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phone systems, telephone systems, telephone systems buyers guide, phone systems buyers guide

Cost, current needs, future expansion, and options such as voice mail, music on hold, and auto-attendant are important factors in choosing the phone system that is right for your business. We have put together this guide to help you sort through the, often confusing, maze of options and terminology.

How To Choose a Phone System
This buyers guide works hand in hand with our Telephone System Wizard (a nifty little program that will actually configure a system for you!). Here are some basic questions you should ask yourself before getting started:

  1. How many incoming (C.O.) lines and extensions do I currently have a need for?
    The first and most important question you should be asking yourself. This will largely determine where to start your search.
  2. How many incoming (C.O.) lines and extensions will I need in the future?
    Save yourself money in the long run by anticipating your future needs. Most of the time it will cost less to expand an existing system than to buy a new one. Make note of the system's maximum capacity (both C.O. Lines and Extensions). Is this going to be enough for your business in 6 months?
  3. Do I want voice mail?
    For most people, the answer is yes. Voice Mail is a valuable tool that most businesses cannot afford to be without.
  4. What other options (like Music On Hold, cordless phones, etc.) do I want?
    Features like Caller ID, Paging, and Remote Administration add additional value to your system. Take a look at the matrix below to compare the availability of these features.
  5. Am I going to install the system myself?
    Depending on your technical ability, you may be able to install your system without hiring someone to do it for you. Modular (Plug-N-Play) systems are the easiest to install without hiring a professional installer. Amphenol systems require more technical ability to install; in most cases it is recommended that you have this type of system installed professionally.
  6. Configure your system.
    Once you answer questions 1-5 you are ready to configure your system. The System Wizard will automatically determine what parts you will need, what options are available, and the total final cost.
Click here to configure your your system.

System Comparison Matrix

ManufacturerPanasonicToshibaToshibaLucentVodavi
System ModelKX-TA824DK40iDK424iPartner ACSStarPlus DHS
Intialially Configured For3 CO Lines 8 Extensions4 CO LinesEmpty5 CO Lines 9 Extensions3 CO Lines 8 Extensions
Max. Capacity8 CO Lines 24 Extensions12 CO Lines 28 Extensions 17 CO Lines 41 Extensions OR 14 CO Lines 33 Extensions (w/Voice Mail)18 CO Lines 48 Extensions
Suggested Voice Mail SystemPanasonic KX-TVA50Amanda@SOHOAmanda@SOHOPartner MessagingAmanda@SOHO
Max. Single Line Telephones24123764196
Caller ID *OptionalOptionalOptionalIncludedOptional 8 CO Lines
System Phones Available (Non-Cordless)KX-T7720
KX-T7731
KX-T7750
KX-T7130
DKT2001
DKT2010S
DKT2010SD
DKT2020S
DKT2020SD
DADM2020
DDSS2060
DKT2001
DKT2010S
DKT2010SD
DKT2020S
DKT2020SD
DADM2020 DDSS2060
6 Button
18 Button
18 Button
w/Display
34 Button w/Display
Speakerphone
Speakerphone w/Display
Cordless System Phones AvailableKX-TD7896
DKT2004CTDKT2004CTLucent TransTalk
NA **
Auto Attendant ***OptionalOptionalOptionalIncludedOnly available with Voice Mail
PagingIncludedIncludedIncludedAdditional Device RequiredAdditional Device Required
Remote AdministrationNAOptional Software Req. Hardware Req.Optional Software Req. Hardware Req.Optional Software Req.NA
Installation & Programming ManualIncluded (CD ROM)Optional (Printed or CD ROM)Optional (Printed)Included (Printed)Included (Printed)
HoldYesYesYesYesYes
Music On Hold *+YesYesYesYesYes
Call TransferYesYesYesYesYes
IntercomYesYesYesYesYes
Conference CallYesYesYesYesYes
Installation MethodModular Plug-N-PlayAmphenolAmphenolModular Plug-N-PlayAmphenol
Done? Then...Configure This SystemConfigure This SystemConfigure This SystemConfigure This SystemConfigure This System

Key
* Caller ID is not available in all areas. Please check with your local phone company.
** Although there are no cordless system phones made for the Vodavi DHS, you can add one or more cordless SLT, like the Panasonic Gigarange Series.
*** Auto Attendant is included with all Voice Mail Systems listed.
*+ All systems have the ability to add music on hold, additional equipment is required.

Still Need Help?

Don't forget, our knowledgeable and friendly staff is here to help you. If you still have questions, let us know!
Call us at 877-892-2666 or drop us an e-mail today!
 
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