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Making A Pain Free Migration To Unified Communications Wp101189


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Making A Pain Free Migration To Unified Communications Wp101189

  1. 1. MAkiNg A PAiN-fRee MigRAtioN toUNified CoMMUNiCAtioNsCreating the foundation for a collaborative environmentExEcutivE OvErviEwEvery firm, company or enterprise with distributed data and voicenetworks is looking for ways to control costs and increase efficiency. To Implementing UC in theachieve these goals, businesses are need to integrate both voice and enterprise starts with the network. The network is thedata onto a single, converged network to reduce costs and improve platform that connects all formsproductivity. A converged voice and data network is the foundation of communications, and if yourfor Unified Communications (UC), which fosters productivity through network can’t support thesemobility and collaboration. Mobile technology allows users to work new technologies, intra- andsmarter with simple, end-to-end solutions that combine time-saving inter-company collaboration iscommunication tools that boost user performance, such as virtual impossible.private networks and wireless applications. UC also promotes effectivecollaboration by connecting people with the right resources the first time, thereby increasing productivity.This paper examines the value of UC applications, tools and technologies to provide guidance for pain-freemigration to a more efficient and high-performance business environment.cOllabOratiOn is changing thE way wE dO businEssToday, connectivity is as close as the nearest Starbucks or the Smart phone in an employee’s pocket, which is helping toeliminate the 9 to 5 workday and the time zones that have restricted communication in the past. The “real time zone” isthe single zone for today’s business environment, and collaboration is more important than ever.Mobility is a top priority, and as a result, more and more mobile devices are being moved into the enterprise, eliminatingthe communication silos that have previously limited the ability to collaborate while outside the office.The trends demonstrate a move to collaborative ways of working, and the need for a change in the way we connect.Video is becoming a more pervasive way to share information, for example, and corporate networks must be able tohandle larger traffic loads and prioritize traffic. Social networking has become main-stream for personal use and mostexperts are convinced it will be used in the enterprise in the very near future. Virtualization technology continues toimprove management, enable faster recovery and cost savings and encourage new business models that further enhancecollaborative work practices. End users are empowered by these technology advancements, and enterprises are finding itmore difficult to dictate the tools and devices employees use to work.As collaboration tools and technologies evolve and expand, new horizons for collaboration are emerging in the workplace:• Intra-company collaboration. On the first level, collaboration technologies are improving communication inside the enterprise. Defined work groups interact using teleconferencing, video conferencing, instant messaging and other collaborative methods, regardless of geographical location. This facilitates better decision making among team members and helps to cut costs of travel, making it easier for dispersed teams to work together effectively. Copyright © 2010 Qwest. All Rights Reserved. Not to be distributed or reproduced by anyone other than Qwest entities. 1 All marks are the property of the respective company. March 2010. WP101189 3/10
  2. 2. • Inter-company collaboration. Although the capabilities of today’s collaboration technologies are fantastic, once workers exit the building and get outside the corporate firewall, they lose the features. A good analogy is the fax machine. Today you can fax documents anywhere, regardless of location or company. Your fax machine connects to another company’s fax machine. Today’s collaboration technologies are just beginning to cross enterprise boundaries but we still have a long way to go. Even most instant messaging programs used in the workplace are company-specific. Only public IM systems allow inter-company collaboration, but they are not as secure.• Collaboration without boundaries. To enable boundary-less communication that allows suppliers, customers, partners and employees to work together is a complex proposition. Eliminating the boundaries requires poking holes in the corporate firewalls and instilling the necessary permissions and authorizations to keep the network secure. It requires new UC and collaboration tools, such as IM, video, click to call and presence technologies that reduce complexity and help to erase traditional communication boundaries.In the near future, UC technologies will evolve to connect people with people, people with communities, communities withother communities and with information. Eventually, people will connect with the information they need in a dynamic way,where the information they would seek finds them first, regardless of where they are, or whatever device they are using.cOnstructing an EntErprisE cOllabOratiOn architEcturE: On-prEmisEs,Off-prEmisEs Or hybridImplementing UC in the enterprise starts with the network. The network is the platform that connects all forms ofcommunications, and if your network can’t support these new technologies, intra- and inter-company collaboration isimpossible. But how do you migrate your existing network with its legacy systems and communication silos to a more unifiedenvironment, without disrupting business or breaking the bank?As IT departments begin to move away from traditional technologies and siloed operations to converged technologies, theycan unify and expand corporate communications to include suppliers, partners, customers and beyond. Convergence offersgreat economies of scale. Separate data and voice networks once meant separate vendors, additional costs and twice themaintenance. With a converged network, you have a single set of suppliers that can build an integrated network ripe for UC.Providers like Qwest are delivering powerful solutions for building the IP-based converged network with the right feature setto enable UC. This foundation incorporates new technologies like MPLS, which provides a ubiquitous footprint and is secure,and allows you to segregate your network and control traffic flows with management control features. On top of this solidfoundation, tools including presence, IM, unified messaging and conferencing merge voice, data and video traffic in uniqueways to provide a richer experience.However, organizations must make sure their networks are built to handle the additional bandwidth and higher performancenecessary to support these applications. It’s a big task, involving web services, security, applications, policies and workplacedevices. Sometimes, divide and conquer is the best approach to tackling this task. For example, deploying some or all ofyour architecture off-premises through a provider in a hosted model might make sense. The right approach depends on yourorganization’s goals, where you are along the technology continuum, whether you have legacy voice services, and if you havean IP-based infrastructure in place. Engaging with a provider like Qwest, you can mix and match solutions to take advantageof what’s already there, while maintaining control and standards compliance.bElOw arE a fEw ExamplEs Of diffErEnt uc dEplOymEnt mOdEls.• On-premises deployment: Regional bank. A Regional Bank was challenged with outdated technology, and converged communications was not core its competency. Qwest designed a solution using MPLS for the wide-area network (WAN) and a premises-based call manager and IP contact center express solution that is managed remotely, while enabling the company to retrofit equipment already in place. The new solutions were vetted at branch offices, then deployed throughout the region. As budget allows, the bank can roll out UC in headquarters and all branch offices to achieve efficiencies, productivity gains and better customer service.• Off-premises deployment: Small technology company. A smaller technology company with 300 users and 2 locations Copyright © 2010 Qwest. All Rights Reserved. Not to be distributed or reproduced by anyone other than Qwest entities. 2 All marks are the property of the respective company. March 2010. WP101189 3/10
  3. 3. deployed an off-premises hosted UC model. Qwest made upgrades to the local-area networks (LANs) to enable voice, data and video traffic segregation, and deployed services on a per-seat basis. New handsets were delivered to user desks, but everything else occurred in the cloud. The company was able to upgrade its networking capabilities immediately without a large upfront capital investment. This model allows the company to add services incrementally, without additional capital investment—they simply add ports to the LAN and deploy a new IP phone, then provision the service through a Web portal. The company can also remove users easily without wasting any equipment costs.• Hybrid deployment: Educational institution. An educational institution with multiple campuses had a mixed bag of legacy equipment. Qwest designed a solution that integrated on-premises hosted equipment with the existing environment. Cisco Call Manager and Cisco Managed IP Communications were used to create a single management structure through Qwest.Whatever model you choose depends on your specific business requirements. Working with a service provider like Qwestlets you get started with UC, without making the entire investment at once. It’s possible to begin with certain sections ofthe network or a few departments as a test bed, then build up a business case after collecting feedback from users andevidence of ROI, and roll out UC company-wide.bEst practicEs fOr dEplOying ucA unified approach to collaborative business practices cuts across traditional boundaries, and finding individuals and teamsthat have all those disciplines can be challenging. Here are some key considerations for building a foundation for UC in theenterprise:• Implementation is 80% planning and 20% installation; planning is critical to a successful, pain-free migration.• Build a cross-functional team, get end users involved and make sure people understand the implications and benefits.• Ensure that user requirements drive design requirements, validate key business needs and identify key functions.• Determine where you will see the biggest return on investment.• Develop a strategy that accounts for the number of end users, complexity of requirements and size and breadth of your organization.• Perform site surveys and evaluate WAN capabilities.• Confirm feature parity with the new platform.• Inventory and document your telephone numbers and dial plans.• It’s a complex process. Expect migration to take some time. Copyright © 2010 Qwest. All Rights Reserved. Not to be distributed or reproduced by anyone other than Qwest entities. 3 All marks are the property of the respective company. March 2010. WP101189 3/10
  4. 4. CoNNeCt. siMPlify. eNhANCe. ® with Qwest Business Solutions® Qwest is focused on helping you work smarter, with services that leverage the latest technology and award-winning support. Here are a few solutions that can address the issues covered in this solutions brief: iQ unifytm is a managed voice and data solution that combines Qwest OneFlex Integrated Access with the Cisco Unified Communications IP PBX (UC520). It brings together local and long distance voice, data, firewall, and site-to-site VPN in a single, affordable platform with an extensive feature set including unified messaging, auto attendant, and conferencing. managed ip communications is a managed Cisco based solution composed of IP Telephony, Voice Mail/Unified Messaging, Wireless LAN, IP Contact Center, and paging. integrated access simplifies your voice and data networks onto a single circuit that dynamically allocates bandwidth between voice calls and Internet or VPN traffic. Qwest conferencing fully integrates audio and Web conferencing into one intuitive interface, using patented technology to ensure that audio and Web are completely synchronized. Manage your conferences with simple point-and-click commands. All you need is a computer, Internet connectivity and a telephone. Qwest managed applications lets you select from Qwest Web Mail, Hosted Exchange®, Microsoft SharePoint®, e-commerce capabilities and storage space at affordable prices. Qwest telepresence is a CPE-based video conferencing solution powered by Cisco that puts people across the country (or world) into the same room without ever getting on an airplane.why QwEstQwest delivers reliable, scalable data and voice networking solutions, across one of the U.S. largest fiber footprints.Qwest serves businesses of all sizes, ranging from small business to 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies, with industry-leading SLAs and world-class customer service.lEarn mOrEFor more information about Qwest voice and data services for large businesses, visit or call(877) 816-8553 to speak to a Qwest representative. Copyright © 2010 Qwest. All Rights Reserved. Not to be distributed or reproduced by anyone other than Qwest entities. 4 All marks are the property of the respective company. March 2010. WP101189 3/10