Moving from ISDN to SIP: the key steps you need to take

Making the move: 5 easy steps to SIP migration

Since the late 80’s ISDN has been the de-facto telephony solution of choice, however, with no significant development in over a decade, it’s time for ISDN to retire for good. SIP trunking is fast becoming the obvious replacement for traditional ISDN services. This has been driven by both the need for a more flexible approach to ‘voice’ and the requirements of Unified Communications.   

If your organisation is considering the move, here’s our quick guide onto how the process will work:

Step one: scoping the job

Work with your communications provider to find out what the move will look like for your business. This may be a wholesale switch in one move, a phased branch by branch transition, or even floor by floor. SIP can work alongside ISDN, so the switch needn’t be fraught with the panic of turning one system off and another on at the same time. Costing will also be included within this part of the process.

During this period there should be little or no disturbance to your business. And any tests or checks can be carried out in a controlled environment.

Step two: audit the current system

A big part of the process from the customer end will be auditing current infrastructure and network capacity. Essentially, the provider needs this information in order to understand the optimum service provision required to meet business demands.

This can include the available bandwidth on the existing data connectivity, to decide if additional or dedicated connections are required to carry voice traffic. As with any audit, it will be a case of check and check again to ensure everything is accounted for.

Step three: installing the new system

With the project scoped and budgeted, the next step will be to begin installation. As SIP trunking comes with less physical infrastructure than ISDN, you will notice a substantial change in what has to be stored and maintained on site. Also, because SIP can work alongside ISDN whilst the installation is taking place, there should not be any real disturbance to your business systems during this stage of the process.

Step four: testing and checking

Unlike ISDN, a modern SIP-based phone system can integrate with business applications including Skype for Business. It also comes with built-in resilience and business continuity features. Each of these will be tested thoroughly before anything goes live to ensure the new system is working as expected. The IT department may find itself a little busier than usual during this period. But workers, at large, shouldn’t notice a thing as your provider checks your new system.

Step five: go live

Time to turn the new system on. With all the checks done and continuity provisions in place, this stage should be less uncertain than it may first sound. Depending on your initial plan, the ‘go live’ could happen in one month, one day or one hour. The important thing is to note that if steps one to four have been completed correctly, step five should go smoothly.

Migrate to SIP

To learn more about SIP trunking and how you could save money by upgrading from your traditional ISDN system click here. Alternatively call us on 020 3668 0444 or email info@4sightcomms.com.

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How Professional Services Organisations can Benefit from SIP?

The professional services sector is highly competitive and no organisation can afford to stand still. This not only means adapting and developing your business processes, but also the technology that underpins them.

If your organisation is still using ISDN, it could be stifling innovation and reducing your efficiency and competitiveness. SIP can offer businesses many benefits over traditional ISDN. These include:

Speed of deployment:

It can take multiple weeks for new ISDN lines to be ordered and then installed, whereas the lead times for provisioning of a SIP trunking solution can be significantly lower. Once SIP is in place, additional trunks can also be added much more quickly in order to meet increased demand at peak times.

Flexibility:

Numbers provided with ISDN are, in the main, geographically defined – unless you pay extra for non geographic numbers. With SIP trunking, you can choose to use the same geographic number, regardless of a site’s location. This is useful for businesses that relocate or those that have multiple sites.

Scalability:

With SIP trunking, your phone system can grow as your organisation grows. It’s easy to increase the number of lines you require and simple to extend your company phone system to new offices.

Seasonality:

Many businesses have peaks and troughs when it comes to demand for telecoms capacity. A sales or marketing campaign, or even the time of the year, can see demand greatly increase. ISDN is not always the most flexible or cost-effective option to deal with this type of demand. Even if you can increase the number of ISDN lines to meet the demand, you are left paying for unused channels when demand falls. SIP trunking enables organisations to add more lines as and when they need them, and remove them when call volumes fall. With SIP trunking, you pay for what you use; not for what you rent.

Resilience and Reliability

What would happen if your telecoms system failed, or there was a disaster at one of your sites? The nature of ISDN means that it is vulnerable to a single point of failure – if ISDN lines go down at one site, implementing call forwarding can take hours and can be a costly option. It’s easy to see how this would gravely affect your organisation’s ability to function. Customers, suppliers and contacts would be unable to reach you, leading to frustration at the very least. Reputational damage could be high and the cost to your organisation in lost productivity can be even higher, particularly

if fee-earners are left unable to work. SIP trunking can be provisioned to offer automatic call rerouting to other sites and over additional lines, without call forwarding costs, should disaster strike. With SIP trunking, you can have a robust disaster recovery plan in place as part of your standard service.

High quality

SIP can deliver enterprise-grade voice services over your data connectivity, either a suitable existing connection or alternative provision. With both services delivered through a single connection, your organisation can benefit from additional cost savings.

This combination of benefits means that your organisation is able to elevate the level of customer service you offer, gaining a competitive advantage over rivals still using ISDN and enhancing your reputation.

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5 Misconceptions About SIP Trunks

Organisations around the world are choosing SIP Trunking as a future-forward solution for their business communications needs. Sip technology enables business agility, scalability and can bring about immediate cost savings.

However, despite its growing popularity, there are still several misconceptions held by many decision makers that make which reluctant to deploy an enterprise SIP trunking service. Below are the top 5 myths about moving to SIP and the reasons why you should ignore them:

Myth 1: Poor call quality

For many people their first and only experience of VoIP is using consumer-focused services like Skype. Although these free tools are generally adequate for home users, businesses cannot afford the glitches that are often encountered. Poor latency, jitter and packet loss all create an unsatisfactory user experience for you and your customers. Where callers are unable to hear each other clearly there is always the risk that important details could be missed, creating a negative overall impression of your business. Business-grade SIP trunks provide a call service that is comparable to the ISDN lines used by most business phone systems. By paying for a business-grade VoIP solution you will benefit from:

  • Enterprise-grade infrastructure to power the service and ensure call quality.
  • Dedicated support teams to maintain stringent SLAs and QoS.

Myth 2: Too expensive

Many people assume that new technology commands premium prices. However with SIP trunking this is not the case and, for the majority of businesses, moving to a SIP trunking solution can help make significant cost-savings on telephony. With SIP you no longer need expensive ISDN lines so you’re not paying for lines you don’t use. SIP trunking can even be used alongside your existing ISDN connections to ensure a smooth transition. Your business may be able to realise additional cost-saving benefits like reduced or free calls to fixed landlines depending on the SIP trunk provider and services used.

Myth 3: SIP is too new to be trusted

Many decision makers assume that as they are unfamiliar with SIP-related technologies, it cannot be trusted. Because they are familiar with ISDN and it has served their business well for many years they assume that they have no need for an “unproven” technology. VoIP and related IP-based solutions have been used by many businesses successfully for years. In fact, research shows that 35% of companies believe SIP trunking to be the most important telephony system.

Myth 4: Too much hassle

Historically, replacing any system with a newer version can be time and resource intensive. There are also concerns that the time taken to realise any cost savings will not be worth the effort to change. So logically, many businesses wrongly assume that the switch to SIP trunking will be exactly the same.

Myth 5: Our existing provider doesn’t recommend SIP

Many businesses have had long and successful relationships with their current communications provider. So if said supplier doesn’t recommend SIP trunking solutions, you can rationally assume that VoIP has nothing to offer your company.

Unfortunately, many of the big telecoms providers may not be acting in your best interests to protect their own. Incumbent operators will have invested heavily in their infrastructure, mostly in terms of ISDN. So if you move away to cheaper, better value services you could be costing them more than just your custom.

So regardless of the length of your relationship, is it really as good as you think if they aren’t recommending newer cost-effective technologies like SIP trunking?

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Ebook: The business case for SIP

Over the past few decades, cultural and technological trends have dramatically transformed the workplace. Today, flexible working is a way of life. Employees now have greater control over their work-life balance than ever before, and employers understand that productivity is not confined to a desk. As such, adopting technology that enables a mobile workforce has become a business prerogative. Yet this need for new mobile tools is often at odds with other business demands. While many senior management teams are keen to stay ahead of the competition, they also want to keep costs down.

Every investment is scrutinised, and new equipment or systems purchased today must adequately cope with depreciation and tech innovation long into the future. SIP trunking is a future-forward solution because it enables business agility, scalability and can bring about immediate cost savings, it is the ideal answer to these conflicting sets of business demands.

What does this eGuide cover:

This eGuide looks at how SIP can help businesses cope in a changing world – taking into consideration the technicalities of installation, and how preparation is key for seamless telephony success.

Download eGuide below:


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Ebook: Jargon-free guide to MiFID II

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, commonly known as MiFID II, is due to come into force in January 2018. Replacing the original Directive in January 2018, MiFID II brings changes to many areas relating to conduct of business, including far more robust rules around the recording and storing of conversations.

This easy-to-digest eGuide cuts through the jargon and highlight the key parts to help you become compliant.

What does this eGuide cover:

 Who needs to comply?

 What conversations need to be recorded?

 How do these conversations need to be stored?

 How do these recordings need to be monitored?

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Ebook: How to make the move from ISDN to SIP?

Today’s business climate calls for reliability, agility and flexibility. In order to deliver on these core goals, the tools companies need to communicate to their customers and the wider world must be future ready and fit for purpose. However, many companies are still relying on traditional ISDN technology for their business communications, most of which are now becoming obsolete in a business environment.

Download this eGuide, to learn the steps needed to move from traditional ISDN-based telecoms solutions to SIP trunking:

  1. Scoping the job
  2. Audit the current system
  3. Installing the new system
  4. Testing and checking
  5. Go live
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