Upgrades, end of sale, and end of life – farewell CS1000

As a product manager, I spend most of my time thinking about which products we should add to our (already extensive) portfolio of offers and solutions. But it’s just as important to define what we don’t sell. Withdrawing a product is always more difficult than introducing a new one, and while it’s much less exciting, it’s important to get it right.

Recently Avaya announced the forthcoming end of sale for the venerable and much-loved Nortel CS1000 telephone system. It can’t have been easy for Avaya (it makes quite a lot of money out of supporting these systems after all), but there comes a point where the research and development effort simply to keep up with the competition can’t be justified in business terms any more.

If you’ve got a CS1000 system, then brace yourself: you’re going to get a lot of unsolicited sales calls from lots of different companies all trying to sell you a new system. Of course, most of them will only be promoting the platform they can actually sell, so won’t give you a full view of what’s on offer. So I thought I’d write down what we see as your options.

Avaya has two main offers to replace the CS1000 – both with significant commercial support to make it less painful and easier for customers.

The first is Avaya Aura: Aura is hugely scalable (it can meet the needs of small countries!) and provides a very high level of resilience and reliability. It also uses the exact same contact centre software as the CS1000 (the memorably-named AACC or Avaya Aura Contact Centre).

The second is Avaya IP Office – which “only” scales to around 3,000 users, provides merely good resilience (everything is relative – it’s better than most of its competitors), and again uses the exact same contact centre software (except confusingly it’s called ACCS or Avaya Contact Centre Select on IP Office).

What Avaya has done, which makes things a little more interesting, is put forward commercial offers that don’t just work for replacing the on-premise PBX, but also works for cloud-based delivery. It is the first major vendor to offer significant incentives to customers to transition from an on-premise model to a cloud-based consumption model.
There are lots of reasons why we believe that you should talk to Maintel about your existing CS1000 system, but I think this is the most important:

We can deliver either Aura or IP Office from the cloud. This means you don’t have to spend a bucket-load of capital replacing your system, you don’t need to buy new handsets for everyone and you can carry on using the same software that you use today.
And we’re the highest accredited Avaya partner in the UK on CS1000, IP Office and Aura.

You may not be terribly happy that Avaya have just forced your hand on what you do about the PBX that your business relies on, but there are lots of options, and the newer systems and technologies can unlock significant productivity and efficiency gains.

So when an Avaya reseller tries to tell you that IP Office is the only way forward, because that’s all he can sell you, take a minute and give us a call. You may find that you’re choices aren’t as limited as you thought. Take a look here for more information.