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Preparing for the end of the ISDN & PSTN

The copper line telephone system has served the UK well, but its time is finally coming to an end. British Telecom (Openreach) has announced they are moving to discontinue all PSTN/ISDN services in the UK by 2025. That means all devices using traditional phone lines for either voice or data transmission will soon become useless.

Unless your organization has already made a switch to all internet-based communications (VoIP, FoIP, etc.), you will need to make some important investments to ensure the continuity of essential functions. You may have more devices on the PSTN/ISDN network than you realize – this won’t just affect phones, but also fax machines, standalone credit card readers, and more.

2025 may feel some way off, but don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. Openreach is starting to phase things out well before then and suspend all new sales of PSTN products by 2023. So the deadline may come sooner than you think.

Switching from copper to the internet may require some pretty big changes to your infrastructure, but the good news is that all that your efforts will be rewarded with reduced costs versus paying for PSTN lines. If you also take the opportunity to upgrade other outdated communications hardware, those savings will add up!

Fax machines are a menace, but no longer necessary

Fax has been the secure document communications method of choice for decades – it’s efficient, it’s relatively simple to use, and it can reach anyone with a phone connection and a receiving machine. Of course, fax machine innovation has been static for some time, and while the rest of technology moved on, even modern machines have many of the same reliability, expense, and visibility problems they’ve always had.

These machines also don’t play well with Voice over IP technology, so rather than spending further money on workarounds for when the PSTN goes, it’s time to discard them for more cost-effective, secure, and powerful alternatives.

Fax over IP (FoIP)

The problem with fax has never been fax…it’s fax machines. That means that the easiest way to modernize without disruptions is to get rid of fax machines while preserving the fax communications medium.

Fax over IP (FoIP) sends and receives faxes digitally over your organization’s internet connection rather than the phone lines. Not only do you not need a fax machine to use it, but you can also connect the solution to whatever devices suit your needs: computer workstations, mobile devices, and Multifunction Printers (MFPs). No longer will your employees need to go to the fax machine; instead the fax solution is wherever they need it – at their desk or on the road. The current teleworking environment makes this a particularly attractive benefit.

Because documents sent via a FoIP solution still go out and come in as faxes, the outside groups you communicate with won’t even notice the difference. If you select an intuitively designed FoIP product, the necessary retraining for your staff will also be minimal.

  • Additional FoIP benefits include:
    • Substantially reduced costs
    • Discard expensive copper phone lines
    • Eliminate maintenance and spare parts for fax machines
    • Reduced consumables – faxes do not have to be printed to be sent or received
    • Dramatically improved reliability
  • Increased security
    • Faxes are sent directly to recipients on secured devices, not to an open tray
    • Full visibility into who’s sending faxes, where, and when
  • Increased Efficiency

OpenText XM Fax

OpenText™ XM Fax™ is the leading software-only fax over IP (FoIP) solution, designed from the ground up for security, ease of use, cost-savings, and regulatory compliance. Employees send and receive faxes from anywhere, and documents are only printed on user request, decreasing your carbon footprint/use of consumables.

Doing this sort of overhaul doesn’t require outsiders (partner organizations, customers, government agencies, etc.) to change the way they do business. To them, a fax is a fax. To you, it becomes something much better: a digital fax.

Why wait for the end of the PSTN when you can leave it behind and start saving now? Reach out to our experts to learn more. Speak with an expert.

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Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson is a Senior Product Marketing Specialist covering fax and secure messaging solutions in the OpenText Digital Experience portfolio. He has been supporting B2B and B2C marketing for more than 11 years with work ranging from ingredients sold to some of the world’s top restaurants, to stock market deep learning algorithms, to the enterprise communications sector.

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