ISDN and PSTN Alternatives for Enterprises
You knew it was coming. That box in a dusty old room of the office building is obsolete. Its function is business-critical; you currently need it to make phone calls. If you can’t make calls, your business shuts down. But there just has to be something better out there than a power-hungry switchboard with all its unwieldy characteristics like
- requiring specialty engineers for servicing
- locking you into contracts that last years
- being inherently, well, limited.
In 2020 is there not something better? We’re here to tell you that there is something better, and even telephony giants are starting to come around.
The Times are Changing
Dubbed “The BT Switch Off”, BT will be cutting support for PSTN/ISDN analogue phone lines by 2025’s end. This is prompted by Openreach’s announcement that they will be withdrawing WLR (wholesale line rental) products reliant on BT PSTN by the end of that same year. Moreover, recent reports abound that BT is not going to be selling traditional analogue phone lines to businesses from some time this year in 2020, meaning there actually will not be an analogue option for much longer. With Ofcom’s new policy position on the future of fixed telephone services and other providers making similar moves with their own similar timeframes, you’ll surely be confronted with your current provider’s own digital phone system products sometime soon.
However, even if you don’t have an ISDN alternative pushed in front of you by your current provider sometime soon, the changes being made by telecoms companies necessitate a migration to digital, IP-based communications. Whilst Openreach has a number of contingencies in place for those who may be resistant to the changes, these are structured around supporting these parties in transition rather than enabling a refusal to transition altogether. Moreover, a communications system is a prerequisite for any business so, when it comes time to expand your current system or to implement a new one, the question of which digital provider to use and what the options are will arise.
So what are the options?
Maybe your current provider’s digital communications product isn’t the best of what’s out there. Before you sign a new contract, you’ll likely want to see what’s out there and compare what’s on offer.
For a corporation entirely reliant on analogue ISDN and PSTN phone lines, SIP trunking is commonly considered a natural progression from a traditional, hardware-based PBX as it connects your business directly to the PSTN using the internet. However, since it employs SIP infrastructure, the only option that would enable your business the continued use of existing hardware would be the installation of SIP cards to existing hardware to convert digital SIP signals to an analogue phone system.
This probably sounds exactly like what it is: delaying the inevitable. Eventually, your business will have to modernise its phone system - eventually, the time will come to rip off the band-aid and do the work. What’s left is a cloud-based solution. One that requires no in-house hardware at all separate from that used to provide your office building with an internet connection. Your VoIP (voice over IP) provider will host the PBX virtually in the cloud, managing and directing all of your calls digitally.
Sounds like a big change…
For many large, established corporations, the idea of the cloud might still be worrying. However, if you are concerned about a cloud solution to your communications, it may set your mind at ease to hear that, here at Yay.com, we use Google Cloud to house the Yay.com communications platform. Google Cloud is also used and trusted by companies such as Spotify, Snapchat, HSBC, Evernote and Coca Cola. You’ve probably heard of some of them! With companies like these trusting cloud hosting with their data, perhaps it’s time to embrace this new age of communications. In addition, we’re ISO accredited G Cloud 11 suppliers, meaning we are trusted by both independent and government bodies in our ability to supply a stable and high-performing service.
Moreover, VoIP phone systems are simply technologically far more capable than their analogue counterparts. By virtue of their being created programmatically, updates and new VoIP phone system features can be added by your provider just like any app, software or hardware tech you use every day. Conversely, there have never been any updates to traditional copper phone lines, leaving old analogue phone systems far behind in what is now a technologically-driven, rapidly advancing industry. Given that VoIP providers have been servicing customers for a while now, with competition for market share driving improvements in their services, there are now some very powerful options.
Finally, if you decide that you do want to switch provider, you are completely within your right to do so. So long as you are not bounded by a contract, you are free to have your existing numbers ported to any provider you like. At Yay.com, our onboarding team can do the majority of this for you, making this as seamless and stress-free a process.
Soon there will no longer be an analogue option. Rather than delay the inevitable, modernise your phone system now by switching to a reputable VoIP provider and begin benefitting from some of the very powerful features on offer. CRM integrations, webhooks and global call recording are just some of what’s offered here at Yay.com to make your business more powerful and data-driven.