything to the Cloud, Forgetting the Value of Hybrid

Moving everything to the cloud on principal is a mistake, however that's not to say you shouldn't move everything. By thinking “we're moving everything to the cloud” you're failing to recognize the intricacies of individual applications, some of which, may not be suited to move to the cloud or it would make more sense to keep on-premises. Adapting a hybrid approach when moving unified communications to the cloud is a smart move. Evaluate your applications individually, make the right decision for each one and pay attention to movement of applications that may affect compliance, governance and security issues. You're not driving bulldozer, so don't act like you are. 

Neither Assessing nor Testing UC Environments 

Assessing the performance of your UC environment before making any changes will lay down a benchmark for the minimum performance requirements of your new environment. Testing will identify the quality, availability and readiness of your environment which is critical for success. Have you got enough bandwidth to handle all your unified communications channels if they transition to the cloud? 

“Don't test for just one call. Test for hundreds of calls simultaneously using different modalities: audio, video, and content sharing to see where the breaking points are.” – John Dunne, Chief Solutions Officer, IR.
This pitfall has many dimensions; you need to test for usage today and for the future, when you add headcount and channels such as web conferencing and more collaboration tools. Failing to test sufficiently will get you in hot water before you time to boil a kettle so avoid the hardship and build network assessment and testing into your plan.  

Overlooking Security Concerns  

The cloud has improved its reputation on the security front but there are still different and new risks associated, in particular with public cloud services. The nature of multi-tenant environment, like the cloud, means that video, voice, data etc. from numerous customers are going through the same channels at the same time which can leave gaps for protecting data. This will be new for organizations coming from a corporate virtual private network. Ask your provider how they are maintaining their compliance.  

Solely Following Tactical Plans for UC Cloud Migration 

It's like getting into an Uber with 4 people and only telling the driver where one person wants to go, when everyone wants to go to different places. If you wait until after the first person gets out to say where the next person wants to go you can end up zig zagging across a city wasting both time and money whilst also frustrating everyone involved. Operational and tactical plans keep the project moving but without a long-term strategic roadmap you're driving haphazardly. You need a strategy that supports a broad set of vendors in your journey to the cloud. Most organizations today are not on a single unified communications platform, they're on disparate platforms from many UC vendors: strategic planning needs to be inclusive of a joined-up approach.  

Dodging Homework (Failing to Research Cloud Technology) 

There are many variables when it comes to cloud migration and no two UC cloud migrations are the same. A company needs to assess their IT infrastructure, network, the goals of the migration and estimate the day-to-day usage when its complete. These factors will contribute to deciding on what cloud technology and platforms to use. If you fail to do the proper research your chances of a successful migration plummet.  

Moving too Fast - Gradual Migration is Better 

A good way to tackle it is to begin by moving team by team, branch by branch. After the first few you should be able to become more efficient and have issues resolved before they erupt.  A gradual approach lets users get familiar with the new system without experiencing network disruptions, which could lead to reduced productivity. Slow and steady wins the race.  

Not Proactively Monitoring Ongoing Performance and Quality  

It's not uncommon for businesses to run into issues even after extensive testing and a successful deployment.  
“When you proactively monitor the quality and performance of conferences and calls, you put yourself in position to troubleshoot issues and isolate problems before the user experience is significantly impacted.” - John Dunne, Chief Solutions Officer, IR.  
If you're working in a hybrid environment with multiple vendors you need to be able to get data from various sources and put it together to monitor and resolve problems fast. Faster identification and resolution equips your team better to ensure an efficient workforce and a positive user experience is maintained. 

Presuming all Cloud Platforms are the Same 

All clouds are not the same. The first decision to make is whether you choose a private cloud or a public cloud. The choice usually depends on security, performance and price. Private clouds have the advantage of being more flexible with customizable control but have the disadvantage of not being as easy to scale. Public cloud environments are shared with other customers but have vigorous encryption applied to the data as well as an enterprise-class firewall. Or you could choose a hybrid approach. Whatever you do, don't aimlessly select one on the assumption it will suit your needs.  

Disregarding Cloud Geography 

The location where your cloud is hosted can have implications, including data sovereignty challenges. Data sovereignty is the maintenance of control over the location where regulated data physically resides. Privacy and data sovereignty requirements vary by country and companies need to consider the regulations that cover each of the jurisdictions they operate in as well as the laws that govern the treatment of data at the locations where the cloud service providers provision their services (e.g., their data centers). 
Before migrating check all cloud architecture options with potential providers. A multi-national company with offices globally might benefit from applications being hosted closer to end-points. Organizations may want to restrict the use of some apps to certain countries. 

Migrating without a Business Continuity Plan 

In the event of an emergency or an unplanned interruption to normal operations an organization's business continuity plan should kick in place to provide minimum acceptable level of service during and immediately after the event. Improving business continuity at a low-cost point is one of the arguments for moving anything to the cloud. Traditional approaches to business continuity can be cumbersome and expensive to maintain requiring the IT team to have a complete set of hardware that mirrors the existing. Cloud-based unified communications enable secure access via any device. 
However, before you migrate you can't rely on a cloud-based continuity plan, you must ensure that your existing one is still fit for purpose. If something goes wrong in migration or an emergency occurs before migration is complete you'll need to switch over to it. If overseen you'll face harsh criticism from colleagues over reckless migration. 

Underestimating Resources Required 

Successful cloud migration requires manpower, expertise and budget. Accurate estimation will help deliver the project on time and under budget. Having the correct expertise both in-house and with external partners will ensure the functional operations meet intended design.

Assuming all your Applications are Cloud-Enabled 

Any UC environment will have connected applications. If you move the UC to the cloud these applications will have to be adjusted to work in the new cloud environment however what some companies fail to realize is that not all applications are cloud enabled. Furthermore, forgetting to the adjust the applications, even if they are cloud-enabled, is equally as ill-advised.  
So now you know what NOT to do, to find out what you should do when migrating unified communications to the cloud download our UC cloud migration checklist here. 

Topics: Communications

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