why the isdn scaremongering has to stop

Recently we’re finding that many companies are coming to us saying they have been told they NEED a cloud phone system because BT are going to be cancelling their lines soon.

From the sheer panic in their voice, you’d be excused if you thought BT were pulling the plug on ISDN tomorrow.

We’ve heard this sales tactic many times before: A sales person calls or goes into a business, sometimes even pretending to be from BT, warning you of the impending threat of line cancellation - and each time, the date seems to change… 2019, 2020, 2021, 2025!

Although it is true that BT will switch off ISDN, this won’t be until 2025. A full seven years from the time of this article. Even then, such a colossal task may be put forward again; as it already has in the past when it comes to BT withdrawing services.

Why it needs to stop

We completely agree that you should plan ahead and not leave it until the mass stampede. However, we don’t agree that a full cloud hosted solution is always the best solution for businesses. Costs can sometimes be higher compared to a Mitel system, and features aren’t always suited for the size or nature of the business.

If your phone system was installed within the last ten years and is a Mitel system, the chances are that it’s already futureproof. With the correct SIP licencing and some SIP lines, your Mitel phone system will be completely VoIP compatible. Allowing you to still make calls once ISDN is no longer available – and often with some cost savings too.

isdn scare mongering

Learning about SIP

Unlike ISDN, phone numbers are not tethered to a set location, giving SIP trunking the benefit of portability.

Businesses can automatically divert calls to a separate office location if all the lines at one office location are occupied (even if your offices are located in separate countries), and should your business choose to relocate, your current numbers move with you.

Having too many or too few channels is a familiar problem for most businesses with ISDN. With no limitations on DDI ranges and as many as 2,000 channels on a single connection, SIP eliminates this issue by enabling businesses to instantly scale, up or down, on a per channel basis to reflect their fluctuating needs.

Your options

If your phone system is outdated to begin with, you should most likely change it as this will cause issues in the future (if it isn’t already). We would recommend two options – both of which are good, but really depend on your businesses size, location, feature requirements and purchase preferences.

Cloud Hosted

This is the solution everyone is trying to sell. There are many different platforms out there such as RingCentral, 3CX, 8x8 and our personal favourite; Gamma Horizon.

Cloud hosted phone systems runs off internet lines just like the ones you have at home. As long as your internet speeds are up to scratch, there shouldn’t be any issue. The safest option however, is to use a converged voice/ data broadband, which guarantees voice quality. This means that if Eric in IT is downloading 100 PDF’s all about the latest software updates, it won’t affect the quality of the calls.

isdn line change

T2K only deals with Gamma horizon as we find the level of support is outstanding. Not only that, but they provide converged business internet, which keeps everything under one roof.

The downfall with a cloud hosted platform is that we would only really recommend it to businesses with under 15 users. Why? Cost. The down side of a cloud hosted platform is that you will never own the system. The business model is exactly the same as a leased car. Over the term of your contract you get free support, phones and all the rest, but you pay an ongoing monthly fee.

Over the average lifespan of a telephone system (recommended 10 years), the cost difference between a Cloud Hosted and Mitel system can be quite dramatic – especially for larger organisations.

Mitel System – Yes, it will still work.

Mitel systems such as the MiVoice Office 250 (formerly Mitel 5000) and MiVoice Business (formerly Mitel 3300) are the perfect solution for businesses who wish to buy their phone system outright. Although this can seem like a daunting upfront cost - finance options are available. Once payment for the system is complete, monthly costs are at a bare minimum.

Mitel systems are compatible with many different types of phone lines (Such as SIP) making them very resilient and even future-proof.

Out of the box, the MiVoice Office 250 comes with features such as Mitel Phone Manager. A lot of additional features can also be added on in the future if you wish, such as Call Reports, Wallboards, Call Recording and even Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

isdn telephone line scare

Honest Advice

If you’re looking for honest and genuine advice on which telephone system would be best for your business, get in touch on 0808 202 3200. T2K offer free demonstrations of telephone systems and products to businesses across the UK.