Are you ready for the ISDN Switch off?

Jul-2018

By 2020 BT will no longer be offering ISDN services to clients. By 2025 they not only won’t be offering the service but its been suggested they have no intention of supporting the antiquated network. What does this mean for the British business still running their services over ISDN technology?

You inevitably have to make a change, many opting for VoIP only solutions and some looking for a more ‘dynamic supplier’, such as our self (he he we had to get that in), offering the best of both worlds. What is the best of of both worlds? Its the ability to allow calls over the cloud (taking the money saving) but also have the flexibility to route calls over old / alternative technology. Its not a situation where one shoe fits all, you have to ensure the company your working with understands your long term goal, a simple factor such as your CRM system can be a huge driver with the type of CRM solution you go with.

lets explore these options in more depth and hopefully this will help you decide which ‘type’ is right for your business:

You undoubtedly need to improve your broadband connectivity not only on speed but on the desired SLAs (service level agreements) to support your business. If your running on standard broadband this can take up to 5 working days to fix faults. Don’t be that business owner or IT manager that demands the “sharpest price”, sacrificing SLAs and lower graded Fibre products to be faced with a line / broadband fault which has a ’best endeavour of 5 working days”. You will end up most certainly demanding compensation or an explanation however if your only paying £30 a month for something so important the question needs to be about improving the product and spending more to deliver the SLAs required to fit your business needs.  Like anything in life, you pay for what you get, its maybe time to consider utilising the broadband voucher scheme where you can receive up to £3000 towards a dedicated Gigabit broadband connection. There are also other new existing products on the market with improved SLAs, GFAST is BT’s new product where you can receive up to 300MB over copper (existing infrastructure) & also FTTP which delivers fibre speeds with an improved SLA. These all carry a premium however they do support your business far better.

Go VoIP only. Routing your calls over the internet has some unique benefits. A few we like include the flexibility to use multiple locations, get set up quicker on site and also benefit from the applications integrated with your phone system being “off your own network”.  This does mean a good bandwidth connection is needed as mentioned above to support your phone system as its consistently syncing with external servers where your applications are located. We tend to find that VoIP is great for multiple locations with no one location being high in staff numbers. If you only have one office, over 7 staff, going VoIP might not be the most cost effective or technically correct solution. The price ‘per user’ licence model can soon outweigh an on premise Hybrid solution and on premise / hybrid solutions offer far more flexibility for on site integration

On Premise Phone Systems offer far more on site flexibility and also the best of both worlds when it comes to connectivity. You can benefit from using SIP (a line out over the internet) and also a standard phone line on ONE internal phone system. Our clients love this concept as its gives them the flexibility to manoeuvre should there be a fault on the broadband circuit. Knowing you can make call out either way is powerful for a business owner. Don’t get us wrong, its 1000% more commercially viable to be making these calls over SIP as our trunks and others come with inclusive calls and are cheaper then a single BT line without calls. This also moves us onto our next major point. Cost!

Imagine this, 50 users all paying £20 each for there licence, phone and free calls. How many of them actually need to make calls? how many of them are on the phone at any one time. Our data shows this sits at under 15%! Yes 15%!!!! So, if you have 50 users, all paying £20 your monthly bill will = £1000. Now lets look at an on premise solution. to be safe lets provide you 10 lines, this will allow 10 calls in and out at any one time. The SIP trunk costs £10 (which includes same free calls as VoIP only licence users), this = £100 per month!! You have to be doing the MATHS to not get caught up.  If your going VoIP and paying per licence, make sure the benefits outweigh any future potential cost, it works for some, it doesn’t for others.

In todays market an on premise phone system has far more flexibility and development scope. As its your kit once purchased and you have full open access you can develop your own applications, integrate your own applications / CRMS with maximum scope. VoIP based systems are limited, as they are typically Global and for all businesses each development or API entitlement needs to be thought about as it can effect the global user group.

Cloud based systems do have a strong future, its slowly catching up with the flexibility of integration and once your business has broadband speeds / bandwidth which can support applications being off site it has some strong benefits. You no longer have to manage these internally and all you need is that internet connection.

Our consultants can help you make the right decision. Although our head office is based in Peterborough, we have specialists covering South London, London, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Birmingham, All midlands, Manchester, Leeds, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and others. Lets talk, give us a call on 01733 511116 to speak to one of our consultants.

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