The term “End of Life” (EOL) refers to the final stage of a product life cycle. This article explains what it means when your VoIP deskphone reaches EOL.
VoIP Deskphone End of Life
New equipment that you purchase is generally supported by the manufacturer for up to three years. This does, of course, depend upon when you purchased the item in the product life cycle. Following on from the three years of support, a product will reach EOL status. This means that during this period, the hardware will not receive software updates.
Prior to your hardware reaching EOL, the manufacturer will release a new version of the device or an entirely new line of products to replace the obsolete range.
You can continue to use your hardware after it has reached EOL. It won’t stop functioning. However, you should start to think about replacing the EOL hardware and build this into your budget. As time goes on and your hardware becomes more out of date, it will become increasingly difficult to get it to work with other new equipment and software.
In the case of VoIP deskphones specifically, this means that the automatic provisioning stops working. If you reboot your phone (or it restarts), it may not work because it is unable to import the settings from the VoIP server. Configuration changes to the settings on your system may also cause the phone to disconnect and it may be unable to connect again.
VoIP Deskphones, like any other network endpoint, need to be updated to maintain security. Security updates to the phone will fix any vulnerabilities. When updates stop, any vulnerabilities will be left open. Bad actors on the Internet can exploit these vulnerabilities and use an EOL deskphone as a gateway onto your corporate network.
When a deskphone reaches EOL, it isn’t a cause for panic but is a signal to budget for replacement devices within the next year.
Contact TST if you are unsure if your deskphone(s) have reached EOL.