30 April 2019

With the decommissioning of ISDN lines on the horizon and PSTNs also becoming obsolete in the long-term, it is imperative for businesses to start thinking about their move towards IP telephony.

However, for businesses that have long relied on their digital infrastructure, embracing such change can be daunting. In addition, when companies come across several myths about IP telephony – such as compromised call quality and reliability – many can be reluctant for change.

Unfortunately, businesses have no choice but to embrace the change in business telephony. However, there is a way to make the transition from digital to IP telephony easier with hybrid telephone systems.

Read more: 5 SIP Myths Debunked

What is a hybrid telephone system?

Widely known for being a blend between a digital and IP phone system, there are two main variations of hybrid telephone systems, which are suitable depending on how far you want to take your business towards a fully hosted solution.

Ultimately, the key benefit of either hybrid system is that it will enable an easier transition when making the move to a hosted solution, as it is still based on your existing infrastructure.

Not sure what a hosted solution is? Click here.

Here are the two main hybrid telephone systems:

  1. Digital and IP PBX

    This hybrid phone system combines traditional digital lines with an IP PBX which runs calls over the internet.

    Businesses can choose to primarily run calls over ISDN lines, but may wish to reduce costs by routing calls through SIP trunks.

    Therefore, this hybrid system is ideal if a business is just starting to use IP technology but also wants the safeguard of the traditional digital system; a perfect first stepping stone towards a hosted solution.

  2. IP PBX and Hosted

    This type of hybrid phone system steps away from digital phone systems altogether as it is the combination of two IP technologies. Also known as ‘hybrid PBX’, this solution combines existing PBX infrastructure with cloud functionality. Therefore, a business still keeps the necessary telephone systems to maintain their own telephony but, just like a hosted solution, it can then disperse the communication platform to all other locations through the cloud. This can be ideal if your business has a lot of remote workers.

    Also, by keeping the existing infrastructure, businesses could save money instead of paying a third party to host your system. However, long-term maintenance costs should be kept in mind when keeping a physical system on-site.

Whichever hybrid system you go for, both offer an invaluable disaster recovery solution. If one line accidentally goes down, another can be used instead, minimising downtime and allowing businesses to get up and running as quickly as possible.

The importance of IT disaster recovery is often overlooked by businesses and, although the occurrence of your phones going down is rare, it can – and most likely will – happen when you least expect it!

Read more: Top Tips for Creating a Voice Disaster Recovery Plan

Most companies rely on a phone to do business day-to-day, so the more downtime there is, the more unproductive employees are and, ultimately, the more money is lost.

Therefore, we cannot stress the importance of this disaster recovery benefit enough.

If you’re consider implementing a hybrid telephone system for your business, please get in contact.