ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a data transfer technology created in 1984 to replace the dial-up modem. It enables wide bandwidth digital transmission of voice and data over the traditional public telephone network. More specifically ISDN30 allows a person to connect between eight and 30 64k (data transfer rate) lines allowing multiple calls to be made and significantly increasing the bandwidth of its predecessor but unable to provide the same level of flexibility, speed of transfer or cost savings offered by SIP.
ISDN30 will reach the end of its life in 2025 and while there is much to love about the service it has become dated and unable to move at the fast pace that the technology-driven businesses of today demand.
There is no doubt that SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), the protocol used in VoIP communications is the future and its benefits are plentiful; here are four:
1. SIP can reduce your costs
Let’s keep things simple, in layman’s terms SIP allows people to communicate using computers and mobile over the Internet. It’s rich in quality and because voice and data are using the same connection you can reduce the cost of your telephone communications as you no longer have to pay for two separate networks (telephone and internet). Better still calls between your IP sites are free.
2. No number changes
If your office changes location and you’re using SIP you can move without having to change your number taking away any of the associated issues or costs with moving such as advising clients or updating letterheads and marketing collateral.
3. No geographic specific numbers
With SIP, you can keep the same local number whatever your geographic location. This is perfect if a large proportion of your workforce is working remotely or you are away on business because it means anyone calling your number for example in Birmingham will still reach you despite the fact you may be spending the day in Manchester. The same applies if you are dialling out, your number still remains the same wherever you are located.
For a dynamic modern business, using SIP gives you the ability to scale the number of ‘lines’ you have, up or down to meet your own requirements. This is particularly useful if you have a marketing campaign or your business has seasonal peaks when it is necessary to expand as SIP does this quickly, in minutes rather than weeks, and in a cost effective manner. This alone is a compelling reason for adopting SIP.
While ISDN30 has served us well and for some will continue to be a viable solution for those just establishing their businesses, with plans for growth or simply looking to changes their communications system then SIP is the route to take. It’s a straightforward transition that is cost effective and can flex based on the demands of your business.
Mike Stephenson is co-founder of Calteq.