Upgrading any unified communications platform depends on several factors. First, you should upgrade when you are...
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lacking functionality that's available in a newer UC platform that could benefit your business. Functionality should always be a prime concern.
For example, companies that have implemented bring-your-own-device policies may need to upgrade their UC platform to support BYOD. Certain unified communications platforms do not support all the mobile operating systems, call-forwarding features and mail integration for all major mobile devices.
Your organization's operating platforms and their end of life will be another consideration for upgrading. If you are running UC software that is no longer supported on your hardware, it's clearly time to upgrade.
If your hardware or software manufacturer declares an end of life for your product, then you'll want to look for other options. Companies have continued operations on end-of-life systems for years; however, operating without vendor support and security patches is a risk.
Once you determine your unified communications platform needs an upgrade, research what other vendors may provide for your business. You don't have to work with the same vendor. By not doing your research, you may miss some great product features, savings or enhanced support from other vendors. But, during your research, you may also find your vendor has some added features.
Finally, allow sufficient time and money for knowledge transfer and training when you upgrade your unified communications platform. Your UC platform and its new benefits will only be as good as the people using it -- and their use will only be as good as their knowledge of the system.
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