Have ShoreTel or Mitel MiVoice Connect? The End is Here

The end isn't just near; it's here. Mitel (formerly ShoreTel) officially announced its End-of-Sale (EoS) for MiVoice Connect platform software, hardware, and all related applications, beginning July 6, 2024. 

Of course, we've tackled this subject before. As a Mitel Platinum Partner, we know a thing or two about Mitel (you could call us experts), and we know adopting a new solution isn't something you do on the fly. Optimistically, it's a 3 - 6 month process. For more complex setups, that timeline stretches up to 8 months or more. Given this lengthy resolution timeline and the challenges that quickly arise with an EOS system—well before the defined dates in our experience—this means that failure to act could have dire consequences for your contact center and your customers; the time to begin tackling this problem is NOW.  

Before we expand on that, let's first review what EoS means and the specifics of this announcement, and then we can discuss implications (a move to cloud is imminent) for Mitel's MiVoice Connect customers.  

Defining End of Sales   

Mitel defines End-of-Sale as the deadline to order a Mitel product through their point-of-sale system and also indicates when Mitel stops marketing and selling a product. July 6, 2024, is the EoS date for Mitel MiVoice Connect, where Mitel will no longer accept new customers.   

MiVoice Connect End-of-Sale Affected Products  

All hardware, software, and development will be terminated. The affected solutions include any legacy ShoreTel and the following Mitel products:   

  • MiVConnect Enterprise and Small Business Edition PBX software   

  • MiVConnect Client software   

  • MiVConnect ST Voice Switch hardware   

  • Mitel IP400 Phones   

  • MiVConnect Edge Gateway software  

  • MiVConnect Mobility Router software  

  • MiVConnect Contact Center software  

  • MiVConnect Advanced Apps software  

  • Ingate SIParator hardware and software   

The lifecycle milestones for the above list are as follows:   

July 6, 2024 - End of new system sales: 

Mitel will no longer accept new customers or contracts—without the protection of fixed contract terms prices are subject to change—and will continue to direct its resources (think support and staff reductions) elsewhere. 

December 31, 2024 - End of add-on sales: 

Spare and repair parts will no longer be sold, and their availability will dramatically decrease or potentially cease before then.  

December 31, 2028 - End of hardware repair:

Mitel's repair facility officially closes and ceases coverage of product defects under their manufacturer's warranty.  

December 31, 2029 - End of technical support: 

All Mitel technical support will completely cease on this date.   

So, where does that leave Mitel MiVoice customers? The answer is: in a highly vulnerable position. 

Lack of Security, Support, and Agility for Current MiVoice Connect Customers  

Look at the list above, and you may be inclined to think you've got a lot of time between today and December of 2029 to figure this out. Understandable. But in reality, that's not exactly the case.  

Why? As we mentioned above, migrating takes months on average. July 2024 is not that far off. If you factor in lead time to migrate, realistically you've only got at best a few months to protect your business from the potential hazards of operating on an EoS system before that clock runs out. Continue with Mitel beyond that, and you'll face scalability, cybersecurity, and support challenges that could upend your operations with dire consequences.

Compromised Cybersecurity

First, there's a risk of compromised data security when using on-premise or server-based systems. New patches (including Microsoft updates) to your operating system may not only render your system inoperable but also "unsupportable," according to Mitel. Sunsetting on-premise and server-based systems are prime targets for ransomware, taking hostage your ability to communicate and leaving you without access to data. With the increasing frequency of attacks, it's crucial to recognize that your server-based PBX is more vulnerable than you might realize. Don't be fooled by partners pushing support agreements or vendors stating premise is here to stay.

Basically, if you stay on your ShoreTel/Mitel EoS system, you're put in the position of choosing between the lesser of two evils:

  • You can perform your regular patch and Microsoft updates and risk making your Mitel software inoperable and unsupportable, or
  • You can forgo patching, making Microsoft applications and your operating system increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks from threat actors who target sunsetting systems.

Being cut off from your customers is a steep price to pay for not migrating. Because of this, Mitel's End-of-Sale serves as a clear security warning. In fact, some technology providers recommend getting off systems two years before the actual EoS/EoL dates!  

Diminished Customer Support  

Next, as with any sunsetting product, resources diminish. That's because the company redirects support staff to its focus products. Once announcements are made, top talent often moves on, leaving providers to rely on outsourced, overseas third-party subcontractors who don't have the same skillsets as their predecessors to pick up the slack. That can lead to a drop in the quality of customer support. Expect longer wait and resolution times. ​The implications could range from delayed problem resolution, increased downtime, and ultimately, a negative impact on your business operations and customer satisfaction. 

Lack of Agility

Lastly, MiVoice Connect isn't capable of growing with you. As with any discontinued product, it simply won't be available. For a communications solution that serves your entire company, that poses issues. Let's say you require more seats—a common scenario amongst businesses—you won't be able to buy licensing for them. This could result in your employees operating on two different systems, an inefficient and confusing situation. Wouldn't it be better to transition everyone to a new, scalable, and updated cloud platform that can effortlessly adapt to your company's needs?  

What Should MiVoice Connect Customers Do?  

Plain and simple, it's  time to move to a solution that works for your needs now and into the future. The good news? The shift isn't just about adapting to change; it's also about embracing opportunities. Newer, more agile platforms that offer robust security features are cropping up, and there's never been a better time to explore as the cloud communications industry continues to grow and innovate. There are a lot of vendors to choose from, and that pool means pricing has become much more competitive than it was even a few years ago.    

At the same time, cloud systems are growing more complex, and service options are plentiful. Maybe a combination of Teams and Telephony is right for you. Perhaps a blend of UCaaS and CCaaS? Or, possibly, you'll need a hybrid approach.   

How can you cut through the challenges and complexities of the industry's changing landscape? The answer lies in partnering with third-party providers (like us!) that offer a clear path to successful system implementation and post-deployment support.    

For instance, as a cloud consulting firm, we leverage our expertly trained U.S.-based team to prioritize your organization's needs, ensuring you pick the right provider and experience a seamless transition and exceptional ongoing support. They bridge the industry-wide void around customer implementation and post-implementation success, offering a customer-centric approach that puts your interests at the forefront.  

Our Solution Architects don't just recommend slapping new tech on old processes; they uncover ways to evolve your communications ecosystem by using collaborative mapping for strategy and product alignment across your business units, recommending vendors, and setting up customized demos, so you save time viewing only the features and functionality that matter to you. Plus, they'll perform testing before your go-live to ensure the smoothest transition possible and be there for you post-go-live should you choose to engage with CTPros for ongoing support.  

Our Technical Account Management Team (TAMs) offers optional ongoing post-implementation support, which includes:  

  • Priority escalation and expedited triage for technical issues  

  • Ongoing end-user and administrative training available in English and Spanish  

  • Programming for moves, adds, and changes  

  • Advanced telephony network assistance  

  • Performance report creation and analysis, including Brightmetrics  

  • Recurring business review calls  

  • 24/7 support options available  

  • And more!  

In a world where communication technology continues to evolve quickly, standing still is no longer an option. If you're a MiVoice Connect customer or any organization ready to move to the cloud, connect with our team today. Let's explore the best options for your business together. 

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