Avoiding Software Outages: Three Myths That Could Save Your Business

You’re working on your computer when a pop-up suggests that you reboot to install the latest software update. Naturally, you can’t be bothered. You delay … sometimes hours, usually days, and, most of the time, you don’t see any negative consequence.

As consumers, we often view software updates as pesky interruptions − nuisances, even. And unfortunately, businesses often apply that same mentality to their software upgrades.

At the enterprise level, outdated, unfixed software can have disastrous effects, leading to communications outages.

According to an Avaya internal analysis, software bugs are the No. 4 most-leading cause of communications outages. Approximately 69 percent of those outages could have potentially been prevented had leading practices been followed.

Myth: “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It”

Though software vendors often release fixes and upgrades into the marketplace, many companies aren’t eager to apply them. This antiquated “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” strategy breaks down when a company suffers an outage that would have been avoided with a fix that it voluntarily chose to postpone.

Delaying or ignoring software upgrades at the enterprise level can have major financial repercussions. According to the Aberdeen Group, the average outage costs $2,728 per minute.

Most software-savvy customers adopt a regular, proactive patch management strategy that eliminates known issues. These businesses typically perform less invasive upgrades quarterly and larger upgrades annually.

Think of it like this: if it’s a “pizza box” upgrade (delivery in 30 minutes or less!), do it as soon as possible; if you’re looking at a large upgrade, plan well and far in advance to minimize disruption. Once you’ve finished your latest large upgrade, it’s not too soon to start planning for your next.

Myth: “Hardware and Software are Two Different Worlds”

Staying current to avoid software bugs is about more than just updating your software itself. Sometimes, it requires taking a look at your hardware too.

Make sure to review vendor lifecycle information to determine End of Manufacturer Support (EoMS) and proactively upgrade your hardware so that your software can stay up-to-date. In certain cases, your hardware may be supported but its corresponding software isn’t. If there’s not further software development or patching on a product, you need to plan a switch accordingly.

Most IT departments should aim to update their infrastructure to a more modern level, at minimum, every four to five years.

Myth: “Blame Avaya.”

Who says our software quality has improved? Our customers.

In Walker Feedback anonymous surveys, our clients were asked: “How would you rate Avaya’s product quality?”

In 2012, we were 60th percentile in product quality. Since investing heavily in automated regression, static analysis testing, code reviews and testing code coverage, we’ve improved greatly.

Now, we’re in the 90th percentile of product quality!

And, thanks in large part to those quality improvements, our Net Promoter Score (NPS), a customer loyalty measurement established by Bain & Company, is at best-in-class range. In Q4FY15, our NPS was 56, an all-time high for Avaya.

Your direct feedback indicates that we’ve made the right investments to deliver innovation coupled with quality, and we’re not done yet. We’re consistently raising the bar! Now, the ball’s in your court to take proactive support measures to help avoid costly communications outages.

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