Three steps to prepare for a Skype for Business migration
There are plenty of things to be scared of this Halloween, such as an army of polyester “Elsa” clones, oddly themed food (spaghetti and eyeballs, anyone?!), or the dreaded “gummy tummy.” But one thing that shouldn’t be sending chills up your spine is the idea of ditching your organization’s current unified communications (UC) solution and migrating to Skype for Business.
While there are some key points to keep in mind when executing the transition, migrating to Skype for Business comes down to one word: Preparation. When you think of it that way, it’s not that different from any other telecom project you’ll take on.
Here’s what we have found to be the three scariest things about migrating to Skype for Business, along with the steps you need to take to ensure you’re prepared.
1. Skype for Business is more than a PBX replacement, and your network will notice.
Yes, the Skype for Business client will add a number of productivity spiking enhancements to your business processes. Along with a click-to-call feature that connects to your contacts, Skype for Business is also equipped with instant messaging, real-time presence, conferencing, and other business communications functionality. It’s true that implementing these features will require some network upgrades for most organizations. You’ll need to optimize your bandwidth and implement QoS (Quality of Service). You will also need to consider existing fax and analog lines, as Skype for Business does not natively support analog lines. Mediation servers and other types of internetworking devices can fit your existing analog lines into an IP-based UC solution.
2. Skype for Business will weaken my organization’s security infrastructure.
Before migrating to Skype for Business, it’s important to consider some serious security upgrades, as security concerns around SIP trunking is legitimate. It is much easier to send a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack to an SIP trunk than a public switched telephone network (PSTN) line. To best prepare your network for this added vulnerability, you need to harden your firewall. This is typically a routine upgrade, especially when you’re working with a great partner.
3. Migrating to Skype for Business will affect business continuity in the event of an outage.
Whenever you are adding functionality to your network, it’s important to update your business continuity plans to ensure this added functionality remains up and running in the event of an outage. This is especially important when you’re talking about something as business-critical as your UC solution. So while this is certainly a consideration when considering migrating to Skype for Business, it’s not an unusual or unexpected one. Ensuring WAN link redundancy and High-Availability session border controllers (SBCs) will be key parts of your business continuity planning when it comes to deploying Skype for Business. This is especially the case for large, multi-site organizations.
If you have already determined that a Skype for Business migration is in your company’s near future, don’t be afraid. Change will always be scary—especially for a mission-critical component of your business operations. But with the appropriate amount of preparation, migrating to Skype for Business will be an endeavor well worth the efforts.
Happy Halloween from the team at VXSuite!