Stephen Leaden, a contributor to Unified Communication Strategies, recently published an article focusing on how enterprises can be affected when their aging communications system becomes no longer supported by the manufacturer. We would like to highlight the top three takeaways that we think enterprises should consider and also offer a solution to the end-of-support problem.
1) Unified Communications is replacing legacy TDM Telephony systems, but not as quick as it should be.
VoIP has been widely embraced as a reliable, carrier-grade solution for enterprise communications for many years. Unified Communications which expands the reach VoIP technology into mobility and collaboration tools is also becoming a preferred option for businesses. However, a statement that Leaden makes in his article may surprise you,
“While VoIP systems have been in production for over 12 years, nearly 50% of all endpoints are still digital. That is an amazing (almost startling) figure considering legacy manufacturers have not supported legacy TDM Telephony systems for over 60 months at this juncture. Even more so, those same manufacturers have/or/are introducing end-of-support notices for their digital endpoints and support for such.”
Although new technology is readily available, enterprises are still clinging to their aging systems- a dangerous game to play when it’s so easy for things to go wrong.
2) End of Support for legacy systems is a serious issue with real consequences.
When a manufacturer announces that a product has reached the end-of-support, this does not mean that an enterprise will be able to continue using this product as-is. It doesn’t even mean that the enterprise will simply miss out on some new features, but continue with business as usual. What it really means is that the manufacturer is pulling away a safety net that they once provided; leaving the enterprise vulnerable if they need things like spare parts, support assistance, or even access to the platform after a certain period of time. When a communications system goes unsupported, downtime is bound to occur and when it does it can be painful. Stephen Leaden describes some specific circumstances below:
“A major hospital incurred a serious outage at a major building, and the problems continued for close to three days based on the non-availability of vendor service staff skilled in their legacy system. This outage had an affect on the availability to communicate at the hospital affecting directly and indirectly patients’ lives.”
“A major university lost service for close to a day, with no ability to send or receive calls due to service issues with communications systems down.”
3) Enterprises should be preparing to replace their legacy systems right away.
With these first two points in consideration, it becomes obvious that enterprises should be taking the threat of end-of-support legacy communications technology very seriously. Stephen even goes on to list a number of different ways in which an enterprise may be unable to avoid the eventual end-of-life of their legacy system. These include:
- Parts Unavailability
- Fewer Trained Technicians
- Maintenance Pricing Increases
- No new Feature Functionality
- Even if you have not received an end-of-support notice from your manufacturer yet, you should be looking into your options and planning your strategy for when this eventually happens to you.
At the end of his article, Stephen poses a very valid question:
“How do I create a strategy for replacing the legacy system and get the necessary funding for a UC replacement/upgrade and create a logical upgrade/replacement path?”
Well, we believe that we are the answer. Global Phone is no stranger to helping service providers replace “End of Support” or “End of Life” products. One example is the surge in demand for a new solution that could act as a replacement for the Broadsoft M6 when it went End-of-Life. This same concept is easily applied to large enterprises in the same way.