Channel Must Alter Focus to Address PSTN Switch-Off

BT's Dominic Martini speaks to UC Today

Channel News
Channel Must Alter Focus to Address PSTN Switch-Off

Channel Partners need to outline the effects of the PSTN switch off on end-users, rather than IT professionals, so more businesses are ready for the 2025 switch off.

That is according to Dominic Martini, Senior Manager of Hosted IP Voice and Unified Comms at BT Wholesale, who told UC Today that hannel partners need to stop explaining the technical advantages of different telephony systems and focus on making sure that organisations know the effects the PSTN switch-off will have on employees.

A recent report by BT, Cisco, and Gamma, found that only eight per cent of businesses are ready for the switch-off, with over half of businesses aware of the change but yet to act.

Martini said that channel partners have a role to play in the transition to a “future-proof” IP system by “helping businesses think more strategically about their needs understand the benefits offered by hosted voice and collaboration tools”.

“For organisations to migrate to cloud communications, especially with the 2025 PSTN switch-off looming, it’s important they understand what it means for their business. Channel partners have a role to play in helping them gain that understanding and making it easier for them to adopt the right products and services.

“But when explaining the benefits, partners should focus less on the advantages for the IT Manager, and more on those for the end-user who will be using products day in, day out”

“Partners can talk as much as they like about the technical features of SIP-based phone systems or hosted solutions but, in the current climate, businesses just need to know how hosted voice and collaboration solutions will help them weather the storm and, by ensuring they’re prepared for the future, enable them to thrive.”

Martini went on to say that many businesses have discovered the advantages of migrating PBX phone systems to collaboration platforms, as a result of the coronavirus.

He added that any concerns businesses may have when migrating PBX solutions into IP infrastructures around reliability and quality can be negotiated by the fact that, come March, employees will have been working from home for a full year.

“For many businesses, making the switch won’t always be straightforward,” said Martini. “Many will be locked into PBX lifecycles and convincing them to give up on an asset that still works and which they’ve invested heavily in could prove challenging. Channel partners can help them think more strategically about their needs to understand the benefits offered by hosted voice and collaboration tools – from adding consistency and resilience during uncertain times, to futureproofing their businesses with the move toward an all-IP environment whilst helping to maintain high levels of employee productivity.

“Another barrier has traditionally been a nervousness around the reliability of the connectivity underpinning IP-based solutions. Just as mobile calls depend on the strength of a carrier’s network, superfast and consistent connectivity forms the bedrock required to drive the most value from digital communications platforms.

“While concerns over the reliability of the connectivity may have been valid ten years ago, the bandwidth available on access technologies today exceeds what’s actually required. Most people across the UK have been working on broadband from home since March 2020 and the UK networks have stood up to the challenge.”



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