What To Do If Your Vendor Discontinues Your Product? Microsoft Stops Selling Its Phone System (Response Point)

What do you do if you receive notice that a vendor is discontinuing a product you are using?
If the vendor is large and has a smooth transition and if the product is supported by local consultants – there is no need to worry. Why?
A discontinued product does not mean your product is going to stop working, assuming it’s a physical product in your office or software you control. If it’s a hosted application or a service or product that the vendor controls, then to some extent you are at the mercy of the service provider in regard to how and how long it can work.
For products on your premises that you fully control, here’s what to do:

  • See how long support will be offered for the product from the vendor
  • Discuss with your local IT consultant if they are able to support the product
  • Consider how important the product is to your business. If it’s a financial management tool that you need regular support and updates, you might want to consider switching to another product or service – sooner – rather than later.

Microsoft Response Point, is Microsoft’s phone system for small businesses. It was launched in 2008 and this month Microsoft announced the decision to discontinue it as of 31 August 2010.
You can read the official notification from Microsoft here.
See the video interview by SMBNation TV here.
Microsoft’s blog post reads Since 2008, we’ve worked to bring you news and updates about Response Point and we’ve appreciated your engagement as we’ve worked to support and deploy this product for small businesses in North America. If you’ve been following, you probably know by now that last year we made the decision to transition Response Point to engineering maintenance status in May of 2009.
After taking a good look at the Microsoft Response Point offering and the needs of small businesses, we’ve decided to discontinue the sale, support, and development of the Response Point phone system for small businesses, effective August 31, 2010. If you’re a current customer, you’ll be able to keep using your Response Point system per the terms of your equipment manufacturer’s purchase agreement.
I’m sure that many of you are asking why we decided to make this decision. We’ve been encouraged since the launch of Response Point by the positive response we’ve seen from our customers and channel partners who have been using the solution. However, even given this progress, we’ve determined that the demand that has materialized in the time since launch isn’t enough to sustain Response Point as a healthy, viable standalone business moving forward.

What does this mean for your business?