Cloud Collaboration Readiness Assessment
Our Cloud Collaboration Readiness Assessment can help you determine what you need to improve upon before moving your collaboration platform to the cloud
Cloud Collaboration Readiness Assessment
- What is it?
- Why is it important?
- What can I expect out of it?
What is a Cloud Collaboration Readiness Assessment?
A Cisco® Cloud Collaboration Readiness Assessment (CCRA) service enables you to understand the implications and necessary drivers in moving existing on-premise Collaboration solutions to Cisco’s Cloud Collaboration platform. During the engagement, we walk you through essential areas for your transition to the cloud, or a hybrid cloud and on-premises deployment. We then assist you in creating a cloud strategy that identifies the necessary architecture, deployment models, processes, and tools to successfully create a collaboration platform that optimizes your business objectives.
The CCRA service consists of three key focus areas:
- Discovery workshop: Current state, use cases, strategy, security
- Readiness assessment: Analysis
- Recommendation report: Solution and roadmap
Complete migration or adopting a cloud-first mentality for collaboration is a good starting point to determine what you need to do and how you go about doing that. A CCRA takes that goal and works backwards to determine: the best path forward, the changes involved, and the impact on all areas of the business, including:
- Technology – Determine what applications and infrastructure are most needed to realize the benefits of migrating to a cloud or hybrid cloud/on-premises deployment
- Process – Evaluate workflows and operations to assess how they will be impacted by moving to the cloud.
- People – Identify how IT service, support, and adoption will be managed in the cloud
Figure 1: Characteristics of a Cloud Collaboration Readiness Assessment
A CCRA service is advisory and lightweight in nature, providing stakeholders necessary data to support migrating to cloud collaboration. Figure 1 displays the key tenets of the service.
What can I expect out of it?
Figure 2: Benefits of implementing a Cloud Collaboration Readiness Assessment
During our assessment engagement, we work with you to:
- Review your business challenges and long-term objectives with respect to collaboration solutions
- Compare your current environment against future-state requirements
- Identify gaps in your architecture that could cause implementation delays or prevent desired outcomes
- Recommend strategic improvements to help you prepare for proper cloud deployment
- Highlight key takeaways and appropriate use cases
- Create a solution recommendation based on your as-is state, which gives you a strategic roadmap to help you get to your destination safely and securely
Figure 2 offers an overview of some benefits customers can realize in doing a CCRA.
When you should consider a CCRA
When should I consider a CCRA?
Initiating cloud projects has its fair share of constraints and challenges that span the business. In fact, our customers often have hesitations around timing their cloud journey correctly, specifically in:
- Creating a comprehensive strategy and proper roadmap
- Understanding how it will affect their operating model
- Developing a migration plan
- Identifying immediate and potential security threats as well as future precautions
- Implementing third-party integrations
- And more
Consequently, reactive strategies are becoming more common among companies. Both IT executives and collaboration stakeholders would be wise to consider a CCRA under these circumstances:
- Phases and length of time
- Who's involved
- What will be asked of them?
What does the process look like and who needs to be involved?
Figure 3: CCRA process stages
Figure 3 outlines the standard engagement phases of a Cisco Collaboration Cloud Readiness Assessment and a typical timeline for each phase.
Cisco technical leaders and architects will lead the engagement, along with support from Cisco’s extended team, including an account managers, systems engineer, business development manager, and service sales.
Table 1 reflects the various topics, stakeholders and timeframe for conducting the assessment and delivering the report.
Table 1: Stakeholder responsibilities
- Discovery workshop
- Readiness assessment: Analysis
- Recommendation report: Solution and roadmap
Discovery workshop - Current state, use cases, strategy, security
The first deliverable is a Discovery Workshop, in which we'll assess the current state of your technologies, use cases, strategy, and security. It consists of six phases:
- Conduct interviews with a customer’s key business and technology stakeholders to establish business requirements for architecture and operations management
- Collect information on corporate strategy, future business goals and objectives, and other pertinent information necessary, including, but not limited to, information related to:
- Business imperatives and key strategic initiatives
- Business requirements
- Business metrics and KPIs
- Business architecture
- Enterprise architecture
- Journey mapping
- ROI & business justification
- Use case identification
- Work with the customer to understand its existing environment and to qualify Cisco’s understanding of the customer’s requirements for the Assessment Service
- Collect information from the customer’s existing environment using Cisco assessment tools questionnaire
- Understand current state architecture
- Conduct interview sessions with key customer technical and operational personnel to gather and analyze all required components pertinent to the assessment
Readiness Assessment - Analysis
The second deliverable is a Readiness Assessment, which has three phases:
Review requirements of the proposed solution gathered during the workshop and interviews and perform a gap analysis against the current architectural design
Based on key business imperatives, perform capability mapping to appropriate solution sets
Provide a future high-level state architecture, migration strategy, and roadmap
Recommendation and report - Solution and roadmap
The third and final deliverable will be a Recommendation and Report, which outlines the solution and provides a roadmap.
Figure 4* outlines a sample report from ACME Inc., a fictional company. In the report, Cisco outlines its recommendations and provides a fundamental, cohesive solution to help ACME Inc. prepare for a Cloud collaboration migration.
*Click on Figure 4 to the left to enlarge
Figure 4: Sample Report - CCRA
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Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: Will a CCRA affect my business and IT goals
Answer: A CCRA will accelerate the decision-making process of whether to move your collaboration workload to a a hybrid cloud/on-premises platform or cloud platform. According to recent surveys and studies, the business objectives driving cloud adoption include lower total cost of ownership (TCO), speed to market, and savings on CapEx. For IT owners, the objectives included enabling innovation, greater flexibility, and lesser operational overheads in moving to a cloud environment.
Question 2: Who do I need to get in touch to start this service?
Answer: Reach out to your Cisco account manager, who will liaison internally to engage the Cisco Customer Experience team.
Question 3: Is this service only for large enterprises?
Answer: Although a CCRA is primarily targeted to large enterprises, the proliferation and adoption of cloud solutions by midsize firms also makes them a great candidate to avail this service.
Question 4: Do you provide additional services along with a CCRA?
Answer: Yes, we do provide additional services. Our Collaboration Security Assessment, Collaboration Compliance Advisory, and Network Readiness Assessment, can provided along with a CCRA, as well as other assessments. Ask your account manager for full details.
Can't I do this assessment myself?
- Steps to do this on your own
- When you should/shouldn't do this
- Why Cisco?
When can you perform a CCRA on your own?
Collaboration solutions are often complex and transformative, which requires focus in the areas of business architecture, engaging subject matter experts, security, network readiness, and adoption. It is also pertinent that the migration to a collaboration hybrid/cloud environment is seamless and executed in a timely fashion, which requires having an effective migration plan.
While companies can perform assessments to get a baseline score, it is important that the following key elements in discovery, analysis and strategy are not overlooked:
- Identify the business case to migrate to cloud
- Segment your workload and desired outcomes
- Choose the right hybrid/cloud operating model
- Prioritize and build a roadmap
- Testing adequately
- Emphasize the need for security and compliance
- Set timelines and budgets
More organizations are seeing the value of the cloud’s agility and elasticity, so these guidelines offer a strong foundation for assessments. Our Customer Experience consultants have extensive experience and leverage proven frameworks, guidelines, and best practices to help make your transition to the cloud effective and seamless.
Do you feel your organization can thoroughly perform a CCRA itself?
Why should I choose Cisco?
Cisco has mature collaboration products and services, in all deployment methods—on premises, hybrid, and cloud. We have the expertise and knowledge, through our Customer Experience community and access to other business entities, to effectively work with you on developing a validated and modular architecture that is secure, compliant, and highly available.
We have helped many enterprises implement numerous global deployments and offer micro-services through a large collaboration partner ecosystem. We can offer you certified professionals who have successfully deployed business and technology architectures, as well as advisory methodologies that are framework-driven and vendor-agnostic.
Use case example
Industry: Federal judicial services
A federal judicial services customer in the US was debating how it could better optimize its on-premises infrastructure - voice, Jabber, Cisco TelePresence® technology - yet migrate to a cloud environment with its other infrastructure - Webex Meetings, Webex Messenger, Webex Teams®. It saw value in keeping some of its infrastructure on-premises, such as its audio solution, because leadership wanted to get full value from their existing on-premise investment and had some time left until it was end-of-support. The customer also wanted to alleviate any risks in moving to the cloud, so it called Cisco's Customer Experience team to perform a Cloud Collaboration Readiness Assessment and figure out how it could safely move to a hybrid cloud environment.
As the Cisco team began understanding the customer's requirements and goals, it learned that the customer only wanted an Advisory and Recommendation Service, based on its existing collaboration solution and products. Details of the assessment included:
- Onsite workshop
- Follow-up interview sessions, both on-site and virtually
- Requirements and gap analysis
- Final recommendation report
The Cisco Customer Experience consultants also wanted to understand the customer's vision and strategy with respect to cloud collaboration. Through a rigorous question-and-answer framework, the Cisco team was able to discover:
- The organization's current architectural landscape
- Features and functionalities
- Use cases
- Future aspirations
Lastly, the Cisco team laid out certain expectations as well. The customer would ensure that use cases, journey maps, and security policies would be provided, along with access to existing information pertaining to collaboration high-level design, network diagrams, call metrics, and more.
In the beginning of the CCRA, the Cisco team verified the top collaboration use cases and workflows, starting with the ones that would migrate first to the hybrid cloud platform.
The workshop and follow-up interviews then revealed the customer's need to:
- Decommission its legacy TDM environment and switch to an Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) environment
- Centralize call control for audio and video
- Create a highly available collaboration platform that is available anywhere, anytime, and with any device
- Automate operations of the collaboration platform
- Retire the end-of-life on-premises video solution (VCS) and move conferencing resources to the cloud
- Support the new collaboration platform with software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), upgraded security, and enhanced wireless abilities
When the TDM environment was analyzed, the Cisco team noticed that it was not only costing the customer much more than a SIP network, but it was also more difficult to manage, as the TDM circuits were distributed across different locations. By moving to an SIP network, the customer could centralize its deployment and consolidate all the circuits into two data centers. This would result in both time and operational savings, as the customer could now manage a fewer number of sites now and could more quickly track the network's performance.
Up until this point, the audio and video solution had separate call controls (CUCM and VCS), which had operational and management overheads. The CCRA analysis found that centralizing call control for both audio and video would result in unified management and operations, thereby reducing OpEx. Plus, since the customer wanted to realize its existing on-premise investment in Cisco Communications Manager, it made sense to first migrate their video solution to the Cloud using Cisco WebEx Hybrid Services (Meetings and Messaging).
Centralizing call control was definitely an important recommendation, but learning how audio and video solutions were managed separately also helped the team understand what tools were being used to manage the solution. Because there were so many, no single collaboration solution was tied together with another. This meant that if the customer wanted to self-manage and automate its operations, different requirements would need to be established to aggregate the different collaboration solutions to work as one cohesive unit.
Through the CCRA, the customer was able to bridge the gap between IT and business leadership and find common ground. Up until this point, the IT team had come up with several ideas to improve the company's operations but it didn't completely align with the business leadership's mission, vision, and desired collaboration capabilities. When Cisco's Customer Experience team was consulted, it was able to clearly communicate several of the IT team’s prior recommendations to the executive team, show the value of how each recommendation complimented the others, and tie the whole solution in with leadership's objectives (i.e. move to the cloud and reduce OpEx).
The customer was also made aware of architecture, security, and wireless gaps, recent Cisco Cloud Collaboration solution offerings, and different consumption models to take advantage of during the migration process.
Consequently, the Cisco Customer Experience team was able to succinctly endorse and advocate the move to a hybrid cloud and provide insights into how the solution would reduce OpEx for the customer. The team also helped the customer understand the necessary commitments and steps it would take to formulate a solid migration plan (i.e. through a phased approach), which would alleviate future risks and concerns.
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