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Drawing a Line in the Sand: The End of Analogue Purchasing in Social Alarms and TEC


The analogue to digital transition has taken up much of the discussion in the last 18 months within the technology enabled care sector. Tim Mulrey, Lead Advisor on Analogue to Digital  at TEC Services Association reveals the 'why' to TSA's new A2D Guidance - Transitioning Your Social Alarms Systems from Analogue to Digital: the End of Analogue Purchasing.

The need for this guidance is partly and rightly based on many of the questions that have come TSA’s way, particularly from commissioners on our surgeries, webinars and other events. We know that sadly the technology enabled care industry is not as far along the digital transition as we’d hoped by November 2021; some of the reason for that is a lack of clarity and understanding from commissioners about how to get that transition process underway.

This Guidance can be used as a springboard for Commissioners to get the process going, as well as serving as an ongoing reference document that can be revisited over time.

Whilst we’ve prepared the guidance with an audience of all levels of technical ability in mind, there may be sections within the guidance where you may need more detail or further exploration – at TSA we are always on hand to discuss your individual journeys in more detail and have helped many services transform their infrastructure and “go digital.

The key point that has transpired on the back of advice we have taken from Openreach, BT, Virgin, Talk Talk and Sky is that the continued purchase of Analogue-only alarm units must stop. Whilst they may work effectively now, the pace of the transition of the UK telecommunications sector means that what works now may not work anywhere near as effectively in 3, 6, 9, 12 months’ time and it critical that we do not increase the predominance of analogue only equipment in the UK.

If you have an ARC platform that cannot accept digital calls at the moment then you should be procuring hybrid devices which are capable of communicating in both analogue and digital to allow for a smoother future transition as your platform is upgraded to digital. We realise that there is an additional cost involved in this procurement decision but ensuring the sustainability of TEC services and the safety of our service users and vulnerable will ensure our future as a sector as well as theirs.

We know that there will be questions on the back of this guidance, and we are busy preparing follow-up events to keep you up-to-date and keep up the momentum around A2D, so keep your eye on our social channels and TSA’s Digital Shift webpage.

TSA members and stakeholders in the TEC industry, you have been vanguards of the analogue to digital transition in this country, and I’m pleased to say this key piece of guidance around the analogue to digital transition would not have been possible without your input.

Download your copy of TSA's A2D Guidance - Transitioning Your Social Alarms Systems from Analogue to Digital: the End of Analogue Purchasing.

Tim M.





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