Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) has been operating for more than 20 years in Australia but this technology is now end of life. Earlier this year Telstra ceased sales of ISDN along with a number of copper-based services. Organisations currently using ISDN services are migrating these to alternative solutions that utilise the nbn™ broadband access network as the underlying infrastructure.
By doing so businesses may be able to improve and upgrade their communications and collaboration systems to new IP based technologies, powered by fast broadband. Even if businesses are already connected to the nbn™ broadband access network they still need to migrate their copper based ISDN services.*
Potential benefits to Australian businesses
The migration helps give organisations a chance to both future-proof and add features to their communications platform that would not be possible over ISDN.
Some of the potential advantages of a SIP-based communications platform (the protocol that a lot of businesses are choosing), include:
- Scalability: ISDN services need to be added on in “blocks” – every small business knows the pain of hiring one new person but needing to add a block of five (or more) new call connections instead of one is not efficient. Furthermore, ISDN services can be difficult to shut off if a business decreases in size. SIP-based solutions can seamlessly – and in real time – scale as needed, meaning organisations only pay for what they use.
- Mobility: SIP-based connections are not tied to a physical location unlike ISDN services. This means businesses can easily have phone connectivity in remote locations, such as satellite offices.
- Video: ISDN and video calls have always been relatively expensive and unwieldy. With a SIP platform, video becomes an option for even for the smallest organisation. It is more engaging and often more useful as a communications tool, giving organisations an additional value add for customers and clients.
- Services: ISDN solutions require an onsite PBX box and local management of the solution. SIP solutions can be better delivered as a service and managed remotely, meaning businesses can also ask their channel provider to deploy and manage additional services over the network.
One of Australia’s most exciting channel opportunities
The rollout of the nbn™ broadband access network and the disconnection of copper based services presents a huge opportunity for the channel. For many businesses, connecting to the nbn™ access network or migrating copper based services, such as ISDN can be a confusing time.
To help businesses with this important transition, earlier this year nbn launched its ICT Channel Program. This is a dedicated program with a focus on equipping the ICT industry with the knowledge and tools to help businesses make the most of the opportunities that the nbn™ access network and copper based services migration presents. Eligible ICT businesses can become accredited as an nbn™ business accredited adviser.
“The nbn™ network roll out is a unique event that provides us with the opportunity to engage in conversations with end business customers about solutions that can help transform their workforce and business effectiveness via a wide range of collaboration and productivity solutions, supported by the nbn™ access network,” CDM ICT sales manager, Miled Sawakid, said. “For some business customers this has been the first time they could consider such solutions.”
“For channel organisations such as CDM ICT, it’s a vital conversation to have with our customers”, Sawakid said. “There is still a great deal of misunderstanding in the market about what is involved in a migration.”
“Many businesses still don’t understand what the nbn™ access network is,” Sawakid said, “and they aren’t sure what’s involved in making the move, in particular for ISDN”.
“It can have a significant impact on their current infrastructure and set-up, and those business customers need help to understand how they migrate and what is the best practice solution moving forward.”
“CDM ICT is currently working with ‘hundreds’ of business clients across a wide range of different industries. They all have existing challenges in their businesses, and to then have to incorporate a move to the nbn™ access network into those plans can be daunting,” Sawakid said. “We have found a lot of organisations rely on us entirely as an nbn™ business accredited adviser to make the move as smooth as possible. But what we have also found is that organisations are often more than happy to use this migration as the catalyst to explore new opportunities with how fast, robust connectivity can enhance their business operations.”
“It’s an exciting time,” Sawakid said.
“The program is a one of a kind in the community it has created and the way it brings genuine collaboration across telco, vendor, distributor and the ICT partner.”
* Disconnection dates vary and not all Special Services will be disconnected – whether a service will be disconnected, and the timing of disconnection will depend on factors including the type of Special Service, when the nbn™ broadband access network is available, which nbn™ access technology is available and whether Telstra has issued a BAU product exit in respect of a Special Service. To find out if your services will be affected, and applicable disconnection dates, contact your current phone or internet service provider.