As the “new normal” increasingly takes hold across the world, businesses everywhere are rapidly adjusting to new ways of doing things. With the rise in popularity of the work-from-home model, the need for enterprises to ensure that their employees are well-connected through unified communications (UC) – wherever they are – is more important than ever.
Amongst all this uncertainty, Microsoft Teams has emerged as a market-leading UC platform for allowing work groups to collaborate on projects and share ideas, as well as communicate via instant messaging and video and voice calls. But for those enterprises thinking about migrating to Microsoft Teams, there are a number of easily-overlooked external factors that should definitely be considered before taking the plunge.
Although these factors will be different for each enterprise, let’s examine a few of the most common ones and take a look at some possible solutions.
A UC solution like Microsoft Teams utilizes an enterprise’s existing data network. There’s no point putting more load onto the network if it’s already over-burdened. Conducting a network readiness assessment will identify any issues with congestion and bandwidth. Switches, routers and bandwidth may need to be upgraded before moving to UC. Additionally, analog devices such as fax machines might need to be incorporated into the new solution.
Although adopting one solution across a multinational enterprise can yield significant savings, existing communications infrastructure in each country can be leveraged to enable an even more cost-effective migration. For example, such businesses often have PBXs from different vendors in different countries, all of which can be used as part of a UC solution. In these cases, it’s important to ensure that the technology deployed to support the transition to Microsoft Teams is open enough and agile enough to interconnect properly with multiple vendors.
A team of experts like AudioCodes’ Professional Services can help join all these dots for the best results.
The expiry of phone system, line or call bundle contracts is often seen as the catalyst for implementing change in communications infrastructure. However, it isn’t necessary to wait until the end of one contract to migrate to another (which usually incurs a period of downtime too).
There are solutions available to allow enterprises to use their existing PSTNs and SIP lines while still enjoying the benefits of Microsoft Teams. For example, Microsoft Teams allows Direct Routing, which enables Teams customers to connect to local PSTN or SIP trunk providers via a certified session border controller.
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Most organizations these days operate under a certain amount of regulatory compliance requirements, which may include things like recording all customer interactions carried out via voice, video or instant messaging.
Ensuring future compliance shouldn’t be seen as a secondary concern when implementing a UC solution like Microsoft Teams, and it shouldn’t be neglected. Before embarking on the migration process, it’s certainly worth overhauling compliance procedures and updating any necessary technology to ensure that the organization always stays on the right side of the regulations.
On this front, SmartTAP 360°, an intelligent, fully secured enterprise recording solution, can seamlessly capture and index any customer or organizational interactions across both external and internal communication channels.
The efficient management of Microsoft Teams demands a certain level of PowerShell expertise, which unfortunately doesn’t come cheaply on today’s IT market. Without these skills, it can be very time-consuming to make even the smallest changes to the UC deployment, basic things such as adding or deleting users, which often requires switching between seemingly endless numbers of consoles. User Management Pack™ 365 is perfect for simplifying user lifecycle and identity management across Teams deployments.
In addition, an enterprise may have a large number of desk phones and other devices which need to be configured and managed. To ensure that all this maintenance doesn’t become too onerous, organizations should have access to a single management portal, such as the AudioCodes Device Manager, that allows their IT teams to carry out updates and fixes quickly and easily.
Microsoft Teams is the UC solution that can change everything for today’s enterprises – if it’s done properly. We at AudioCodes have helped organizations in every vertical to deploy Teams successfully, including as a fully managed service. We’d be happy to help you, too.