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What comes after End of Life?

By: Lydia Bird

How much can you rely on any product or service you buy? This is a question that has been brought into sharp focus with the news that Brightcove, which purchased Ooyala’s OVP division for $15 million as recently as February 2019, will be discontinuing it.

“We have determined that the best path forward for our newly-acquired customers is to accelerate their migration path to the Brightcove platform,” reports Streaming Media. “As part of the migration, the version of the Brightcove Service known as the Ooyala OVP will be moved into an end-of-life state.”

End-of-life (EOL) is a part of a normal product roadmap, a point where vendors cease to support the product in terms of sales, marketing and maintenance. But while this might work for a washing machine, which you can simply replace, it can have a dramatic impact when it affects services you’ve invested heavily in and built business infrastructure around.

In software terms an end-of-life state signals a similar end to support. EOL software will still work – Windows XP is still in use around the world despite it being 18 years old. But no new features will be added to an EOL product after a set date, no further updates will be issued and, crucially, no bugs/vulnerabilities will be patched.  

This can pose challenges for any business. You can migrate to a new and similar product, although it might not be as good a fit for your needs and you might incur increased costs. Or you can stay with the unsupported EOL product you have, facing the possibility of security, compliance, reliability and incompatibility issues going forward.

When facing an EOL situation, you often don’t have a choice (especially if the software you use has been bought by a competitor). You must move to a different product if you want to remain secure, efficient and competitive. That creates a whole new set of problems.

The key is preparation. If the software you use is critical to business functions, then it should become an urgent project. After all, any software migration can involve lengthy planning in terms of re-implementation, potential system changes/upgrades, staff training, and budgeting for the extra costs that come with all three.

It’s like going back to the beginning of the whole software selection process.

But that can often be a blessing in disguise. Technology moves on quickly, new and better products appear with smarter features, greater security and improved performance. An EOL announcement can be a shock. But it can also be an opportunity to re-evaluate what your business needs today and what it will need five years from now; an opportunity to choose a product you can rely on in the future. Imagen is that product, and we guarantee to develop, invest in, support and maintain it for many years to come. 

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