You've decided to transition your unified communications to cloud; you've taken all the recommended planning steps to ensure you have your ducks in a row for the delivery and now it's time to press the “Go” button, so what happens now? This blog identifies the roll out steps you should follow to have a successful implementation phase of your UC transition to the cloud journey.
Deploy, Migrate & Roll Out
The Deploy stage covers installing and configuring services, configuring cloud services, testing and stabilizing ready for at scale deployment.
There are several things your team needs to consider when deploying, migrating and rolling out the transition to cloud: licenses, end user IDs, call quality monitoring, cloud PSTN conferencing preparation, cloud PBX preparation, network preparation, VPN considerations, tenant creation, tenant admin model, federation, setup QOS, pilot and meeting broadcast enablement.
- Follow the deployment steps outlined in our cloud migration checklist or a personalized checklist your IT team has created, alternatively Skype for Business' Deployment Checklist is a great template to work from.
- Follow vendor instructions closely to ensure all deployment requirements are met.
- Configure your Call Quality Dashboard to monitor your UC online environment.
- Provision your phones with the cloud UC provider.
Certain dependencies will determine how quickly and well you can get through the deployment phase such as Collaboration Lead/Architect to undertake the activities and engagement from the wider deployment and adoption teams.
Enable Users at Scale
The enable stage covers enabling new UC cloud platform users and migrating on-premises users at scale including initial configuration of voice feature sets.
When deploying at scale it is key to have repeatable, scripted process resulting in a predictable admin and end user experience. Scripting the process eliminates to possibility of forgotten steps and delay while waiting for license assignment to complete.
Create Input Files
Enablement scripts should accept an input file listing target users to automate user licensing, migration, and initial configuration of users for your cloud UC platform.
Run a validation for a small number of users
An input file can provide the flexibility of enabling a range from a single user to a full site of thousands of users.
Run User Enable Script
Once the script is launched, the administrator is then free to continue their other duties while user enablement, migration and initial configuration is performed.
Spot Check User Accounts
Upon script completion, a results file can be audited to ensure success or determine if any follow up action is necessary for users with resulting errors.
Remember that the below must all happen in this stage:
- Assign all necessary licenses to staff.
- Enable users for your chosen UC cloud platform.
- Migrate users from an on-premises deployment.
- Configure default voice features.
- Enable cloud PSTN conferencing.
- Assign PSTN numbers.
Develop Habitual Use
Your roll out approach can impede or accelerate change. If users fail to develop habitual use and recommended practice the benefits of the migration will not be fully realized. We recommend to host a number of workshops with users and teams working on the project to understand how well roll out has went and identify areas that are underutilized so it can be addressed moving forward to improve productivity.
End User Scenario Envisioning Workshop
Is the end user able to use the new system to complete a variety of tasks as they had been envisioned? Can they do so in a timely fashion?
Adoption Success Workshop
Are users relying on the new system 100% of the time? If they aren't, adoption is not complete. Sharing useful tips, tricks and shortcuts for the UC platform, like this one, can help increase usage.
Hosting a session to identify the day-to-day differences, cool new features previously unavailable and time savers such as integration with other tools like Office 365 is a great way to get people's focused attention.
Spot Check User Accounts
It's crucial to spot check user accounts to confirm they are working correctly and to fix any problems if they arise. It will show the team you're proactive and it can give them an informal opportunity to ask questions.
Update User Awareness Materials
Do users have access to resources to help them self-serve their knowledge requirements? Do they know they have access to the materials, locate them and navigate around them?
To summarize the deployment stage of transitioning your unified communications to the cloud involves much more than a well-executed roll out. It will help your organization massively in the Operational Stage if all the above are carried out. If you'd like to learn more about successful migration and adoption of UC migration to the cloud watch our on-demand webinar which looks specifically at successful Skype for Business migration.