As most of us know, intercom systems are a helpful if not essential addition to business. As such, they’ve become quite popular over the past decade. Not only can you use them to communicate between rooms or buildings in your business, but you can now use them to stream music, keep an eye on employees working in the warehouse and even to see who’s at your entrance before letting them in.
Today’s intercom systems come with a variety of benefits, so you may be asking yourself this...
Is it Time to Consider an Intercom System Replacement?
Do you find yourself watching those commercials about all the fancy things today’s intercom systems can do and yearning for those features? Is the intercom system in your office always breaking down? Or are you just finding your entire system lacking?
It may be time for an intercom system replacement. As we’ve mentioned in When to Upgrade and How to Find the Best Apartment Intercom System, an outdated intercom system actually does more harm than good. Although this article was written for apartment dwellers, the same applies for business owners. However, we do understand that it can be hard to determine if it REALLY is time.
Ask yourself these questions:
Is your system working properly?
Does your intercom have remote access?
Is your system intuitive?
Does your system have locking capabilities?
If you answered ‘no’ to even one or two of these questions, it’s time to replace your intercom system. So let’s first talk about features.
What Can I Get?
Obviously, an intercom system is first and foremost supposed to allow us to communicate between offices or areas in a business. You push a button and talk. However, as mentioned, today’s intercom systems come with much more than that. Some newer features include:
How Do I Decide?
Much goes into deciding what type of system to upgrade to when you’re replacing an old one. There are definitely things you need to consider. First off:
Determine who will need to use the system. In other words, which employees need access to the system? Also take into account how big your building is and what areas will need to be covered.
Think about those employees. Audio-only intercoms are easy to find and fairly easy to install and use, but should you consider anyone in your business with hearing trouble? Or maybe you’ll be installing a unit in a loud warehouse area? Also, consider your doors. An audio-only system will not help you identify someone outside seeking entry.
How much integration are you looking for? If you’re replacing your old intercom system, you’ll have access to way more advanced technologies than you may have been used to. Today’s intercoms can be combined with CCTV (closed-circuit television) security systems. Decide beforehand if this is what you want.
What about remote access? Remote access in a system will allow you to use your smartphone to interact with the system no matter where you are. If someone is outside your building and you’re not there, you can use your phone to communicate with them.
Should you go wired or wireless? Yes, intercom systems now come with a choice. In short, wired systems are more reliable. However, if you happen to have an older building, the electronics may not lend themselves to this type. You may have to go with an easier to install wireless system.
Installation and Location
For proper installation of your replacement system, you’ll need to know the different parts involved. Depending on the system you choose, there can be up to three different types of parts:
Base Station – This is the brain of the system, controlling all the other parts.
Substation – These are like speakers located throughout your building.
Intercom Stations – These are individual units that can be wall-mounted, sit on a desk or even be a handheld unit.
The last thing you need to determine is location. Where to put the base station and units. A lot actually goes into this decision. Whether you’ve chosen a wired or wireless system will often dictate location.
We hope this has given you some insight into what’s involved in replacing an old intercom system with newer technology. Bottom line is, no matter what system you decide to upgrade to, it’s always best to hire a professional to handle installation.
Intercom systems can be complicated! Fortunately, Four Walls has decades of experience helping business owners not only identify and install the right system for them, but also provide ongoing maintenance and support.
Want to know more about intercom systems? Contact us today.