It’s Official. Avaya announces the END OF LIFE of the Nortel BCM. Now, what does that mean?

Over my 20 years in the Telecom business almost everything has changed, as telecom technology continues to advance at a rapid rate. One of the things that had never changed, however, was the presence of the Nortel product line in the market place. Nortel’s once innovative Norstar product was introduced sometime in the late 1980’s, and its fantastic twenty year run was cut short last May 2010. And last week Avaya announced the end of the Nortel BCM, Nortel’s flagship SMB phone system.

Avaya announces the End of Life of the Nortel BCM

I would classify the BCM as one of the more widely sold phone systems in the market which propelled Nortel to the #1 position in the worldwide market share concerning the small and medium business space. The product was feature rich, well-priced, and easy to install. Our company sold the Nortel BCM for many years with the unshakeable sense of confidence that Nortel once had.

But, as the old adage says, all good things must come to an end, and with that I’m sad to announce that BCM has reached the end of its impressive run.

When Avaya took over Nortel’s telecom assets they didn’t hide the fact that both the Norstar and BCM would be discontinued sometime in the near future, and the impending official announcement came on May 31st, 2011.

We have received at least 25 phone calls from concerned customers over the last 2 days wondering what this announcement means. First of all, it doesn’t mean that just because Avaya has discontinued the product that your phone system will stop working. Furthermore, Digitcom is in a unique position having spent the last 6 years stock piling BCM systems in anticipation of needing BCM stock at some point in the future. We have plenty of inventory, hard drives, MSC cards, expansion modules, and a depth of skill and are ready to continue to support, as best we can, both the discontinued Norstar and BCM product at least for the next two to three years.

Fortunately, Avaya does have a road map for these old Norstar and BCM products. The old handsets, M & T series, will continue to work on the newest release of Avaya IP Office, release 7.

Here is an excerpt of the Avaya press release announcing the discontinuation of the product:

As part of the previously announced convergence strategy and the launch of Avaya IP Office Release 7.0, Avaya is announcing the End-of-Sale (EoS) for new systems of Avaya Business Communications Manager 50 (BCM 50) and Avaya Business Communications Manager 450 (BCM 450) products, nine (9) months from the date of this announcement, effective March 1, 2012.

Products required to upgrade, expand and maintain existing BCM systems will continue to be offered for another three (3) years to March 1, 2015. This includes software authorization codes, terminals, media bay modules, expansion units, replacement parts, and upgrades to the latest release (BCM R6.0).

Avaya will make every effort to have supply of these products available for all orders, but cannot guarantee product availability through their End of Sale dates. Avaya reserves the right to manage and/or limit order quantities, or to cancel orders if supply is no longer available. Customer orders will be fulfilled on a first in, first out basis. If supply is exhausted prior to the targeted End of Sale dates in this notice, Avaya will issue an updated notice and accelerate removal of the applicable product codes from price lists and associated order entry systems.

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