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The ISDN Migration

On a recent episode Comms Business Live David Dungay was joined by some industry heavyweights to discuss the migration journey away from ISDN to SIP as BT looks to shut off the traditional network by 2025. Is it all plain sailing? Find out below.

David Dungay: Are partners using the 2025 deadline as a driver to move customers to SIP?

Paul Taylor, Sales Director at Voiceflex: “I think a lot of resellers have an eye on next week rather than what is going on in seven years. Some of them are looking at it to see where to go but I think every new telephony application they are putting in now is going in with SIP, unless there isn’t any data connectivity, that’s the only reason to use ISDN anymore.”

Kara Howard, Head of Communications Portfolio at TalkTalk Business: “It’s that compelling event which prompts that customer to sit back and think, is continuing as is the right thing to do, should we look at SIP or should we go to hosted. There are a lot of options out there and I think that’s where the end customers are really struggling. What do they go to because they have come from something that just works and then they have to think about what is best for their business.”

 

David Dungay: How important is the planning phase in the migration journey?

Paul Heritage-Redpath, Head of Products at Entanet:“It’s crucial, the most important thing is if there is a business benefit to people looking at their voice. If their ISDN has been in for a long term then the call flow which was built for them isn’t going to be super flexible. The first thing I would do is go to my customer and say ‘what do you want your telephony to be doing for you because you could be really surprised at what is available today’. It’s a business transformation project also, it’s huge in any size of business because people are just used to it working. If you involve people in that early stage and involve everyone in getting that call flow right, you get a great result for the customer and buy-in from the business.”

 

David Dungay: What is the current situation with porting?

Kara Howard: “We are still saying we need to do something about porting and I do wonder if the system can cope with the 16 million lines that need to move before the end of 2025. When you see the work the exec steering group are doing, with the best of intentions, I still feel we are about ten years behind where we need to be to support these partners and customers that want to make the move. It’s fundamental to any change because people want to take their numbers with them.”

David Pitts, MD at Trust Business Partners: “With OnStream we are looking at rolling out across 65 countries with SIP. So we are trying to port across each of those territories. It’s a challenge in the UK but doing it on a global basis is even more challenging. There are much more efficient services out there and we should be able to learn something from those processes and implement them here. We have the technology to do that and perhaps we need to take less of the arrogance around it and go and learn from other people.”

 

David Dungay: How are you seeing mobile services impact SIP?

Alan Mackie, Product Director at Gamma: “We are seeing 4G being used as back up in routers which is making it more accessible to take those services. Rather than having two connections people are more trusting now. If you put Fibre to the cabinet in or you put Ethernet in with 4G back up you are starting to get that higher availability without having to spend into the two. The higher availability being delivered with a combination of fixed and mobile is something we are starting to see with partners, particularly those that sell into the retail space.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine