First it was the old copper PSTN lines making way for the NBN. Next will be the forced disconnection of ISDN lines which will begin in September 2019. We’ve put together some steps to make sure your business is prepared for the ISDN shutdown.

What does the ISDN disconnection mean for business?

ISDN lines are being shutdown and going forever. For some customers this will occur in a matter of months. For others, the disconnection date could be further away with the entire ISDN network shut down by 2022.

Forsythes Technology is advising customers to prepare for the shutdown of ISDN before the predicted disconnection date in their area.

This ensures your business does not get caught in the bottleneck that is coming due to many premises leaving their transition until the last minute. It also minimises the chance of disruption or downtime to your business.

What should businesses do to prepare for ISDN shutdown?

Step 1: Audit your current infrastructure

How do your staff access data? How are incoming calls directed? How is your phone system set up? How does your messaging work? Would your business benefit from cloud PABX, collaboration tools or voicemail to email capability?

In short, consider what hardware your team is working with right now and if it needs an upgrade. Keep in mind that older PBXs might function with SIP, but your business could be better off with IP phones to access advanced IP Telephony features. It all depends on your business goals.

Step 2: Build your migration plan

Contact Forsythes Technology to discuss the options for your migration, any hardware that might require upgrading, the pricing and the timeframes involved.

Step 3: Choose your Network Provider

SIP presents an opportunity to revolutionise your communications with a more flexible, scalable technology that offers immediate benefits.

Your network provider needs to be accountable to not only port your numbers over to a new service but ensure the ongoing delivery of secure and reliable services for your staff and customers.

Points to consider are:

  • Track record: Can your potential SIP provider provide case studies of successful implementations of a similar service for businesses of a comparable size?
  • Security: Data security is always a key concern. Aspects to consider include levels of encryption, access control standards, and monitoring and reviewing of calls.
  • Support: What commitments do potential providers offer? Do they have the resources and expertise to provide 24/7 support before, during and after the sale? Can you manage your services via a portal?
  • Quality of service (QoS): Ask potential providers about their QoS capabilities. This is the ability to prioritise certain types of data traffic over others. Typically, it ensures voice traffic has the highest priority on the network, taking precedence over downloads etc.
  • Pricing: SIP migration pricing may include a one-off installation and hardware charge, combined with a monthly network service fee. These will generally include unlimited local, national and calls to mobiles in a bundle. Other features like 100-number ranges and business continuity options may attract additional fees.

Step 4: Consider outsourcing your ISDN migration

There are two reasons to consider outsourcing your ISDN migration to Forsythes Technology.

  1. Time: This is a time-consuming process which will eat up your internal IT team resource. Besides the infrastructure audit, and the build of the order, there is also a process for order lodgement and order processing which inevitably requires hours of time on the phone to your chosen network provider. There is also the coordination of equipment being supplied to the site, and site visits from both nbn and the carrier technicians for installation of equipment.
  2. Knowledge mitigates risk: Forsythes Technology have already assisted many clients through this process and we provide a fully managed ISDN to SIP/ NBN migration We will complete all the operational tasks and manage your business migration with minimal input from your IT resources.  We will manage the order build, equipment procurement, on-site network technicians, and network service connectivity. We stay with you from start to finish.

Benefits of ISDN shut-down

Once ISDN communication lines are phased out, cloud communication services will be the default vehicle for businesses and individuals alike.

ISDN lines only allow for a limited range of communication options, primarily serving a traditional phone call. These barriers are pushed aside with the cloud having omnichannel contact centres where companies can speak to their customers beyond voice, including web chat and social media.

The silver lining of the ISDN shut-down is the additional advantages that cloud-based communications can provide companies. A variety of cloud service options give cost savings and efficiency benefits, and the ability to scale quickly. Through the cloud, voice services are easier to manage remotely, and businesses can easily combine multiple offices into an integrated voice network with greater resilience and inbuilt redundancy.

So, embracing the transformation from ISDN to VOIP and SIP will allow businesses to receive the benefits that cloud-based communication and collaboration bring.