As UCaaS becomes ever more widely accepted, customers are looking to significantly extend their investments in cloud services, while retaining the flexibility and customization that they have enjoyed with more traditional on premises voice and video deployments.

Many of Arkadin’s enterprise customers have adopted a hybrid cloud strategy. Typically, this means moving user communities to vendor clouds like Microsoft Office 365 for workloads that can be fulfilled effectively, such as instant messaging, web and desk-based conferencing and portions of traditional voice and video. To deliver services that require more integration with customer systems and other technologies, or significant customization, an integrated private cloud is built. This approach delivers a small, managed footprint to augment and extend the capabilities in the vendor cloud.

We advise customers on how to take advantage of the economies of scale and service quality of the cloud, while also addressing complex requirements.

Key customer drivers:

  • Flexibility – Since enterprises do not have a static landscape, new requirements must be addressed as they arise. A cloud-first strategy must ensure that it doesn’t limit the ability of the customer to leverage new technologies and integrations needed to maintain advantage.
  • Complete Transition – A cloud transition needs to start and finish. The ROI typically involves sunsetting existing systems. This can only be done if all workloads can be transitioned to a hybrid cloud. While there is benefit in targeted transitions to the cloud, the real return comes with a holistic approach.
  • Future Proofing – As cloud technologies evolve, it is important to have portability of users, whether this is to transition between vendor clouds, or to adjust the balance of the private and public part of a hybrid cloud. The hybrid approach provides this customizable entry point.

Identifying the pivot in a hybrid deployment is not straightforward. There is no simple model that works for all organizations. In our Envision Workshops, we build a persona analysis map to understand how workloads are to be fulfilled. Our approach determines which users can exist wholly in a vendor cloud, and which ones may need additional features from the hybrid delivery. This enables a UC transformation program to proceed with a catalog of persona and site types to choose from as users and sites are transitioned to the cloud. It is the foundation to a successful program and one which we have had great success with.

Moving users without this diligence leads to a lack of adoption, as users find ways to avoid the new services, thus undermining the business case. Our approach also ensures the right training is targeted at each user group from day one.

Three pillars of strength in a UCaaS transition:

  1. Getting the right features and services for each user group.
  2. Ensuring the quality of the user experience meets the target level across all platforms, users and devices. Successful business cases depend on users adopting new behaviors and consuming new technology as planned, while allowing for the decommissioning of older systems.
  3. Organizational change management goes hand in hand with providing a quality experience. The user base needs to see the value and benefits in using new services. This part of a project is often neglected by IT and is the leading cause of business case failure.