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News : Migrating from ISDN to SIP needn't be a headache

Migrating from ISDN to SIP needn't be a headache

We’re firm supporters of SIP, the up-and-coming internet-based technology set to leave traditional ISDN telephone systems feeling rather outdated and outclassed. In fact, we recently put together an infographic and article weighing up the pros and cons of each technology, with SIP emerging on top thanks to its unified communications opportunities and other forward-thinking features.

If you’ve looked into your options and feel that SIP could be the ideal solution for your business, but you’re worried about the migration process or you’re not sure where to start, we can help. We consult with every one of our clients to deduce exactly which technology, or combination of technologies, is right for them. However, we understand that migrating from a legacy system is a daunting prospect. Maybe you’ve invested significant capital in your current system, maybe your budget can’t stretch to a whole new one - or maybe you’re just really attached to it. We get it, goodbyes are hard.

But that’s okay! The idea of “rip and replace” is ready to go the way of the dinosaurs. In fact, you may well be able to migrate to SIP while keeping your existing telephones! Keep reading, we’ve outlined the migration process below.

Out with the old? Not necessarily

Migration to SIP begins with understanding what you need, what you’ve already got, and how much those things overlap. Depending on the nature of your handsets and PBX, you’ll be able to upgrade to an IP-based PBX, either on-premises or in the Cloud, or acquire an ISDN-SIP gateway to adapt your existing setup. This really depends on how much of your system you’re looking to keep, but chances are there’ll be a solution to suit you.

Any port(ing agreement) in a storm

You’ll almost definitely want to keep your existing telephone numbers when you migrate to a new system. This is something you’ll need to double-check with your provider; ensure there’s a BT porting agreement in place. SIP is incredibly flexible with regard to numbers, so this isn’t likely to be a problem, but it’ll be worth looking into.

Be recovery-ready

One of the wonderful features of SIP is being able to route calls elsewhere in the event of downtime or disaster. This is something you’ll absolutely want to get set up in advance, in case of any teething problems during the migration process.

Time is of the essence

Above all, don’t be afraid to plan in advance and put plenty of time aside. Migrating a business’s entire telephony infrastructure can be a mammoth task and working with the mind-set that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” is probably a wise strategy.

Understand exactly when services will be unavailable and put contingency plans in place. Consider running the old and new systems in parallel until the new system has “settled in”. It may be worth splitting the migration process in two; tackle the inbound and outbound migrations separately.

No matter your situation, we’ll work with you to build your ideal solution – whether that’s migration to SIP, sticking with ISDN, or a hybrid of both. There’s so much more to business infrastructure than just plugging phones into PBXs, and our expert engineers will guide you through the process.

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