Nick Guite, Fixed Networks’ General Manager at BT Wholesale explains the reason he believes that resellers have a chance of driving positive change in businesses.
Last year, Gavin Patterson the CEO of BT set a completion date for ISDN migration and stated that all consumers are going to be on the IP network by 2025. A year later, there is rapid products and services development which directly impacts the decision making of customers. As we are pushed closer to that date, we safely know that we have solutions that will inspire communication in businesses. The argument of whether to start migrating now or later is no longer about networks; it is about, an improved control if costs, flexibility and a wider range of services which were previously only available to bigger sized corporations.
Even though the enabler for this change has been SIP trunking, the attraction has been a world that opens up to enterprises when SIP is in play. This is a world of opportunity and margin for resellers, where video conferencing, VoIP, unified communications and next-gen voice services (for instance call forwarding and call recording) sit. The value is in the range and durability of products and services, which help the consumers in working smarter.
This smarter method of working is already encouraging early migration from consumers. At the moment, there are about 2.5 million ISDN consumers and since there are no changes to the ISDN service as is, it is the truth of the matter is that IP-based networks that deliver a wide range of functions and products which are far beyond ISDN’s reach.
The perception of SIP is one of the issues that faces ISDN migration and in fact, it is the reason why forecasts have been low previously. There is a historical misconception that SIP is in a way inferior to ISDN! We are able to uphold the same ISDN call standards seamlessly and as a bonus it’s purchase and maintenance price is way cheaper and moreover, free calling packages are available on that network in some cases. With ISO 27001 certification, SIP is as secure as it gets, there is absolutely no truth in the myths about the vulnerability of SIP to abuse.
Traditionally, something like this can happen whenever there is major change and resellers must clearly understand that that adapting to change is not really a choice because that is what the entire market dictates. They have to graduate from PABX and ISDN driven set up and maintenance deals and whole embrace SIP.
More for Less
SIP trunking is a clear opportunity as it widens the market since there is a lower entry point. Resellers can thus effectively switch to corporate level VoIP and UC products and services to all sizes if establishments, delivering flexible SLAs and contract terms. Solutions can be availed to consumers that have a smaller amount if sites and circuits and there is some flexibility to aid resellers in the management of customer rough and peaks which ensure scalability as needed and when needed. This translates to minimal waste.
Some of its consumer attractions are that the need for massive capital expenditure on hardware is eliminated and legacy tech is not made laid off instantaneously. Consumers aren’t forced to rip out their current handsets and PBX. A wide range of current PBX models are quite compatible with the technology and thus, end users can follow a staged approach using SIP towards hosted communications services. This kind of scalability and flexibility id what makes SIP trunking stand out. However, its ease of entry still comes with a caution for resellers. Even though current resellers that have a PBX base would certainly have a black book for prospective upgrades and migration leads, SIP’s nature has the tendency of also opening the door to data resellers as you would expect.
Naturally, competition for customers will go high but given the nature of the capability of the staged upgrade, telecoms resellers had better be in the box seat. Here, there is value in understanding legacy systems but only to a certain extent. The real advantages of SIP must be advertised and sold and this is the point where we come in with the support and training in the marketing and sells.
The mobile integration and self-service culture must also be taken into account. Customers are looking to have increased control over their own communications while still attaining the flexibility of prices and services received from the supplier who provides for them. This is the type of scenario that best befits SIP services but it is up to the resellers to shun age old myths and educate their customers on the reality of migration benefits to a business.