In 2015 BT announced their plan to migrate all users to IP networks and completely switch off ISDN services by 2025. Although the deadline is years away, the number of businesses using ISDN lines has severely diminished over the last few years. More companies now have a SIP or hosted solution than traditional lines, partly motivated by the deadline but also due to the benefits of these new technologies. They are not just a direct replacement but offer additional features to traditional lines.
With telecoms spend increasing year on year and the need for businesses to remain competitive being crucial, having efficient systems and keeping up to date to with technology is imperative for survival. There are over 2 million businesses still using ISDN channels in the UK, and this is particularly the case for 42% of small businesses. It’s only a matter of time before these businesses need to enhance their telecommunications systems to stay active. Although the change is compulsory, upgrading to this next generation technology will improve your business’ telecommunication technology.
If your organisation is yet to upgrade, the secret to success is to plan ahead of time, implement a strategy based on your business needs and migrate at a time that suits your business.
Areas for consideration:
- Business requirements – what does the infrastructure of your current system look like and does this match your telecommunication requirements going forward? Have you defined areas for improvement or system upgrades that will enhance your telecoms service?
- IP connection and bandwidth – hosted systems are dependent on broadband, therefore it may be necessary for you to review your internet connection to ensure sufficient bandwidth is in place.
- Current contracts and equipment – check your existing contracts with suppliers and that your hardware and software is compatible with a hosted solution. If you are looking to replace or upgrade systems or equipment in the near future, this would be a good time to migrate to eradicate additional equipment costs. In addition, check your current suppliers porting agreements.
- Timescales and budget – as part of your planning, consider timeframes and potential costs and the implications the migration may have. For example, how will the migrations affect your day to day workflow, how will it impact productivity and how will staff access data in the interim period?
Here are your options…
1) Start migration to SIP
Implement a migration strategy and update your telecommunication system to a SIP Trunk or cloud-based system. The sooner your company can implement this migration the quicker you will reap the rewards: a flexible, cost-effective communication system with improved security, reliance and quality of service.
2) Fix your contract and plan for the switch at a suitable time for your business
If now is not the right time for your business to start the migration process, review your contracts to ensure you are on a fixed contract. Fixed contracts do not necessarily mean fixed pricing for the duration of the contract. Devise a phased plan to migrate at the most suitable time for your business to ensure a smooth transition.
3) Remain on ISDN until the deadline approaches
This option could be detrimental to your business. Although there is an initial cost to migrating, there are several benefits to having a more efficient, cost-effective system which out way the cost of having old technology.
Benefits of a hosted telephony system
There are a variety of hosted telephony solutions available to suit all requirements and budgets, which offer:
- Flexibility & scalability
- Value for money
- Capacity to transfer & process data quickly
- Speed of installation
- Robust business continuity
At BCR Associates, we have experts in telecommunications who can take you through the migration process. Whether you choose to move now or in the future, we can ensure you have the best solution for your business.
For more information on telecommunications please contact us on 03330 433 233.