The migration process is a huge consideration when moving to a new cloud communications solution. It's one thing to choose a new system and quite another to get it to work without wreaking havoc on your day-to-day operations.
So, who does implementation better? The vendor or a qualified communications partner? It seems perfectly logical you'd think that going directly to the source (the vendor) would be the best option. Furthermore, are all vendors and communications partners the same?
1: A Good Partner Values Relationship Over Volume Sales
Relationships have a lot to do with migration. A good partner values their customer over dollar signs, bringing you an appropriate solution and the muscle behind that with a team that can readily handle your move. For one, they'll have engineers on staff who can analyze your current system and test your new solution before go-live to ensure a smooth transition. They'll also have the resources to train end-users (more on that later), so your staff is comfortable with their new tools from the get-go.
In other words, they'll be by your side for the entire journey from start to finish because they're not just trying to sell you; they're in it to be sure your communications platform works—now and in the future.
For instance, we currently work with a large enterprise client that requires advanced call recording and backup capabilities. As we evaluated several leading contact center platforms with them, we realized that this need would not be directly met and cautioned them on moving forward. Some vendors even questioned our motives—why would we delay signing a contract? It was an easy decision because we always put our client's interests above our own.
2: Partner-Led Implementations Happen on Your Timeline, Not the Vendor's
You should never rush a move. That said, a partner can typically get you to the goalpost quicker than a vendor, where you'll have to get in line in a standard waiting queue. You could wait months, depending on the vendor's lead time.
Remember above where we said not all partners are the same? We happen to be one of a very short list of partners that are certified to perform implementations on your behalf, working in conjunction with our specialized vendor contacts so we can accommodate your timeline, not theirs. And in cases where we can't perform the migration ourselves, we'll still be there to plan, schedule, and oversee your migration, ensuring everything goes smoothly as your move takes place.
A few years ago, we received an urgent email from a former client who decided to migrate to a leading unified communications provider on their own. He was frantic over so many challenges and delays within the implementation, and he asked if we could help void his contract so he could seek a different provider. We did one better, though; we negotiated with the vendor for a new contract that allowed us to oversee the entire implementation process, completing the project on time and within budget.
3: Partners Can Troubleshoot If Something Goes Wrong
Having a partner by your side to advocate for you goes a long way. Vendors have support teams but are often understaffed, putting them in the situation of performing triage on which of their customers to service first. Plus, they don't know you like your communications partner; they aren't going to prioritize you or your issues if there is a bump in the road during your migration.
Our team includes experienced engineers who test your system before the go-live date, minimizing possible issues before they happen.
We have relationships with key vendor executives and staff who work with us during issue escalations instead of randomly being put in a support queue.
Our support team is U.S. based and available on your migration schedule. Vendor support is typically overseas, so staff aren't necessarily available when an issue arises.
Simply put, if there is a snag, we've got the resources and relationships necessary to intervene and get snafus taken care of more expediently.
4: Partners Provide Customized Pre-Migration Training
Does your partner have a Technical Account Management (TAM) team to offer customized training? The success of your new system depends on it. The more comfortable your team feels, the easier the transition will be for them and, ultimately, your customers.
Let's face it, cloud communications providers are large organizations with multiple departments that may not integrate with each other. Their training may take months to schedule and consist of self-service videos or training by staff that don't know your company.
Strategic, customized training is the most effective, efficient way to optimize your new cloud communications investment. Our TAMS get to know you, enabling them to present the best training for your team and expertly train end users on their new platforms.
5: Post-Implementation Professional Services
After you move, that's it, right? Not so fast. Part of a successful migration happens afterward, once you've used the system in real-time and evaluated your ongoing needs. You may be interested in:
We have an 8-step cloud procurement process that takes you from initial discussion through contract negotiations, including statements of work and deliverables regarding your entire cloud journey. We even provide after-implementation support options in the form of professional services.
A great example was a recent healthcare client who was rapidly scaling their operations across the United States with hundreds of new locations being added each year. They had a solid understanding of what was needed at the time but did not have the technical expertise to manage a complex multi-year deployment. Our professional services team has alleviated that pressure to the delight of this client.
The bottom line is the right communications partner is invested in your successful implementation. But as we mentioned, not all partners are the same. So do your due diligence before you choose with whom to work.
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