Product Lifecycle Policy
V 3.0, October, 2019
- History of Change
- Policy at a Glance
- Release Methodology
- Support Methodology
- Upgrade Methodology
- End of Life Methodology
- Explanation of Terms
This document is designed to provide the reader with an understanding of the release, support, upgrade and end of life methodologies employed by Unify for its OpenScape product offerings.
Actual sales and sustaining durations may vary from what is shown in this document due to changing market conditions, so always check the specifics for products included in your solution via our web page or by discussing with your Unify account manager.
This document shall not create any additional contractual or other legal obligations on Unify; please consult your contract for the specific details and terms which apply to your implementation.
Unify is the Atos brand for communication and collaboration solutions. Unify, is an Atos SE company.
History of Change
The information contained in this policy represents the current view of Unify as of the date of publication and is subject to change since Unify must respond to changing market conditions and is constantly evaluating how to better work with its customers and partners.
Unify reserves the right to amend or change this Product Lifecycle Policy (PLP), at its sole discretion, at any time. If Unify make any such changes, Unify will post the revised documents on the Unify web page without notice. Unify therefore encourages you to check online on an ‘as needed’ basis to ensure you have the latest information.
Policy at a Glance
(FOR MAJOR RELEASES)
For OpenScape Business
This document is valid for the following products:
- OpenScape Communication Platforms
- OpenScape Voice
- OpenScape Branch
- OpenScape SBC
- OpenScape 4000
- OpenScape 4000 Branch
- OpenScape Devices
- OpenScape Desk Phone
- OpenScape Wireless
- OpenStage Desk Phone
- OpenStage Wireless
- OpenScape Applications
- OpenScape UC, including Mobile, Desktop and Web Clients and Fusion Client
- OpenScape Xpressions
- OpenScape Web Collaboration
- OpenScape Contact Center
- OpenScape Xpert
- OpenScape Alarm Response
- OpenScape Management Applications
- OpenScape Common Management Platform
- OpenScape Accounting Management
- OpenScape Deployment Service
- OpenScape Fault Management
- OpenScape 4000 Management
OpenScape Business with the specific terms and conditions as outlined in ANNEX 1
Even though there is often synchronization of the lifecycles for products within a solution, this policy applies at the product level i.e. important milestones like end of sales (order stop), end of support relate to individual products as opposed to any solution the products may be included within.
This policy does not apply to:
- Cloud offerings
- Marketing programs
Software Version Numbering Scheme – Types of Releases
A major release contains significant new functionalities / features (which may include customer change requests) in addition to software improvements and/or security updates.
Major releases are normally chargeable if the system is not covered with an active Software Support (SSP) or Software Assurance (SWA) contract and require a new base license.
Major releases may introduce changes to interfaces.
The general nomenclature is: Vn
Examples include: V1
A minor release can contain some feature improvements (enhancements) / features (which may include customer change requests) in addition to software improvements and/or security updates.
With the exception of additional features which are chargeable (without running SSP/SWA contract) and requires a new optional license, minor release software is normally not chargeable and does not require a new base license. Installation services, however, are chargeable. A minor release maintains backwards compatibility of interfaces with the major release on which it is based.
A minor release maintains backwards compatibility of interfaces with the major release on which it is based.
A minor release replaces (from a new sales and support basis) all previous major releases, previous minor releases, fix releases and hotfixes of the major version upon which it is based, e.g. V1 R2 would replace V1 R1 (See also Release Timing).
The general nomenclature is: Vn Rn
Examples include: V1 R1
Fix Release (FR)
A fix release is produced as required and typically contains numerous software improvements and/or security updates. It is generally an accumulation of customer fixes.
Fix releases are normally not chargeable.
In principle, Fix Releases are only produced for the latest supported minor release. So the latest minor release must be installed first.
The general nomenclature is: Vn Rn.n
Examples include: V1 R1.1, V1 R1.2
A hotfix release contains higher priority fix(es) for problem ticket(s) or security update(s) for faster availability. These are typically only installed at selected customers where this HF is required.
Hotfix releases are normally not chargeable.
In principle, Hotfixes are only produced for the latest supported fix release or minor release. So the latest available release must be installed first.
The general nomenclature is: Vn Rn.n.n
Examples include: V1 R1.1.1, V1 R1.1.2
Releases do not follow a regular release cycle. Major and Minor Releases are planned and realized by product management in harmonization with market needs and customer requirements and Fix Releases and Hotfixes are produced and released on demand.
A minor release replaces the major release it is based upon, but there is no change to the lifecycle dates of the major version i.e. the end of sales date, end of support date etc. are not changed for a particular version by the introduction of a minor release.
Typically, major versions will be marketed for a minimum period of 24 months
Hardware and Software Warranty
The specific terms of any warranty will be outlined in the customer contract.
In general, a standard duration of 48 months of manufacturer-provided sustaining support will be provided from the sales release of the major release until end of support.
Note: The introduction of one or more minor releases does not change the duration of manufacturer’s support duration.
At an additional cost, Extended Manufacturer’s Software support (EMSS) may be arranged upon request for a maximum of 18 months.
Manufacturer provided support includes the following (subject to contract terms and conditions)
- Vendor support to Unify supported organizations, customers and partners
- 3rd party vendor liaison where applicable e.g. 3rd party components used within Unify offerings
- Ticket handling
- Fault diagnosis including lab-based reproduction of fault condition
- Software corrective measure design
- Software corrective measure development
- Implementation of corrective measure
- Software release process including the distribution of official fix releases and hotfixes
- Documentation of corrective measures
- Supply of security fixes (see Security Vulnerability Handling below)
It is our experience that a high portion of reported problems are addressed in subsequent fix releases. Therefore the acceptance of trouble tickets is typically dependent on the product being on the latest supported release available.
The general process to be followed is to install latest available Fix Release / Minor Release + Hotfix available to bring the product to the latest supported versions and then attempt to reproduce the problem. If the problem is reproducible then a ticket should be submitted.
Unify reserves the right to request a proactive update to the latest available Fix Release / Minor Release (+ Hotfix) for issues reported with older Software versions. In any case, this will be required to activate a potential Hotfix for the issue. Analysis of the issue will be continued by Unify in parallel and the priority will be assigned depending on the circumstances.
With the exception of products, which are based on COTS components, spare parts will typically be available for 5 years after end of sales (spare parts are chargeable and dependent on the contract with Unify / Unify Partner).
COTS Hardware is subject to reciprocal support availability / end-of-life notification from the respective manufacturer.
Note: Some hardware products occasionally require redesigning e.g. due to 3rd party component changes. Unify makes every attempt to make replacement parts fully backwards compatible, however, some 3rd party component changes may result in changes to the availability of certain functionality.
Extended Manufacturer Software Support (EMSS)
Whilst it is expected that most customers will keep their OpenScape implementations current, in exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to provide a period of extended support beyond the normal period.
The intention of EMSS is to provide continued support to an existing and stable environment where an upgrade to a supported version is being planned. It is not intended as a permanent support arrangement, which can only be accomplished by ensuring the solution is kept current.
EMSS customers need to run on latest Hotfix available prior requesting EMSS support.
Extended Manufacturer Software Support (EMSS) applies to the provision of support for selected Unify software products. Check with your Unify account manager which products are currently in scope.
Unify’s obligations under this agreement do not apply to any customer installation where significant reconfiguration and extension has taken or will take place without the written consent of Unify.
In the unlikely event that a technical issue cannot be resolved in the version/s of software subject to this agreement, Unify reserves the right to recommend an upgrade to some or all of the products in order to resolve the issue. This upgrade would be chargeable.
An EMSS agreement does not include:
- Change requests
- Certification with new 3rd party or Unify product versions
- Additional exceptions may be documented in the respective EMSS contract
EMSS fees are calculated to cover a customer’s solution which may consist of multiple Unify products.
EMSS fees are determined based upon the complexity of the solution, number of user licenses, and duration of coverage required.
EMSS fees are due and payable in advance of an agreed specific support period. Estimates can be provided upon request.
Failure to submit payment in time could result in a gap in support coverage.
A fixed-duration EMSS period must be agreed to prior to the end of support date of your product/s and in advance of the start of EMSS.
The maximum duration of extended support covered by EMSS is 18 months.
A precondition of an EMSS contract is a valid service contract with Unify or an approved partner for the whole EMSS period. If the service contract expires prior the EMSS contract, the EMSS contract expires as well, and no refund of the EMSS remaining service term will apply.
An EMSS agreement must be in place prior to end of support date.
EMSS is not provided for self-maintainers without a Unify support contract.
Commercial Off the shelf (COTS) Software
Some Unify products contain COTS software components to provide certain required functionality.
Although the normal sustaining period of Unify’s products includes synchronization with any 3rd party vendor’s support terms and conditions, this synchronization cannot be guaranteed for any extended support period.
In the event a technical issue (defect, security, licensing etc.) arises in a 3rd party software component where no 3rd party sustaining support is available, Unify will make every attempt to provide a workaround. However, should this workaround not be practical from a technical or commercial perspective Unify reserves the right to recommend an upgrade to some or all of the solution components in order to resolve the issue. This upgrade would remain chargeable.
End of EMSS
At the end of the agreed EMSS period, manufacturer-provided sustaining support ends. If the solution is still covered by a service contract then 1st– and 2nd-line service maybe still available. However, there would be no manufacturer escalation path available in the event of a serious error and an upgrade to a supported version could be the only way to resolve such errors. It is therefore strongly recommended that the solution is maintained in a fully supported condition.
Security Vulnerability Handling
The Security Policy – Vulnerability Intelligence Process regulates the handling of security vulnerabilities for Unify products between the sales release and end of support.
Beyond the end of support, including any EMSS agreement, Unify decides at its sole discretion, which corrections or mitigation measures for security vulnerabilities are still being implemented.
The Security Policy – Vulnerability Intelligence Process is available here.
Importance of keeping your products current
Unify’s products are continually being improved in terms of functionality, reliability, serviceability, security and ease of use.
Maintaining your solution on a supported release has the following advantages:
- Manufacturing support is provided at no additional cost
- The latest system security mechanisms are available
- State-of-the-art security features and latest security hardening measures are built-in or supported
- Full coverage of Unify’s Vulnerability Intelligence Process
- Access to the latest solution-wide functionality which improves user productivity and efficiency
- Access to the latest 3rd party integration options/open standard interface improvements
- Compliance to the latest regulatory standards
- Continuous serviceability improvements, providing easy system administration
- Compatibility with the latest server hardware, typically providing lower power consumption and higher performance
- Secure planning for future upgrades
In a dynamic IT environment, it is extremely important to keep all components of a communications solution always up-to-date and at a compatible level.
Unify offers in the indirect channel fused maintenance services such as SSP (Software Support) and in the direct channel Total Care and SWA (Software Assurance) adding software upgrade entitlement to a maintenance contract. Software upgrade entitlement allows partners or customers access to the latest upgrade licenses during an existing SSP or Total Care+SWA contract.
Note: Labour and hardware are not included.
Service Lifecycle Support Policy
A Software Support contract is orderable for supported software versions until milestone “End of Support”. Full vendor support ends with milestone “End of Support” unless EMSS is ordered.
The partner is responsible for Software Support coverage during EMSS period. All entitlement to order upgrades ends on expiry of Software Support contract or EMSS.
Overview of Unify’s support policy for services:
Find additional information here.
Subscription licensing provides access to various components of the OpenScape Enterprise Solution on a monthly subscription basis.
Subscription licensing is beneficial to customers since it enables them to pay for software on a monthly usage basis, instead of having to pay for it all as a capital expense up front. The advantage is that if the usage goes down from one month to the next the cost goes down too.
The cost of new versions of the software is also included in the monthly fee, however, labour and hardware are not included.
Recommended Upgrade Sequence
The size and complexity of customer configurations varies significantly. In a small configuration it may be possible to upgrade all products within a single maintenance window, but a solution supporting tens of thousands of users is a different prospect.
To ensure a safe and secure upgrade for all customer environments Unify has designed an upgrade methodology which describes a recommended upgrade sequence. This sequence will allow customers/partners to move their solutions forward to newer releases of software and thereby providing access to valuable new capabilities.
The upgrade methodology can vary depending upon the platform and configuration.
End of Life Methodology
Unify endeavours to make available innovative new products and product capabilities in a timely manner to allow our customers to gain a strategic advantage.
However, we also endeavour to avoid any disruption to the smooth running of the customer’s unified communications solution as older products and product versions reach end-of-life.
We intend to provide end-of-life information in advance of the event to allow the account teams, our channel partners and our customers to plan upgrades and migrations to new major releases or new products in a timely and orderly manner.
Unify keeps the right to change software and hardware functionalities between minor and major software versions. Software and hardware changes will be communicated via the respective product documentation.
End of Sale (EoS) Notification
In advance of a product/version reaching end-of-life Unify provides an end-of-sale notification.
An EoS Notification typically includes the following information:
- List of impacted products
- Successor products (if applicable)
- End-of-sale date for new systems
- End-of-sale date for expansions
- End-of-support date
- Migration information (if applicable)
Unify will endeavour to provide end-of-sale notification 3 – 6 month prior to end-of-sale date.
The actual timing is at Unify’s discretion. Unify reserves the right to make actual notifications shorter or longer than stated in this Product Lifecycle Policy (PLP).
Since Unify cannot ensure that all partners and customers are informed automatically and in-time, Unify encourages you to proactively check on an ‘as needed’ basis, to ensure you have the latest information.
For any further information required Unify’s Account Teams can be contacted directly.
Explanation of Terms
|COTS||Commercial off the shelf.|
|End of Sales||Order Stop. The point at which new sales of the product are no longer possible.|
|End of Support||The point where normal manufacturers support ends (also known as end of manufacturer hardware and software support, end of development support).|
|Extended Manufacturer’s SW support (EMSS)||Extended Manufacturer’s SW support. An optional, chargeable, extension to normal sustaining support.|
|Firmware||Software which is embedded in the microcontrollers of various electronic devices e.g. Phones.|
|PLP||Product Lifecycle Policy|
|3rd Party Product||Any products made by a party other than Unify|
|SSP||Software Support is a support service offering remote support, expert technical assistance, software updates and upgrades|
|SWA||SoftWare Assurance. It is a modular service package offering a regular version upgrade for Unify released software versions|
|Total Care||Service offering consisting remote support, spare parts replacement and onsite repair service which can be tailored to customer needs with various SLA options.|
|Unify||Unify is the Atos brand for communication and collaboration solutions. Unify, is an Atos SE company.|
|Update||Is software with the focus on bug fixing and if necessary minor functionality supplements. Typically, new Minor, Fix and Hotfix Releases of a Unify product are considered as an update.|
|Upgrade||It is a new version / functional expansion, which may also include bug fixes. Typically, new Major Releases of a Unify product are considered as an upgrade.|
OpenScape Business – Specific Terms and Conditions
OpenScape Business will be shipped with 3 or 5 years of included software support (provided as a co-delivery by Unify / Atos CCS and its partners). With further software support renewals, lifetime can be enhanced to 8 years in total. During the valid OpenScape Business software support period customers can benefit from latest software upgrades/updates, new features and security updates. Systems not being under software support will continue running on the software version installed before running out of software support.
Software Version Numbering Scheme – Types of Releases
A major release contains significant new functionality in addition to change requests, software improvements and/or security updates.
Major releases are included for those OpenScape Business Systems under valid software support (installation is chargeable depending on the contract with Unify / Unify Partner).
Note: A major release will not require an update license, the current version agnostic licensing will also cover these major release updates.
A minor release contains feature improvements in addition to change requests, software Improvements and/or security updates.
Minor release software are included for those OpenScape Business Systems under valid software support (installation is chargeable depending on the contract with Unify / Unify Partner).
Fix Release (FR)
A fix release is produced as required and contains 1 to n software improvements and/or security updates.
Fix releases are included for those OpenScape Business systems under valid software support.
A hotfix release contains a fix, software improvements and/or security updates. Hotfixes are only produced to solve specific customer issues and are typically installed only at selected customers where required. Hotfixes are only produced for the latest supported fix release.
Unify will typically provide minor releases with feature Improvements on a regular basis (4 to 8 months) in addition to change requests, trouble ticket resolutions and security updates for those systems under valid software support. A major release will be the exception.
Hardware and Software Warranty
The specific terms of any warranty will be outlined in the partner/customer contract.
OpenScape Business will be shipped with 3 or 5 years of included software support (provided as a co-delivery by Unify/Atos CCS and its partners) and includes the following benefits to customers:
- Software Support:
- SW upgrades to new major releases
- SW updates within a major release (minor-, fix releases and hotfixes)
- Secure remote access (via Unify Remote Service Platform)
- Support for Unify Partners
- Remote service support
- Expert assistance hotline (product experts for technical questions)
- Connectivity via internet to the Unify partner portal:
- Software download server
- Knowledgebase database
- Product documentation
SW support provides customers access to new functionalities of OpenScape Business, security patches to protect the system against misuse and hacking attacks as well as SW updates which will guarantee system stability and continuous feature improvements.
Note: Fixes for reported bugs will only be provided on the latest released software version.
The run time of OpenScape Business Software Support is time limited (up to 8 years) and controlled by corresponding licensing positions within OpenScape Business. An extension of software support run time is possible through the purchase of Software Support Renewal Support license positions on a per user level. Please ask your Unify/Unify partner for further details.
All new OpenScape Business systems include 3 or 5 years software support
Software support run time can be extended beyond the initial 3 years by activation of the respective renewal licenses at any time.
It is our experience that a high proportion of reported problems are addressed in a subsequent fix release. Therefore the acceptance of trouble tickets is typically dependent on the OpenScape Business product being on the latest fix release.
The general process to be followed is to install the required fix releases to bring the product to the latest supported status and then attempt to reproduce the problem. If the problem is reproducible then a ticket should be submitted.
Some hardware products occasionally require redesigning e.g. due to 3rd party component changes. Unify makes every attempt to make replacement parts fully backwards compatible. However, some 3rd party component changes may result in changes to the availability of certain functionality.
Spare parts will typically be available for up to 5 years after end of sales announcement (spare parts are chargeable and dependent on the contract with Unify / Unify Partner).
Security Vulnerability Handling
Refer to chapter Security Vulnerability as described here.
Importance of Keeping Your Products Current
Unify’s OpenScape Business product is continually being improved in terms of functionality, reliability, serviceability, security and ease-of-use.
Maintaining your solution on a supported release under valid software support provides the following advantages:
- Always current – immediate access to new features and security updates of OpenScape Business as soon as they become available
- Added confidence that your business partner is fully backed by Unify
- Safeguards the high availability and reliability of their OpenScape Business system
Note: Upgrades and updates are only possible during valid OpenScape Business software support.
END OF LIFE METHODOLOGY
Refer to chapter End of Life Methodology as described here.