WARNING! ISDN shut down is critical business issue not just an IT issue

Many companies in Germany are still using the original version of the Odette File Transfer Protocol (OFTP) over ISDN to exchange commercial and engineering information with their business partners but the ISDN service will soon no longer be available.

Network operators in Germany have confirmed that the ISDN service will be phased out by 2019 so companies using ISDN will need to move to IP-based services as quickly as possible. Companies that do not yet use the internet to transmit their data need to act NOW. You know how vital the stability of your communication with your customers and suppliers is to your business. Avoiding disruption is essential. If you are already using an IP based communication protocol for your data communication (e.g. OFTP2), then you are ready but if you are still operating with a software using an ISDN network (e.g. OFTP1) or are unsure of the situation, you need to act now.

“According to the VDA Technical Committee, around 50% of all suppliers were still communicating with their customers via ISDN connections at the beginning of 2018. They all have to switch to other procedures within a year. The shutdown can happen even earlier than 2019 and warning can be less than eight weeks”

But this is not the end of the story: you might be prepared but is your supply base?

Many ISDN to IP supplier migration projects have been driven by IT departments within OEMs and Tier 1s but those departments may not exert the same authority or get the same priority with suppliers as projects driven by commercial departments such as Purchasing. At Odette, we are already getting calls from panicked automotive suppliers who have been ignoring this issue. Their line has been stopped, they are unable to communicate and they need to have an alternative solution in place yesterday to keep their communication channels open!

What are your options? OFTP2: safe, reliable, cost effective, tried and tested

OFTP2 was developed specifically for use over the public internet. OFTP2 is usable worldwide and connects you with your partners around the world. OFTP2 is tailored to the specific communications requirements of automotive industry stakeholders and is the most widely used protocol for the exchange of mission critical automotive data across the internet.

It has all the necessary features that enable flawless and secure transmission between companies, ensuring that confidential designs and commercially sensitive information is transmitted quickly and, most importantly, securely at low cost. With an 8 Mbit Internet line, the transmission speed can be increased by 25 times in comparison with an ISDN line!

The Odette Tool Box

Odette can assist and offers a comprehensive service suite.

The success of the protocol has resulted in an increasing number of OFTP2 enabled softwarepackages {link} becoming available on the market. To ensure that these different software packages can communicate successfully with each other, Odette operates an OFTP2 Software Interoperability Testing Service. For companies wishing to implement OFTP2, this service means that they can rely on the proven interoperability of software which has been tested against Odette specifications, making the job of software selection that much easier.

The market demand is such that at Odette we are currently testing new solutions {link} every month.

To begin using OFTP2, your organisation will also require:

  • A globally unique OFTP Station identifier (aka Odette ID) (Note: If you are currently using OFTP over ISDN, you will already have such an identifier)
  • A digital certificate issued by a Certificate Authority which is registered on the Odette Trust-Service Status List
  • Internet connectivity
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