Dear ‘responsible person’
I am sure you will have seen a raft of information regarding telecommunications systems going End of Life – but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t clarify the position as regards end of life and support.
But first, the impact. This clearly depends on the risk appetite of your organisation. My personal view is that organisations that provide revenue generating services such as Clearing should not be prepared to accept this level of risk. This becomes even more critical if those organisations rely on this technology to handle their clearing, Imagine the impact on the financial state of the organisation if students were unable to enroll because communications were down, and the fault couldn’t be fixed due to the lack of immediately available, reliable and compatible spares.
Worse, consider the impact on organisations that provide critical services such as Child Protection. Would you be prepared to accept this level of risk? Again, even more critical if they rely on this technology to handle functions such as receipt of calls reporting abuse, contact centre and operator services. Imagine the impact on the Local Council if someone were to suffer unnecessarily as a result of a fault that couldn’t be fixed because your organisation had ignored the information around what an aging telephone system could mean.
And then, what if you deliver life critical services such as Acute Hospitals and Emergency Services, would this still be a risk worth taking? Critical if you rely on this technology to handle functions such as crash calls, contact centre and operator services. How would the Board handle a death as a direct result of an aged phone system that could easily have been replaced?
As I am sure you are aware, Unify served an end of life notice on the 30 year old iSDX platform in April 2010 with subsequent annual reminders. The end of life of iSDX was driven by a number of significant factors and will come into effect in April 2017. In simple terms, what end of life means is that Unify will no longer provide third line support for users of iSDX, including third party maintainers. In addition, Unify will no longer have any development resource associated to the iSDX including the writing of patches and any further software releases. Of course existing patches will remain available for any contracted customers. Unify will also no longer manufacture the hardware components for the iSDX although we will endeavour to maintain a manufacturer approved service on spares.
In practice, this means that users of the iSDX platform will have to accept the risk of operating a technology that, aside from break fix maintenance, is unsupported by the manufacturer. We understand that a number of third parties are offering support contracts, which amount to providing a reasonable endeavors SLA. This is due to the lack of third line support and the fact that very soon the only source of spare parts will be on the second user or grey market.
And it is not just Unify. Many communications suppliers have systems that have reached the end of their useful life, but Unify can help you to transition to a modern, reliable (99.999%) and secure communication service.
Unify have a number of options for all communications customers, including the upgrade to an OpenScape 4000 system for current DX users. This system provides all of the current features and functions of the iSDX and enables customers to continue using the existing analogue estate, whilst providing a clear path to IP and Unified Communications. We can even offer this extremely cost effective approach to all Public Sector customers as a standard managed service through frameworks such as the Crown Commercial Services RM1045.
As a manufacturer, we will of course work closely and support those customers that are committed to a future with Unify to de-risk transition from their legacy platform.
I trust this note clears up any confusion and would be very happy to meet you to discuss further.