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Education still needed around ISDN switch off

A lot of energy is going into GDPR but once that deadline has passed another big one for the channel and customers to think about is the ISDN switch off

Once the deadline for GDPR has arrived in May the next thing for customers and resellers to think about is the ISDN switch off that starts to ramp up in less than two years.

Although some customers are already moving to ensure they are not reliant on technology facing extinction there are still significant numbers yet to make a move.

Back in 2015 BT announced that it was planning to stop the sale of ISDN lines and public switched telephone network circuits in 2020 as it targets a 2025 switch-off date.

Research from TalkTalk Business last year had at least a quarter of UK firms not yet aware of the need to move to IP but ancedotally some industry players have talked about half of their customer base being in a position where they are yet to make a move.

The channel has a crucial role to play helping customers transition towards IP alternatives.

Paul Clarke, UK manager at 3CX, said that one of the first tasks for resellers was to increase awareness about the deadlines ahead.

"The momentum is gaining but GDPR is the main main thing at the moment, but once the dust has settled more people will start taking to ISN switch-off into account," he said.

The approach that 3CX has taken is to try to take the pain out of making the move to IP with it possible to provision calls on a choice of appliances through a QR code.

"We are making it as easy as possible for partners and users to deploy a PBX very quickly," he added “The modern workforce is evolving. Workers expect to be able to work flexibly, at a time and place that suits them – and flexible working is proven to boost productivity. This in turn is transforming the office space, as organisations no longer need to provide a fixed place for every employee at specific hours.”

The other advantage of getting involved with the BT Switch-off discussion is that it can involve a discussion about an ever widening range of IP sevices.

Research from Frost & Sullivan last year indicated that as well as investing in hosted PBX offerings customers were also interested in unified comms as a service.

“To enhance market share in a competitive market, hosted IP telephony service providers must optimise their sales, provisioning, and customer engagement processes based on their target customer audience; for instance, introduction of highly automated e-commerce portals for SMB customers and development of greater consultative skills to address large enterprise needs,” said Frost & Sullivan digital transformation vice principal Elka Popova.

The firm is expecting growth in the UK, Germany and France because of the size of the installed bases. The shift away from traditional services is already happening and should gain momentum over the course of this year.

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