In the next few years, many businesses up and down the country will need to overhaul how they manage their phone networks. This is because a large number of companies – especially smaller firms – are still relying on legacy technology such as on-premise PBX and ISDN, and the clock is ticking for these solutions.

The underlying networks that support these services are set to be switched off by Openreach by the end of December 2025. As a result, firms need to be making plans now to ensure they aren’t caught out by this. The earlier they act, the more likely they are to enjoy a successful migration.

Of course, the need to move away from obsolete technology isn’t the only reason why firms should be looking to upgrade their communications services. This migration can also be seen as an opportunity to secure more advanced solutions that can offer greater flexibility, easier collaboration, and more features that improve the overall capabilities of businesses.

About Lifelink

This was the situation faced by mental health support service Lifelink. Founded in Glasgow in 1992 by a group of local women who were seeking alternatives to prescription drugs to tackle mental health concerns, the organisation now has more than 60 employees working across five hub sites to support adults, young people and businesses.

Lifelink initially came to Arrow to upgrade connectivity at its Glasgow head office, as its previous solutions were no longer adequate for its needs. It was facing rapidly-changing requirements for its communications services, which its existing provider was unable to keep up with.

The company was looking for greater resilience and flexibility to support a more collaborative approach to working and ensure its employees – which included a high number of mobile and remote workers – could keep in touch at all times.

Lifelink therefore took the opportunity to undergo a comprehensive overhaul of its communications that included migrating from ISDN to SIP Trunks, modern phone services, faster data connectivity and improved support solutions.

Migrating from ISDN to SIP and Cloud Services

We migrated services from ISDN and installed a Leased Line and 20 SIP Trunk channels, in addition to ongoing maintenance of the phone lines and our bizanywhere service, which offered the organisation a bundled solution of cloud services, Office 365, high-spec hardware and expert helpdesk support. The firm was also able to benefit from the government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to upgrade its data connectivity and better support the new services.

As well as ensuring that the organisation is well-prepared for the future and will not be impacted by the switch-off of ISDN services in the coming years, the results of this include a faster, more reliable data connection.

This ensures frontline staff are more efficient and can deliver a higher level of customer service. It also provides the client with a convenient, cost-effective way to manage all aspects of its IT estate under a single contract.

Ensuring a seamless migration

Migrations are always challenging. It’s essential to plan carefully to minimise any disruption the move may cause, which is why it is so important to have an experienced partner to assist with this. 

In Lifelink’s case, there was an added degree of urgency to the project as it was moving one of its hub venues. However, we worked with the organisation to deploy bizanywhere over a weekend to minimise disruption. The changeover from old systems to new was seamless and both Arrow and Lifelink worked closely together to ensure all staff were fully operational on Monday morning.

“Arrow’s staff have been absolutely awesome throughout – their support has been amazing and they have engaged with and responded to our team with good humour and a healthy dollop of patience. They’ve made what could have been a serious headache into a stress-free transition.”
Lifelink’s Corporate Services Manager

ISDN Switch off

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