When BT announced in 2015 that all ISDN lines would be terminated by 2025, it felt like an age away. In that time, we have seen Covid disrupt our entire business operations and have learned to adapt to remote working; now hybrid working has completely focused our minds on how we operate successfully, whatever the world and economic situation.
Many businesses have engaged successfully in adopting cloud-based solutions to enable teams to collaborate and function productively, regardless of their operations. However, a key element to doing so throughout the pandemic crisis is how businesses will function once ISDN has finally been terminated.
The message of how BT are implementing this plan has somewhat been diluted due to other crises, but the reality is, the plan is very much in full swing, and what may have escaped your notice is that the phasing out process began in 2020.
So what do you do?
OK, so let’s not panic; your mind and plans have been elsewhere. There is still time to move to a cloud-based solution and minimise any disruption to your operations. 2020 marked the start of Stop-Sell, so you need to start acting, but you need to start preparing now.
We are already supporting our customers with this change and ensuring that they have a smooth transition to a cloud-based solution by ensuring they are planning correctly and we are identifying any potential areas of concern for them. By having plenty of time though we are able to support them with testing and mitigating any operational risks in plenty of time.
These are the 6 Key things that you need to consider now.
- Check – are you on stop already?
There are many areas that are already on stop for ISDN lines as BT begin the phase-out. Check whether your area is one of them, as if you are then you need to act now as you will not be able to obtain any further ISDN services and your existing provision may already be scheduled for turn-off. If you cannot find this information, one of our team will be able to support you with this information.
- Don’t renew your contract for ISDN
This may seem obvious, or you may think we’re crazy as you still have 3 years. However, BT are already phasing out ISDN and you may be one of the areas that can no longer take additional services, or the reality is 3 years is not far away and you do not want to be tied into another contract that is costly for you to change when you need to switch.
- Take a look at your options for post ISDN
So, you need to consider what is the best option for you post ISDN switch off.
VoIP – This is a cloud-based phone system that replaced on-premise equipment. VoIP uses your internet to transit calls and data, so you will no longer need hardware in your office. It’s a great, scalable option with no extra maintenance charges.
SIP Trunks – SIP is an internet-based version of your traditional phone lines, replacing older technology like ISDN but delivering over your internet connection. It’s a good alternative if you have an on-premise phone system, you can add and remove lines quickly, quality of calls is good, however one thing to remember though is that your current phone system may need upgrading to support SIP call delivery.
- Review what you have
This is essential as you need to consider your business operations as they are now, and what you need them to be in the future. Do your teams need to work flexibly or remotely so they need access to your phone systems wherever you are? This is particularly important as you always want to present your business number for professionalism, regardless of where your teams are working. Are you growing in the near future, adding in more offices, more staff? How are you scaling?
Don’t rush into quick fixes as longer term this will not save you money. Consider how you will need to work in the future to ensure that the phone system is right both now and in the future.
- Plan Migration
If you have a contract with a telecommunications supplier they should be responsible for supporting you with your migration. It’s essential to lean on your current provider and they should be assisting you with what you need to do and how it needs to be implemented. If you choose VoIP, check the speed of your internet connection and ensure that you have high enough speeds to support this system. If not then you will need to plan an upgrade for this as well. Your telecommunications provider should guide you through all your migration plans and recommend the best options to get you ready for the future.
- Get ready for the change!
Now is the key time to start planning and implementing the change so that you do not get caught out! Espria offers a full consultation on your telecommunications needs so don’t hesitate to contact us now if you need support in the ISDN switch off or for any other of your telecoms requirements.
We are already helping customers like you get ready for the change, so do reach out if you need further support.