In the digital age, there’s constant pressure to keep up with the latest and greatest technology. As a result of more frequent upgrades, older equipment gets discontinued and the OEMs become unable to support it. In other words, systems are becoming End-of-Life (EOL) or End-of-Support (EOS) more quickly than in the past, which is why it’s critical to understand your options when it comes to extending the life of your communications systems.
If your communications system infrastructure becomes EOL or EOS, updating isn’t always the most practical solution. Replacing equipment can be time-consuming and expensive.
What does End-of-Support mean?
When a manufacturer declares a phone system or other telecommunications equipment has reached end-of-support (EOS), it means the product will no longer receive technical support from the manufacturer. This is part of the end-of-life (EOL) process that eventually renders a product obsolete. Once the process is complete, the product is no longer sold, manufactured, supported, or maintained by the manufacturer. EOS is usually due solely to changes in technology; depending on the specific piece of technology, this can seemingly happen very quickly. Often, a manufacturer or consultant will recommend that an institution or organization migrate to a new system.
Risk and Challenges of End-of-Support
When a telecommunications system reaches end-of-support, it can pose many risks for companies that depend on its system for its day-to-day operations. Imagine a hospital communication system going down; technicians on one floor cannot contact the proper personnel on another floor, and the manufacturer is not available to offer either on-site or remote support. When hospital personnel cannot quickly reach the correct people, the cost can be devastating. Reliable systems in such situations are critical. When a multi-site company or large-campus style organization’s end-of-support system crashes, the risk to productivity and financial returns is substantial. Staff members, on the clock, are unable to complete tasks and customer communication can be interrupted. Companies and organizations are often unprepared when their systems reach end-of-support and manufacturers begin encouraging them to immediately migrate to a brand-new system. Some may be able to do this, but full migration costs can be substantial and the fact is the majority are not prepared or willing to make such a move. Regardless of the industry, the challenges of extending the lifecycle of telecommunications equipment are similar. The threat that something could go wrong with a system creates vulnerability, even if their systems seem to run perfectly and meet all their current needs.
What does End-of-Support not mean?
First off, end-of-support does not mean that migration is the only option. Just because a product has reached end-of-life does not mean that it will instantly become useless. Depending on a company’s technology needs, an aging system can continue to reliably serve with proper maintenance and care. Most importantly, when a system goes end-of-life, it does not mean you cannot get support from any company. Lifecycle management is critical during the entire life of the system, but lifecycle extension becomes an even more invaluable asset during end-of-support.
Choosing when to migrate
Each company and organization will face migration; this is inevitable. However, when manufacturers or other consultants push migration as the only option, they’re often omitting other alternatives. At Optus, we are dedicated to helping each organization create and implement a proactive telecommunications plan based on your unique needs and capabilities, helping maximize existing systems and, eventually, migrating when the time is right for you and your business.
What if I’m not ready to buy a new system?
For the majority of organizations, the immediate migration often encouraged by manufacturers simply does not make financial sense, and they would rather have the option of migrating at their own pace. For these organizations, lifecycle extension becomes a key to affording a secure and reliable system even during end-of-support and end-of-life. Optus has a number of services and products that help organizations and businesses avoid getting the most out of their current systems and avoid costly situations.
Optimization services ensure that your phone system is constantly improving, even after it has reached end-of-support. Partnering with a telecommunications solutions company such as Optus helps organizations further strengthen and secure their systems while also increasing savings to later invest in new technology. A full optimization portfolio of services will include access to refurbished equipment and inventory management, a certified repair department, and expense management to help reduce telecom costs and increase savings. Optimization services also provide software assurance, keeping you up-to-date on software releases and patches so that your end-of-support servers or other peripheral products avoid security risks.
Refurb and Repair
Myths regarding aftermarket equipment tend to circle around ideas of inferior or unreliable products. The truth is that purchasing from quality remanufacturers such as Optus offers huge advantages for consumers, including rigorously tested high-quality, certified, and warrantied products. The cost-savings are also substantial. Refurbished products bring savings of 50-70% and can help extend the life of a system for several years. Companies and organizations are also able to ensure maximum productivity with an advanced replacement program that provides replacements as their own defective units are repaired. With the Advanced Replacement program from Optus, clients can be sent the replacement the same day, with some parts available for overnight delivery in emergencies. These savings in time and money provided by refurb and repair solutions give organizations the ability to better prepare for eventual system migration.
Warehouse & Inventory Management
Inventory management offers many advantages for end-of-support systems. For one, the Optus warehouse is a significant source of refurbished and factory-sealed communications hardware that supplements aging systems. Consumers are able to utilize aftermarket parts to help maintain systems so that migrations are done on their timetable, rather than a manufacturer’s. Inventory management solutions, such as Optus’s warehousing and redeployment services, allow organizations to keep their own inventories of parts without having to find a way to house the supply. Optus makes inventory management very simple, giving the customer the ability to easily manage the inventory process.