In 2016, a top investment bank asked JP Reis to assist with a huge migration to Cisco UC cluster version 8.6.
It would take place in the largest commercial building of its kind in the United States; made up of 4 interconnected, 3-storey sections with a combined floor area of two million square feet. Thousands of devices were to be migrated. The project included:
- 9,000+ Cisco registered devices spread across 91 LAN switches;
- Circa 1,750 digital, 1,375 analog and 315 IP Avaya registered devices to move to Cisco devices and the new UC cluster;
- 1,500 legacy analog lines to move to global UC gateways;
- Around 300 IP soft phones.
Experience is everything on a project like this so we sent in Jo-Ann and Cynthia, two of our best consultants for high volume user migrations. They did a great job of managing people and expectations and breaking the process down into smaller, more manageable tasks, each of which could still have over-awed lesser project managers. There was one physical migration phase per storey, 12 in total, across an 8-month period. In reality, a migration phase per storey is a simplification, interdependencies would mean that devices in different locations across the site would migrate together to maintain operational continuity. Each one saw between 800 and 2,200 devices migrated.
Preparing for these migration phases required detailed data collection and validation including the following tasks:
- Identification and validation of all users per phase, including the “white glove” users with the lowest tolerance for disruption. This process had to accurately incorporate all users who either started or finished working at the site during the project timeline.
- Identification and validation of shared lines and all interdependencies affecting the devices, users and groups being migrated.
- As well as existing staff and the natural churn of leavers and new starters the client was also consolidating an off-campus workforce into the main building. These users had additional dependencies that needed to be addressed.
- Validation of voicemail users. There was an extra level of complexity here because our client was in process of changing its voicemail policy. Our consultants were responsible for working with the internal team to rationalize the service and determine who would retain voicemail.
- Validation of Microsoft Lync Users.
Migration and Day 1 Support
Our team worked on a 70-day schedule per phase which meant they were working on two or three phases at any given time. They determined which devices would be migrated during each phase based on location and dependencies. They took responsibility for planning the migration of the Avaya devices to Cisco. JP Reis delivered the floor plans for each phase and specified requirements for the White Glove and Special Circumstance users they had designated so that the Day 1 Floor Walkers were fully informed.
Our consultants provided support to the cut-over teams during migrations and on Day 1 following each move. Due to the quality of their project preparation and delivery, trouble tickets averaged less than 2% of users and nearly all of them concerned familiarization with new devices.