In short, yes. Last year, BT announced the end of ISDN was in sight with a target to migrate all ISDN and PSTN customers to IP by 2025. Although 10 years sounds like a long time, in order to achieve that target a migration process needs to begin in the very near future.
Its replacement, SIP is a hot topic amongst IT leaders at the moment. It is now a well-established technology and is the preferred solution for businesses of all size, in a number of ways outperforming ISDN.
What does the end of ISDN mean to businesses?
The migration away from ISDN should be seen as the start of something new with SIP, rather than the end of ISDN. It provides greater choice and a far more flexible and resilient service than was ever possible with ISDN. SIP is standard technology but the way in which it’s delivered can vary depending on which provider you choose.
There are so many benefits to SIP technology for businesses that most will see the migration as a positive move. It will enable enhanced flexibility, network level monitoring and will often return substantial cost savings. As well as this, SIP improves the call handling for businesses and allowed a rationalised distribution of lines across multiple sites, improving resource allocation and, again, saving costs. Finally, SIP also facilitates growth and scalability within a business and is a secure and robust technology for mission critical operations.
How does SIP provide business continuity?
SIP enables call routing at the very core of its network and call can be routed to any pre-defined destination. This includes to mobile, alternative site or remote office and across multiple carriers for additional resilience. The redirection of calls happens automatically with pre-defined parameters and subsequently minimising downtime.
Although it is hard to disagree that ISDN is a reliable service in general, the phase out of ISDN is over a significant period of time and BT’s investment in the technology will diminish. The network will no longer be developed so it is less likely to become so reliable. Other significant factors such as, number of trained engineers and the availability of spares and parts for telephone systems will also become difficult to obtain. The customer support experience is likely to deteriorate and it is rather inevitable that businesses looking to invest in the future will have limited choices.
When should businesses be looking to migrate to SIP?
As soon as connectivity levels allow for a sufficient IP connection then there is no reason why a business could not migrate over. It is set in stone that all businesses will be moving over within the next 10 years and making that move sooner rather than later will allow your business a more streamlined transition and give users more time to get accustomed to the solution.