12 June 2018
Telecommunications is all about evolution. What’s new and exciting one day is commonplace the next. Just look at how outdated the first iPhone is now.
As many telecoms resellers know, nowhere is this more apparent than in voice. Manual telephone switchboards have been replaced by automatic on-premise PBXs, which are now being replaced by cloud-based technology.
In fact, we’re currently witnessing the death of the ISDN communication standard as part of this evolutionary trend. BT plans to switch off its existing PSTN and ISDN network by 2025 and instead rely on a single IP network. It’s a logical step, considering BT introduced the ISDN nationwide all the way back in 1986. Today, there are more modern, efficient, and cheaper tools.
For those operating in the channel, this presents a huge opportunity. Businesses who are using any of the existing 33.3 million ISDN lines in the UK will have to consider alternative options to meet their telecom needs very soon. Who’s going to step in to service them?
Time to modernise
Any businesses – regardless of size, sector or industry – still relying on ISDN, are ripe for modernisation. The benefits of IP to customers are substantial. With solutions such as next generation SIP, businesses can benefit from greater flexibility, better reliability, the elimination of physical PBX infrastructure, and significant cost savings. This is all thanks to predictable monthly costs.
Yet there are plenty of benefits for channel partners too. Having an additional, future-ready offering in their portfolio can open up new revenue streams; and since SIP trunking is paid for as a subscription service, businesses can be guaranteed a regular, recurring income.
Next steps to take
In the next few years, many businesses will be lumbered with legacy ISDN telecoms tools unless action is taken. Channel partners can capitalise on this modernisation opportunity by demonstrating their expertise around SIP and convincing their customers to make the switch.
This could come in the form of stressing the need for companies to address wider workplace trends. For example, today, flexibility is valued by older workers and seen as essential by those entering the workforce. Flexibility is also valued by customers, clients and partners. Having the right tools that enable this can help organisations to be more productive, efficient and ultimately successful. That’s just one reason to make the move in a list of many.
Channel partners must also be able to advise on IP migration timelines. 2025 is when BT plans to flip the switch, but 2020 is when businesses will no longer be able to buy any systems that rely on fixed line networks. That’s only two years away. Preparing customers will be key in securing a mutually productive, long-lasting relationship.
Finally, as a channel partner, you should consider complementary technologies that sit alongside SIP trunking, such as data, video and instant chat. Including these as part of your portfolio gives you an edge over the competition – meaning you can become a reliable, one-stop shop for businesses looking to modernise their telecoms and bring all their services under one roof.
Times are changing. Being able to meet modern needs and address upcoming trends is crucial for channel partners hoping to remain relevant. Today, it’s a matter of making the case for next generation technology to your customers. Those who are stuck in their old ways will need to make the switch before it’s too late.
12 June 2018 | Justin Coombes
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.