In the telecommunications industry - as in life - there is nothing more certain than change.
And in the digital world, change becomes the constantly moving target, and because technology evolves faster than the hardware it serves, telecommunications systems ultimately become outdated.
The good news is manufacturers typically don't turn a new product out into the market and discontinue service on the older model at the same time.
In fact, in the telecommunications industry, manufacturer discontinuations are usually spread out over the course of as long as two years, sometimes longer.
Sometimes new software upgrades will seamlessly blend or "bridge" older equipment into the latest equipment or application releases.
But when a product is truly out of date and no longer serviced, then the issue isn't whether or not "off the shelf" software or hardware will work anymore, but rather what is the best way to migrate business applications to a contemporary, fully supported telecommunications system. This usually means buying a new system.
When a manufacturer puts a particular software application or equipment model "on notice", it means the older product is no longer supported.
The key things to keep in mind about manufacturer's discontinuations are that parts aren't being manufactured any longer. Existing parts and inventories will ultimately run out. Repair services may be harder to come by, or no longer available, and the technology, ultimately will be phased out.
Remember rotary phones? Seven-digit dialing? How about the days when an entire state consisted of one, or at most two or three area codes?
While new technologies are developed and sent to market at random times, historically industry manufacturer discontinuation cycles run about every five to seven years.
So timing, which means how old is your telecommunications system today and when did you buy it, is a good benchmark to work forward from.