A Great Example of a VOSS Customer's Five-Day Workshop to Kick-Off their Transition from CUCDMv8 to VOSS-4-UC
Henry Barton, VP Operations Strategy, VOSS Solutions
Increasing numbers of Service Providers are commencing Overbuild transitions from the HCS CUCDMv8x Domain Manager to VOSS-4-UC. With Cisco recently issuing an End-Of-Sale notice for CUCDMv8x, planning for transition to VOSS Solution's next generation VOSS-4-UC domain manager become that much more important, if Service Providers have not already started.
In this post, I'll share a recent example of a service provider embarking on a 5-day workshop to kick-off their transition program. But first, some background.
The transition path to VOSS-4-UC is well-proven, and increasingly well-trodden as more and more HCS partners choose VOSS-4-UC over competing UC management tools. Currently, VOSS is working on fifteen active HCS transitions, with many more in the planning phase. These HCS Service Providers, based in EMEA, the Americas and APAC, are using the VOSS MiGR8-2-UC toolset to accelerate the process (option 1 in the below diagram). Altogether, we estimate that these Service Providers have a pipeline of c.2500 Customers and 12,000 Sites in transition, ranging from 120,000-User Customers down to 20-User Customers; a serious undertaking. Typically, the larger Service Providers have between 50 and 200 large/medium-size Customers to transition and this is a significant task. This will consume a large amount of resources and time, if performed manually (option 2 in the below diagram).
Considering the HCS Dial Plan
Experience shows us that a critical issue to consider is the HCS dial plan that you wish to utilize for the future HCS platform under the OPA model. Cisco and VOSS have invested an enormous amount of time to perfect the HCS "Evolution" (or looping) dial plan; including testing. This is an development of the "Classic" HCS dial plan, and provides a significant improvement in terms of resource utilization and flexibility, whilst still supporting the wide range of features and territories/countries that HCS Providers cover. Even with Cisco pulling back from dial plan certification under the OPA model, VOSS is able to support Providers with the Evolution HCS dial plan and it is strongly recommended that HCS Providers switch to the latest dial plan during the transition from CUCDM-8x to VOSS-4-UC.
So far, all the Service Providers we are talking to are electing to move from the Cisco HCS "Classic" dial plan loaded by CUCDMv 8x to the new Cisco HCS "Evolution" dial plan under VOSS-4-UX. As Cisco moves to its Open Architecture approach to HCS, the Evolution dial plan is where all the 'know-how' now resides. Plus, VOSS-4-UC also supports inclusion of custom dial plan schemas, through a set of adaptations.
The process of starting an Overbuild Transition programme may seem challenging to Service Providers and the tempation can be to get tied up with time-consuming rounds of testing on reference platforms. In practice, the transition process has been carried out successfully by multiple customer types around the world. Hence, VOSS believes that a Service Provider's goal should now be to seek the fastest way of switching platforms safely and efficiently, to minimize costs. Plus, they should seek to maximise the benefits when moving to VOSS-4-UC, which includes fully exploiting the latest capabilities of the Cisco HCS architecture and the VOSS-4-UC agile framework.
This is where the VOSS Global Services team can help. With experience that we have built up over the last two years, we have deep field knowledge of the transition process and have heavily invested in enhancing VOSS-4-UC and our MiGR8-2-UC transition tools to accelerate switch-over. No other vendor has anywhere near the years of experience that VOSS holds, nor the advanced toolset to both minimize risk/time and maximize the benefits.
We believe the best way of kicking off an Overbuild programme is to plan a face-to-face launch workshop. Without doubt, the hardest step is to migrate the first three or four customers. Getting the real-time experience with the first customers will then make planning for the rest of the customer base much easier.
How to Transition to VOSS-4-UC in Five Days
As a very recent case example, VOSS has just completed a 5-day kick off workshop with a major North American HCS Service Provider. We think this offers a valuable blueprint that we recommend to other Service Providers to help 'fast-track' their Transition Programme.
Here was the workshop format:
- Pre-workshop preparations:
- VOSS Global Services remote support with upgrade of the CUCDMv11.5.1 production cluster to the latest VOSS-4-UC v18.1 version, plus installation of a MiGR8-2-UC-for-Overbuild server.
- VOSS Global Services audit of the VOSS-4-UC platform and installation of our latest best-practice configuration settings for Overbuild operations.
- A high-speed test-run,with the transitioning of a reference customer from the production CUCDMv8x to the production VOSS-4-UCv18.1 platform.
- 5-Day workshop:
- Team of 10 from the Service Provider, comprising: Project Management, Solution Architects, HCS Platform Management, Operations Implementation, Billing Integration and Training. Team of 4 from VOSS Global Services.
- Review of the VOSS-4-UCv18.1 platform set-up and VOSS Global Service's latest recommended configuration settings.
- Detailed review of the Overbuild Transition process, including the results of the reference customer testing.
- Parallel processing of three customers: Extraction of data from CUCDMv8x:
- Re-loading into VOSS-4-UC using MiGR8-2-UC; Sync and Move tasks; Dial plan switching processing; and Entitlement calculation.
- Focus on hot topics, including: Enhanced Provider menu design for Overbuild; Cluster Syncing best-practice; AD integration; Dial plan Schema enhancements; Site Default settings; Number Inventory management; CUCDMv8x to VOSS-4-UC cutover principles
During the 5-day workshop, we demonstrated the rapid handling of multiple customers with several thousand users and phones at over 60 sites, including switch from HCS-G1 Linked Sites to HCS-Evolution-Type4 support. In parallel, this was a very efficient way of discussing VOSS-4-UC 'best-practice' operations.
The next step for this Service Provider is to plan for the transition of several hundred customers in batches of up to 20 customers at a time.
The Time is Now
Our perspective at VOSS is that this is a good time for Service Providers to move rapidly across the transition 'bridge' from the original CUCDMv8x platform that VOSS OEM'd through Cisco, to the latest VOSS-4-UC platform.
CUCDMv8x supported the original HUCS and HCS architectures, but technologies have now moved on. The all-new VOSS-4-UC architecture is designed to help Service Providers support the latest generation of UC platforms with much deeper levels of integration and much greater flexibility; all within the highly standardized VOSS framework. Let us help you get there fast!