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:
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
System Comparison Matrix
|System Model||KX-TA824||DK40i||DK424i||Partner ACS||StarPlus DHS|
|Intialially Configured For||3 CO Lines 8 Extensions||4 CO Lines||Empty||5 CO Lines 9 Extensions||3 CO Lines 8 Extensions|
|Max. Capacity||8 CO Lines 24 Extensions||12 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 System||Panasonic KX-TVA50||Amanda@SOHO||Amanda@SOHO||Partner Messaging||Amanda@SOHO|
|Max. Single Line Telephones||24||12||376||41||96|
|Caller ID *||Optional||Optional||Optional||Included||Optional 8 CO Lines|
|System Phones Available (Non-Cordless)||KX-T7720|
34 Button w/Display
|Cordless System Phones Available||KX-TD7896||DKT2004CT||DKT2004CT||Lucent TransTalk||NA **|
|Auto Attendant ***||Optional||Optional||Optional||Included||Only available with Voice Mail|
|Paging||Included||Included||Included||Additional Device Required||Additional Device Required|
|Remote Administration||NA||Optional Software Req. Hardware Req.||Optional Software Req. Hardware Req.||Optional Software Req.||NA|
|Installation & Programming Manual||Included (CD ROM)||Optional (Printed or CD ROM)||Optional (Printed)||Included (Printed)||Included (Printed)|
|Music On Hold *+||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Installation Method||Modular Plug-N-Play||Amphenol||Amphenol||Modular Plug-N-Play||Amphenol|
|Done? Then...||Configure This System||Configure This System||Configure This System||Configure This System||Configure This System|
* 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!