While keeping up with technological change can seem like a headache, sometimes it's a blessing in disguise. It can be a bit scary, like any change, but should also be exciting because of the new possibilities and opportunities it opens up.
The disconnection of the ISDN network is just one example. With the rollout of the National Broadband Network (nbn™), your business can take advantage of a host of new technologies, such as unified communications (UC), that will improve productivity and help your bottom line.
Get ready for unified communications
But first, you've got to prepare. Experts advise taking at least six months to research your options and install any new equipment you may need, so it's essential to get everything in order as soon as possible. In regions that now have nbn™, disconnection is scheduled to start September 30, 2019.
Here's a checklist of things to do and consider:
See if your region has already switched over to the nbn™. Assess the capability of your current infrastructure. What parts do you want to hold onto? What upgrades will you need to make? For example, if your phone hardware is less than three years old, you can probably keep it. Are you already connected to a fibre network? If not, you might need to spend some money improving your lines.
Envision future needs. You know what capabilities you have now, but think about what ones you'd like. For example, if your workforce is in the field or working remotely, you need a system that supports mobility. Ask users throughout your organisation what they need and learn their pain points. If you're growing, consider the increase in bandwidth you might need going forward.
Research Internet service providers. You can choose any Retail Service Provider (RSP) provider for nbn™, so ask around and get pricing. Which companies offer the most flexibility in pricing plans? Which RSP helps customise the right plan for your business?
Research communications vendors. The next step is to identify a vendor who will provide business phone services. Look for a partner who offers a wide range of unified communications features and will help you build a solution that fits your needs. For instance, your business phone system can either be entirely in the cloud, use on-site equipment or a combination.
Installation of new equipment. The best-case scenario is to have everything in place and working before you get the disconnection notice.
A world of possibilities after ISDN
With the solid connection and bandwidth that broadband provides, you'll have an incredible selection of functions and features to make your business work better. And with unified communications, you can access them all via an Internet connection.
Communications. With unified communications, you've got so much more than Hold, Transfer and a company directory. UC provides features such as SMS, individual and group chat, audio and video conferencing, call forwarding, presence technology, built-in VPN and native integrations with applications like Microsoft Outlook, G Suite and leading CRMs.
Mobility. Picture this: One of your field salespeople stops for a latte. In the coffee shop, she can access, via secure web portal, colleagues, files and client information through the CRM as if she was sitting at her desk. She can even participate in a video or audio conference call. And not through some third-party app, but directly into your company's secure network. Plus, if she needs to jump into the car before the conference call ends, she can easily switch to Bluetooth and stay in the conversation.
Collaboration. Whether your staff is in one location or works across the globe, UC provides collaboration tools that connect everyone. Conference calls are easy to set up and start with a simple "click-to-join". Instead of long, confusing email threads, UC provides one-to-one and group messaging, as well as SMS, so team members can quickly and efficiently communicate and get their questions answered fast, without clogging up email inboxes.
Teamwork. Forget the third-party software. With UC, your team can communicate on projects in a shared workspace. Chats, tasks, deadlines and files are all in one place, so team members can easily access important project information.
Customer Experience. Customers today expect to communicate via multiple channels – text, email, social media, voice – so you need to provide them with every option to stay competitive. Fortunately, UC lets your contact centre agents easily switch between voice, email and messaging from a single interface. In addition, the system uses intelligent routing to send customers to the right person the first time. With features like call recording, call monitoring and real-time reporting, contact centre management can supervise agents to provide the best customer experience.
UC is the right solution
The ISDN shutdown presents a great opportunity. The key is finding the right solution for your business. Choose a vendor who will customise a business phone system to fit your needs and budget. Be sure it offers robust tools that are easy to administer, scalable and simply installed, with minimal disruption to your business.
The switch to the National Broadband Network doesn't have to be painful. In fact, in opens up a world of possibilities that will help your business communicate more efficiently and profitably.