I have a scenario that I would like to ask a question about to make absolutely sure before I go back to the customer with the answer they probably do not want to hear.
SCENARIO: Customer currently has a Unity 4.0 UM deployment on a server that has low spec (no RAID). Addtionally, the server is not on the Supported platforms list for Unity 4.x. A bad start. The customer wishes to upgrade to Unity 4.2 to make use of T.37/T.38 on-ramp/off-ramp faxing etc. He also wants some more resilience within the hardware platform, so wanted to supply his own server (which was also not on the Supported Platforms lists!!!). So, I have recommended a 7825-H3, then installing Unity 4.0 on this, exporting the existing config etc using DIRT, import on the 7825-H3 using DIRT, then upgrading 4.0 to 4.2 on the new server.
I have checked the above actions with our nice Cisco bods and they have confirmed this is the correct course to take.
Now the customer has come back and is a bit horrified by the price (as always) and has asked whether we can do this in stages to reduce the initial cost. My first reaction is "NO". Here is my reasoning.
Firstly, to get the functions they want, they will need to upgrade their UNity software. To do that, they need to purchase all the Unity software and licenses, as they did not have a software maintenance contract, and 4.0 is so old now, that it is necessary to repurchase all the licenses again (I found this out through Cisco also). Also, to upgrade the software, they need to have a new hardware platform, as their existing one cannot support Unity 4.2.
Secondly, I guess that their exchange infrastructure, and each mailbox within it, is going to have to communicate with two separate Unity versions to be able to do this in stages. Does that cause any issues?
I may well have missed something on this, so please feel free to chime in and let me know what considerations I may have missed and what impact they have, both for and against this course of action.
The question that I am going to get asked is: cannot they not run in tandem, only buy a few user licenses to start with and then move the users over bit by bit. Does anyone know of any reasons that I can give as to why this can or cannot be done? And, if so, what would need to be done to carry this out? And, if so, what sort of effect would it have on the professional services by doing it in stages?
I hope that makes some sense. IF anyone knows anything on this, any feedback would be much appreciated.