I recently completed one of the customer implementation with more than 5000 phones located across 10 countries with headquarters in New York. I have (re) learned this lessons I think are absolutely worth sharing , Every consultant or team that is send in to deploy needs to be aware of this cause these are traps that could cause project to delay or fail .Mentioned in no particular order
This article to dedicated to fellow road warriors who work their butt of to implement Unified Communications technologies .
Always make sure customer site is well aware that project is getting kick started and you will need additional support from their staff to accomplish the implementation quickly and aggressively. Most of the time customers are not ready and their engineers are generally fighting fire and dont have time to support you. For example if you need to configure a client, these are following items you need configured from customer before you get started
- switch ports
- IP assignment
Lesson # 2
Make sure the project is approved financially and your hardware is already ordered and is on site. What will happen is that although project is approved , money is still not allocated and you wont have hardware /licenses . If this happens you will sitting on site calling Cisco Partners 10 times a day if hardware has been shipped or not
Lesson # 3
This is absolutely must , Scope of the project has to be absolutely crystal clear to both parties, Small features that seem harmless cant take few weeks to implement and will need new hardware /software ( some serious mullah for not so great feature ). For example one of my customers asked me if I can configure her assistants phone to see if she (assistant) can check employees on call status so that she can transfer call accordingly . This looks deceptively simple but in large enviroments will requires separate CUPS server / Presence /BLF features information and whole lot of configuration .
Make sure customers network is ready to support newer technology. New UC technologies require solid network with very little delay . Total delay end to end cant be more than 200 ms .What happens is during initial site survey customer will say that they will upgrade the network to support newer technologies by the time implementation time comes around . Unfortunately customer will not have their s$#t together by the time you will reach the site . So always always make sure customer’s network is ready . For instance some of old Cisco IOS doesnt support voice, voice vlan , gateway support, Qos Queing, LLF .
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