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Hybrid unified communications environments can be tricky to manage, to some extent. The biggest hurdle is making sure all the pieces work together. The next hurdle is managing the platforms themselves.
A hybrid environment -- with some applications in the cloud and some on premises -- can be especially tricky if you have multiple vendors or don't have vendor support contracts, which could leave you vulnerable. If part of your UC environment is cloud-based, some functionality may be limited by the cloud provider's own restrictions.
To start the process of managing your hybrid environment, you'll need a clear and concise statement of need. You need to determine what each department and user will need from the new hybrid environment. Pay attention to IT resources, too, and what you can and cannot control in-house.
It's like building a house. You need a good blueprint of your UC environment so you can have clear communications with your providers and vendors.
Ironing out the tricky parts first will help with integrations and determine if you need to use outside resources to ensure a smooth transition. Also, find out if your providers are already integrated with other platforms in your organization. Additionally, third-party overlay applications could ease integrations and management of your hybrid UC environment.
In a hybrid UC environment, you also want to make sure all the equipment will understand the right quality of service, routing and prioritization methods. For instance, if one end provides QoS and the other end doesn't know how to process the priority, the overall transmission will have problems.
All these factors, including your protocol and prioritization requirements, should be in your statement of need and initial investigation. Make sure knowledge transfer and training are included for members of your team. Lastly, have thorough written documentation to help address issues as they arise.
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