Welcome to chapter two of our 6-week series on how to buy office phone systems. Last week we touched on the advantages of having an office phone system and why you should upgrade your old phone system. If you haven’t read that article yet you can do so by clicking here.
This week we’ll be talking about how to figure out which brand of office phone system is right for you. With the wide range of brands and phone models available, it’s important to know what’s the right fit for you. You’ll learn about how to find the right phone system for your business, as well as how both Avaya and Cisco are brands that are well suited to all business sizes, where as Panasonic, Samsung, and V-Tech are more suitable for small to medium sized businesses. Network Telecom can help to set you up with a great office phone system from any of the numerous brands we partner with. Click here now to learn more about them today!
I am so pleased with the service and the system your team installed. Everyone of you did an outstanding job just as you promised and just as I had heard. You never let me down one step of the way.
How To Find The Best Brand For Your Business
With all the telecom system choices available, it is sometimes hard to know where to begin looking. To help with this, we give you these eight points.
1. Read A Number Of Online Comparisons Like The One Listed Below
By reading a number of comparison articles online, you should start to get a good sense for what are the strengths and weaknesses of each brand. Once you have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each brand you will be able to better identify which one will work best for your company.
2. Research Customer Reviews
Research customer reviews online on places like Amazon.ca, Staples.ca and www.onsip.com to see what actual people are saying about the different brands you are looking into. You should quickly be able to remove a number of models or brands from your list of options simply by removing the ones that score very low on reviews.
3. Research Customer Complaints
Next we would suggest searching Google for the brand or model you are looking at followed by the phrase “telephone system problem”. So for example, searching for “v-tech telephone system problem”. This should give you an idea of the problems with a brand or model. If you get a large number of relevant results, it most likely means that product has a lot of problems. If you find very little information or there are very few different kinds of problems being discussed, then it is probably a good indication that the brand or model has very minimal problems or issues.
4. Research Common Problems
Research on Google what some of the most common problems are with each brand. This will give you a sense for how well the company handles the problems and if the most common issues are ones you can manage or if they will be an issue for your business. So for example, search “most common Samsung iDCS 28D problems,” or “most common Samsung business telephone system problems”. This will again give you a better understanding of what some of the weaknesses of that brand or model are.
5. Create A Short List
Once you have completed steps 1-4, create a short list of brands and models that appear to be the best match for your needs and investigate those options further.
6. Call Sellers Of Your Top Options
When calling companies that sell the makes and models that are on your top 3 list, ask questions in relation to costs, features, strengths, points of difference and any other questions you have in regards to the unit. From this discussion with the sales representative, you should get a better comfort level on which brand and model will best match your needs. Compare and contrast the information provided by the sales representatives for the three options to identify which is your top choice.
7. For Your Top Choice Ask To See A System In Action
According to Business Telephone System, before committing to purchase a unit, we always advise you see the system in action, preferably in the field at a place of business. From seeing the unit in operation in the real world, you will be able to see how it performs and confirm your conclusion that it is the best model for your business. If you still feel good about your decision then move to the final step of your analysis process. If you do not feel good about the current system repeat this same step with your next best ranking option.
8. Ask Supplier To Speak To 3 References That Use The System
As a final step before making an investment in a new telephone system, we would recommend you ask the seller to speak to 3 references that currently use the system. This way you can get firsthand feedback from people that use the system every day, on how well it performs, how reliable it is and any concerns you should be made aware of. If the seller can not provide you with 3 references, then this may be an indication that you should select another seller or that there is cause for concern. If you complete this step and feel confident about your decision we would then advise you to purchase your system.
Best Suited For: All Business Sizes
Avaya is one of the largest multinational technology companies in the world, currently servicing more than 95% of the organizations in the Fortune 500. Since becoming an independent company in 2000, Avaya has grown in numbers and is now considered one of the most trusted communications companies, especially after purchasing a majority of Nortel’s assets in 2009. In the telecommunications field, Avaya can offer you a number of products such as communications platforms, desktop phones, and video and conferencing software.
Their features often include call transfers, auto attendants, call holds and voicemail recording along with many others and their numerous products are easy to install and use. One of the biggest benefits of Avaya software is that it seamlessly integrates with Nortel software, so if you already own some Nortel software but are simply looking to upgrade certain areas, Avaya is the right choice for you. Here is a list of some of their current desktop phone models:
- 9600 Series IP Deskphones
- 1600 Series IP Deskphones
- E100 Series SIP Phones
- 9500 Series Digital Deskphones
- 9400 Series Digital Deskphones
- 7000 Series Digital Deskphones
- 3900 Series Digital Deskphones
- 1100 Series IP Deskphones
- 1200 Series IP Deskphones
In 2017 Avaya was also rated as the Best On-Premise Phone System by toptenreviews.com.
Best Suited For: Small – Medium Businesses
Panasonic is one of the largest multinational electronics companies in the world. They produce a number of products such as televisions, cameras, home appliances, and of course, a wide range of telecommunications products. They offer a number of digital and IP business phone systems, a range of desktop phone products from analog to digital, and SIP communications as well. Because they only carry a max capacity of 8 lines or 20 extensions their phone systems are best for small-medium sized businesses.
If you’re a long time Panasonic user and would like to update your current office phone system, be sure to contact us today and we can help find the best solution for you. Here’s a list of some of their current desktop phone line-up:
- KX 7000 Analog Series (Voted as one of the top small business phones for 2017 by Approved Index)
- KX NT-500 IP Phone Series
- KX NT-400 IP Phone Series
- KX DT-500 Digital Phone Series
- KX WT Wireless Phone Series
- KX TCA Wireless Phone Series
Best Suited For: Medium-Large Businesses
Like Panasonic, Samsung are one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the entire world. Their lineup of products range from televisions to cell phones to home appliances. Their focus is on the small-medium sized businesses but they also offer phone systems for larger businesses as well. Their older phone systems were quite outdated, but some of their newer Overall Samsung OfficeServ telephone systems are reliable and offer both IP technology as well as some traditional phone system technologies. They currently offer 5 different Samsung OfficeServ systems that suit every business size from start-ups to larger more established organizations.
Comparison worth reading: http://network-telecom.com/wp-content/uploads/avaya-ip-office-vs-samsung-os7000.pdf
Best Suited For: Small Businesses
V-Tech is considered an affordable phone system available on the market today, and they’re also know for being easy to install and use. Their ErisBusinessSystem has a number of features such as 5 party conferencing, full-duplex speakerphone, auto attendant, digital answering machine, two-way call recording, call transfer and more. The biggest drawback to V-Tech is their lack of available options, as their ErisBusinessSystem is their only available office phone system, so you will not have much choice in terms of system preference. If you’re a small business looking for something easy to use, install, but also has a number of features, V-Tech has some affordable options.
Comparison worth reading: http://www.cordless-phone-update.com/vtech-phones.html
Best Suited For: Large Businesses
Cisco offers a variety of phone systems focused on all business sizes. They’re known as a very reliable phone system company, in particular for their networking expertise. One of the biggest drawbacks of Cisco products is that they’re known for being more labour intensive from an IT perspective than some of their competitors, so it may not be the best choice for smaller businesses that are looking for something with little maintenance or complexity. Despite that, they’re considered one of the top-notch telecom companies in the world because they tend to have something for everyone.
Comparison worth reading: http://www.comparebusinessproducts.com/phone-systems/cisco-vs-avaya-for-small-business
Best Suited For: Medium – Large Business
Nortel were once one of the most relied upon and well-trusted phone system providers in North America and at one point even accounted for one-third of the total valuation of all the companies listed in the Toronto Stock Exchange. Despite their success, Nortel ended up liquidizing their assets in the late 2000’s, and as previously mentioned, their enterprise assets went to Avaya. Although they no longer produce products, many people still use Nortel phones in their workplace and fortunately, there is a solution available to those seeking a new system while wanting to keep their old Nortel phones. You can repair your Nortel hardware, purchase used Nortel replacement units or purchase Avaya equipment to replace your Nortel components as they need replacing given Avaya products are compatible with Nortel products.
Avaya’s systems can support Nortel phones, which allows you the opportunity to update to the latest phone system technology while still protecting your current investments. At Network Telecom, we offer Nortel hardware training and consulting to be sure you maximize the features available in your phone system. If you would like more information on how to maintain your current Nortel system, or if you’re looking to upgrade to a newer system, contact us today.
Comparison worth reading: http://www.digitcom.ca/avayaipofficevsnortelbcmcomparison.aspx
Guide on How to Buy Office Phone Systems:
- Chapter 1 – Why should I invest in a phone system
- Chapter 2 – What brand is right for me?
- Chapter 3 – Analog vs. Digital vs. VoIP
- Chapter 4 – What Peripherals Might I Need
- Chapter 5 – How To Find The Best Company to Work With
Network Telecom Advantage
Network Telecom has decades of experience providing businesses in the Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Milton, London, Toronto, Woodstock, Mississauga and Chatham regions with the best possible telecommunications solutions. We utilize products from over a dozen brands in order to provide the best service that we can. Our experts can recommend, install, and service any solution 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Your business communication needs are our priority. Click here to contact us today.