Resisting an upgrade, or the integration of an improved platform, may make financial sense but the dangers of employing an old age platform (OAP) far beyond its recommended usage are numerous. Here, we will look at the top five challenges facing OAPs in the workplace, and why it may just be time to start fresh with your video conferencing platform. So, what are the challenges?
For a comprehensive look at this subject, download the Videocall whitepaper:
“The Challenges Facing OAPs: Should I Upgrade my Legacy Platform?"
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a phrase many CIOs and IT heads live by. Whilst that is an admirable ideology, it does not necessarily work in every case. When it comes to legacy video conferencing platforms, its current level of usability could be quickly decreased if both software and hardware do not work consistently with vendor updates.
- Your vendor will not support you anymore
Within a platform, there are many elements that come together to create a specific service for a company. When all these elements work together, the platform is efficient and effective. However, should one of these elements reach end-of-life or end-of-sale before the rest, the whole platform becomes old age.
Manufacturers and service providers are constantly updating their technology, so a platform installed three years ago may have already reached the end of its useful life. This may be due to the manufacturer creating a newer, better version of an existing platform. When this happens, businesses are informed that their platform is reaching end-of-sale, which leads to a lack of technical support and the inability to accept the latest software updates. Although your legacy platform works well with your current processes, if it is not supported by the vendor then there is a significant risk to security and usability.
- New employee demographics will find your platform unfamiliar
The largest demographic of workers in the UK will soon be millennials and, although a broad collection of workers in terms of age, they are tech-savvy enough to have embraced new technology in their personal lives, and expect as much in the office as well.
As video conferencing technology has advanced, as well as the uptake of cloud-hosted services, the options for collaboration have become more flexible. Good quality platforms, like our ICE service, will offer remote workers the chance to arrive in and host both scheduled and ad hoc meetings. With an OAP, there may not be an option for employees to work remotely as data is hosted on a private network. Not only that, legacy platforms are less likely to interoperate with any video enabled endpoint – something that Ice and Polycom® RealPresence® does with ease.
- Business processes and priorities have probably changed
As time has gone on, the processes and operations that define the day-to-day running of your business are likely to have changed. Although your video conferencing platform was sufficient in supporting your original process, it could well be that your platform needs to catch up considerably with the new interpretation of your business.
Unfortunately, platforms integrated as little as three years ago may well have become known as legacy because the industry has so quickly eclipsed its features. It is a possibility that businesses defined their processes in line with their platforms. Collaboration via memo or email may have become the norm because there was no alternative. Now, with the huge range of new hardware and software available, business processes need not be constrained by the abilities of an OAP. Cloud-based platforms with new features can support more contemporary processes, which in turn can lead to more positive business outcomes.
- Your OAP will probably never catch up with the technology on offer
The way technology is advancing in the current climate means the three-year window of useful life regarding IT deployments is likely to get smaller and smaller. Obviously, the needs of your business define what type of platform you use, but a lack of vendor support and an ever-increasing catalogue of office technology means OAPs will never catch up with what’s on offer.
The IoT (Internet of Things), mobile cloud technology, gamification and virtual reality are all things that would have been considered science fiction as little as ten years ago. Now, each one of these technologies is being discussed seriously as potential elements to make up the workplace of the future. Even today’s available platforms offer advanced services compared with platforms of a few years ago. For example, the Polycom® RealPresence® Web Suite Pro platform allows small meetings to be optimised with a WebRTC mesh call which auto-escalates to a bridge when needed. Smarter platforms create more efficient networks, which then helps staff be more productive. This is a direct upgrade from their OAP, Polycom® RealPresence® CloudAXIS Suite (pictured left).
- You run the risk of security breaches
With new technology, the first query many users have regards security. Both hackers and firewalls have become more intelligent and cutting-edge, so the security offered from an OAP may be distinctly less effective against newer threats.
With an OAP that has reached end-of-life, the manufacturer or service provider will not offer support of protection when things go wrong. Whilst many question the security of the cloud, it is actually on-premise security that is the largest pitfall when retaining a legacy platform. The risks to businesses are unnecessary, particularly when the simplicity of migration is taken into account.
Change is Good
It may be that some of these issues are more obvious to your business than others, yet all of them should be considered. Upgrading to a new platform like Videocall’s ICE (Intelligent Cloud Experience) or Polycom® RealPresence® Web Suite Pro is simpler than you may think, with service levels specifically designed for each business. Multiple endpoint support and a fully cloud-based service are just two reasons why this technology is future proof, and why it is likely to finally put OAPs to sleep.
Read part 2 of this blog series to learn more about OAPs versus Videocall's managed service ICE.
For a comprehensive look at this subject, download the free Videocall whitepaper:
“The Challenges Facing OAPs: Should I Upgrade my Legacy Platform?”