Preparing for the ISDN and PSTN switch off

Simon Horton explains why IT leaders should be working on flexible, cloud-based UC and VoIP solutions, before ISDN and PSTN lines close.

Preparing for the ISDN and PSTN switch off

Simon Horton explains why IT leaders should be working on flexible, cloud-based UC and VoIP solutions, before ISDN and PSTN lines close.

With many forced to shut their doors for two years, small businesses are under more pressure than ever. And now, they must prepare for the ISDN and PSTN switch off in 2025, a service that has remained unchanged since 1986. National Business Communications has reported that while consumer landlines continue to decline, nearly 70% of UK businesses are still using landlines within their company. 

The planned switch off of ISDN and PSTN services, announced by BT, has been decided due to these outdated technologies no longer being able to deliver the volume of quality of voice data needed in an increasingly digital world. The announcement has left businesses scrambling to ensure they upgrade their connection services ahead of the 2025 deadline. For many small, local businesses, this not only requires upgrading their entire phone system but installing an internet connection for the first time.

Making this move ahead of time will lead to improved technologies, and ensure businesses are prepared ahead of the switch. 

As the deadline looms closer, companies must be aware of their options and make sure the switch does not impact their customers or their customer service. Switching now could be the first step towards a business-wide digital transformation that is needed to keep up with not only local, but national competition. 

Out with the old, in with the new

With time slowly running out to organise new business communications before the ISDN switch off, SMEs need to prepare and find a new connection quickly. Those who put off planning for the switch, risk being left behind and being cut off.

With the absence of ISDN and PTSN communication systems, SMEs and larger businesses can move to full Voice over IP (VoIP) and Unified Communication (UC) services. The benefits of UC platforms, allows companies to implement a variety of communication devices and software, not just voice calls but also instant messaging, content sharing, and video conferencing regardless of physical location. The flexibility of UC systems provides businesses with a single, streamlined interface aimed at helping improve user experience and productivity. 

It is down to IT managers, and business owners of smaller companies, to review their communications and internet access and evaluate what is the best option for their business, either a VoIP or UC solution.

The continued move to more digital communication offerings allows companies increased flexibility to manage communications from both home and the office as well as provide digital opportunities for new growth. 

Managing communications during the switch

Whilst time is of the essence, a smooth transition to the new digital solution is needed. But this cannot be rushed, and must be fully integrated within the existing infrastructure, to prevent disruption for customers.

Both UC and VoIP solutions, allow both larger companies and SMEs to create a communications package unique to their own business. Those already planning to overhaul their previous communications systems can also opt for a newer unified communications package, allowing them to migrate to a digital solution at their own pace, ensuring they fully integrate the new system with the old.

Starting the process slowly and at a manageable pace will allow businesses to control their communications switch internally, and ensure customers are not impacted by the ISDN switch off. 

What will the future of business communications look like?

Over the past decade, business technologies have developed at an exponential rate and as companies look to digitally transform their internal operations, they must also look to innovate their communication systems alongside this.

As the move away from ISDN and PSTN gathers pace on the run-up to the switch-off, this presents businesses with a range of possibilities and advantages, including securing reliable communications systems, implementing cloud-based maintenance, and increasing collaborative working. 

So, it is time to innovate and move to VoIP and UC solutions to stay ahead of the competition. Companies must take charge of the future of their communication systems and prepare for the switch-off before it’s too late.

Simon Horton
Simon Horton

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