The future is SIP
It was launched around the same time Sir Clive Sinclair released his doomed C5 tricycle, preparations for the Channel Tunnel construction got underway and BT launched Cellnet, which of course eventually became mobile operator O2. In 1985 ISDN delivered the idea that voice and data could be carried on the same line. It was revolutionary and probably over ambitious given the infrastructure but as a precursor to modern day voice and data networks, its role was significant. Put it this way, ISDN has earned its impending retirement.
And so too has the PSTN network. As the world’s telecoms operators announce decommissioning dates for PSTN and ISDN, attention has to turn to what is next, sooner rather than later. The point is that SIP Trunking (SIPT) offers businesses competitive advantage, and at the moment most of Europe and the US are hitting transition targets ahead of the UK.
BT has stated it won’t turn off PSTN and ISDN until 2025 but that doesn’t mean organisations have to wait until then to take advantage of new technologies. The operator, Telkom Austria has already completed its transition while KPN in the Netherlands is 60 per cent of the way there. US operators such as AT&T and Verizon will be done by 2020, while Swisscom (2017) and Deutsche Telekom (2018) will ensure most of mainland Europe converts well before the next decade.
As we know from experience, impending deadlines tend to trigger urgency, whether it's kids delivering essays or businesses adopting new standards. When it’s no longer an option to delay, things start to happen. The main reason for this with businesses is fear of capital outlay and disruption to the business. For kids it’s coping with other distractions such as TV or video games.
The point is that with SIP Trunking, capital outlay and disruption are absolutely minimised to the point that they should never be considered acceptable reasons for not adopting immediately. With increased call concurrency over broadband networks and reduced call costs, the ability to unify communications, bringing together voice, data, instant messaging and application sharing, and the scalability and reliability of the services, SIPT offers instantaneous advantages over ISDN and PSTN.
Throw in portability – phone numbers are not tied to physical locations – and interoperability, in particular with services such as video calling, and you start to see a picture of progress, an opportunity for businesses to flourish through communication technology and not get held back by legacy.
Don't get left behind
As the rest of Europe and the US accelerate towards transition and SIP adoption, UK businesses have to think carefully – do they want to be left behind? Can they afford not to reduce ongoing costs? Are they really empowering the workforce by enabling remote workers and field workers, as well as office-based staff reap the benefits of quick, rich and powerful communications tools?
SIP Trunking is an efficient and cost effective way for small and medium sized businesses in particular, to scale quickly without big capital expenses and completely ripping up existing investments. Organisations can still keep their PBX but with SIP it is re-energised, offering more cost effective and flexible services. For resellers this creates a huge opportunity, for on-going relationships and recurring revenues, as customers scale at a pace that suits them, adding services as and when they need them. Only apathy and misconception will prevent uptake. As ISDN and PSTN become history, businesses need to think about transitioning now to ensure that they won’t suffer the same fate.
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