No matching results Documentation Forum
What is a Cloud Migration? Discover all you need to know.

What is a Cloud Migration? Discover all you need to know.

What is a Cloud Migration? Discover all you need to know.

Discover everything you need to know about Cloud Migrations

Migrating on-premises business communications systems to the cloud has the potential to revolutionise businesses of all sizes. Switching to the cloud enables businesses to free up time and resources which can then be reinvested in other important business projects and opportunities. So it is no wonder that so many businesses are moving their business communications to the cloud.

But what exactly is a Cloud Migration, what is involved and what are the potential benefits and risks of migrating your communications to the cloud? We answer all these questions and more in the following article which covers:

1. What is a Cloud Migration?

The term “Cloud Migration” refers to the process of either moving your organisation’s on-site systems to a cloud infrastructure or from one cloud environment to another, i.e. moving from the private cloud to the public cloud or when switching providers.

In the case of communications, a cloud migration refers to moving your business phone system and collaboration to a new cloud-based solution. Some businesse will choose to move all their data solutions all at once, while others opt to move single elements or business units at a time in a form of so-called “soft migration”. Other businesses choose a so-called hybrid approach in that they only move certain elements to the cloud and leave other specific elements on-site.

2. Benefits of a Cloud Migration

From digitalisation to productivity and efficiency increases, the number of benefits that attract businesses to migration to cloud solutions is growing fast and here are what we think are the most compelling arguements:

Simpler mobile and remote working

The rise in remote working and hybrid workplace models are major drivers behind the increasing need for more flexibile, agile communications. The need to work from home trend during the pandemic effectively pushed the need for simple, easy mobile and remote worker connectivity right to top of the list of business needs.

Post pandemic, the trend is set to continually gain momentum as more businesses adapt to the changing dynamics of the modern workplace and demands of the modern worker.

By migrating to cloud-based solutions and communications, businesses are able to give remote employees secure, flexible access to business tools and applications from anywhere providing they have an Internet connection. A further benefit of migrating to cloud communications is having the ability to increase a business’ reach both in terms of attracting talent and customer acquistion as the business is no longer tied to a geographical location.

Greater integration with business applications

Call, Chat, Share & Meet

Upgrade your business communications with the pascom all-in-one cloud communications platform.

Start Free Now
pascom hosted PBX - start upgrading your business communications today

By migrating to cloud-based solutions and communications, businesses are able to give remote employees secure, flexible access to business tools and applications from anywhere providing they have an Internet connection. A further benefit of migrating to cloud communications is having the ability to increase a business’ reach both in terms of attracting talent and customer acquistion as the business is no longer tied to a geographical location.

Communication is crucial to staying connected with both colleagues and customers. Effective communication is essential to enabling efficient team collaboration and your communications solution is normally the first point of customer contact and has a big role to play in almost all your everyday business activities. However, one of the greatest problems facing the modern work is app fatigue. The modern knowledge worker is overloaded with business apps and uses an average 9.39 enterprise apps at any given time. Beyond this, the time spent toggling between apps, searching for contact information or even walking to the fax machine is counter-productive.

Thankfully, there are many ways to connect pascom ONE cloud communication solutions to other business applications and processes including the following:

  • Cloud Telephony: By integrating business telephony into your essential business apps, you and your team can use to Click-to-Dial to make calls simply by clicking on any phone number in apps such as your web browser, MS Outlook, tomedo® and DATEV. pascom ONE cloud solutions come with an integrated faxing solution to allow users to send faxes directly from their pascom desktop app.

  • Team Collaboration: Communication and collaboration are essential for productive teamwork. As teams become more dispersed and remote/hybrid working continues to become more popular, effective team collaboration tools that promote teamwork and breakdown information silos are now must-have tools. Chat, team messaging, file sharing, screen sharing and web meeting tools have become core components of cloud communications and with pascom they are available on all your devices from anywhere via the cloud.

Cutting-edge tech that's always up-to-date

It is well-known that delays are costly and those that do not adapt to change will eventually be left behind. So why is it that on-premise solutions are not updated as regularly as they should be. Is it because either the updates take longer or because the existing hardware has reached the end of its life cycle? Eitherway, on-premise solutions are maintained as they should be simply because the updates and maintenance are done by the customer (whose priorities are elsewhere) and not the provider.

Traditional on-premise solution users also have another obstacle to overcome, namely that the solution provider must build in a reasonable level of backwards hardware compatibility in order to ensure functionality. This complicates the development process and adds additional delays to the roll-out process.

Whatever the cause for the delay in update process, by not updating their systems, businesses that rely on on-premise solutions are putting their competitive ability at risk and this is where Cloud solutions have a major advantage over on-premise solutions.

Cloud solution providers are continually updating their solutions, hosting and security measures which are deployed by the provider, not the customer. By migrating to the cloud, businesses can realise a number of significant advantages thanks to the early adoption of the latest in technology and freeing up time, resources and finances to focus on other important business projects.

Moreover, with a cloud solution, new app updates are announced immediately allowing users to update when they want. To make things even easier, apps like the pascom apps are self updating, meaning new feature and security updates are installed automatically without the user have to do anything.

Improved security and greater resiliency

Protecting business intelligence and confidential customer information is crucial to any business and migrating to a cloud communications solution will deliver the latest and best in security and resiliency. In fact, cloud security and resiliency are some of the greatest advantages of migrating to a cloud phone system.

The updates mentioned previously ensure that your solution is kept up-to-date with the latest security protocols. Furthermore, cloud solution providers worth their salt will have dedicated IT security teams who focus solely on ensuring solution, application, and infrastructure security. At pascom we have dedicated cloud infrastructure and data security and protection teams who conduct regular penetration tests and data security reviews. Are apps encrypt all our communication from calls to chat and when connecting with 3rd party systems, we use encrypted URLs for provisioning and web meetings. We are also ISO 27001 certified, the international gold standard in Information Management and Security.

Beyond this, the data centres where cloud solutions are hosted are subject to stringent regulations that ensure availability and data security. In comparison, it is highly unlikely that your typical SMB will have the resources to implement and maintain such levels of security.

What this means is that in reality, cloud migrations enable businesses to add even greater resiliency to their solutions and systems and are then well positioned to quickly react to potential threats and changes in business operations.

Lower, easily manageable costs

Cloud migrations deliver many cost benefits. Firstly, cloud solutions are normally licensed on a per-user-per-month basis and the licence fees will typically include hosting and software updates. Therefore, businesses will no longer need to fork out large amounts on one-off expensive on-premise server hardware. In addition, maintaining and updating on-premise solutions involves more costly, annual maintaince contracts.

A number of providers, including pascom, have tried annual subscription and user bunble licensing models. Ultimately though, the flexiblitly afforded by monthly subscriptions delivers the most advantage as this allows you to scale your cloud solution as your business and user base grows.

There are other cloud migration cost advantages too. By moving to the cloud and reducing / eliminating your on-site system infrastructure, it is possible to reduce both your business’ physical and environmental footprint. On-premise server and network hardware requires server rooms, which need to be kept cool 24/7 which drove energy consumption and costs.

As a result, reducing your on-site hardware means reduce physical space requirements. By migrating to the cloud, you can reduce your phyiscal office space which translates to less expenditure on rent and utilities. Altenatively, you can repurpose the space more effectively - which ever option better suits your business goals.

In terms of your environmental footprint, doing away with on-site infrastructures will reduce the amount of energy your business consumes as you will no longer have on-site hardware constantly consuming energy, further reducing your energy bill and reducing the environmental impact of your business operations.

Of course, it is true to cloud hosting requires energy but as your cloud solutions will be hosted in the providers data centre, the cost and environmental impact is spread across the entire customer base, making cloud solutions much more energy efficient.

3. Potential Cloud Migration Risks

Given all the clear benefits and the significant increase in popularity and adoption of cloud communications, why is it then that the majority of companies still operate on-premise solutions? As a cloud communications specialist, we’ve heard all the arguements from VoIP security and Data Protection to Total Cost of Ownership and everything in between.

However, as a cloud communications specialist we are well aware that each customer has their own unique set of requirements and challenges which make business owners and IT admins reluctant to move all their systems to the cloud at the drop of a hat - and here’s the kicker, they’re right to think twice. As with most things, a cloud migration does pose a potential risk and it is our opinion that most of the risk stems from poor planning.

So what are the risks and how can you minimise them? The most significant risk is data loss, which at best is embarrassing and at worst extremely costly. Next, there is always the risk of choosing the wrong cloud solutions provider and then having to repeat the process. Ultimately, getting your cloud migration wrong will cost your business money, resources, and time and could do damage to your business reputation and your business could potentially lose out to the competition.

4. How to migrate your communications to the cloud

Before performing a cloud migration, it is imperative to plan the migration properly, perform backups of all your data systems and then go through the migration process as follows:

Perform an IT Audit

The first step to a successful cloud migration is to perform an IT audit, an internal assessment of your current IT systems. Look for the strengths, weaknesses and identify any opportunities and threats using a SWOT analysis. By highlight your strengths and weaknesses, you will gain an understanding of what functionality is must have and which new features you need to have when migrating to the cloud and will therefore help clarify how to reach your goal, which provider to choose and so on.

pascom hosted PBX - start upgrading your business communications today

Choose the right cloud solutions provider

Choosing the right provider is crucial, so much so that many people will put at the top of the list and start from here. However, we advise against this. If you don’t really know what you are looking for, how can you make an effective decision. So once you have performed your IT audit and clarified what it is that you want/need, then it is time to start looking for the right provider that will deliver the professional support, features and service that your business requires.

It is not always easy to do, particularly in an industry like telecommunications and collaboration where there are so many providers to choose from. Therefore, it is important to find a provider than not only offers all the functionality that your business, employees and customers need, but will be your professional, go-to partner throughout the cloud migration and beyond.

Thankfully, established providers such as pascom, have years of experience in cloud migrations and will with you every step of the way, from planning to deployment and ongoing support. Choosing such a provider greatly simplies the whole process and will ensure you get your new cloud communications solution deployed and running exactly to your requirements with the minimum of fuss.

Plan the cloud migration

Having already undertaken your IT audit, it is time to plan your journey to the cloud. Together with your choosen provider, use the information from your IT audit to build a migration concept. Your partner will guide you through important aspects any necessary considerations and/or improvements. Lean on their knowledge and experience to create a timeline of all the necessary steps and milestones, such as backups, documentation, training any new acquistions such as headsets and/or headsets.

In terms of cloud communications, if, like pascom, your chosen provider is a complete communications provider that also offers cloud phone systems, hosting and fixed-line telephony services, you will also need to consider the following before going live with your cloud migration:

  • The number porting / ordering process
  • Create a call flow management overview
  • Source your phone system prompts and Music on Hold
  • Check all your existing infrastructure is compatible and up-to-date

Once you are satisified with your cloud migration plan, it is time to enact the plan and start the implementation and go-live process.

The Cloud Migration

It does not matter how good your planning and preparation is, there will always be a transitional period in which you can expect some teething problems as you put your cloud migration plan in to action.

This is where it is definitely a major advantage of having a professional, experienced partner at your side. As you put your plan into action, you can bet your bottom dollar you will be faced with some stressful challenges. For whatever reason, your number porting process my not be completed, or your prompts are ready yet. Eitherway, there is almost always a solution and a professional solutions provider will have seen it all before, providing them with the experience to calmly and expectly work around the problems and make sure you stay on track.

Review, monitor, and adapt your cloud migration

Just because all your cloud migration is done in the sense that your systems are now in the cloud, it doesn’t mean your finished. As with every project implementation, there is always an ongoing review process, especially these days when your customer expectations are higher than ever which makes your cloud communication systems that much more important.

Your provider is also a valuable asset here. Additional services that may not have been required when you planned and implemented your cloud migration, may now be essential. Services such as technical support, employee training, service level agreements (SLAs), flat rate voice tarifs and/or any new services that your provider now offers are all things to monitor and evaluate their applicability to your business.

5. Getting help with your cloud migration

At pascom, we understand that your primary focus is on your business, your employees and your customers. Your goals are to drive growth and manage your return on investments (ROI). You want to make the right decisions, but don’t have the time nor resources to micro manage every aspect of your business’ cloud migration as this will negatively impact your ability to focus on your main business activities.

With 25 years experience in the delivery of IT communications solutions, pascom is now one of the leading providers of Cloud Communications solutions. We believe in taking the complexity out of solutions, that’s why we offer complete All-in-One cloud communications solutions. Our licensing is simple to understand and our team are with you at every step of the way from cloud migration consultancy to post-deployment support and updates.

Whatever your requirements, however big, small or dispersed your teams are, and regardless of where you are in your cloud migration journey, our team will work together with you to understand your needs in order to provide you with the solution that perfectly matches your business goals. Throughout, we will help you plan and manage your migration to the cloud; from managing the phone number porting process, to the deployment and initial setup of your pascom ONE cloud phone system. Our guaranteed response times mean our support team are always at your disposal to help you with post-deployment technical support and the pascom Managed Services mean that your cloud communications solution will always be kept up-to-date with the latest in security and functionality.

We have helped thousands of companies just like yours, from Small Office Home Office sized businesses to multi-location call centres, to get their Cloud Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions up and running smoothly, quickly, and efficiently. So if you are looking for a trusted partner to help you with your business’ migration to cloud communications, then contact the pascom team today!