Best Practices in Migrating to the Cloud
Many businesses are finding that their old, on-premises telecommunication system is rapidly becoming outdated. It lacks capabilities that would make the organization more efficient. It’s cumbersome to manage a hybrid workforce with some staff on-site and others working remotely. And adding features can be difficult, costly, or sometimes impossible.
Perhaps more importantly, some on-premises systems may not comply with new government regulations—specifically, Kari’s Law, which ensures the ability to dial 911 directly, and RAY BAUM’s Act, which requires that all 911 calls include dispatchable location information.
Consider the benefits of moving your telecommunications system to the cloud—and the best practices that will make the switch as seamless as possible.
Benefits of a Cloud-Based System
A cloud-based system offers several benefits over an on-premises system.
First, cloud-based systems are the best way for remote or hybrid workers to communicate with each other and with clients, suppliers, and other business partners. These systems allow everyone in an organization to take advantage of all the features of a world-class UCaaS system, wherever they are.
Second, a cloud-based system virtually guarantees business continuity. Unlike an on-premises system, a cloud-based system can remain fully functional during power failures, natural disasters, or other factors that can knock out an on-premises system.
With a cloud-based system, features can continually be added at minimal cost, with little or no disruption. Because features are often rolled out to multiple organizations as an operating expense (OPEX) rather than as a more costly capital expense (CAPEX), adding functionality is much more cost-effective. For example, a cloud-based system can easily include features such as:
- Call recording
- Omnichannel integration of calls, texts, emails, and web chat
- Collaboration among workers in multiple areas
- . . . and more
Questions to Ask Before Moving to the Cloud
When considering a move from an on-premises system to the cloud, these questions can help determine whether it’s the right move:
- What features does our existing system lack? Would adding those features boost our productivity?
- Does my current phone system comply with Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act?
- Are we paying for a maintenance contract on an existing system? Would it be better to allocate those funds towards a cloud-based system, which doesn’t require a maintenance contract?
- How much are we spending on private connections to remote offices? What does it cost us to add users or locations? Cloud-based systems take advantage of your existing internet connections, resulting in cost savings.
- Does our system help or hinder a remote or hybrid workforce?
How to Choose a Technology Partner
Choosing the right vendor to manage the migration to a cloud-based system can help make the process seamless and ensure ongoing satisfaction. When considering a vendor, ask these questions:
- Will the solution provide the robust features needed, such as contact centers, soft-phone integration, and collaboration tools?
- Does the solution offer geo-redundancy via diverse datacenter failover? The redundancy of multiple data centers helps ensure business continuity.
- Can we purchase our own phones, or will we be perpetually renting them?
- Who will be responsible for the project management, installation, and on-site support?
- Where will service and support be based? Will you speak with service engineers in North America, or will your calls be routed overseas?
- Can you come on-site to troubleshoot issues if necessary?
- Do you have different levels of service? If so, what does each one include? You want white-glove service and shouldn’t have to pay a premium for it.
- How many projects have you managed similar to ours?
- Are you proposing a solution that will group us with other clients (a multi-tenant system), or will we have a separate, multi-instance system? A multi-tenant system costs less, but a multi-instance system provides much more security and control.
In addition, be sure to check how long the vendor has been in business and try to get a sense of their financial stability and technical reliability. Are financial issues making them cut corners? Do their clients suffer outages? Most cloud-based agreements can last five years, and you want a technology partner who will provide reliable service for the long haul.
Finally, ask about costs. In the long run, a cloud-based system can be very cost-competitive with an on-premises system. Remember that you won’t be spending money on refreshed or upgraded hardware or maintenance agreements, and you won’t have to replace or upgrade equipment to add features.
Please contact VOIP Networks for a no-obligation consultation about moving your on-premises system to a cloud-based system or a hybrid system that combines both.