Business Phone Systems

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John807 Offline OP
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Chime in with your thoughts? With 1A2 and a 401A card I can open a door, If I lose power I can still get calls. Please add your own thoughts. This oughta be fun for Arthur and Sam.


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Your using a pots line. Power comes from the CO , not the wall.

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It was designed by people with a brain to be absolutely reliable and provide all the features a business needs. All the junk today is designed by people who weren't even alive when 1A2 was available, probably never saw a rotary phone, have no idea what POTS is and have no idea what a phone should do other than what their iPhone does that was thrown into their crib by their idiot parents to shut them up.

-Hal


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Hal , could not have said it better....

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I may have been alive 1A2 was available, but not by much. It's true, you could do many, many things with 1A2. When it comes to interfacing the phones with something non-telephonic, 1A2 was king. It was so easy to tie into a pair of wires and make one of those buttons do anything your heart desired, open a door, turn on a light, ring a bell, even flush a toilet. You could use the lamps behind the keys to alert you of anything limited only by your imagination and what you could write or type on the tiny designation strip or button cap label. When it came to actual telephony, 1A2 was great, but lets not oversell it. As far as reliability, yeah it could probably take most any abuse and in a power failure it worked with some limitations. Let's be honest, though. 1A2 could get cumbersome very quickly. For the average small to medium sized business, it excelled as it should have, since that's what it was really designed for. When you start getting into larger installations, it got a little crazy. 100 pair for call directors, huge racks of line cards, miles and miles of cross connect fields. Most of the intercom equipment that was available was pretty limited to how many stations could be assigned. Then connecting it all together, phew. My hat is off to you guys that used to install and maintain this stuff. Like I said, for the business with less than say 15-20 phones, 1A2 rocked. Any more than that and it seems to me like it got a bit out of hand. Then you start throwing a system behind a PBX and things could get pretty complicated.

Now everybody knows that I'm partial to the partner platform, so my endorsement of it should be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, for the small business, even now, I can't imagine why they'd want anything else. I suppose the same is probably true of most small digital key systems available now or in the not too distant past. Hal even said once to me in a post once that the partner probably meets 99% of most business' needs. I just can't get my head around these IP based systems, whether hosted or not. Their functionality just sucks, but back to that in a minute. Administering them is a steep learning curve, and the most insane thing to me is LICENSING. I can go buy a used partner system for a few hundred bucks and it's mine forever. Sure, I have to pay the phone company every month for my lines, but in this day and age of OOMA's and google voice, and unlimited phone deals from the cable providers, you should be able to get a smoking deal on dial tone. Obviously pick the source that's going to work best for you- telco if reliability and 100% proper signaling (CPC and the like) is important to you, and cable or these voip boxes if cost is the main factor. I have a wide array of dial tone sources on my partner and they all seem to play nice together. Even a conference call sounds good. The idea of paying yearly licensing fees to keep a system up just seems asinine to me. And hosted charging per extension per month... that to me just seems inexcusably stupid. Heck, if I payed even 5 dollars a month per extension in my house, I'd be looking at better than $150 a month. No hosted provider is giving away service for 5 bucks per extension, too. Right now, for the 7 sources of DT in my house, the bill for phone service is about $60 a month, and 50 of that is my one copper line. (I gave up a 200 a month smoking habit, so I figured I could splurge on some real phone service.) As far as functionality, I just don't get it. I see these Cisco phones all over the place and most of the people who have to use them tell me how much they hate them if I'm brave enough to ask. Take the local Home Depot as an example. Every call, they have to dial the whole 10 digit number, and we don't have ten digit dialing in NH with only the one area code. I see dropped calls all the time when they go to transfer a call because the phones just aren't intuitive to use. Line keys that aren't really line keys, no music on hold, caller id that's a crapshot, and the whole bloody works hangs off your internet connection. Hmmm. Or maybe you hang it off a T1 or a Pri... from who? The telco? wouldn't it be cheaper to just get some POTS lines and hang a key system off those? I have to chuckle every time I go into someplace new and I see a partner phone on the counter or hanging on the wall. There's a reason I've seen more than a few IP systems torn out and replaced by conventional systems... I walked into a Panera Bread the other day for the first time and what was I greeted to? The familiar ring of an ACS. Ahh, music to my ears. Even some new places around here are buying second hand partners and putting them in because they either have one at their other location, or they just plain don't like the available alternatives. To me, that speaks volumes about a platform when you see it going into new installations when it's been discontinued for several years. All the IT weenies think that, because it has an RJ-45 plug, it's automatically better. It didn't work for Nortel, it didn't work for Avaya. You tell me...

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In it's original form 1A2 was designed, as Hal said, to be bulletproof. You spent a little time installing it and then it was good, with very minimal maintenance for decades.

Later innovations added all sorts of options - still basically bulletproof , with minimal maintenance.

BUT - you had to be a technician to install it and a craftsman to make it look good.

Two concepts, unacceptable in todays world.

Sam


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I know I told this story before. Years ago (maybe 10) I was called by a national to install a Merlin 820 in a brand new chain restaurant. That old Merlin was discontinued probably fifteen years and the Partner was going strong. Why Merlin? The food service industry was hooked on Merlin for it's ruggedness, ease of use and availability of equipment. Nearly every restaurant and diner around here had a Merlin. So now it looks like Partner has taken over since the Merlin equipment supply is reaching extinction.

-Hal


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