Event News

Switching on all-IP

Giacom gathered its partners in London for its first All-IP Summit. Comms Business reports from the event.

The All-IP Summit kicked off in late October at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in Westminster. Hosted by Giacom, the event programme was designed to provide communication providers with an insight into the future of voice and connectivity services.

Giacom looked to address the challenges that lie ahead in preparation for the 2025 PSTN switch-off and how evolving workplace trends will shape customer behaviour in the coming years. Key speakers included industry experts from BT, Microsoft, and CityFibre.

Dale Parkinson, managing director, connectivity, Giacom, kicked off proceedings (pictured above). He said, “We’ve reached a pretty important juncture in the all-IP story. If you take yourself back to 2018, you will remember that the industry created a proper narrative around all-IP.

“And that narrative was all about inflation and how we as a community need to transform the assets that we have in our bases. But it was also very focused on what’s ending, what’s stopping and everything that’s being removed.

“What it didn’t do was to focus on what’s starting. We are going to change that narrative. We are going to focus on three things: the opportunity we have in front of us, the actions that we need to take as a community, and the action we are going to take as Giacom to support you in that transition.”

The right tools

Next, Nathan Marke, Giacom’s chief operating officer, discussed the challenge the industry has in ramping up customer migrations, as well as the opportunities that are indicated by analyst SMB spending forecasts.

He said, “The switch-off started in 2018. Back then, we were invited by Openreach to come along and consult with them as a representative of the industry. BT then released its first FTTP service and we made that availability very quickly on our platform.

“Then, in 2019, we saw the changes coming in the market, and that was why we acquired Giacom. It was also why we acquired Union Street. We recognised the world was moving towards subscriptions and getting the right tools into our business to provide you with the support and services to be a modern, digital MSP. That’s what we were looking to do, and we started talking to the market about all-IP.”

Marke pointed to Giacom’s all-IP partner pack as one key resource to help partners understand the options they can provide their customers with as they transition to new technologies in anticipation of the withdrawal of the PSTN.

Cloud, connectivity and IP voice

Elsewhere, sessions from Steve Blackshaw, all-IP programme director, BT, Gareth Bleasdale, senior manager for modern work, Microsoft, Andrew Wilson, sales director for business, CityFibre, and Dr Nicola Millard, principal innovation partner, BT, highlighted the solutions and services that businesses can adopt as they look to digitally transform their organisations. Cloud, collaboration, connectivity and IP voice services will all be vital in the all-IP future.

The overriding message of the event was that it is key to present the switch off to end customers in the right way. Businesses and organisations across the UK have little interest in swapping products but, in an era where SMBs are dependent on technology, they are interested in how effective investment in technology can ensure business continuity, enable hybrid work, and make their businesses better.

Resellers and MSPs have the opportunity to be a strategic partner for their customers and help them achieve those business results that they need. The switch off does not have to be about switching customers off, but can instead be about switching them on to the benefits of all-IP.

This article appeared in our December 2023 print issue. You can read the magazine in full here.