3 Reasons to Plan Your CUCM Upgrade Now

CUCM_upgrade

Communication is key to your business. Even for a day, a failing communications infrastructure could mean heavy losses.

Cisco Unified Communication Manager (CUCM), formerly CallManager, is the market leading call management platform with tens of millions of soft clients deployed. It connects telephony, video and other collaboration endpoints in your organization.

You’ve maintained CUCM for the past few years. But, innovation has accelerated. Cisco’s CUCM 11.x offers support for modern collaboration scenarios like video conferencing, mobility, virtualization and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies. Your team may not have the time or resources to keep up-to-date. Upgrading systems during an emergency costs time and money you can’t afford to waste.

But, it doesn’t have to happen on your watch. Proper planning and the latest technology can turn your communications infrastructure from an operation to sustain into a value-add opportunity. Here are the top three reasons to plan your upgrade to CUCM 11.x now.

Steer Clear of Emergency Upgrades 

You may be one of the 60% of organizations running end-of-life (EOL) network devices. Or, your server hardware is no longer supported by the vendor.

Running your communications infrastructure without vendor support is also a major risk. No development or maintenance support from the vendor means the system operates without maintenance or bug fixes. This includes ongoing security and compatibility updates. It also means changes to other applications could jeopardize your core communication functions.

As of July 2017, version 8.x is past its end-of-support (EOS) date. If you’re using a version of CUCM past its EOS, Cisco will no longer provide any level of support.

In replacing a system post-EOL or EOS, you also lose cycles making the change. We have found it takes 3 weeks or more to devise and deliver an upgrade plan once a call management system fails. This is a lifetime to be without key communication and collaboration tools. The average cost of an infrastructure failure can be as high as $100,000 per hour.

Waiting until disaster strikes to make the necessary upgrade is a huge risk.

It’s also an unnecessary one.

There’s no need to let such a vital component of your business decay, either. A well-planned update means your communications infrastructure stays protected. Maintaining vendor support allows you to rest easy while taking advantage of the latest technical advances.

Do More than Keep the Ship Afloat

Why not do more than keeping your phones working?

Communication and collaboration doesn’t stay still within your organization. With proper planning, an upgrade allows you to keep improving collaboration across the business. It also allows you to spend less to support communications.

Audio conferencing and basic email are mainstays of business communication. But, from mobile support and IM to virtualization, modern tools are helping workers be even more productive.

As work styles and devices change, your technology gives you more ways to save money. Meanwhile, new collaboration tools make your IT footprint more adaptable to change. Greater interoperability also means your staff is always supported by the latest standards.

In 2016, Nemertes found that companies using the latest CUCM had an average 34% decrease in system maintenance costs. They measured a 22% reduction staff needed to maintain equipment. Companies with over 1,000 endpoints on CUCM achieved cost savings of 9% with an ongoing operational cost reduction of 21%.

Cisco’s newest CUCM release also brings simplified provisioning and self-service features. The results are more flexibility for staff and a lower total cost of ownership.

There’s Never Been a Better Time 

If your organization hasn’t updated Cisco Call Manager or CUCM software in the last few years, now is the time. With proper planning, updating your infrastructure will be a value-add opportunity you don’t want to miss.

But what if your team lacks the right skill sets to plan and deliver an upgrade? Few businesses have the internal resources to roll out advanced unified communications tools.

For a limited time, Cisco has put in place a holistic upgrade support structure for CUCM 11.x. The package offers low-risk migration supported by dedicated program management and helpdesk resources. It also provides special migration and licensing support teams to ensure a smooth transition.

The Cisco upgrade requires minimal effort. And, it allows you to deliver a flawless technology experience to your users. Meanwhile, the latest version of CUCM introduces next-generation collaboration features, including BYOD and mobility, virtualization, video, B2B and Remote Worker support. It also emphasizes people-centric user and admin experiences for more adaptive workspaces. Even if you’re on CUCM 9.x or 10.x, now is still a good time to start planning your CUCM upgrade. Softchoice can help you take your first steps towards understanding your environment and upgrading your Call Manager, setup an appointment with one of our Cisco specialists today.

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