Jan 30, 2020
May 01, 2019
Is my business phone system ready for the future?
For some time the office phone system has been a static fixture as other business technologies have moved and changed. Now, however, things are firmly changing for the humble handset which may not have changed for 10 years or more.
Change is being driven by new developments in technology with the advent of hosted phone systems and unified communications adding features such as chat & mobile/landline integration. For many businesses these kind of changes are responded to with a collective shrug, a ‘don’t need it, won’t use it’ mentality, only reinforced by sales pitches that focus on cost reduction, something that often doesn’t bear out in reality.
The most significant change however is hard to ignore. Rising Internet access speeds and BTs plan to turn off old PSTN and ISDN lines by 2025 means that the office telephony landscape is changing. Your system may no longer be operable with new phone line technology.
For companies still using older analogue & digital phone systems, the switch to newer SIP phone lines can seem like a lengthy and costly process with no great gains. This is due to legacy phone systems not being ready or able to make the move due to incompatibility with SIP phone lines that often form part of a VoIP solution.
In this blog, we discuss how to deal with the key questions to help make your migration as smooth as possible. Or you can click here to book a free review of your telephony with a member of our team.
REVIEWING YOUR CURRENT TELEPHONY
With SIP lines taking over the first questions are, ‘can my system operate SIP lines?’, and if it can ‘how much will it cost to get the functionality switched on?’
A good rule of thumb is if you have purchased your phone system in the last five to six years, it is possibly SIP capable. Capable however, doesn’t mean ready, the system may need add-ons in terms of hardware or software.
The second question is ‘is my office ready for SIP lines?’. This question also applies if you are considering renting a hosted or Cloud, (the terms are often used to mean the same thing) telephony solution. SIP lines are accessed, not by distinct copper wires coming into your office but over your broadband connection and it has to be up to the job. If you still have ADSL, it’s probably a non-starter. If you have Fibre to the Cabinet broadband services then you at least have the potential to look at SIP lines for an in-house telephone system or to use a Cloud/Hosted Telephony service.
There is also the in-office network to consider such as having sufficient data cables. Different options will have different pre-requisites.
The third area of consideration is the cost of deploying SIP lines themselves. Just as you can rent your phone lines from any number of providers, it is the same with SIP. A market exercise should be undertaken of what options are out there for SIP lines and call bundles, just as you would for your current phone line contracts. With SIP you are not merely looking at moving what you have to a new vendor or a new deal, you are changing line technology.
To do it right, there is plenty to consider. If the pre-requisites are met the final choices are commercial and operational. What telephony platform do you use to move to SIP? Do you upgrade what you have or replace what you have with a new in-premise phone system? Or alternatively move to a hosted/cloud telephony service?
How much are the subsidiary costs to be ready for SIP in terms of Internet connections and in office network & cabling? How much does the deployment cost now and how much is the total costs of ownership over five years?
Many of our customers have went with what is known as a Hybrid telephone system, the Panasonic NS700. The hybrid approach seeks to manage possible costs of deployment such as being able to utilise traditional office telephone cabling that older phone systems use and operate current ISDN & PSTN lines but be ready for SIP lines within the initial investment in the phone system.
WHY SIP IS IMPORTANT
What makes SIP so important is that it is a reality with BTs ISDN switch off, expected in 2025. The big telephone manufacturers are fast phasing out support for old digital and analogue systems. This is why it’s best to start considering your options now by taking some simple steps & get ready to spread the costs of switching.
We can help you, free of charge, to review your current phone system. You can book your free slot with a member of our team below.