The announcement from Mitel regarding the end of life for Mitel MiVoice is the continuation of a trend that is now becoming the rule versus the exception. For businesses that have relied on this platform for over two decades, there is now a fork in the road on what is next.
If you’re wondering what this means for your enterprise and how to navigate this change seamlessly, you’ve landed at the right place. Let’s dive deep into what Mitel MiVoice’s end of life entails and how to effectively evaluate options, set a timeline, and ultimately transition to a new system that aligns with your business needs.
But First, Let’s Give an Old Friend Their Day
ShoreTel is where the InflowCX story began almost 3 decades ago. Before CCaaS and UCaaS were regular acronyms, before true cloud communications were a reality, there was ShoreTel. Born in a world full of complexity, ShoreTel created a system that was, in their words “Brilliantly Simple”.
Taking away the complexities and need for an entire engineering team to establish communications within a company, ShoreTel delivered on being brilliant and simple. The system enabled salespeople to connect with prospects and customers while providing IT teams with the resources they needed to deliver a great communication product.
In a way, ShoreTel, in the post “Ma Bell” world, democratized the world of communication and brought cutting-edge technology to businesses small and large across the globe. With easy-to-use interfaces, catchy marketing messaging, and sharp branding ShoreTel brought in a new era of communication. Even though ShoreTel is now firmly in the rearview mirror of our world, engineers and salespeople around the globe will forever be grateful for their place in communication history.
Mitel MiVoice End of Life Timeline: Key Dates to Remember
Mitel MiVoice Connect end of life announcement reminds us that this system has had a remarkable run since the early 2000s, providing reliable & clear communications for businesses globally for over 20 years. However, all good things come to an end, here are key dates to consider as you strategize on the best path forward:
- July 6, 2024: Discontinuation of new system sales
- December 31, 2024: Termination of add-on sales including both hardware and software expansions. Feature enhancements, patching, and system scalability will no longer be available. This is especially important to note that expansion of current systems end. So if you are opening a new office, and truly want your communications unified, this could seriously affect or halt those efforts.
Post-2024, the system will solely be in maintenance mode, offering support until December 31, 2029.
It is imperative to note the significant risk of operating the MiVoice system beyond December 31, 2024, due to halted expansions and security patches, leaving your system vulnerable and stagnant. Operating with this system in place will take some incredible work-around engineering which in turn can cause frustration.
Your Organization Now Versus When You Deployed Mitel MiVoice Connect
As you look to the future, it is important to note that many companies have outgrown their current platform, they just didn’t realize it. There is an entirely new world of innovation, automation, and customer experience waiting for you to explore.
More than likely your company is very different than when you first deployed Mitel MiVoice, and the communication world has evolved at a faster pace than ever over the past decade. AI, flexibility, chatbots and so much more are available.
It is important to ask yourself what category you fall under first, before exploring options. Start with who you are before selecting who your platform should be. A few of the questions we start with are:
- Do you have a contact center?
- If so, is it smaller or larger?
- Multiple locations or one centralized workforce?
- Do you have satellite offices or hybrid workers?
- How do your customers interact with you as a company?
Look at who you are now and solicit the feedback of customers, partners, vendors, and your own employees to really understand your organization. You will learn something new, and this is critical to a smooth transition.
Preparing for What’s Next: A Step-by-Step Guide
Failing to plan is planning to fail. With that in mind, and the key dates noted, having a step-by-step guide for success can help you transition as smoothly as possible. The first step is understanding that the world, and how communication platforms are acquired has changed.
What was once a one-time capital expense, or short-term lease is now an operating expense. We live in an “As A Service” world for almost everything and the communications world is no different. There is Contact Center As A Service (CCaaS) and Unified Communications As A Serivce (UCaaS). It is likely that your company’s needs have changed along with your customers’ expectations as well.
With that in mind, here’s a comprehensive guide to selecting a robust alternative to the Mitel MiVoice system, keeping your unique needs in focus:
- Assess Current Needs: Start with a thorough analysis of your current requirements, identifying the non-negotiable features and functionalities for your business operations.
- Research and Evaluate: Narrow down to a select few providers (2-3) who are leaders in the market and align with your assessed needs.
- Demos: Arrange for demonstrations from the shortlisted providers to get a firsthand experience of their offerings.
- Pricing: Delve into the pricing details, comparing the cost-effectiveness and ROI of each option.
- Proof of Concept (POC): Undertake a POC project to test the proposed solution in a real-world scenario.
- Scorecard: Develop a scorecard to systematically evaluate each solution against various parameters including performance, reliability, and user-friendliness.
- Business Case Building and Contracting: Construct a strong business case illustrating the benefits of transitioning to the new system followed by the contracting process.
- Training: Equip your team with the necessary training to proficiently navigate the new system.
- Transition: Steer a smooth transition, ensuring a seamless handover from the old system to the new one.
- Deployment: After finalizing the contract, move to the deployment phase where the new system will be installed and configured.
- Optimization: Post-transition, focus on optimizing the system to suit your evolving business demands.
- Adjustments: Be prepared to make necessary adjustments based on the feedback and performance metrics of the new system.
Once You Understand Your Own Company Selecting the Right Partner Is Easier
It’s worthwhile to explore unified communications (UCaaS) and contact center (CCaaS) platforms that consolidate technology across phone messaging and meetings. Some of the leaders in each subset of communications providers:
- UCaaS only
- RingCentral (Recommended by Mitel and compatible with 400 & 6900 series)
- UCaaS + CCaaS
- NICE CXone
Why Your Timeline Should Start Now
Embarking on this transition sooner rather than later will afford you ample time for a detailed evaluation of potential providers, building a compelling business case, contracting, and eventually deploying the new system seamlessly. Evaluate, Deploy & Optimize is a process that delivers time and time again.
Remember, the best time to start is now, paving a smooth path to a modernized communication system that promises not just to match but exceed the capabilities that Mitel MiVoice offers. Stay ahead of the curve, ensuring your business continues to enjoy uninterrupted, high-quality communication solutions tailored to your precise needs.
Every End of Life Is A New Beginning In The Communications World
Just like with the end-of-life announcements from Genesys and others, we have been here to help our customers navigate the journey ahead and land with the right solution. The reason being that we start with the most important part of any transition, your business.
Contact our team today, we have experienced professionals to help evaluate, deploy & optimize the right solution for your business today and into the future.