1. Don’t buy outdated hardware
If you need to make additions to an existing system be careful! This is one to take advice from the supplier – if you buy additional handsets/cards/conference units/etc. make sure that the system you have will be compatible with SIP lines and all equipment purchased will be compatible – otherwise you will be buying twice. It is a good time whether compatible or not to review your existing system as there are plenty of deals available on upgrading with little or no capital outlay, and ongoing savings making use of Voice over IP technology.
2. Be careful adding new lines
Although 2025 is still a way off, our information is that no new ISDN can be ordered from 2020. So if you might be moving or growing in a couple of years ISDN may not be the best option. ISDN is expensive to add compared to SIP, and takes far longer to do so. As some businesses are still wary about VoIP, it is possible to run both technologies concurrently, so if you want to keep existing ISDN, and add SIP channels this is certainly possible and we have several clients that do this! However with VoIP, providing safeguards are in place such as a dedicated connection, and failovers – it is very rare that we have problems, and if something does go wrong, it is often resolved more quickly than with ISDN.
3. Ensure you have a good internet connection
It surprises me that when companies move office, one of the things that is often forgotten about is to check for is the internet connectivity available at the new site. Business parks often have poor connectivity as they are less lucrative for Openreach in comparison to a residential area when they are upgrading the network. Whilst voice traffic only takes small amounts of bandwidth, if you plan on having large numbers of concurrent calls, a poor broadband may not suffice and an EFM or Leased Line may be required which are expensive in comparison to an ADSL or FTTC connection. As such make sure the connection is good, or if not make sure you budget for extra connectivity costs.
4. Check your infrastructure
If you are upgrading your telephony, ensure that you either have the correct network in place or budget for this to be upgraded. For example, if you are upgrading to SIP handsets, you will need CAT5/CAT6 cabling in place as they will not run on old 1308 telephony cabling. Whilst many SIP handsets allow pass through to run your computers and phones from the same socket this is not always ideal and separate networks are certainly the better option.
5. Most importantly - Plan Early!
As 2020 and 2025 draws closer, more and more businesses will be converting to SIP (Voice over IP Lines) and BT will likely have backlogs - so I would bet that there will be delays outside of guidelines on times taken for ports! Don’t plan number ports at the last minute for new lines or office moves, give plenty of time! If we place a number port it is difficult to bring the date forward but easy to push it back – make sure you speak to your chosen supplier about any plans.
If you are worried about the switch, or looking for help and advice, feel free to get in touch with us via www.time-tele.com/, @TimeTele or call us on 0113 2059640.