Managed.IT - Issue 63

COVER STORY 9 in voice products enabled by our connectivity network. In 2011, we released what is our now flagship product, the Horizon hosted business phone system. We entered the Unified Communications space in 2019 and we have been enhancing our portfolio with a wide range of voice products ever since. “Today, we have Horizon; we have SIP Trunking (an ISDN replacement); we’ve got PhoneLine+, which is essential to the PSTN Switch-Off, being a landline replacement service; we've got the Horizon Contact cloud contact centre; and we've got a number of Teams-enabled products, such as Microsoft Direct Routing and Operator Connect. These are all ways of enabling different businesses with different business needs to use our products and to use our networks.” Seize the opportunity Collingwood-Smith adds that Gamma has two big benefits for businesses facing the ISDN Switch Off: the strength of its connectivity and telephony offering, which gives new and existing customers an opportunity to modernise and future-proof their communications; and its 20+ years’ experience in addressing the needs of business customers. “The ISDN Switch Off is a great opportunity to get rid of that legacy phone system. It's a great opportunity to audit your lines, to make sure you understand exactly what you're paying your carrier for and perhaps to save money on invoices. It is also a chance to make sure your staff have the best communication tools to help your company succeed. For example, voice integration with Teams, if that's something you need, or multiple phones ringing simultaneously in different locations to ensure no calls are missed when you are out on a job. For us, that’s what it’s all about – making sure we help people with their businesses.” One example of how Gamma is helping to make this change as seamless as possible – ‘to turn this leap into a step’, as CollingwoodSmith puts it – is its Simple Swap process. “This is something we've designed internally with smart bits of coding, an API if you will, that enables you to move your legacy service onto SOGEA and attach the voice service to that order as well. It's essentially one order that gives you three things: your SOGEA line; your PhoneLine+ line; and a port that allows you to keep your existing number, which is obviously incredibly important for businesses. “In addition, many of the VoIP solutions that we use are plug and play. It's all in the cloud, so you don’t need an engineer to plug things in and set things up, and they are designed to be as familiar as possible. PhoneLine+, for example, is designed to work with the household phone or the business phone you already have, so you don't necessarily need new hardware. And there is an app that can be installed on your mobile, laptop or tablet that you can use to make and take calls.” Act now BT Openreach announced the PSTN/ISDN Switch Off in 2017 but many people still aren’t as aware of the imminent change as they should be. And, even if they are, many haven’t done anything about it. Collingwood-Smith argues that businesses should start futureproofing their communications now, not least because there is no benefit in delaying the inevitable. “Normally, when adopting new technologies there is the risk that something new and better will come along in six months’ time. In this case, the technology is being rolled out and put in the ground for the future; there is no other switchoff on the horizon, which should give people peace of mind. “In addition, if you keep delaying because you think the time’s not right, you might be forced to rush to a product that's not quite what you needed, so being on the front foot and making sure that your business can continue into the future makes absolute sense. The earlier people take this step, the smoother they will make their transition.” Further information To help businesses prepare for and respond to the ISDN Switch Off, Gamma has produced an interactive website with loads of information on the switch-off, the timeline and suitable replacement products, plus the ability to engage with and get advice from subject matter experts. To find out more about why you should be acting now and how Gamma can help you make the switch, scan the QR code or visit: solutions/landline-replacementpstn/.