In 2025, PSTN and ISDN networks will be turned off, motivating enterprises across the globe to migrate to an IP-based communications system in less than five years. While this may seem more than adequate for a migration, the sheer number of companies needing to make the switch may complicate the typical time schedule.
Further complexity is introduced if enterprises need to address infrastructure gaps before making the switch away from PSTN. How should an enterprise begin the process of migration?
With the right steps in place, a typical migration from PSTN to IP-based telephony is relatively simple. The looming deadline means that it’s more important than ever that enterprises have a clear plan in place:
Assess Requirements: IP-based communications rely heavily on connectivity performance, so it’s important to begin by understanding the underlying infrastructure and whether it can handle the performance specifications of the technology you’re considering.
Other infrastructure considerations should also be addressed, such as how many locations the enterprise has, whether there are independent silos or more of a unified platform, and the amount of bandwidth needed at each location. You also should obtain a list of all of the telephone numbers you own. Don’t be afraid to pull in members of a variety of departments, because communications are a core business necessity across your entire organization. You’ll need their insight and their buy-in as you pursue the right solution.
This may also be a good time to examine any areas where you may be able to eliminate unnecessary features and costs.
Create Your Migration Plan: You’ll need a thorough and detailed plan to keep you on track, identify obstacles, keep teams up to date, and promote your migration’s success. This plan should include multiple components:
- Review your infrastructure to see which components are primed for a move to IP or SIP.
- Examine your software to see if it supports SIP, and determine whether you will move to a cloud or hosted private branch exchange (PBX).
- Assess hardware to see if the on-premise PBX is equipped for SIP trunking.
- Determine how a migration fits with the existing security strategy and whether adjustments and revisions are required.
Choose a Provider: Before talking with any provider or arranging for a demo, it’s important to have a list of requirements and priorities ready. Consider pricing and how it will fit in your budget, as well as features, uptime, and network capacity requirements. You should also assess whether there are compliance and regulatory concerns in your industry or business that may need a provider with experience or familiarity with those measures.
Be ready to closely examine service level agreements (SLAs) and talk with enterprises of a similar size, technology stack, and industry that have used the provider. It’s also critical that they share a similar approach to security and around technology principles so that you can ensure it will be a good fit into the future.
Prepare for the Migration: You will want a detailed checklist for your own use, as well as contingency plans for network downtime. You will also need to put plans in place for some employees to work from home and have a number porting plan ready.
Choose your migration date and communicate it to your organization, along with clear expectations for before, during, and after the migration. If new technology is being deployed, provide training for teams.
Evaluate Your Success: As you are planning your migration, be sure to build in metrics so that you will have a way to measure the success of the process. Offer surveys to employees as a way to collect feedback on the technology and potentially refine any problem areas.Five years may seem like a long time, but many enterprises will be making their plans for when PSTN will be switched off. For assistance creating and executing a successful migration plan to IP-based telephony, contact us at Cory Communications.