Your Conference System is ‘End of _____.’ Now what?

The Problem

One of the many issues facing IT managers today is equipment that is End of Life, End of Sale, End of Support and Manufacturers Discontinued. Technologies rely on numerous underlying technologies, so at any given point a component of your system may be a risk to your enterprise. If your enterprise is a financial institution, then, to borrow a phrase, ‘Houston, we have a problem.’  What are your next steps?


1.     Assess Your Risk

End of Life means no more updates, End of Sale means it is no longer available off the shelf, End of Support means if it is broken, you are on your own, and Manufacturers Discontinued means it is no longer available from the factory. While each is different, your problem is the same:  Risk! Why is it ending? Is there a particular component that is no longer available? One of the riskiest issues is when an underlying operating system is no longer supported.

·       You are open to potential security risk that you literally cannot afford

·       It may cause an operational risk in the form of service interruption

·       A failure for any reason can cause reputational risk

·       You may suffer financial risk from a failure either in fine or lost revenues


2.     Determine Your Options

When this happens with the tech giant’s products (Windows XP, Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Flash, Java 6 Office 2003) there is usually something they have ready to replace it. But if your vendor was using one of those as an underlying foundational component, changing it may be incompatible with other components. Now you are faced with a decision you probably did not anticipate and may not have the budget to resolve. And that vendor who failed to plan has another answer? Is their promised fix six months to a year away? Do you want to be their first user guinea pig? Do you continue to trust a vendor who put you in this predicament? Do you dare go on the grey market for support, or parts of questionable quality on an auction website, or promises from the vendor to scour the warehouse or cannibalize systems for you? How would your choice look as a headline on tomorrow’s business news?

Scared yet? If not read on. In the financial industry the vendors who provide trader voice services are limited, and conference systems even more limited and due to its age it may have risk beyond ‘end of ____’:

·       Not SIP or WebRTC capable

·       Not cloud ready or native

·       Unable to convert all current protocols

·       No secure remote/mobile access

·       No LDAP integration

·       No mobile apps

·       No browser access form anywhere

·       Out of date security and unable to upgrade

·       Incompatible with your existing desktop appliances


3.     Make a Decision

If the risk is low, you may be able to contain it and use something to front end it or replace it with a properly built CAPEX or OPEX solution from an experienced manufacturer and provider that has hundreds of thousands of ports operating around the world with zero down time.

·       Who is financially stable?

·       Who has the right vision?

·       Trader Voice has been dubbed a melting ice cube by some. Who will survive?

·       Who has a proven track record and base to support their sustainability?

·       Who ticks the boxes for integrating every past, present and future functionality you require?

·       Who is responsive to their all their customers’ needs, not just the top 20%?


In my experience, that vendor is XOP. Networks ( They come from the Telco background where failure is not acceptable, but have an agile mindset required for today’s tech success. Their modular design ensures that components can be upgraded or replaced without having to end them, and their track record proves it. And their model is not ‘one size fits all’ forcing you to buy more than you require.


Their Universal Services Node (USN) mitigates every risk mentioned and delivers every feature listed and more. And if it is not on the list, simply tell them what you need, and it will be developed by their team (as I have personally witnessed literally overnight). They support all protocols and can bridge the gap from anything to anything else. They can integrate to your system or provide an interface off the shelf. And they can extend the life of your technology investment and lower the risk that others foisted upon you.


XOP also supports Command and Control (C2) first responders, so they understand performance means lives and it is reflected in their products and services. They have long supported the financial industry where they also know that time is money. Depending on your service provider choice, you may be using them right now and not know it. Just ask yourself if your service has ever gone down, or if you had an ‘end of ____’ notice. If the answer is yes, your provider is not using XOP.



Sadly, firms can be misled by the sleight of hand performed by the very vendors who put them at risk. The promise of a new and improved widget or a glitzy demo can obscure the fact that there is a risk to their firm. After these notices are sent, IT Managers are forced to find and evaluate alternatives and expend resources on bids to replace them. If this blog resonates with your experience, then give XOP a call and save yourself time, aggravation, and cost. In closing I will remind you of the fable of the scorpion and the frog. The scorpion needs to cross the river and asked the frog for a ride on its back. To summarize, the scorpion bites the frog, and both drown in the middle of the river. The frog cried ‘why’? The scorpion responded, ‘because it is my nature.’ Choose wisely.


Bill Wagner is a financial industry technology consultant with over 30 years’ experience as an industry executive in hardware, software, engineering, operations, R&D, product development and introduction, and strategic development.