Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
Read Full Bio >>

Matt Brunk | February 10, 2017 |


No Dial Tone: Are You Ready for the Transition?

No Dial Tone: Are You Ready for the Transition? The end of the PSTN isn't the end of modern man but rather an incredible opportunity.

The end of the PSTN isn't the end of modern man but rather an incredible opportunity.

In my most recent post, "Don't Get Caught in a Straightjacket of Costs," I cautioned about what happens to organizations that become myopic and miss out on taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by technology. Nonetheless, you won't hear me proclaim the death of PBXs, DOS, MySQL, or what many others would consider to be ancient or archaic systems and platforms.

Enterprises of all sizes use obsolete solutions simply because they keep their organizations running. Whether the reason for doing so is due to cost, operational issues, complexity, lack of vision, or whatever else doesn't really matter. Timing is key for any business, and when a company does make a decision, hopefully it can act on it in a beneficial manner.

PSTN Ponderings
I've been thinking about this in relation to the PSTN, having read this recent quote from Steven Johnson, president of Ingate Systems: "Every service provider is committed to eliminating the PSTN by 2020. This is an opportunity for resellers, and is one reason the adoption rate of SIP trunking is accelerating."

Herein lies the challenge: The PSTN isn't dead yet, but it certainly has a very limited lifespan. The delivery of dial tone doesn't happen without some effort. Comcast supports voice services over its broadband infrastructure, and already offers 10-Gbps services here in south Florida. AT&T has its U-verse service with "GigaPower," delivered over fiber and offered in bundles using fiber, DirecTV (satellite), and cellular telephone service. Verizon does the same with fiber and cellular services.

Resistant as businesses might be, a change in how they use the PSTN is quietly creeping up on decision makers. SIP trunk adoption in the SMB market maybe slower than within large enterprises, but growth in fiber deployments and Comcast's DOCSIS 3.1, for 1-Gbps delivery over existing network infrastructure, will continue to make high-speed services available to more customers.

Many SMB's will soon face more choices coming out of infrastructure improvements than they've realized possible, especially since bandwidth availability is improving. And even though plenty of solutions would allow them to adapt old TDM gear to IP, many will find themselves caught in that straightjacket of costs about which I've previously written.

Taking Advantage of Technology Change
Infrastructure is and will remain key because this is what connects businesses to readily available cloud services, including dial tone. The disparity in service levels occurs with unnecessary disruption on the local infrastructure. Older solutions, including adapting TDM, are for the short term, and, as I wrote previously, not all changes in services are rewarded with a cost benefit. Companies must look for cost benefits but they can't remain static in their positions on voice services with the expectation that "things will just work out."

The need for process improvement isn't exclusive to large enterprises, and yet it eludes many smaller organizations. With a hardened infrastructure, a company of any size should be able to exploit the technology and take inventory of what systems and resources it's previously relied on and then assess whether these silos are able to migrate to the Web. Point-of-sale systems and many proprietary solutions already are or will become targets of obsolescence and doing business in the cloud will make more sense.

Adapting to change isn't always easy, but the end of the PSTN isn't the end of modern man -- rather it's an incredible opportunity. Agility is key, as are the resources in place. No dial tone means you're not listening... but hear this now: The opportunity of migrating off the PSTN will be greater than the cost in that it will position your organization for process improvements and cloud services delivery.

Follow Matt Brunk on Twitter and Google+!
Matt Brunk on Google+


July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.