If you’re migrating to Skype for Business for your next generation Unified Communications solution, here are 5 best practices in order to ensure a successful and smooth transition.
1. Determine the Business Value
Make sure you are clear on why and how Skype for Business is driving value within your organization. Most organizations are deploying Skype for Business for 5 main reasons.
- Reduce Costs – Skype for Business can significantly drive down the cost of the communication system, PBX support, conferencing, mobility, travel and real estate
- Increase Productivity – Skype for Business can increase your ability to handle customer issues in half the time, accelerate user decision-making time and reduce training costs significantly.
- Improve Work Life Balance – Skype for Business gives employees the freedom to work remotely and spend less time commuting
- Business Continuity – Skype for Business gives your business the ability to continue operating when everything else goes down – it has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in lost productivity.
- Decrease Carbon Footprint – In this day and age where gridlock and long commute hours are more than a reality, Skype for Business can not only reduce the amount of pollution your car/plane sends off but significantly improve your quality of life
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2. Work with a Certified Skype for Business Partner
A Microsoft Gold Partner for Cloud and Voice who has a large number of deployments under its belt is important. They cannot only help you deploy Skype for Business voice, but also have experience implementing other Microsoft components which are important in a deployment such as Office365 (the Microsoft Productivity Cloud and Microsoft Azure Cloud for everything outside of Productivity solutions). You should consider a partner who is up-to-date on all the Microsoft solutions available on the market and who is also able to provide you with the solutions you need based on your unique requirements.
3. Get Familiar with the Architecture
Spend some time with your Microsoft partner to learn what the technical architecture would look like. Understand the benefits, but also the costs of full cloud vs. hybrid vs. on-premise architecture. Make sure to take into account your current environment and how and where you see your organization in two or three years from now. Understand each component of the architecture both internally and externally as it relates to inbound/outbound voice, instant messaging and email communication. What are the costs related to porting phone numbers? What about the international locations? Do you require a Contact Center? What modality needs to be available on the Contact Center? How would you measure call / email volume etc.
4. Get Familiar with the Skype Operations Framework
Skype Operations Framework is a tool that provides you and your Microsoft Partner with really important insight on how to migrate to Skype for Business. The Skype Operations Framework will handle a lot of very important questions you will have during the process.
5. Get Visibility into Your Network
Get a comprehensive view of your network to ensure you have the network resources needed prior to your Skype for Business deployment. It’s also important that you have continuous visibility into how your Microsoft apps are performing at any given time while running Skype for Business and that you have a tool that will also allow you to allocate and adjust network resources if needed to ensure you never have Quality of Experience issues for end users.
Solulan is a Microsoft Gold Partner IT Consulting firm with offices in Canada, USA and France. Solulan assists private and public organizations by providing products and professional services around migrations to Office365, Unified Communications with Skype for Business including custom solutions around Dialogue Management on Skype and Cloud Computing.