Migrating to UCC--Easier than You Think

Communications technology is constantly evolving. A one-size-fits-all technology approach suited the needs for voice communications between employees in an age when the number of buttons and size of the phone was a status symbol. Fast forward to now, where employees have a myriad of options for each communication transaction – traditional to collaborative, landline to mobile, company-provided to consumer. The most empowering organizations focus on the experience of their users and clients, enabling choice.

These Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) solutions:

  • are software driven
  • can involve a single vendor or multiple technologies carefully stitched together, and
  • can include the right mix of mobile, video, and software-based endpoints

However, at the core, many of the same communication building blocks of the past still exist. Specifically, we all have phone numbers so that we can be reached ubiquitously by anyone (sure – additional technologies can layer on top, like WebRTC, SIP URIs, and more). 

When an organization chooses to migrate to a new UCC platform, typically a new underlying phone system is implemented. Although this new system promises to enable the new modern communication experience, the manner by which we get there has remained unchanged in decades.

That is, until now.

Traditional Approaches: Inconvenient, Inflexible, and Inefficient

The traditional approach to a phone system transition can happen in one of two manners:

  • a flash cut, or
  • a migration

A flash cut is quite simple – typically reserved for smaller solutions, the new system is configured and made ready. At that point, all users get moved to this new system in one event. Afterwards, the old system gets removed.

The migration approach can be more complex. It involves integrating the new and old systems, moving users in batches from old to new, and then removing the old system after all of the moves are completed. Moving the users becomes a focal point in the work effort. In most migration situations the following occurs:

  • the vendor and client teams identify EXACTLY what devices are going to be part of a move
  • the user data gets configured into the systems
  • phones get installed in parallel (which can be mobile clients or softphones)
  • the engineers that understand both systems perform a cutover and test over a weekend or evening
  • the old phones get removed during another visit to each workstation

This age-old approach works. We’ve all been conditioned to accept it as the norm, the way consumers accepted the need to rewind VHS cassettes in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s.  This approach of restarting a video still technically works, but is outdated in the world of Blu-ray and Netflix.

Black Box felt it was time to innovate.

bMigrate: Cutting-Edge System Migration

Why not perform cutovers for individual devices? Wouldn’t this reduce a significant amount of the planning, inflexibility, risk, and delay associated with telephony migrations? These are the exact questions that Black Box has answered with its bMigrate approach and software. bMigrate simplifies migration—providing an on-demand method for moving between phone systems by utilizing software automation to perform the migration work predictively. This approach transforms the experience for end users and technical teams alike:

  • the technical teams no longer need to be EXACT about what devices are going to be transitioned and when
  • the engineers that know both systems don’t need to be engaged for coordinated cutovers
  • the end user no longer will have phones installed in parallel, reducing confusion
  • testing can be performed AT THE ENDPOINT to assure everything works the first time
  • endpoints can be installed at any time of the day and the cutover will only affect that specific user (This is especially helpful in 24x7 environments or where a user already has an IP phone.)

If your organization is considering an upcoming transition to a new UCC platform, how would you like it to be performed? Would you consider renting and rewinding a VHS video instead of streaming with Netflix? 

It’s time to evolve.

To download more information about how bMigrate can work for you, visit our website.

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