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October 1, 20122 min read

10 Steps to Digital Migration Success


Change is good, but transforming your analog radio network to a digital platform can be bad if you don’t plan thoroughly and execute carefully.

Digital radio networks offer greater spectral efficiency and superior delivered voice quality.

The key to migration success is to ensure that nothing is forgotten and even the most complex of customized systems can be transformed into a digital communications network that delivers your organizational goals.

Don’t be afraid to call in the experts. A professional integrator or a network solution provider’s expertise, together with your in-house knowledge will ensure a successful outcome.

Network Upgrade Migration Steps

1.  Audit
Before you start your migration plan, make sure you have a full understanding of the important features, functionality and performance that your current network provides. Your new network needs to deliver everything you value and more, so make sure you identify this up front.

2. Measure
Understanding the data usage on your existing network is vital. There may be some key metrics that you cannot identify with your current system. Include these in the research, along with any outstanding legacy network issues which need resolution.

3. Define
Now you have a clear picture of your existing network. This makes the requirements definition for your new network easier. You now know what exists today and so you can more clearly envisage what you need in the future.

4. Scope
Scoping the project iterations required to transform your legacy radio network into a new digital network requires careful mapping.  Don’t underestimate the time and detail that this step requires.

5. Re-use
Re-use of existing equipment is a great opportunity to save some budget. Find out if you are able to re-use some of your existing infrastructure. But make sure that there isn’t a potentially negative impact on the new network.

6. Approach
The migration approach you decide on is as important as the radio platform you choose.  Ask yourself the question: is an overnight migration best?  Or can my legacy and new networks inter-connect and operate in parallel? For larger networks, a staged migration could be the cost effective and low impact approach needed.

7. Design
By now you have gathered a large amount of audit and measurement data, and have a clear understanding of your chosen technology capability. Now is the time to design and plan a migration process that specifically supports your organizational needs.

8. Train
There’s never enough of it. Training key people on the future technical and operational benefits of your new network plays a critical role in the engagement of stakeholders. Targeted professional training assures acceptance and adoption of the new network, delivering a positive experience for the organization.

9. Test
Practice makes perfect. Make sure that all potential issues are resolved before you embark on full-scale changeover. Use a small-scale trial system to test all migration capabilities and processes first, before deploying a new live system.

10. Execute
All your hard work to this point is about to deliver the results you need as you move to execute your migration plan. As always, take a measured approach and you can be assured of a smooth transition to digital success.

Many organizations are considering Trunked Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) as their digital radio technology of choice. Read more about how your organization can successfully upgrade to Trunked DMR


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