In part two of our PSTN switch off Q&A series we meet with Gamma’s Chief Marketing and Product Officer, Chris Wade.
In this frank discussion on the upcoming changes to the UK telephone network, Chris details the urgency with which businesses should be reviewing their options and why the time to act is now.
Q: Would you say that the UK’s move to an All IP infrastructure is overdue?
Chris Wade: It’s long overdue. Europe is well ahead of us in this transition and it’s important that we get across that gap.
The pandemic has shown us that business communication is more important than ever. An All IP infrastructure allows us to do more, with more modern tools, in a more efficient way.
Businesses need to be using the most capable technology to support conversations going forward.
Q: How is Gamma involved in the PSTN/ISDN switch off?
CW: The switch off is really important for Gamma. We’re one of the major telcos in the UK, powering around 20% of all business conversations.
We have a significant role to play in making sure that businesses can continue to make and receive calls after the PSTN has been closed off.
We’re engaging our community, ensuring they’re prepared and making the move now – before it becomes a more pressing and deadline-driven obligation.
Q: How prepared is Gamma for the switch off?
CW: Extremely well prepared. We have a great set of products such as PhoneLine+ and Horizon. The connectivity that underpins them is robust.
Remember, the switch off doesn’t just touch voice communication, it impacts the ISDN network as well.
The combination of our capabilities, along with our experts guiding businesses through migration, all play to Gamma’s core strengths.
Q: What does the switch off mean for the short-term future?
CW: This major change will present disruption, but disruption can either be viewed as a challenge or an opportunity.
This is the perfect opportunity for businesses to look at their communications infrastructure and consider whether it’s truly fit for purpose.
If you’re a business with ambition and you want to continue to grow and engage in ways that are becoming more relevant, embrace the switch off. Move to technology that is application based rather than hardware.
Use the flexibility this infrastructure brings to drive your business forward.
Q: And in the long-term?
CW: In the long term it will allow businesses to scale and shape their capabilities to accurately fit their needs.
The PSTN is a static capability. With All IP, your infrastructure can grow with your business and mould to suit how each customer wants to communicate.
Q: Some may be fearful that the initial impact of the switch off could be a hindrance to productivity. Do you think this is true?
CW: It will be disruptive – we’re changing one way of communicating with another – but it’s a catalyst for positive change.
You can either be at the leading edge of that change or wait and get caught in the swell of businesses that didn’t act fast enough.
Our experience in migrating customers really comes to the fore here. Our team can minimise the disruption’s impact on productivity and process.
Q: How can businesses prepare themselves for the switch off?
CW: By moving now. Don’t wait for 2025. Understand when your exchange is going to go to End of Sale and End of Life – two very distinct stages.
Speak to your existing provider about their plan for your business and begin to explore your options.
You can speak to a provider like Gamma or your Channel partner and ask for help to get ahead of the curve.
Q: When it comes to the future of tech, what should businesses be looking out for?
CW: In the short-term Voice isn’t going anywhere, but are businesses thinking about channels such as email, webchat, or social media?
Are they thinking about the next big disruption? Is their supplier providing them with a robust resilient service that ensures they can continue to communicate over time?
The future of technology will very much depend on the type of business you run. An accounting firm might want to interact virtually, while a mechanic working out of a garage may continue more traditional, face to face communication.
We understand which technology is relevant to each market. If you’re unsure or would like to know more about the opportunities an All IP setup could bring to your business, I’d urge you to contact our team.