It’s been announced some time ago and widely expected, but recently HP finally pulled the plug on its VoIP PBX product, HP VCX. This product had received little investment over the last few years and had dwindling sales, so who cares?
Well there is still a significant amount of customers out there that run the platform and made major investments into it. As it’s a proprietary platform, customers will have to ditch their investment and buy an entirely new system. Not only do these companies now have to buy new hardware and software, they also have to retrain their users and administration staff. There is also the cost of down time. It’s not the first time this happened, either. Not so long ago Nortel went bankrupt and Avaya, who bought Nortel, forced customers to move to an Avaya system.
All this is proof how important it is to go for an open standard SIP system. Some customers still think that buying a big sticker price PBX from a large company means they are assured the product will always be available. They assume there will be continued investment in the product. Well HP VCX is further proof that these days are over. High prices, big brand names, it’s simply no guarantee that the product will be around in the years to come.
My advice to companies is to go open standard. Invest in a technology adopted by a whole industry - SIP. A technology for which there is a big choice of hardware; IP Phones, Gateways, SIP trunk providers etc. Invest in PBX software running on an operating system you know well and you can manage without additional training costs (be it Linux or Windows, whichever you know better). These points will be a much better safeguard from a costly ‘forced’ move than a “big” brand or high purchase price!