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Disadvantages of Skype for Business from Freedom
Adopting Skype for Business brings considerable advantages to an organisation, but what happens if you don’t consider the full impact on your business?
Avoiding the Potential Pitfalls of a Skype for Business Deployment
Before embarking on the adoption of Skype for Business, it is critical for the IT department to fully understand the extent of the project they are undertaking. The challenges and concerns are easy to overcome, but they must be addressed at the start for a rollout to be a success.
Voice will Become an ‘Always On’ Service – Review your current PBX system and infrastructure design requirements, as well as your service level agreements (SLAs), to ensure that voice can be supported as an ‘always on’ service. Also consider whether high availability is in line with current business continuity plans as it needs to be managed effectively.
It can be a Complex Migration – Assess the integration options, particularly around whether to retain your current PBX platform or migrate to IP telephony. Moving away from a traditional PBX system can be a complex procedure, for example you may need to consider the use of media gateways to normalise SIP protocols and ensure efficient call routing, as well as minimise hardware and license costs. SIP trunks for PSTN are an option for enabling a smooth migration.
Consider your External Engagement Approach – It is vital to understand where and when third parties such as customers, suppliers and partners make touch points with your organisation, and how effectively you can provision engagement via the appropriate channels, while ensuring this activity can be supported by the IT team.
High Bandwidth Communication – The data being used across local area, wide area and mobile networks is increasing rapidly, as bandwidth-hungry applications and content such as high definition video become more prevalent. Any Skype for Business implementation must consider the impact that video communication may have on the network’s performance and the ability to provide mission critical services alongside this.
Infrastructure Design and Roll-out Considerations
Operational Structure – Ensure you have a complete picture of everyone who works in your organisation. It’s likely that you are managing a wide variety of different job roles, all with specific requirements, including full and part-time staff, sales teams and those with administrative functions. How many are there? Who do they need to communicate with? What kind of services will they need?
Timescales – What is the time frame for the deployment and how will the migration be executed? Will it be by department, by function or by site? What are the important services and job functions that need to be prioritised from the start, and what can wait until later in the deployment?
Continuity – Throughout the migration, your staff, partners, suppliers and customers will expect your organisation to continue to function without disruption. How will external services be delivered during the migration?
The Bigger Picture – Make sure you have a clear picture of what the final design will look like once the migration is complete and that every stage of your rollout moves towards this end goal.
Hardware Requirements – A move to Skype for Business could mean investing in new hardware in order to take advantage of all the applications available, such as IP telephone handsets and new laptops and tablet devices with built-in webcams, speakers and microphones. Will you provide these to all members of staff?