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Windows Server 2003 Becoming End of Life, Part 2—Four Questions to Ask for System Replacement

Posted by Ron Gill on Tue, Nov 10, 2015
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In Part 1 of this series I blogged about the importance of business owners keeping a finger on the pulse of Windows Server 2003, which has emerged as one of this year’s largest security threats since becoming end of life. Although business owners understand that the server’s end of life status poses a security threat to their organizations, there may be a number of applications still running on the system that they are unaware of. The consequences of having applications run on the server while it is not receiving regular security updates can include massive workflow complications, system breaches and lost revenue.

My message to business owners in Part 1 was simple: There’s no time to waste when it comes to strategizing to protect your organization against security risks associated with Windows 2003. This means if you have business applications that are currently running on the server—especially if they are single purpose business applications like fax or voicemail—now may be a good time to reconsider their value.

If you’re considering replacing your Windows 2003 server, below are four questions you should ask for successfully replacing the now expired solution:

Should I invest in a single purpose application that replaces my current application?

The cost of running a single purpose application server can be notably high due to a number of related business needs—everything from specialized administrative training to support for multiple administrative touch points (i.e. applying regular patches across multiple systems, performing upgrades to multiple disparate systems, managing multiple disparate service contracts). As such, it might be wiser to consider a business applications platform that is capable of supporting multiple traditional business applications such as voicemail, e-faxing, IVR and mass notification from one single platform.  

Have my needs for this business application changed? 

Ask yourself: Does this business application still have a specific role to play in my business processes?  Or, can you replace the application and its associated costs with a more current application that provides more efficiencies?  For example, do you need to support physical fax devices and their associated analog lines when you can use e-fax capabilities from your business applications platform for both inbound and outbound faxing, which can run over your existing data connections?  Or, has your email environment—which is still a primary destination for most business users—changed, making your current voicemail-to-email integration incompatible?

Has my business’ IT infrastructure and goals changed since I purchased this application? 

Has your company considered, started to or already moved away from premise-based solutions to cloud or hybrid cloud solutions?  Is Windows 2003 server perhaps one of the last hold outs from being moved to your data center?  In other words, is Windows 2003 one of the last physical servers not taking advantage of your investments in virtualized server environments, such as VMWare or HyperV?

Has my company’s workforce profiles changed? 

Work in most companies today is defined by what you do, rather than where you go. Having said this, ask yourself if your previous single purpose applications support today's mobile, highly collaborative and device-agnostic business tools and workers.  Current versions of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Work, as well as CRM tools like Salesforce, all promise to provide their users with access to their tools and information on any "connected device" in any location. So, can you provide your employees with all of their business tools (i.e. voice, voicemail, video, fax, conferencing, desktop sharing) on any "connected device" basis?

As your organization looks to replace Windows 2003, and applications like voicemail and fax that may be running on this server, a sound UC alternative may be Esna's Officelinx solution, a highly scalable and robust platform that:

  • Supports and capitalizes on the architectural benefits of virtual deployments (i.e. VMWare and or HyperV server environments).
  • Provides users with a platform to support traditional business communications technologies, while providing next generation immersive collaboration tools to meet evolving business needs. 
  • Delivers on the cloud’s promise of anywhere, any device access to information; the solution aggregates all of your UC assets and delivers them to you anywhere, on any connected device, in the Web-based applications you are working in.
  • Provides a myriad of administrative benefits, such as providing a single point of administration across multiple business applications.
  • Provides updated application features, such as desktop and mobile experiences that are more in line with today's business requirements, versus the single business applications residing in expired Windows 2003 servers.  

Hopefully these four questions help sufficiently guide you in your decision making process. If you’re interested in learning more about Esna Officelinx, click here.

Topics: voicemail, Windows 2003, officelinx

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