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The cloud is a strategy, methodology and a means to do business. A cloud adoption strategy is not much different for unified communications than it is for other applications. But cloud-based UC is usually less forgiving. After all, it's a main communications platform.
Not all cloud providers are alike. Their services, fees, portability, stability and availability can vary. So, first, you must consider the way in which you evaluate business partners, including cloud providers.
To start your cloud adoption strategy, list the UC pieces you want in the cloud and the pieces you want in-house. Do your research to make sure the two environments coexist in the long term.
If you plan to move to a cloud-only platform, then do even more research. Choose the providers that carry an acceptable level of risk for your business.
A new provider might have some flashy features, and you may want to work with a relative unknown to get those features. Or, your business may want to stick with a tried-and-true provider. Make sure, however, whatever UC portion sits in the cloud can move to another service or back in-house, if necessary.
Vendor lock-in may occur with some providers. You certainly don't want your communications stuck in a poor provider's cloud or with a provider that goes belly up with your data.
Most worthwhile cloud providers will let you test the platform. Play around with a test account and see how easy it is to spin accounts up and down.
Pay attention to where providers house their platforms. Make sure the facility mirrors the level of security and privacy that you require in your cloud adoption strategy. Don't put sensitive information in a facility that does not meet your security requirements. Make sure the provider's facility is well-connected so you don't get stuck with bottlenecks that are beyond your control.
Don't forget to include time for knowledge transfer for admins and users in your cloud adoption strategy. Be generous on the time it takes to implement a cloud strategy so you can prepare for the unexpected.
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