June 09, 2020 | Austin Herrington

Could your legacy voice system be a service risk?

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Austin Herrington, VP of Product Management

Austin Herrington

Austin oversees the enterprise product strategy and roadmap where he and his team develop, manage and market advanced products and services offered to customers nationwide, executing programs to help businesses achieve a perpetual state of winning.

Upgrading business data networks often takes precedence over voice systems simply because of inertia. Plenty of business owners adhere to the adage, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” But even if your legacy voice system isn’t failing (yet), could it still be a risk to your business operations? The simple answer is yes. And here’s why.

Could your legacy voice system be a service risk?

The issues with legacy voice systems

Many businesses continue to operate on-premises PBX equipment (like Nortel CS1Ks or BCMs) that have been manufacturer discontinued for years. Others, especially in the education and state/local government segment, continue to use obsolete Centrex service, a PBX-like product that dates back to the early 1960s. If you’re still running any of these legacy services, these issues are why you should consider moving your voice system to the cloud.

Capabilities for critical business needs

It’s no secret that newer technologies provide more features and functionality. And that may not have been top-of-mind a few months ago, but in light of a global pandemic, remote working has quickly become a critical business need. With legacy systems, you might struggle to keep your employees and customers connected from anywhere, which needn’t happen with so many great options available.

In many cases, businesses routinely use on-premises equipment, that is 5, 10 or even 15 years old. As a result, they don’t have a lot of features (call forwarding, seamless failover, mobility, and remote access, to name a few) that current platforms can offer. Moving to UCaaS deployment lets you stay current with the latest capabilities to move at the speed of business.

Cost savings

If you think you simply can’t afford to upgrade to UCaaS, there’s a whole host of reasons why staying with a legacy system could cost you more in the long run. For starters, owning and maintaining an on-prem environment can be costly, both in terms of capital cost for the hardware and software, as well as the cost in human resources. As we’ve seen in market trends, more and more customers are turning to the cloud for consuming UC&C. By doing so, customers move from CAPEX to OPEX, only pay for what they need, and free up those internal resources to work on things that drive their business forward.

Secondly, on older on-premises platforms, any seasonality in your business can mean having to build for your peak capacity (and paying for it), even if you don’t use it all the time. With an ‘as-a-service’ model, you would only pay for what you use. Finally, many providers (including Windstream) are not renewing contracts for many obsolete voice services, which means customers will be subject to rate increases and eventual discontinuance (sunsetting) of those services. At this point, you have to ask yourself if holding on to your legacy system is really serving you in the best way possible. 

Limited security and end-of-support

As a final note about legacy voice systems, remember that support for these services will decrease as we go forward. With so many other, newer options out there, companies won’t commit to supporting out-of-date systems that simply can’t be upgraded anymore. In fact, many have announced the end of support (EoS) for their legacy systems, meaning they will no longer provide patches or updates to their applications. This is particularly important if you are concerned about system security. Even if you have a credible threat to your system, equipment manufacturers will not create a patch to address that security vulnerability.

Remember, too, that if you’re looking to seamlessly transition users to mobile or remote locations, trying to do so without a current release could make it impossible. It’s better to upgrade to a more agile Cloud deployment that allows you to make changes when and how you want. And if having a robust, flexible voice system that can ensure scalability and business continuity isn’t enough to encourage your transition to UCaaS, a number of companies are offering cost-saving promotions to make the switch easier on your bottom line.

Experience the value of UCaaS 

If you’d like to make a proactive upgrade to a next-gen, cloud-based technology to better position your business for collaboration, Windstream Enterprise is a partner you can trust. Our OfficeSuite UC® is a 100% cloud-based phone, mobility, and unified communications solution that empowers your employees to work effectively from virtually anywhere, improving productivity and customer service. Benefits include a complete solution with hundreds of features and unlimited calling, company-wide chat and mobile apps, video and audio conferencing, fax, optional call center services, and more—all managed from a single pane of glass via our WE Connect Portal. 

Want to learn more about this offering? Take advantage of our free trial.


VP of Product Management

Austin Herrington

Austin oversees the enterprise product strategy and roadmap where he and his team develop, manage and market advanced products and services offered to customers nationwide, executing programs to help businesses achieve a perpetual state of winning.