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Existing Nortel/Avaya BCM installations

23 May 2014 12:11 PM -
We received a newsletter from one of our 'competitors' spreading the fear that you can't get parts or licenses for the Nortel/Avaya Business Communications Manager range of phone systems and suggesting that they be replaced with their own hosted PBX platform.

It is true that the BCM range is now out of production but the latest software versions will still have manufacturers support for another few years. Even if you don't have the latest software version there is nothing to fear. We and our affiliate companies around the country continue to support the older versions day in and day out with replacement hard drives and power supplies which are really the only weaknesses and simply because the OEM stuff wasn't of the highest spec.

Licenses on the older platform BCM200 & 400 are getting harder to come by but we still have avenues to procure them. If your BCM is continuing to do what you need it to do then there is no need to rush to replace it and certainly not with a hosted setup which can be fraught with dangers.

If you go hosted then you need a very robust Internet connection plus you need to replace all your phones and be trained on how to use them again. We are able to offer hosted PBX from various vendors but seldom implement them because we are not happy recommending a solution that is totally dependent on the Internet even to call the phone next to you. We have also found the phones normally used are not very robust and look shabby after a short time. Finally the feature set is not very comprehensive.

Because Avaya does care about it's customers and the investment they have already made it has developed a migration path for BCM customers who want to upgrade enabling the retention of most models of legacy phone and simply upgrading the switching unit. Imagine the cost saving!

Your phone display will look slightly different but all of the common features work just as they did and when you are ready to change phones you can. You also get all of the new features offered by the Avaya IP Office platform such as Flare for iPad.

This is the approach that JB Hi Fi is taking: existing phone systems are maintained using replacement parts and new stores get an IP Office with older phones for a common look and feel. If a store suffers a major failure then it is more cost effective to replace the BCM with an IP Office.

If you have a BCM system and are being approached by people making all sorts of claims about their reliability, longevity and serviceability and claiming the only option is complete replacement, ignore them and talk to us to tell you what you really need based on what you want your phone system to do for your business.