Openreach will stop its ISDN services, once the global backbone of voice and video communications, in December 2025.  Not just ISDN, in fact, but all PSTN (public switch telephone network) networks too – the final step in moving from the old analogue to a fully digital network. 

These services will be replaced by digital services running over IP (Internet Protocol), the same as all internet data. When this happens, everything will need to be moved over, including lines running ancillary services such as alarm systems, faxes, door entry systems and EPOS.

2025 may seem like the distant future, but the road to no ISDN has already begun; BT plans to permanently hit stop on new ISDN orders during the next five years. If your ISDN contract is coming to an end, you’re looking to supercharge your company-wide communications, or you simply don’t want to be scrambling to find a replacement system at the final hour, take a look at our four steps to help you future-proof your business and choose the right alternative for your organisation.

  1. FIND OUT WHEN YOU CAN SWITCH 

With the end of ISDN in sight and the phase-out already having officially begun this year, it’s imperative to find out when your ISDN contract is up and say no to an auto-renewal. Whether you’re contractually obligated for another four years, or you’re able to end your contract soon and get ahead of the curve when it comes to ditching ISDN, it’s important to know when you can adopt a new service and prepare, research and execute in due course.

  1. BE FORWARD-THINKING

The last thing you want to do is use this opportunity to revitalise your setup by incorporating anything that will become legacy in a few years. This year has thrown huge challenges to CIOs and their teams when it comes to enabling remote workers, keeping productivity high, and providing the best possible communication tools in lieu of the office so, if you’re thinking about moving from ISDN sooner rather than later, ask yourself what features does your business need now and in the future? What add-ons will empower your increasingly remote workforce? Will plans to change your premises have an impact? And, to make sure it’s a seamless transition, what trusted partners are out there with the skills and knowledge to help you along the way?

  1. MAKE IT PERSONAL 

So, what are you swapping your ISDN out for? With several choices available, businesses making the switch need to choose the service that fits their unique business needs, keeps productivity and communication at a high, and provides the most bang for their buck, be it VoIP or SIP Trunks.

Hosted VoIP is a cloud-based phone system built to replace the physical phone system of yesteryear and is a good choice for those looking to ditch an on-premises phone system and discover new benefits like scalability, flexibility, and functionality. All VoIP calls are made over an internet connection, so it’s important to make sure you have enough bandwidth to support this route.

SIP Trunks, on the other hand, is the natural choice for those looking for a cheaper, more scalable, internet-based phone system that can operate on existing telephone systems. Compared to current ISDN phone lines, SIP offers businesses faster, better quality calls at a cheaper price point and the ability to add and remove lines with ease. SIP can also operate on a cloud-based telephony system. This is ideal for an increasingly mobile workforce, and can even be managed from one centralised panel. Businesses looking to leverage their current on-premises phone system must first check that their kit can be upgraded to work with SIP Trunks.

  1. FIND THE RIGHT PARTNER…

Whether you have a strong idea of what post-ISDN solution is right for you, or you need someone to walk you through the ins and outs of SIP and VoIP, the right partner is a vital asset in not only transitioning but making sure you’re making the most of your new telephony system for years to come. A trusted partner with the right expertise and experience can talk you through price points, delivery dates, hardware, the resources needed, and just about anything else you could possibly need, such as industry developments and other available support. A great partner will not only make your transition easier, they’ll remain by your side for any questions or queries you have post-deployment.

Comtec engineers are accredited to high standards with best-of-breed technology vendors, equipping them to deliver all the expertise necessary to protect your business and the service you choose. Whether you’re looking for consultancy, implementation or support, our team of specialists are on hand to discuss your requirements and help find the best solution for you. We’re very flexible and both our maintenance and support service can be tailored to meet any needs, whether that’s by helping to plug existing skills gaps, optimising IT processes or providing a consultancy service to help you from design to installation and beyond. 

  1. …AND THE RIGHT SOLUTION

The right partner will help you identify the best solution for your unique needs – a task that can be difficult with so many vendors competing for your attention. We’ve found that Firstcom’s Universe Hosted VoIP is the perfect solution for many businesses and have delivered Universe installations to many customers, big and small, who are also looking to modernise their unified communications. 

Universe is a simple to use, feature-rich cloud-based platform – meaning no physical equipment to install or look after. All upgrades are free and automatic, and you can locate your staff wherever they are, be it in remote offices, at home, or on the move. Universe brings together chat, voice, video and online collaboration all in one place and can be accessed from any device you choose – landline, mobile or your computer. Universe also has an advanced set of features, including call recording, call transfer, call centre functionality, SIP internet connectivity, IVR call handling, call queuing and much more.

With the right technology in place, you can future proof your business whilst improving performance and increasing the satisfaction of your team and customers. And while you may have time to think about it, why risk the frantic scramble 12 months before switch off? Failing to prepare could mean you turn to, and are stuck with, the wrong solution for years to come.

At Comtec, we’re experts in matching businesses to the right IT solutions and continue to help organisations of all sizes and budgets improve the way they communicate for the modern age. Contact us today to find out how e can match you with the right cloud-based telephony system, with the right benefits, from the right partner.

Contact sales@comtec.com