Mitel/Shoretel MiConnect End of Life

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Mitel Product Updates for UCaaS

When Mitel announced its strategic partnership two years ago with RingCentral becoming its exclusive provider of UCaaS,  it also made public announcements about Mitel/Shoretel MiConnect End of Sale / End of Life for all five of its UCaaS solutions including MiCloud Office US (EoL 6/30/2023), MiCloud Business US (EoL  6/30/2024), and dates for ShoreTel Sky, MiCloud Connect, and MiCloud Flex Retail in the US.

Mitel MiConnect Next Steps

When Mitel announced that they would no longer be supporting MiConnect at the end of 2030, they put many customers in the uncomfortable position of having to decide how to invest in the future of their communications platform. Even with plenty of notice, no one wants to be told their phone system will be outdated and unsupported soon. While 2030 seems like enough time to make a decision, keep in mind that at the end of 2024 Mitel security patches and software updates will end, leaving your system at risk.

Seeking a solution sooner rather than later will afford you ample time for a detailed evaluation of potential providers, building a compelling business case, contracting, and eventually deploying the new system seamlessly. So let’s break down the process to ensure you’re making an informed decision.

Mitel MiVoice End of Life Key Dates to Remember

The Mitel/Shoretel  MiVoice Connect product has had a remarkable run since the early 2000s, providing reliable & clear communications for over 20 years. Here are key dates to consider as you strategize on the best path forward:

  • July 6, 2024: New system sales ended.
  • December 31, 2024: Termination of add-on sales including both hardware and software expansions. Feature enhancements, patching, and system scalability will no longer be available. This is especially important to note that the expansion of current systems ends. So if you are opening a new office, and truly want your communications unified, this could seriously affect or halt those efforts.
  • December 31, 2025: Termination of design support.
  • December 31, 2028: Termination of all hardware repair (no RMA).
  • December 31, 2029: Support and all other Mitel product engagement ends.

Mitel MiVoice Connect End of Life Timeline

Be aware there are significant risks in operating the MiVoice system beyond December 31, 2024, due to halted expansions and security patches, leaving your system vulnerable and stagnant. Operating with this system in place will take some incredible work-around engineering which in turn can cause frustration and become costly year over year. You’ll need to make a change eventually, so why not make the time now to start that process to ensure it’s a smooth one.

What Does Your Company Really Need?

Business phone systems can be complicated, and there are many choices to make. As you look to the future, be open-minded to the fact your company may have outgrown its current platform, you just didn’t realize it.  Your company has evolved from when you first deployed Mitel MiVoice, and the communication world has evolved at a faster pace than ever over the past decade. AI, flexibility, chatbots and so much more are available. There is an entirely new world of innovation, automation, and customer experience waiting for you to explore.

Look at who you are now and solicit the feedback of customers, partners, vendors, and your employees to really understand your organizational needs.  A few of the questions to consider are:

  • Do you have a contact center? Do you need one?
  • Do you have multiple locations or one centralized workforce?
  • Do you have satellite offices or hybrid workers?
  • How do your customers interact with you as a company?
  • How would your customers like to engage with you?
  • Would you consider adding video, SMS, or chat features if you don’t already have them?
  • What functionality could help your team work more efficiently? Or more collaboratively?

Communications Have Evolved Too

Along with how you’re engaging with your customers and each other, how you invest in communication platforms has changed. What was once a one-time capital expense, or short-term lease is now an operating expense. We live in an “As A Service” world including communications. Mitel still has an on-premise option if you need a traditional PBX, but there are new Contact Center As A Service (CCaaS) and Unified Communications As A Service (UCaaS) offerings that might suit your business needs better in today’s customer-centric expectations.

With that in mind, here’s a  guide to selecting a robust alternative to the Mitel MiVoice system:

  • Assess Current Needs: Start with a thorough analysis of your current requirements, identifying the non-negotiable features and functionalities for your business operations.
  • Research and Evaluate: Narrow down to a select few providers (2-3) who are leaders in the market and align with your assessed needs.
  • Demos: Arrange for demonstrations from the shortlisted providers to get a firsthand experience of their offerings. Note: There are technology companies like Global CTI that work with multiple telecom providers. However, they should take an agnostic approach to finding the solution and provider that best suits your business needs. if you feel pushed into choosing a provider you’re not sure will suit you, get a second opinion!
  • Pricing: Delve into the pricing details, comparing the cost-effectiveness and ROI of each option, including one-time purchases or monthly per-user models that offer greater scalability and seasonal flexibility. Pricing should be transparent, and include installation fees along with an option for on-going support.
  • Proof of Concept (POC): Undertake a POC project to test the proposed solution in a real-world scenario. Partners like Global CTI should have demonstration models you can test for a limited time before purchasing.
  • Scorecard: Develop a scorecard to systematically evaluate each solution against various parameters including performance, reliability, and user-friendliness.
  • Business Case Building and Contracting: Construct a strong business case illustrating the benefits of transitioning to the new system followed by the contracting process. If you need to secure approval from a Board or executive leadership group, your technology partner can help you prepare for the presentation and, in Global CTI’s case, we offer to attend with you to answer deeper technical questions.
  • Training: Equip your team with the necessary training to proficiently navigate the new system. Be sure your technology partner is ready to support your employees and help with this task, especially if your workers are scattered across multiple offices. Most training can be done remotely using video.
  • Transition: Steer a smooth transition, ensuring a seamless handover from the old system to the new one. Making the transition before the old system dies is much easier, so don’t procrastinate until the old system is inoperable or you discover it wasn’t backing up data.
  • Deployment: After finalizing the contract, move to the deployment phase where the new system will be installed and configured. You don’t need to walk down this path alone (unless you want to). Technology partners like Global CTI are prepared to be on-site for deployment and post-optimization to ensure yu and your team have the best experience possible.
  • Optimization: Post-transition, focus on optimizing the system to suit your evolving business demands.
  • Adjustments: Be prepared to make necessary adjustments based on the feedback and performance metrics of the new system. Technology partners like Global CTI can on-going support to ensure your team stays fully functional while the organization adjusts to the new system.

What Are Your Options?

Any decision worth making for your company includes due diligence. The good news is there are many options available for current MiVoice customers to choose from. Some are easier than others, and depending on your company assessment results, others may be more applicable when it comes to enhanced features you’ve deemed to add.  Here are four options to take with your Mitel phone system.

  1. Migrate to MiVoice Business. If you’re looking for the easiest and most efficient path, consider this option. Mitel’s go-to platform for MiVoice Connect customers, serves customers of all sizes: small to large, with public and private cloud and on-premise deployment options, with CAPEX and OPEX licensing, and with great flexibility to integrate with collaboration solutions and industry-aligned workflow applications.
    The benefits:

    • Not much financial strain on your organization
    • Deployment flexibility (on-site, in the public cloud or private cloud)
    • Suitable for organizations of any size
    • SMB Controller is the best option for previous MiVoice Office 250, MiVoice Connect or 14.2 users, and for onsidte disaster recovery
    • Full range of IP desktop devices and accessories
    • Feature-rich unified communications platform for communication, collaboration and customer service
  2. Migrate to RingCentral. RingCentral took over Mitel’s cloud offering at the end of 2021. Migrating your Mitel phone system to a RingCentral cloud solution can be a low-disruption move for your company. Global CTI is a certified Gold partner with RingCentral to provide a better implementation experience, onsite training and cutover, and onsite services post-cut to make your life easier.
    The benefits:

    • Excellent reliability with 99.999% uptime
    • Strong security from seven layers of protection
    • Integrates with 250+ applications
    • Works with 400 and 6900 series Mitel phones
    • Migration offers minimal to no disruption to your business
    • Ranked as a market leader on the Gartner Magic Quadrant
    • Powerful voice, video, chat and contact center features
  3. Choose an alternate provider. It’s worthwhile to explore unified communications (UCaaS) and contact center (CCaaS) platforms that consolidate technology across phone messaging and meetings. RingCentral is one option of course, but Gartner recommends some strong contenders in its Magic Quadrant reports.
    Some of the leaders include:

    • 8×8
    • Nextiva
    • Zoom
  4. Put off making a decision and see what happens. Yes, you can continue to use your MiConnect system. Legacy systems are familiar and easy to use, but staying with one after its product sales and software support ends can create problems. You will likely run into issues if you open a new office, hire remote employees, or have hardware issues. Delaying your decision until the last moment can cause serious disruptions for your organization, and you may be forced to replace your entire system because you are facing hardware failures, reaching the end-of-life phase, or because there is no longer any customer support for the system you were using.

Need Help Determining the Best Option?

Global CTI can help you navigate these options (and others) to ensure you make a well-informed and defendable decision with your organization’s needs at the forefront. We understand the financial risks and will present transparent and easy-to-understand product solutions that will allow your company to grow and expand into the future. Give us a call for your free consultation today at 800-366-1711 or Contact Us Here.

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