Tuesday, January 29, 2008

To Everything There Is A Season

While perusing my web hits during lunch I found the following quote for the wisest of the wise sages Laurence, who is in tech support as am I.

When a product is end of life'd, death is rarely faced with dignity by the customer.

I find this is true in all sectors (especially telecommunications). We have some systems which have been in and running for more than 20 years. In the lifespan of technology that is like trying to run an airline with the "Wright Flyer" today.

The sad fact of life is telecommunications is the most needed, but completely overlooked asset a company of any size can have. Most telecommunications equipment is in a cramped closet with no environmental control or crammed into the corner of a server room because that was "All the room they had left."

I imagine most of these construction meetings with people standing around going... "OK, have we missed anything? Computers, lights, bathrooms, coffee... phones? Doesn't the phone company take care of that?" So whammo, we get what's left.

Also, power goes out everyone is furious, no lights, nothing happening etc... Water gets shut off, everyone is furious but they get by. Computers crash or the network goes down... well that's to be expected.

But if the phone system goes down. The end of the world is near! BILLIONS OF DOLLARS are being lost EVERY SECOND the system is down.

But you tell them they need a new system because the old one is no longer reliable... NO WAY! FIX IT! I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS BACK IN THE 80s!!!!

Case in point, a hospital (large) has a phone system from the late 80s. Was EOL'd (End Of Life'd) 7 years ago. They call in with errors and problems and ask us to help them fix it. We tell them where we feel the errors are then calmly explain they need a new system. They respond, they can't get the funding. I explain that I understand they can't at this moment, but the system is beginning to fail and that they need to begin getting funding. They respond, they'll just fix it and keep it running. I explain, parts are no longer made for this, software is no longer made for this, all the guys who worked on this are either dead, dying or gathering dust somewhere and it is not a matter of IF but WHEN the system will crash.

The hospital still has the phone system. Be careful where you go for medical aid.

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