Organizations have been enjoying the benefits of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams and now they are looking to bring voice into that arena to give them a single unified digital workplace experience.
To transition to Microsoft Teams, organizations should look for a cloud delivered service so there’s no disruption to existing services or the need to install any on-premise or on-site software. The aim is to deliver Microsoft Teams enterprise voice quickly to get the benefits in an efficient way, and in a way where the user experience and user journey and user adoption is as you’d expect.
The transition comes in three step steps:
The first is a discovery step to do a deep data extract and look at the existing system configuration. It comes with a multi-vendor migration engine to pull data from Cisco platforms, Avaya, Skype etc, and many others.
Importantly, it comes with an automation engine built around a flexible and configurable set of rules and logic, and that avoids the need for a lot of manual input, data touch points, duplication, the need for skilled staff; and streamlines the whole process. It’s supported as a foundation on an SQL database that provides the necessary data management and modeling for the process, and works well at scale on large installations; multi-geography, multi-site.
The actual migration process itself is run in batches. It’s a controlled process with a full scheduled audit and rollback.
The final step, once you are through the migration process itself, is to use this process for Day 2 administration – for day-to-day service management.
Let’s look at each of the steps in turn:
The first step is the discovery step and in this step we’re pulling the data from the existing platform. We are extracting that data into the process and we’re running a deep data discovery process, to find out what’s configured on the existing voice service and to avoid any unnecessary surprises as we go through the migration process. It also will pull out any migration considerations that would need to go into the planning and batching process.
The output from this stage is a workshop and at that workshop we’ll review a written report explaining what we’ve discovered through the discovery process itself. This audit report will provide detail on the existing system, some insights into the migration planning, things to consider, and then a full inventory in terms of what’s configured on the platform. It will include topics such as hunt groups and pickup groups in the case of a Cisco platform.
The next stage is to migrate. In this stage, we’re mapping and transforming the existing voice service and loading them up into Microsoft Teams. Some of the features will be easy to map across, and some of the features will need transforming, and some of the features may well need some level of redesign. To support this in an automated way, we run it through a multi-vendor migration engine and through a set of rules and logic. This will carry out the transformation.
There are two types of rules: Standard rules and advanced rules. The standard rules are programmed within the engine itself, including various conditions for deleting things, replacing things, and converting things. For example, to take an internal extension number and convert that to a full E164 telephone number before we load that into the Microsoft Teams platform, or we might be taking an existing call policy or privilege against a particular user and converting that and configuring that into the equivalent on the Microsoft Teams side. These are standard rules.
There’s also the option for advanced rules. Advanced rules we configure with scripting and we do that offline and then can load that into the tool and into the migration process itself. This gives us the ability to cater for any business or technical requirement that you might have that needs to be built into the migration process and into the automation engine itself.
Let’s take a look at the way the scheduling works. We organize the actual migration itself into a number of batches. We’ll start with a test site or a pilot site and then we’ll start the main role out for a small number of sites initially, and gradually build up the size of those batches as we go into the migration process.
For the actual batches themselves, there is quite a bit of flexibility as to whether we configure those around departments, sites, geographies, or some other parameter or variable that you might decide for the migration process. It’s important during the actual migration to Microsoft Teams to have a good engine to track progress with key status indicators for success and failure. And, to have the ability to quickly correct any issues on the migration process itself, and if we do need to roll back there’s a rollback mechanism to return the batch to its original state, pre-migration.
So, let’s look at the final stage of the migration which is the “manage” stage and that comes into the VOSS Automate portal. This is the main landing page, which includes some hot cards in terms of information as to what’s configured on the system. There is a nice navigation tool for large organizations, split across several sites or geographies, to navigate around the configuration, and then there’s a set of menus, such as number inventory giving an insight into all the numbers that are configured on the estate, and whether each of the numbers is in use or not, what’s the actual usage, plus some supplementary information as to how it’s configured.
The other popular menu is with respect to subscribers. You can see the users configured on the Microsoft Teams voice service and against each of the users, and see what particular service number is configured within the service itself. The final quick thing to look at are some of the more complex items. Call queues are a good example. Here, they are represented on the portal and easy to navigate into, to look at the configuration, and to tune it as you might see fit. This includes who is participating in particular call queues.
It’s our aim to get you up onto Microsoft Teams with enterprise voice quickly and efficiently. We include a fast discovery process and a migration process to fully automate the migration up to Microsoft Teams voice. Finally, it gives you a nice intuitive management portal to look and tune the surface as you go forward.