I was asked to jump on a call today with a customer who was struggling with migrating branch sites from their legacy PBX platform to a new Lync Enterprise Voice platform. We had helped the Customer Architect the Lync Infrastructure with Highly Available and Site Resiliency (Disaster Recovery) across multiple data centers, deployed that infrastructure, integrated the voice services, and conducted a successful Voice Pilot. Sounds like a successful project, what’s the issue, right?
Most organizations do a great job of planning for and thinking about the costs and complexities of deploying Lync in the data center(s), making sure it is highly available and resilient across sites (DR), making sure the voice trunking, E911 services, networks and servers are robust. The Lync infrastructure needs to handle the compute and bandwidth intense Lync UC capabilities with Voice, Video, and Content Sharing to ensure a great User Experience. But once that core infrastructure is built how do we plan for, budget, and migrate perhaps thousands of users in dozens of branch sites around the country or worse, around the world?!? Typically the Lync core infrastructure is only 10-20% of the entire cost of a Lync Enterprise Voice Deployment Project. We need to treat the Branch Site Migration process as a Phase that is equally as important as the core infrastructure and focused on the User Experience to ensure Success.
Branch Site Migration is all about developing a robust User Adoption and Migration process for the initial branch(s) and refining the process with that feedback for each successive Branch. The process should be cookie cutter and executed over & again for each Branch. Here is our framework to help scope and budget for thinking through the process of deploying Lync Voice Services across multiple Branch Sites. You need to make sure that you plan for and budget each of these activities whether it is executed by your internal resources or outsourced to a partner to maximize the probability of success for your migration.