SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dan Aylward
Dan Aylward is a Senior Consultant and founding member of Abilita since 2004. He has over 16 years of experience...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Dan Aylward | November 09, 2016 |

 
   

When to Turn Your POTS into PANS

When to Turn Your POTS into PANS Don’t be caught off guard or put your organization in a poor financial situation by procrastinating on migration.

Don’t be caught off guard or put your organization in a poor financial situation by procrastinating on migration.

portable

Incumbent Local Exchange Providers (ILEC) are not shying away from moving services away from the legacy Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) ... nor should any No Jitter readers be surprised of this enormous network phase out. However, this does beg the question "When should you disconnect all of your Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) and move to the Pretty Amazing New Stuff (PANS)?"

portable

Voice over IP (VoIP) and cellular are established options for voice communications and the most used form of communication whether we like the Quality of Service (QoS) or not. But what about essential analog services that are not used for voice? Let's address some examples.

How do you migrate the small office that has five voice lines and a fax and/or credit card machine? What about an alarm line? Modem line? What about those unique telemetry services that have been bulletproof for decades? You should now look at alternatives because the off contracts costs are high and increasing dramatically.

What about replacing the POTS line in the elevator? Nobody doubts POTS is the best solution: It's reliable, gets power from the Central Office, and is a secure solution. But if the cost becomes unreasonable, is cellular or IP an adequate alternative?

A deep look into your inventory is the first step, because if it hasn't already happened, the finance department will soon ask why a phone bill went up 800%. Finance will want to know what the services are used for and if they are necessary.

Second, you need to explore your options. This can be the most complex part of the process because although the carriers are moving away from analog services, many equipment manufacturers have not yet caught up. For example, many cities have water pump stations that monitor and report water level with simple outbound or inbound local calling. One might think you can replace the equipment with an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor and you are done. But not all of the infrastructure is there yet. Can the site receive a clear radio or cellular signal? Is Internet access available? Can the equipment handle harsh outdoor temperatures and the elements?

Third, you need to evaluate the long-term strategic plan for supporting this equipment. Organizations have varying levels of tolerance for downtime and even IT needs to know this along with the various technology options. In addition, you should prioritize the migration as easy, medium, and difficult, in addition to categorizing those with the least, medium and greatest tolerance of downtime.

This is a lot to consider for most overworked IT staff. If you outsource the work to a vendor, how do you know whether they truly know the best technologies for your business or if they are just pushing their product or solution? This is where an independent consultant can help.

We don't know when ILECs will turn off the last POTS line, but the process has already started. Don't be caught off guard or put your organization in a poor financial situation by procrastinating. Chances are you probably already finished migrating to some alternative solutions. It's those robust last lines that will give you fits if you don't come up with a migration plan.

"SCTC Perspectives" is written by members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, an international organization of independent information and communications technology professionals serving clients in all business sectors and government worldwide.





COMMENTS



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

June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me 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.