Best Practices for Managing Communications Services Phase 3: Migration

In the third part of a series exploring best practices for assisting organizations with managing communication services, we look at the Migration Phase, including an IT road map for migration to converged communications, SIP trunking and telecom price negotiation.

Channel Partners

November 4, 2010

4 Min Read
Best Practices for Managing Communications Services  Phase 3: Migration

Editors Note: In this three-part series we explore best practices to assist organizations with lowering their total cost of ownership and realizing additional value from a holistic approach to managing their communication services. In the first and second installments, we explored inventory rationalization and ongoing improvement of their communication services. This final installment covers migration.

By Mitchell Hershkowitz

Many organizations struggle to consistently manage their telecommunications costs and life cycles across services and geographies. In addition, most organizations have challenges because the commercial and technical aspects of telecommunications management are usually done separately. The reality is that they are interdependent both from a business process and a systems perspective.

Dimension Data recommends a three-phase approach to managing communication services: I – Communications Infrastructure Baseline, II – Communications Infrastructure Management and III – Communications Infrastructure Migration.

This month we explore the Migration Phase which focuses on inventory optimization of an organizations communication services. The Migration Phase includes an IT road map for migration to converged communications (also referred to as unified communications and collaboration), SIP trunking and telecom price negotiation.

Due to reductions in staff dedicated to ongoing support and operation of enterprise communications, many organizations are looking to outsource the management of these services. Dimension Data offers the following tips on how solutions providers can help organizations better optimize their telecommunications inventory:

1. Migration to Converged Communications . Understanding the current state of the communications infrastructure is the first step in moving from a legacy or TDM telecommunications platform to an IP-based architecture (converged communications). Whether the legacy platform is end-of-life or no longer supports the organizations communications requirements, moving to a converged communications infrastructure helps to address the following issues:

  • Increasing communication costs  Telecommunications costs account for 80 percent of companies annual IT spend.

  • Increasing geographic disparity  Workers get 50-75 percent of their information from other people, but now must work with more people in more locations.

  • Increased telecommuting  At least 80 percent of companies worldwide are estimated to have employees who work remotely bia telecommuting.

  • Travel  There are 275 million business travelers on the road per year.

  • Time-to-market pressures - Accelerating pace demands real-time access to information and people.

By utilizing the strategic road map developed in Phase I, you can now focus on optimizing the communications infrastructure and providing the following benefits to the business:

  • Reduce communication costs by introducing tools that enable cheaper and faster interaction.

  • Integration capabilities of existing technologies to enable future growth and provide the right level of services regardless of locations.

  • Increase flexibility by providing remote/home workers to be more productive when not working from the office.

  • Reduce travel costs for employees that need to communicate across multiple geographies.

  • Improve productivity by improving communication response times and first-contact completion.”

Migration to SIP Trunks. Organizations today are looking at how SIP trunks can offer cost savings by eliminating local PSTN gateways and primary rates interfaces (PRIs). Using the baseline audit from Phase I, your can optimize the communications infrastructure with SIP trunks. Please remember that a migration to SIP trunks should not commence until an updated and accurate inventory is completed.

SIP trunks also improve business processes for organizations by providing applications to smaller or remote offices that may not have the dedicated infrastructure of the medium and larger locations. For example, a small office may access the benefits of a hosted VoIP service, without discarding existing investments in a traditional phone system.

3. Strategic Sourcing. Comprehensive inventory data supports preparation for sourcing events by providing a ready-to-use book of business” as the information and cost baseline for a procurement. Not only does this help the enterprise to focus its vendors on meaningful spend areas (knowing what the top 20 spend categories are), it also provides competing vendors detailed data helping them to price accurately and quickly. Lower prices are expected, but consider the often overlooked benefit of a shortened procurement event, a faster implementation of new prices, and far easier transition to a new supplier.

In summary, its critical for organizations to take a strategic view of their communication services (IT and telecom infrastructure) and how they maintain the inventory and manage the costs. Adding complexity to this is the increased demand for remote telecommuting, including mobile devices and collaboration requirements. By developing a multiphase approach to telecom expense management, organizations can begin to better understand their current state inventory, lower costs and consolidate resources for migration to a platform that supports unified communications and collaboration and ultimately improves delivery of communication services across the enterprise.

Mitchell Hershkowitz is the national solutions manager for converged communications at

Dimension Data Americas

, a specialist IT services and solutions provider that helps clients plan, build, support and manage their network and IT infrastructures. Dimension Data specializes in networking, security, operating environments, storage and contact center technologies. Dimension Data offers a Managed Communications Service, and is working closely with Invoice Insight to integrate its supply chain and Global Services Operating Architecture (GSOA) management platforms with their BillPort TEM technology. This service combines the life cycle management of telecommunications services with the life cycle management of the network technologies.

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