Migrating from an existing legacy switching platform to the latest IMS/VoLTE-ready technology makes sense from a return-on-investment (ROI) perspective. In addition to cost savings and increased performance, network migration gives you the capability to roll out new services that can contribute to top-line revenue growth.
In spite of these benefits, migrating your existing customers and operational support system (OSS) applications over to a new system may seem like a daunting task. Many service providers worry about any negative impact the migration will have on processes, reporting and troubleshooting. In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, it’s key to plan ahead and identify the right partners for the process.
We asked Charlie Gates, director of professional services at Dialogic, to shed some light on the most important things that service providers should consider from an operational perspective when they begin the process of replacing legacy switching platforms. Gates coordinates a team of experts that have migrated countless customers to new switching technology.
Q: What is the most overlooked consideration that service providers should address when migrating to new switching technology?
A: The most overlooked part of the migration plan involves making sure the existing OSS and BSS (business support systems) and other external systems will integrate with the new switching technology. You can’t assume that the applications and the processes that worked with the legacy hardware and software will integrate seamlessly with the new technology. You need to incorporate integration and testing into your migration plan.
We’ve seen situations where service providers don’t give proper consideration to this step until after migration and the OS/BSS systems are not working as expected. Then, a rollback is required and additional cycles are needed to get the systems working. With some basic planning and upfront testing, service providers can avoid this type of situation.
Q: What are some of the easiest things to do when making the transition to new Class 4 technology?
A: If the network is well managed, it is easy to perform an audit and take inventory of the current switch installation and services offered. Additionally, training staff is easy to do and an important investment that really pays off, especially for the operations teams responsible for managing the new technology.
Q: Finally, what’s one of the most challenging but important items service providers must have in place for a smooth migration?
A: By far, the most difficult but most important part of the migration process is creating an actionable method of procedure (MOP). We really encourage customers to work with us to develop a step-by-step MOP that covers every detail on the migration, including any rollback plans. This requires extensive planning and review by both the customer and the vendor. It involves determining the best sequence of events, what to migrate first, which customers to start with and any other information needed to develop a comprehensive execution plan. This is one area where experience counts, and service providers contemplating a switch replacement should assess whether their vendors will be able to provide guidance. It’s an important consideration when evaluating which vendor’s overall solution is right for your business, technical and operational needs.
Interested in learning more? You can get more tips from the Dialogic team by downloading the free white paper, “The Top 10 Considerations To Transform Your Legacy Switching Technology.”