It’s critically important for organizations to consider connectivity and bandwidth requirements when they are planning to move applications to the cloud. But it is also a microcosm of a larger point, which is that telecom considerations should be taken into account for any solution design.

Let’s take Unified Communications (UC) as an example. Oftentimes when organizations are looking to move away from traditional PBX to UC they want to move from primary rate interface (PRI) to Session Internet Protocol (SIP) simultaneously. SIP provides a gateway to creating an IP-based UC system; offers greater communications scalability; makes communication more cost-effective; and helps with mobile and remote work initiatives—so for IT leaders, moving to SIP during a UC deployment makes sense.

But as the organization designs this new UC/SIP solution, it must be sure that it has circuits that will support that move to SIP. The last thing IT leaders want is to design a UC solution and migration project plan without understanding what the carrier can support, because the solution design may change based upon those capabilities, which means the organization then has to make changes mid-stream. Those changes can lead to costly project delays and implementation missteps.

Additionally, if an organization does not consider a carrier’s capabilities when designing a UC solution, it may miss out on some features and functionality that could have a positive impact on design. For instance, some carriers enable failover to a different network, which improves disaster recovery and increases reliability over those that do not. Additionally, organizations that consider telecom early in the process may be able to find savings that can be re-applied to the UC deployment itself.

Another important telecom-related factor to consider when talking about UC is data, because it is imperative from a cost and efficiency perspective to maximize circuit utilization by having both voice and data components on the same circuits. Oftentimes organizations don’t see SIP and data as interconnected, but in the modern IT landscape, they are in fact inextricably linked.

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As a general rule of thumb, when an organization is set to embark on an IT project—particularly anything related to voice or data—telecom considerations should be part of the earliest planning stages. An organization can leverage a trusted partner for telecom services if it does not have the relevant expertise or experience in-house to understand how its current environment will support new solutions.

The important thing is that telecom is always part of the larger IT discussion.