Lately I have noticed a fear of change popping up amongst prospects and existing customers specifically around changing lines and changing Internet. This usually is as a result of contacting us because they have been advised that NBN is now available but also some existing customers who have been crying out for additional bandwidth at a sensible price now don’t want to migrate when NBN becomes available.
For all it’s faults, the NBN does offer considerably faster bandwidth at a sensible price. Previously, if you had ADSL and you needed something faster – particularly on the upload – and you needed more data than 4G could provide you under a plan then there was no option but to go for an expensive business grade circuit of $400 or more a month – quite a jump.
I don’t know whether people have heard all the bad press about the unreliability of NBN and simply want to stick with what they have although in many cases this is a somewhat messy combination of slow ADSL for data and 4G for voice. Even people who regularly complain about the limited upload speed in areas such as real estate where lots of photos are uploaded are reluctant to switch to something considerably faster at around the same price.
ADSL performance is also dropping with nothing being spent on the infrastructure so that should be even more of an incentive to switch.
As with any change there will be some upfront cost. For smaller customers it may be worthwhile updating the entire phone system to take advantage of a lower-priced SIP trunk versus keeping an older system that will require a SIP converter but in the long run this will result in lower overall costs after that expenditure and in many cases the payback period is well under 12 months.
I do also have to comment on the shonky practices of our so-called competitors. We have been contacted by a number of prospects that are now customers who found us through blog postings or word of mouth. They have Avaya IP Office phone systems that they were sold 3 years ago as being NBN compatible. NBN is now available in their area but they have now been told by their ‘trusted advisor’ that their phone system is not compatible and has to be replaced. In one case they were going to end up on a 5 year contract costing some $18,000 for a phone system with 1 PSTN line, 2 desk phones and a cordless. I visited them to talk to them about options including a possible software update to be able to license the SIP trunk and found that the Avaya already has all the licensing required. It simply needs to be brought up to date on patches. Their cost was about $600 to connect up the NBN, update the Avaya from 10.0 to 10.1 (no license required), provision as SIP trunk and update the programming to allow external forwarding, night service, voicemail to email, etc. Needless to say they are thrilled at not having to spend all that money.
All phone systems made in the last 20 years can be made to work with NBN. Later ones can be natively compatible with an additional card or licensing. They may need a software update but it is all a fairly nominal cost compared to replacement. You should be able to trust your ‘trusted advisor’ but if they say your system needs to be replaced because it’s not compatible, get them to explain why or maybe contact us for a second opinion.