There is nothing like an impending expiry date on a technology to hand the channel a chance to get out to customers and pitch the need for a transition to an alternative.

The channel has gone through various Windows support deadlines that have helped encourage not just an OS migration but some additional hardware spending.

The focus now is on telecoms with BT committed to switching off ISDN in 2025 and planning to stop selling new lines from 2020.

According to Ofcom’s recent Communications Market 2016 report there are around 3m ISDN lines in the UK, which represents a sizeable target for the channel to go after.

“With 3 million ISDN lines still in play, resellers or service providers with no plan in place to convert these customers to IP telephony are potentially walking away from tens of millions of pounds of potential income,” said Paul Clarke, UK manager at 3CX.
“The simple fact is that communication has moved on in leaps and bounds since the first VoIP calls in the 1990s, and the channel must be ready to allay any concerns that their potential customers may have,” he added.

Some of the issues that customers might be dealing with include making sure those firms worried about connection speed are reassured. There might be some that are yet to see the benefit of using a platform that goes beyond just providing voice.

“Communication is the heart of the modern business: the ISDN switch might be the last chance for the channel to realise and benefit from this, by leading customers through potential challenges and helping them make the most out of IP,” added Clarke.

As well as being in a position to move to a technology that is going to last well beyond 2025 there are cost savings that can be realised switching to VoIP telephony.

Research from TalkTalk Business has found that those switching to VoIP technology saved an average of 35% on their costs, with a quarter halving them.

The telco also found that a quarter of UK businesses were still not aware that ISDN lines were going to be switched off in 2025.

“IP Voice products like SIP Trunking and Hosted Voice are essential for businesses looking to not only reduce telephony costs, but also adopt more modern approaches to work, such as those offered by collaboration and unified communications tools,” said Guy Miller, director of Next Generation at TalkTalk Business.
“Organisations that have made the switch to IP Voice (including Hosted Voice in addition to SIP) have more than justified the business case they made when it comes to reducing costs. Moreover, they’ve also deployed reliable systems that will reduce the chance of costly outages and provide them with futureproof technology, ready for the workforce of tomorrow,” he added.