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We believe that it is worth it to extend the life of end-of-life products. In our experience, end-of-life products are usually still in good working condition long after the manufacturer stopped service. Extending the life of a system might sound a bit intimidating, but it is quite simple: as long as you have access to used or refurbished spare parts and knowledge about the system, it is easy to maintain it. Likewise, end-of-life products are usually still in good working condition, and especially if they have been through a refurbishment process, there is no reason to worry about quality and durability.
When a product has been on the market for a long time, it will eventually reach a point where it is not worth the effort or money to keep up production. This is when the product becomes an end-of-sale product. This just means that the product is not for sale anymore, but it is still supported. When the support ends too, then it becomes an end-of-life product. This means that the company no longer supports or sells the product, so there are no more spare parts, servicing or trouble shooting available from them. Usually there is a few years between end-of-sales and end-of-service. The end-of-life announcement does not mean that the product does not work anymore. It is common that a product receives the end-of-life status because manufacturers focus their efforts on newer, more advanced systems. To give an example, Windows XP is still in use in some places, but Microsoft does not support it anymore. If a user has problems with this operating system, they have to get help from a third party. Having an end-of-life system does not mean that you should not use the system anymore – if it is working well, then there is no reason to spend a lot of money on a newer version.
It is not at all difficult to extend the life of a system, as long as there are spare parts in circulation, and there is someone with good knowledge of the product or products. When you decide to keep using an end-of-life system, you might find it inconvenient to get parts for it, as they are no longer available from the manufacturer. Fortunately, it is not hard to find used or refurbished parts on the market, and sometimes it is possible to buy unopened/unused parts as well. Besides the parts, all you need is someone who knows the products and can service the system. Many technicians and maintenance companies can handle older systems, and your own staff might be able to deal with smaller problems, depending on their experience levels. When you have both the knowledge and the parts, an end-of-life system can be maintained easily.
Benefits of extending
By extending the life of a system, you become independent from the manufacturer, and can continue using it for a lot longer. This way you are free from the manufacturer dictated life cycle – you can wait until you truly need an upgrade. Depending on your activities and requirements, you might even choose an older system even if you do need an upgrade. The reason companies choose an old system over newer ones is not only the difference in price. When the needs of the company do not warrant a newer, advanced system, then it makes no sense to get a newer one. Old spare parts also tend to be cheaper, further lowering the cost of maintenance and upkeep. However, the financial aspect is not the only one that companies have to take into consideration. When a company has to switch to a different system, it takes time to prepare for the change, to implement the change, and to adjust to the new system. This ties down valuable resources, such as time, and reduces efficiency temporarily. When your system is still enough to fulfill your requests, then it is usually better to extend its life, and avoid the hassle of switching systems.