Back in 2015, BT announced the plan to switch off all of its ISDN networks and move operations over to VoIP by 2025. Many businesses who still used outdated PSTN and ISDN networks probably didn’t feel the need to act immediately, as 10 years is a long time, right? But now almost 4 years have passed in a flash, and to ensure a smooth switchover, businesses who haven’t made the change should look at doing so in the next few years.
So what’s the difference and why should you change? VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, so essentially phone communications are being transmitted over the internet, and are run over SIP trunks. In today’s world, businesses can achieve very fast internet speeds through leased lines and fibre broadband services. This means that it’s more than viable to transmit voice, data and video across one internet connection, which simplifies the managing of the business network.
If you think of the smartphone you use now, it’s a far cry from the latest mobile you could pick up in the late 1990s. A black and white screen, ability to only hold 10 text messages, and the frustration of only being able to play the classic game Snake was the pinnacle of the Nokia 3310’s abilities. Fast forward to now and consider your smartphone, which is constantly connected to the internet, with thousands of apps and endless cloud storage available. Times have certainly changed.
It’s no different when it comes to the phone infrastructure your business uses. Although ISDN has only been around since the 1980s, the rapid advances since then mean that VoIP provides numerous benefits in comparison. Unlike ISDN, VoIP is endlessly scalable, meaning users can be easily added and/or removed from the system, and remote working is simple with softphone capabilities built into VoIP systems. VoIP is also easily integrated into existing CRM and email systems, so voice and data is truly converged. This inevitably leads to cost savings, and increased productivity and efficiency.
The flexibility of VoIP allows you to put the customer experience at the forefront of your operations. Fully integrate call recording and reporting into your system, so you can establish effective training plans from high quality recordings and accurate call data. Built in disaster recovery provisions allows calls to be re-routed to alternative locations and devices in case of disruption, powering unified communications in your business.
It’s unthinkable that you would use that old Nokia 3310 now, so why would you continue to use outdated communications for your business operations? The ISDN shutdown may not be for a few years yet, but once your existing ISDN contract runs out, you’ll want to look at alternatives so you are prepared for when the technology is made obsolete.