While it is not required, it is important that the cabling company understand how the phone system wires at the jack location and in the telephone/data room. Not all phone systems wire the same, so it is best if the company that is installing the telephone system also does the cabling. Time Business Systems provides cabling for our customers and we also offer discounts if you choose TBS to do both your cabling and phone system.
Since your phone system requires electricity to operate, if you lose power, your phone system will stop working as well. TBS includes a Battery Backup with every new phone system sold. The purpose of the Battery Backup is to supply power immediately to the telephone system if power is lost. Our Battery Backups are rated to supply power to your phone system for approximately 1 hour. This allows you to finish up any existing calls, make any other important calls, and call your dial tone provider and have them forward your main telephone number to a cell phone.
The decision of whether to use Category 5e, or 6 cables to wire your computers or telephones pretty much comes down to cost, data transfer speed, and connection distance. All use RJ45 connectors to patch into your network via a server, router, computer or other hardware. As well, all support Power over Ethernet (PoE). Otherwise, each cable has a different standard. TBS would be happy to “price” both a Cat 5e and a Cat 6 solution for you to compare. Here is a more detailed description of Cat 5e and Cat 6 Cable:
Category 5e cabling
Cat5e (Category 5 enhanced) is the least expensive, but also the slowest. It supports data transfer speeds up to one Gigabit per second (Gbps) at 100 MHz up to 328 feet. Crosstalk among the wires within the cable is reduced, resulting in less interference and less chance of transmission error. Certainly, it will provide capable performance for most of today’s applications, but Cat5e also leaves less opportunity for upgrading in the future.
Category 6 cabling
Cat6 is pricier and faster than Cat5e but also limited by distance. Cat6 supports data transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps at 250 MHz with even less (or no) crosstalk interference, due to the cable’s improved insulation. However, its 10 Gbps speed is effective only up to 164 feet. Despite this limitation, Cat6 cabling is more qualified to handle the fast pace of Gigabit Ethernet networks. It’s likely Cat6 will eventually replace HDMI as the audio/video transmission standard in the future.
As a general rule, industry experts say that you should allow for 10% growth when purchasing a telephone system. Things to consider are: how many phone lines will my new telephone system support, how many phone stations will my new telephone system support, and how many voice mailboxes and storage will my voice mail support? Obviously, if you believe your business is going to “take off” with exponential growth, you will want to allow for that. All of the phone systems offered by TBS allow a business to keep their phones and just upgrade to a bigger control unit in the phone room.
Time Business System generally includes a 25 year to life warranty on all cabling jobs. All of our Cable Technicians are BICSI Certified which is the highest and most trusted cabling certification available today. TBS has had many of our cabling customers stand back and marvel at the tightness and preciseness of our cabling jobs.
At TBS, we don’t expect our customers to be experts in troubleshooting their phone system if it stops working. We always recommend that you call us first, and by answering a few simple questions we can generally determine if it’s a carrier (line provider) issue or a phone system issue. Our customers like this level of service, where they can call TBS and their call is answered on the first or second ring by a trained telecommunications person with answers to their questions. This sure is better than calling CenturyLink or Comcast, where you have to work your way through a series of levels, to end up leaving a message, “not knowing when or if” you will receive a callback.
At TBS, we like to get in after the studs are installed just prior to the drywall being installed. Typically it is the electrician’s responsibility to install the conduit, pull strings, and the boxes. TBS likes to ‘rough in” a cabling job first which means we install everything except the faceplates until after painting. It is possible to install the cabling after the drywall is installed, but it generally results in high labor costs.
Popular new features of business phone systems today include the following:
- Voice Mail to Email The Phone System converts a voice mail message into a WAV file and attaches it to an email where you can retrieve your voicemail messages on your computer or smartphone while you are out of the office.
- UCS Communicator Allows you to download an APP on your cell phone and integrate your cell phone as an extension off of your business phone system. This is a great feature as it allows you to have calls transferred to you directly from the office and use phone lines from your office system to make calls out to customers.
- Remote IP Telephone(s) With today’s Voice over IP Technology, it is possible to have a remote phone plugged into anyplace in the world and be connected to your phone system back at the office. This enhances the ability to stay in touch with your office, work from home or another location, and have calls transferred directly to you.
- Full Duplex Speakerphones Today’s phones come with Full Duplex HD Speakerphones which are of the highest quality available. Using the Telephone Speakerphone allows you to keep both hands free for typing on a keyboard.
- Record-A-Call Phone systems today allow you to either record all calls automatically or record calls at will just by pressing a button on your telephone. This is a great feature if someone is giving you detailed information or if you are participating in a teleconference training.
This just touches on the new phone system features available today. Make sure you contact Time Business Systems at 303-425-6300 for a full explanation of new business phone system features.
That is a very good question and one that is not easily answered. As with any technology, it is always beneficial to upgrade to take advantage of new features which will act as productivity tools for your business and thus increase profitability. This question also is directly related, as is true with any office technology; to what level of care, usage, and abuse your phone system is subjected to. We know it is a broad answer, but phone systems should last anywhere from 7 – 12 years.