Pansmart

Every business needs a telephone system, but with all the options to choose from the choice can seem complicated.

Fortunately, we’re here to simplify the process and answer the most common questions you need to know before deciding on a suitable solution and providers for your business. Browse through the options and be sure to play around with the search option, too!

PS. If you want to know WHY we’ve asked this information, navigate to the bottom of the page for the reasons why it should matter to you!

Want to find a Telephone System provider near you? Click here to go to the Directory.

ProviderModelOpen SourceAppliance / Software basedMaximum CapacityNative ApplicationsCompliant Call RecordingOngoing FeesWarrantySystem AdminSLA and Support
Panasonic NS1000ApplianceUp to 256 Channels

640 Extensions
Mobile App
PC Softphone
Call Centre
Call Recording

(3rd party)
24 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
Panasonic NS500ApplianceUp to 48 Channels

128 Extensions.
Mobile App
PC Softphone
Call Centre
Call Recording

(3rd party)
24 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.

Priority support is available to Partners.
3CX - Pro EditionSoftwareUp to 1024 Trunks

Unlimited Extensions (software restrictions apply).
Mobile App
PC Softphone
Call Centre
Call Recording
Telephone Management System

(3rd party)
Annual License renewal / Software Assurance12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.3CX Technical Support is available via our Support Portal for 3CX Partners (free) or with a 3CX Support package (Extra charge).
3CX - Standard EditionSoftwareUp to 1024 Trunks

Unlimited Extensions (software restrictions apply).
Mobile App
PC Softphone
Call Centre
Call Recording
Telephone Management System

(3rd party)
Annual License renewal / Software Assurance12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.3CX Technical Support is available via our Support Portal for 3CX Partners (free) or with a 3CX Support package (Extra charge).
BitCo CommunigateSoftwareUnlimited Trunks and Extensions trough use of VoIP Gateways where required.
Call Recording
Telephone Management System
12 MonthsAll system administration is controlled by BitCo which can be done remotely or onsite when connected to the PBX on the network.24/7 support. SLA available.
Com.X10(P) SXApplianceUp to 8 BRI Trunks

150 Extensions (recommended, but unlimited).
Telephone Management System
(3rd party)
12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
Com.X20 ApplianceUp to 16 BRI Trunks

1,000 Extensions (recommended, but unlimited).
Telephone Management System
(3rd party)
12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
Com.X5(P) ApplianceUp to 8 BRI Trunks

50 Extensions (recommended, but unlimited).
Telephone Management System
(3rd party)
12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
Com.X5(WP) ApplianceUp to 8 BRI Trunks

50 Extensions (recommended, but unlimited).
Telephone Management System
(3rd party)
12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
Com.X10(P) - TurboApplianceUp to 16 BRI Trunks

250 Extensions recommended (unlimited).
Telephone Management System
(3rd party)
12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
UCM6100 seriesAppliance500 ExtensionsMobile App
PC Softphone

(3rd party)
12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
UCM6510 seriesAppliance2,000 ExtensionsMobile App
PC Softphone

(3rd party)
12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
LG-Ericsson IP-60Appliance48 ExtensionsMobile App
PC Softphone

(3rd party)
12 MonthsPC software-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
Mitel MiVoice BusinessSoftware with optional ApplianceUp to 60 PRI Channels or 2,000 SIP Trunks

150 Extensions
Mobile App
PC Softphone

(3rd party)
Annual License renewal / Software Assurance12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
Mitel MiVoice Business Software with optional ApplianceUp to 240 PRI Channels or 2,000 SIP Trunks

1,500 Extensions

Multiple platforms can be networked together for near unlimited scalability.
Mobile App
PC Softphone

(3rd party)
Annual License renewal / Software Assurance12 MonthsEmbedded web-based management and administration.Support provided to Partners.
OfficeServ 7030 (OS7030)Appliance20 ExtensionsMobile App
PC Softphone

(3rd party)
12 MonthsPC software management and administration, or via the Key phone. Direct support from Distributor.

Priority support available to Partners.
OfficeServ 7070 (OS7070)Appliance52 ExtensionsMobile App
PC Softphone

(3rd party)
12 MonthsPC software management and administration, or via the Key phone. Direct support from Distributor.

Priority support available to Partners.
OfficeServ 7100 (OS7100)Appliance32 ExtensionsMobile App
PC Softphone

(3rd party)
12 MonthsPC software management and administration, or via the Key phone. Direct support from Distributor.

Priority support available to Partners.
OfficeServ 7200 (OS7200)Appliance64 ExtensionsMobile App
PC Softphone

(3rd party)
12 MonthsPC software management and administration, or via the Key phone. Direct support from Distributor.

Priority support available to Partners.
OfficeServ 7400 (OS7400)Appliance256 ExtensionsMobile App
PC Softphone

(3rd party)
12 MonthsPC software management and administration, or via the Key phone. Direct support from Distributor.

Priority support available to Partners.
Pansmart

So, you want to know why you need to know this information?

Well, we have consulted with hundreds of businesses to understand their main criteria when comparing Telephone Systems. We’ve tried our best to describe why we believe each point is valid.

  • Provider – Although some customers place brands with higher brand equity, market share or placement in industry reports such as Gartner. Why it matters? Well, maybe you trust bigger brands more than you do smaller ones.
  • Model – Different models have differentiation in things like capacity or even application support. Why it matters? Make sure that the model you’re looking for supports your current and future business need. 
  • Open Source – The Open Source framework allows for great interoperability and support for all types of third-party applications, devices and services. Some vendors may use an Open Source core, and overlay a custom application to that core, thereby making it somewhat unique. Why it matters? Well, there are two sides to this story and a business case for either. Perhaps you want to trust that your “purpose-built” provider will take you into the Future with perceivably less risk, or you have the faith in your partner or internal resource to support and manage your platform themselves.
  • Appliance/Software – It is important to know whether you’re buying a physical device, or whether you would be expected to provide the ncessary hardware for your providers Software to run on. Why it matters? While you’re still connecting to traditional lines (like ISDN) you’re going to need hardware, however, some providers are able to detach the software from the Appliance, and allow you either to start off, or work towards, running their software in a hardware environment that may be more flexible, better managed, offer more redundancy or resiliency, or give you the scale that your business needs.
  • Maximum Capacity – Why it matters? It’s always good to know what the limits are so that you’re making an educated buying decision based on your current and future business needs.
  • Applications – As we enter into this New World of Work, where we’re expected to remain in contact from different devices and have the software tools and applications to measure and improve the customer experience, you’re going to want to make sure that your system can take you there. And hey, if that’s not for your business, then don’t worry!
  • Compliant Call Recording – Because there is a difference between Recording calls that will stand up in court versus those which won’t. Yes, you may be wanting to use Call Recording for training or quality assurance, however, if you intend on using it for legal, compliance or dispute resolution that may end up in court, then you’re going to have to have complaint Call Recording. The difference is in the file format, how it is stored, the encryption levels, the ability to provide an audit trace, and more. Compliant Call Recording is generally more expensive that embedded Call Recording which typically comes with a Telephone System.
  • Ongoing Fees – The question of ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ is one which not many providers or customers ask or willingly answer. Besides for the upfront cost, make sure that you understand the ongoing costs. Whilst we limit this to ongoing fees from the manufacturer, it is important to check with your provider on their fees too, such as SLA’s or Hardware warranties, etc.
  • Warranty – This is generally the Hardware and Software warranty that is supplied by factory default. In some cases you maybe be able to purchase or extend this Warranty – it would be best to check the specifics with your provider and also make sure that you understand all the inclusions and exclusions, too.
  • System Admin – Whether you will be supporting the system yourself or not, it is useful to understand how System Administration is carried out. It must be noted that not all vendors or providers allow customers to manage the systems themselves due to risk, however, some do and that works out well for them.
  • SLA and Support – Although we can only answer on behalf of the vendor or distributor, you need to have this discussion with your partner. Is there an SLA? Will that give you a guaranteed support response? Does it include all the fees, including callouts? Will they carry spare stock and will you be expected to pay? Is this only break-fix, or does the SLA also include general administration and service changes, too. All valuable questions you need to ask, and keep a record of at your office! 

Have we missed something? Let us know what you feel is important to you in the comments below and we’ll work on incorporating it into our Comparison!