Plan a Steady Pace in the BT PSTN/ISDN Switch off Race

Update 20/05/2024: BT have revised their PSTN/ISDN switch-off date "with all customers now expected to have moved off the old analogue PSTN by the end of January 2027.”

The PSTN/ISDN switch off race is here right now! From the end of January 2027 BT will cease to sell and support PSTN based network connections and wholesale line rentals. They will switch these networks off and everyone will operate on fibre IP and SIP network, which is easier to manage, more cost-effective and more flexible. So now is the time to start planning your communications network and solutions particularly if you need to add new offices and/or increase capacity.

It's all in the plan

A recent survey by National Business Communications revealed that a staggering 59.7% of UK businesses do not know what the ‘Big Switch Off’ is and almost 70% of its survey respondents stated that they are still using legacy networks.

It is critical not to rush and go out and instantly replace your communications network, this is your opportunity to design and deploy a digital transformation strategy that will not only modernise your workplace but also improve internal and external communications and potentially improve your customer experience, and business processes.

Your new communications solution is an investment that should be protected and a platform for all your future’s communications needs and requirements, so you need to get it right.

It is vital to find a solution’s provider that is more of a consultant and strategic partner to you rather than simply a provider of technology. They will review your current environment and help you build out your longer-term plans.

Connecting your remote workforce

In 2020 the Office for National Statistics reported that an estimated 4.7 million people in the UK were working from home in 2020 and this expected to increase to 5.2 million people in 2023. It is estimated that there will be 24.7 million home broadband lines in the UK in 2022, of which 21.7 million will have a landline so it is paramount that businesses need to take in consideration the huge number of people working from home and view this as an extension of their organisation and network. When planning a business communications solution, they need to be mindful that the network connections go beyond the connection points in the physical buildings of work and into remote locations and peoples’ homes. Employees that are based at home or hybrid working must be able to securely access the network and all resources required as they would from an office.

Modernise how you communicate

Now is the time to modernise your communications by implementing the latest conferencing and collaboration solutions that your colleagues and customers will expect. Platforms like 8x8 connect people together with video conferencing, shared documents, and messaging. And if your organisation is using Microsoft Teams or Zoom then direct routing may well be the way forward to connect your organisation to the outside world as well as internally. Empower your people with modern tools to improve team working and collaboration, delight your customers and deliver the competitive edge.

Colleagues and customer are kings

Customers no longer dominate the position of King; colleagues are also demanding the crown so ensuring that you know how they communicate and what they use to communicate in terms of devices and the processes they use is paramount. A solutions provider will work with you to see what processes you have in place for your communications, customer and employee engagement.

Automate processes with AI solutions providing the self-serve option to enhance and simplify the customer’s journey and free up agents to focus on other areas. IP and SIP enable you to improve your customer experience and stay ahead, not get left behind. A total of 67% of global consumers had an interaction with a chatbot over the last 12 months (invesp) and Servion forecast that 95% of interactions will be powered by AI and will be indistinguishable from humans in 2025!

What are you waiting for?

The deadline is looming and now is it the time to re-design your communications network and your needs. This is your opportunity to have the digital transformation strategy that you desire and the perfect time to get it signed off!