Phone systems market changes every day. It has changed dramatically in the last decade or so and continues to change today. Long buying cycles between voice platforms lends itself to IT staff and decision makers ignoring the market for long periods of time as they have many other hats to wear and don’t have time to keep up with the market changes when they have a functioning system.
If you haven’t followed the market for years it is hard to distinguish that name brand phone systems manufacturers are behind the market and still using legacy proprietary protocols. They are destined to end up failing over time as the Nortel’s, Comdial’s, InterTel’s, Fijitsu’s, Rolm’s, Executone’s etc… have in the past. Similarly Avaya filed for chapter 11 in January 2017 and Toshiba removed itself altogether from selling phone systems in March 2017.
Yes, legacy systems still work and yes, Avaya is trying to reorganize and come out of chapter 11 “better than ever” but with pressure from every IT company selling over 2000 hosted/cloud offerings now in the mix, large companies like MicroSoft/Skype for Business and a number of solid SIP VoIP solutions available there really isn’t any reason to entertain buying a proprietary system. Why pay for licenses to convert their proprietary protocol to SIP, plus a session border controller, plus having to install multiple boxes or images plus multiple applications. SIP is the world-wide voice protocol so it should be readily apparent to companies researching new systems or service to stay away from proprietary systems. Would you buy a Dell server if Dell informed you that you can only buy Dell PC’s to connect to your new server unless you pay Dell for a Dell 3rd party license in order to use a HP, Asus, Acer, Lenovo PC etc… and maybe an Ethernet License fee so you can connect to your network. You would laugh at them.
The better VoIP systems have already been around over a decade and are already SIP based systems with every enterprise feature under the sun. A single image utilizing a single application has been available for the past several years. Spin up an image in your existing vmware or Hyper-V environment covering a single sight or 100+ sites and you are done without adding any additional equipment to your environment. If you prefer redundancy beyond the readily available SIP trunk fail-over services you can simply add a second image in a different site or data center and redundancy licenses to have complete failover services nationally or Internationally (again without adding any phone system hardware)
If WebRTC and browser based UC solution is what you are looking for then there is a Web based HTML5 system available. Again this VoIP solutions company has been around over a decade and was the first to release a WebRTC phone. If you are looking for a replacement for Skype for Business that includes a solid voice solution as well this product is the “Skype Buster”
The only reason legacy proprietary phone systems are still around is simply that companies have longer buying cycles and a little name recognition from years past. It is nothing to replace PC’s or smart phones every couple of years and for IT departments to keep up on the market changes and new features for PC’s and smart phones. If your companies decision maker only looks at phone systems every 10 years or so then they are typically not well versed in the market and in turn fear of making a mistake gravitates the decision maker to sometimes irrationally choose a name brand legacy system. Emotional buying equals wrong choices, lost value and added costs.
The stop-gap for many companies has been to migrate to a hosted or cloud solution. I will be discussing the pros and cons next time as you might be surprised.