Over my 19 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 Norstar phone system. The once innovative product was introduced sometime in the late 1980’s, and its fantastic twenty year run has always demonstrated to me its overall superior quality.
In fact, I would classify the Norstar as, by far, the best phone system of its time, as it single-handedly propelled Nortel to the #1 position in the worldwide market share concerning small and medium business space.
The product was feature rich, well-priced, easy to install, and best of all, extremely reliable, which has allowed me to sell this system for almost two decades with an unshakeable sense of confidence. In fact, six years ago when I stopped actively selling the Norstar product, I took comfort knowing that the Telecom market was better served because the Norstar was around; kind of like my security blanket.
But, as the old adage says, all good things must come to an end, and with that I’m sad to announce that Norstar has reached the end of its impressive run.
When Avaya took over Nortel’s telecom assets they didn’t hide the fact that Norstar would be discontinued sometime in the near future, and the impending official announcement came on May 4th, 2010 with the following Avaya press release:
Due to higher than expected demand and earlier than anticipated component obsolescence, Avaya must announce the End-of-Sale (EoS) for new systems of Norstar 3×8, CICS, MICS, and Call Pilot 100/150 products, effective October 4, 2010.
Subject to availability, the latest date for orders to be placed for these products is October 4, 2010. Thereafter, these codes will be removed from price lists and associated order entry systems. Stock will be reserved to meet requirements for warranty returns and repairs.
The good news for Norstar users, however, is that Avaya is committed to providing technical support on the system for an additional 3 years – until October 2013.
As I stop for a moment to remember the impact Norstar had on the telecommunications industry, I am encouraged by the fact that many other reliable and innovative solutions still remain available on the market, as there are yet many other competing systems that offer the same reliable, feature rich products that will easily fill the product void left by this once innovative system.
In fact, even without Norstar, Avaya still boasts not only the advanced IP Office, but Cisco’s UCME, ShoreTel, Mitel, NEC, Asterisk, hosted solutions, and many others as well.
It’s the end of a technical era and the beginning of a new one.
The following note was written by Anthony Bartolo from Avaya with respect to the Norstar product line.
Today, we issued an End of Sale (EOS) notification for Norstar (see the Avaya Partner Portal. This was not an announcement we planned to make and a great deal of thought went into what the optimal actions needed to be. Ultimately, we were faced with a situation where demand was greater than forecasted and Norstar parts were rapidly running out. Our last buy on some of these parts, in fact, was made several years ago so we could not have anticipated this situation. While we are still five full months away from an effective end of sale date, we do acknowledge that in January we announced a nine-month notice for all major Nortel Enterprise Solutions (NES) products – but this had to be an exception. That said, we are making an additional exception for Norstar that you will like – that also applies to Business Communications Manager (BCM) (which remains for sale and is not impacted by this EOS announcement. In addition to the three-year support policy for hardware that applies to all Avaya products after any effective end of sale date, we will make an exception by matching that with three years of software support. This is above the standard one-year support for software that is our EOS policy.
Written by: Jeff Wiener. www.digitcom.ca.