Software Assurance for Unified Communications | Customer Use Cases

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Javier Garcia-Plata | January 26, 2023


In the first part of my software assurance (SWA) conversation with Melissa Swartz, Founder of Swartz Consulting, and Rick Hathaway, Principal Consultant and Owner of RLH Telecom Solutions, we busted SWA myths and shared best practices for organizations using unified communications.


In the second part of our discussion, Melissa and Rick shared first-hand stories of their customers overcoming challenges with the help of SWA and support contracts, along with some interesting cases of ill-preparedness.


Listen to the conversation above or read through it below.


Melissa Swartz: I'm Melissa Swartz. I am an independent consultant. I work in the unified communications, contact center, and wide area networking space.


Rick Hathaway: My name is Rick Hathaway. I'm an independent consultant and member of the Society of Communication Technology Consultants.


Melissa Swartz: So, I have had clients who needed a new capability and the next software, and a recent update gave them that essentially at no cost. There might have been a small cost for the local partner to install the update, but you know you're talking 500, 1000 dollars to get an update installed as opposed to tens or hundreds of thousands to replace your phone system to get a capability. So, I think that's huge – staying current and competitive with your communication technology. It really can be a differentiator in your business.


Rick Hathaway: A large city municipal government that had a malware attack, and even though the telephone system itself - the Mitel platform - didn't go down, every computer and every server around it did. Having that software assurance program in place allowed them to access the vendor and Mitel corporate support to rebuild servers and get everything back online.


Melissa Swartz: I have a manufacturing and retail client, and they have a revenue-producing contact center. They were on T&M and were letting their system get outdated, and the server for the contact center died. So, they were boxed into a corner. They were down for, I think, two to three days, and they were finally able to scavenge some old server that was still compatible with their old phone system software and get that to work, but it was a horrific experience. And it wasn't just the fact that it was horrible for the people that were trying to make it work and trying to find old parts and people who knew how to work on this stuff but having a revenue-producing contact center down for that kind of time frame was a hit on their reputation. So, it was just bad news all the way around.


Rick Hathaway: A large credit union association that I did a system replacement chose not to have a software assurance program and chose the time and materials model, the T&M support model. It saved them dollars on their budget, but they had a flood in their server room in their data center, which took out the telephony platform and about 200 servers. It was a very long week to get things back working, and again the lack of an ongoing maintenance program and a contract in place caused them only to be able to get anybody for the telephony platform on the mid-second day.


Melissa Swartz: I have another client who has a network of old PBXs, which are old. They're in the hospitality industry in the US, and they have, at this point, pretty much painted themselves into a corner. They have old phone systems. They cannot add licenses. They cannot add users. They can't change anything about them because it's so old that there's no way to update any of them. They are on PRIs. They can't move to SIP because they can't get the SIP software. They are in a situation now where they would have to start all over and buy all new phone systems. They're that old. They just can't be salvaged. And so, it's a considerable cost. Just huge. And so, they either must choose between a massive cost to get to where they need to be on the technology or paying way too much for telco services because of not being able to take advantage of newer services and being limited on the number of licenses and devices that they can have. They can't add past a certain point. Whatever the PBX is configured for. So, they are really in a bind. It may seem like you're saving money not to have software assurance that, in the long run, it can cost you way more not to have it.

Javier Garcia-PlataSenior Product Marketing Manager

Javier Garcia-Plata joined Mitel in 2022 as Senior Product Marketing Manager, bringing rich experience in customer strategy, business digitalization, and strategic new business development, leveraged in global companies including Canon, SunChemical, and Pearson. In his role as a product marketer, Javier helps to improve the experience of partners and users worldwide working with Mitel.

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