13 November 2015
The lifespan of ISDN is coming to an end. And with BT announcing it’ll be switching ISDN off in 2025, it’s likely that only a small percentage of businesses will still be using ISDN in four years so telecoms providers must start turning businesses onto what’s next, now. The challenge is knowing what that next-generation product is, and getting to grips with selling it before the need is urgent. As the telecommunications product range changes over the coming decade, the marketplace will get busier. The winners will be the resellers who work with vendors to offer a future-ready alternative to ISDN. In this case, cloud telephony is the answer.
The state of play
The efficiency and value of ISDN is being challenged by newer, flexible and more reliable technologies. Cloud-based telephony gives the end user the ability to scale quickly and cut back if they need to. It also means that businesses are not hampered by cumbersome on-site infrastructure, or adversely affected by long periods of downtime in the aftermath of a fault. And while cloud is still an emerging tech, ISDN will not be able to compete in the long-term as a telephony system.
While many users are still working with ISDN, channel sellers are still providing it. But the ground is shifting. With SIP trunking services already more commercially attractive than ISDN, the move to SIP is a no-brainer and the viability of keeping ISDN just doesn’t make sense.
What does that mean for you?
With the proliferation of cloud-based telephony and the decline of ISDN, the marketplace will become more crowded. Because cloud also encompasses data, IT and mobile services, new players can enter the field and provide competition to traditional telecommunications providers.
This presents a business risk to resellers, who will be competing with more companies than ever before. Everyone will be offering a different package and there will be an inevitable challenge in making sure yours is the best one for your customers and prospects.
At the same time there is a huge opportunity for resellers that get things right. Success will mean the ability to upsell packaged services to clients with whom you already have a good trading relationship. And by providing first-class cloud telephony, the door opens for the provision of data, mobile, security, productivity software, CRM and backup IT.5 ways to simplify your solution and services
So while the death of ISDN does mean a change for resellers, it does not mean a disaster. With a balanced mindset towards risk and opportunity, the opportunity is there to sell more and gain committed clients bought in to the future.
How to take advantage of the ISDN demise
Successful resellers in ten years’ time will be those who are selling cloud services now. Familiarity with the offer and the customer’s needs are essential when selling a new product, or an upgrade.
Put yourself in the position of an end user, who has two companies pitching for business:
› Company one has been working with the product for many years, its salespeople know what’s right for your business and its tech department can install and troubleshoot effectively.
› Company two has only just started selling cloud telephony because they have to. Staff have neither affinity nor history with the product and the tech department is learning as it goes.
There really is only one choice.
Resellers that retain a focus on ISDN, while their competitors move forward with cloud telephony, will become as obsolete as the technology they are selling. Whereas those who begin conversations about future-ready communications systems now are moving into a position to become sole IT providers for clients.
Act now and ensure that the demise of ISDN does not bring about the demise of your business.
13 November 2015 | Justin Coombes
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.