Posted February 8, 2024
Why Experienced Project Management makes a Difference –
City of Bowling Green UCaaS Conversion
As a mid-sized college town located in Northwest Ohio, the City of Bowling Green, was in the process of constructing a new City Hall building. A top initiative for Chris Loveless, the new IT Director, was to prepare the city for a new hosted telephone solution, Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) by the move-in date. The UCaaS system would replace not just telephony for City Hall staff but also all other City buildings/departments. Because the City had limited internal knowledge of their existing telecom environment, they knew they needed external support. After evaluating consultants, the IT Director selected The BAZ Group to assist in overseeing the UCaaS project.
In preparation The BAZ Group started by assembling an accurate inventory of Bowling Green’s billable voice and data services. We also worked discovering the telecom services and systems currently in service. Concurrently, the city performed an evaluation of UCaaS providers and selected Amplex, their local ISP. With a solution selected, the city now had less than 6 months to meet the new City Hall move-in date.
BAZ oversight included keeping all parties on task to hit critical scheduled deadlines. But more importantly, we guided the city and the vendor’s representative as to what information needed to be assembled and what decisions needed to be made. We assisted the city in gathering some of this critical information. In addition, BAZ assisted them in understanding the implications of key decisions required as they built out the UCaaS solution. BAZ facilitated the design and re-work of call flows (auto attendants) and worked with the city to identify the final disposition of all telephone lines and numbers (e.g., port, leave “as is”, or disconnect). We directed their telephone contractor with onsite “test and tone” work and addressed all remaining analog requirements (e.g., fax and elevators).
The project was completed, not just on time, but ahead of schedule. This allowed all city staff to get trained and comfortable with their new phone service while in the old City Hall, and before the disruption of the move. At the scheduled move-in date, staff could pack up their phones and just plug them in at their new desks. Finally, BAZ reviewed the “after cutover” carrier billings to make sure that all disconnected services had been removed.
Having experienced project management for your technical project is similar to having an Owner’s Rep when building a house. Clients do not typically have technical experience navigating a UCaaS conversion. This leaves them subject to the abilities of their vendor’s project team to accomplish a successful migration. They may be fortunate and get capable support – but that is not usually the case. Even under the best of circumstances, clients will need to gather relevant information and make several decisions to support the design of their new phone system/solution. Experienced, industry expert project management acting on a client’s behalf can take the pressure off the client to single handedly navigate a successful migration that will affect everyone that communicates with your organization. The experience and knowledge that BAZ project management offers improves a client’s outcomes for the delivery of a successful UCaaS project.