With the ISDN shut down already in full effect across Australia, businesses are ramping up their efforts to prepare for their own migrations when their number is called. Businesses have been told that once they are NBN-ready, they should have all systems in place and processes aligned to migrate. They will be given 90 days’ notice before their ISDN service is officially disconnected and their new service is connected.
If your business is not NBN-ready, then that’s the first hurdle that needs to be crossed. You can find out when your area is scheduled for fibre rollout here. Type in your business address to get an idea of what your timeframes are expected to be.
When making all the necessary preparations for your migration, one of the most important considerations is your phone system. Do you need to change your phone system to a newer upgrade? What would be the reasons for upgrading? If your phone system is older than four or five years of age, the general consensus is that you should upgrade, but if it is compatible with the new system and you don’t require more from it, then perhaps it’s not necessary and you can simply opt for an interim Network Termination Unit NTU).
If you are contemplating upgrading your phone system, we recommend doing some research first. Here are some considerations to make:
Staying with an older phone system will always bring about potential security risks. Support on older models is eventually phased out, which leaves businesses vulnerable. They also haven’t been rolled out with the most up-to-date security enhancements built-in. Opting for a newer system gives you the opportunity to compare security features and make the right choice for your business needs.
If you need end-to-end encryption, this is available to you from a variety of service providers. You can also set access control standards according to your needs, and include monitoring and reviewing of calls. A new phone system gives you the option of customising your system security based on what your business requires.
An upgraded phone system has been built with the user in mind to ensure maximum output and productivity. Some of the features that will enhance user engagement include:
- - Remote working possibility from multiple locations
- - Simple addition or removal of phone lines as and when they are needed (or not)
- - Capabilities for video calls and instant messaging
- - Capabilities for use on multiple devices
- - High quality signals and calls
- - Much faster speed, which in turn enhances productivity
- - Complete reliability
- - Added to all the above is cost effectiveness
Upgrading your phone system in line with the ISDN shutdown creates opportunity for businesses to align with fast-moving technological advancements. These systems have been created to support businesses and their teams in streamlining operations and getting the most out of every work day.
How Your Phone System Will Be Used
Once your phone system is set up, it can be used in different ways depending on how your business is structured. If you have employees working from remote locations, it pays to have them connected via what is called a softphone solution. It’s also a really cost-effective way of helping them stay connected when they need to be.
A softphone is a phone that operates via computer software and VoIP. There is no requirement for a physical device, which is what makes it so attractive for remote workers. All they need is their computer with the relevant software, an Internet connection and a keypad to be operational.
Physical phones might also be required and can be integrated into your new system. A VoIP phone is not very different from an analogue phone, except it is connected to make and receive calls using the Internet. It has a standard keypad and receiver, but is capable of HD voice, which is a technical way of saying that the call quality will be much higher.
Depending on your business requirements, the switch from ISDN can vary quite substantially. For a small to medium sized business making a simple transition from ISDN to VoIP or SIP, inclusive of one trunk, carrier modem and the installation, could cost in the region of $600. Most businesses have some sort of custom requirement that could result in higher costs being incurred.
There will also be a monthly, ongoing cost for the service plan chosen. This amount will be variable depending on your bandwidth needs and what extra features you require. It also varies from one RSP to another. The plus side is that newer systems and products are much more cost-effective than their ISDN counterparts.
Choosing a retail service provider (RSP) is one of your most important choices, as they will be guiding the migration process for you. They will be the conduit between you and NBN and they will also manage the project, appointments and installations for you. The above considerations need to be taken into account when choosing your RSP, but you also need to ensure that the team you work with is recognised and certified.
Take your time when making a selection and determine what other businesses in your area are opting for. The process is going to be stressful enough without having to worry about the competence of the team doing the work for you. Make sure you choose a provider with NBNTM Business Accredited Adviser status to prevent any unnecessary delays.