Are you tired of having to physically go to the door every time someone wants to enter your building? Do you want to improve the security of your commercial space? Well, you’re in luck because in this blog post, we’ll be discussing how to purchase a commercial intercom system. Whether you’re a small business owner or managing a large commercial building, it’s important to invest in a quality commercial intercom system that meets your specific needs. We’ll cover all the key considerations as a buyer, so buckle up and let’s get started on this exciting journey.
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Wired vs. Wireless Intercom Systems
One of the first things to consider when purchasing an office intercoms system is whether you want a wired or wireless system. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
Wired Intercom Systems
- Typically more reliable than wireless systems
- Require upfront installation costs due to the need for wiring throughout the building
- May require a local computer or master station to route calls within the building
- Can be costly, ranging from 3 to 5 times more than wireless systems
Wireless Intercom Systems
- No need for hardwired connections to the receiving station
- Can receive calls wirelessly on any device, including smartphones, tablets, and computers
- More scalable and cheaper than wired systems
- Most buildings use wireless intercom systems
Telephone Line vs. Video Intercoms
Another consideration when purchasing an intercom system is whether you want a telephone line intercom or a commercial video intercom system. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
Telephone Line Intercom
- Requires a landline connection to make calls to a person’s phone
- Can route calls through a telephone signal
- Enables remote unlocking of the door with the press of a key
- Uses a mobile app or web browser to receive calls on any device
- Enables visual verification of the person at the door before unlocking it
- More secure than telephone line intercoms
Key Features to Consider
When purchasing a commercial intercom system, there are many key features to consider that will make your life easier and more secure. Here are some of the most important:
- Type of receiving device: Consider whether you need a single tenant or multi-tenant intercom directory.
- Handling package deliveries: Look for a system that can handle package deliveries securely.
- Handling guests and clients: Look for a system that makes it easy to manage guests and clients.
- Ability to manage the system remotely: Consider whether you want to be able to manage the system remotely from anywhere.
- Scheduling calls: Look for a system that enables you to set up schedules for when calls can be received.
- Ability to receive calls when not at the receiving station: Consider whether you want to be able to receive calls when not at the receiving station.
- Ability to support regular phone calls: Look for a system that supports regular phone calls if someone doesn’t want to use a smartphone.
- Fall back routing: Consider whether the system supports fall back routing if the primary person is not available.
- Vandal and weather resistance: Look for hardware that is impact and weather resistant.
- Routing calls to multiple people: Look for a system that can route calls to multiple people in parallel.
- Biometric access formats: Consider whether you want a system that supports biometric access formats, such as face recognition.
- Key fobs and key cards: Look for a system that supports key fobs and key cards.
- Integration with existing key fob system: Consider whether the system can work alongside an existing key fob system.
- Setting doors to stay unlocked during business hours: Look for a system that enables you to set doors to stay unlocked during certain business hours.
- Cost: Consider the upfront cost of the system, ongoing costs, and any maintenance contracts that may be required.
- Warranty: Look for a system with a good warranty and consider whether you can extend it to add additional warranty years.
- System management: Consider how the system is managed, whether it can be managed remotely, and whether it requires a trained professional to make changes.
- Ease of use: Look for a system that is easy to use and can be managed by anyone with minimal training.
- Entry modification: Look for a system that enables you to update entries in the intercom remotely and remove them remotely.
- Display modification: Consider whether the system enables you to modify the display to show full names, business names, unit numbers, etc.
- Live view at the door: Look for a system that enables you to see a live view at the door in case you miss a call.
- Call notifications: Consider whether calls come in as push notifications or full-blown phone calls.
- Reverse mode calling: Look for a system that enables you to start a call in reverse mode from the receiving side back to the intercom.
- User and intercom capacity: Consider how many users and intercom entries the system can support.
- Photo logs: Look for a system that stores photo logs of visitors for security and auditing purposes.
- Compatibility with devices: Consider whether the system can receive calls on a variety of devices, including computers, tablets, and non-smartphones.
- Intercom entry access: Look for a system that enables you to restrict access to certain intercom entries, such as those in restricted areas.
- Two-way communication: Consider whether the system enables two-way communication, allowing you to speak with the person at the door before granting access.
- Emergency response: Look for a system that enables you to call emergency services or other contacts in case of an emergency.
- Call screening: Consider whether the system enables you to screen calls before deciding whether to answer them.
- Integration with other security systems: Look for a system that can integrate with other security systems, such as CCTV cameras and alarms.
- Voice recognition: Consider whether the system supports voice recognition for hands-free access.
- Text-to-speech: Look for a system that supports text-to-speech to enable the system to read out messages or instructions.
- Intercom range: Consider the range of the intercom system and whether it covers the entire building or just a specific area.
- Compatibility with visitor management systems: Look for a system that can integrate with visitor management systems to improve efficiency and security.
- Power backup: Consider whether the system has a power backup to ensure it remains operational during power outages.
- User permissions: Look for a system that enables you to set different user permissions, enabling you to restrict access to certain features or areas.
- Ease of installation: Consider how easy the system is to install and whether it requires professional installation.
- Brand reputation: Look for a system from a reputable brand with a history of producing high-quality intercom systems.These are just a few more features to consider when purchasing a commercial intercom system. It’s important to carefully evaluate your needs and choose a system that meets your specific requirements. By considering all the key features we’ve discussed in this blog post, you can ensure that you choose the right intercom system for your commercial space.
Commercial Video intercom systems`
Video intercoms are becoming increasingly popular for commercial buildings due to their added security and convenience. Here are some of the benefits of video intercoms for commercial buildings:
- Visual verification: Video intercoms enable you to visually verify the identity of the person at the door before granting access, providing an extra layer of security.
- Remote access: With a video intercom, you can receive calls on any device, including smartphones, tablets, and computers, enabling you to manage access to your building from anywhere.
- Package delivery: Video intercoms enable you to safely manage package deliveries, ensuring that they are delivered to the right person and reducing the risk of theft or loss.
- Better communication: Video intercoms enable clear and direct communication between the person at the door and the person managing access, improving efficiency and reducing the risk of misunderstandings or errors.
- Integration with other security systems: Video intercoms can integrate with other security systems, such as CCTV cameras and alarms, providing a complete security solution for your building.
- Improved accessibility: Video intercoms can improve accessibility for people with disabilities or mobility issues, enabling them to manage access to the building more easily.
In addition to these benefits, video intercoms for commercial buildings offer a range of features and capabilities, including:
- High-definition video: Video intercoms provide high-definition video for clear and detailed images of the person at the door.
- Two-way audio: Video intercoms enable clear and direct two-way audio communication between the person at the door and the person managing access.
- Night vision: Many video intercoms have night vision capabilities, enabling clear images even in low light conditions.
- Mobile app access: Video intercoms can be managed through a mobile app, enabling you to receive calls and manage access from your smartphone or tablet.
- Visitor logs: Video intercoms can store visitor logs, providing an audit trail of who has accessed the building and when.
- Multi-tenant support: Video intercoms can support multi-tenant buildings, enabling you to manage access for multiple tenants or businesses.
- Customizable settings: Video intercoms offer customizable settings, enabling you to set up schedules for when calls can be received and customize the display to show full names, business names, or unit numbers, for example.
Overall, video intercoms offer a wide range of benefits and capabilities for commercial buildings, improving security, convenience, and accessibility. When considering purchasing a commercial video intercom system, it’s important to carefully evaluate your needs and choose a system that offers the features and capabilities that are most important to you.
Wireless Intercom Systems for Commercial Buildings
Wireless commercial intercom systems are becoming increasingly popular due to their ease of installation and flexibility. Here are some of the pros and cons of using a wireless connection for commercial intercom systems:
- Easy installation: Wireless intercom systems do not require hardwiring, which makes installation faster and easier. This also reduces the need for complex wiring and cabling infrastructure.
- Flexibility: With a wireless intercom system, you can receive calls wirelessly on your existing devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. This provides greater flexibility and convenience.
- Scalability: Wireless intercom systems are more scalable than wired systems, which can be more difficult and costly to expand. You can easily add more intercoms to the system as your business grows.
- Lower cost: Wireless intercom systems are typically less expensive than wired systems, due to the reduced need for installation and infrastructure.
- Remote management: With a wireless intercom system, you can manage the system remotely from anywhere with an internet connection.
- Dependence on wireless networks: Wireless intercom systems rely on wireless networks, which can be prone to interference and signal loss. This can affect the reliability and quality of the system.
- Security risks: Wireless networks can be more vulnerable to hacking and unauthorized access, which can compromise the security of the intercom system.
- Limited range: Wireless intercom systems may have limited range, depending on the strength and quality of the wireless network. This can limit the coverage area of the intercom system.
Wired Intercom System for Commercial Buildings
Wired commercial intercom systems have been the traditional choice for many businesses due to their reliability and security. However, as technology advances, wired systems are becoming less popular due to their higher installation costs, lack of remote access, and complexity.
One of the biggest drawbacks of wired commercial intercoms systems is their higher installation cost. Wired systems require extensive wiring throughout the building, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, wired systems often require extra hardware, such as receiving stations and master stations, which can add to the overall cost.
Another major drawback of wired intercom systems is the lack of remote access. Unlike wireless systems, wired systems typically require a physical connection to the base station or the receiving station, which limits the ability to manage the system remotely. This can be particularly challenging for businesses that need to manage access from multiple locations or remotely.
In addition to these drawbacks, wired intercom systems can also be more difficult to update and maintain. Updating the software or adding new features can require complex programming and may require additional hardware or infrastructure. This can be particularly challenging for businesses that are looking to scale or grow their operations.
Overall, while wired commercial intercom systems offer high levels of security and reliability, they may not be the best choice for businesses that are looking for flexibility and ease of management. As technology advances, wireless systems are becoming more popular due to their lower cost, scalability, and ease of installation. When considering purchasing a commercial intercom system, it’s important to carefully evaluate your needs and choose a system that provides the features and capabilities that are most important to you, while also providing the necessary security and reliability for your business.
Telephone Intercom Systems for Commercial Buildings
Telephone line-based intercom systems have been a popular choice for many businesses for the past two decades due to their reliability and ease of use. However, in recent years, these systems are becoming less popular due to the increasing cost of telephone lines and the many benefits of internet-connected wireless video intercom systems.
One of the biggest drawbacks of telephone line-based intercom systems is the increasing cost of telephone lines. Many businesses are moving away from traditional landline phones and towards internet-based communications and mobile phones, which can make the cost of telephone lines prohibitive.
In addition to cost, telephone line-based intercom systems are limited in terms of functionality. They typically only offer audio communication and do not have the added security and convenience of video intercom systems.
In contrast, internet-connected wireless video intercom systems offer a range of benefits, including remote access, visual verification, and integration with other security systems. These systems are typically more flexible and scalable, enabling businesses to easily add or remove intercoms as their needs change.
Another advantage of internet-connected wireless video intercom systems is their ease of installation. These systems do not require complex wiring or infrastructure, which can significantly reduce installation costs and time.
Overall, while telephone line-based intercom systems have been a reliable choice for many businesses in the past, their limitations in terms of cost and functionality are making them less popular in today’s market. As technology continues to evolve, internet-connected wireless video intercom systems are becoming the go-to choice for businesses that want flexibility, scalability, and the latest security features.
Types of Commercial Buildings and Their Specific Intercom System Needs
There are several types of commercial buildings that may require an intercom system, and each type business intercom system has its own specific considerations. Here are a few examples:
Office buildings may require intercom systems to control access to the building, to individual offices, and to conference rooms. Considerations may include:
- Multiple access points: Office buildings may have multiple entrances and exits that need to be secured.
- Integration with other security systems: Intercom systems may need to integrate with other security systems, such as access control systems, to ensure seamless security.
- Customization: Intercom systems may need to be customized to fit the unique needs of each office.
Multi-tenant buildings, such as apartment complexes or commercial plazas, may require intercom systems to provide secure access to individual units. Considerations may include:
- Tenant directories: Intercom systems may need to include directories to allow visitors to easily find and call individual units.
- Call forwarding: Intercom systems may need to allow calls to be forwarded to multiple phones or devices to ensure that tenants can be reached.
- Integration with other systems: Intercom systems may need to integrate with other building systems, such as access control or elevator systems.
Healthcare facilities may require intercom systems to control access to patient rooms and restricted areas. Considerations may include:
- HIPAA compliance: Intercom systems used in healthcare facilities must comply with HIPAA regulations to ensure the privacy of patient information.
- Emergency communication: Intercom systems may need to include emergency communication features to quickly and efficiently communicate with staff during emergencies.
- Integration with nurse call systems: Intercom systems may need to integrate with nurse call systems to provide seamless communication between patients and healthcare providers.
Educational institutions may require intercom systems to control access to buildings, classrooms, and administrative offices. Considerations may include:
- Multiple access points: Educational institutions may have multiple entrances and exits that need to be secured.
- Integration with other systems: Intercom systems may need to integrate with other building systems, such as access control or classroom management systems.
- Emergency communication: Intercom systems may need to include emergency communication features to quickly and efficiently communicate with staff and students during emergencies.
Overall, when selecting an intercom system for a commercial building, it’s important to consider the unique needs and requirements of the building and its occupants to ensure that the system provides the necessary security, convenience, and functionality.
Commercial Intercom Systems with Door release
Commercial intercom systems play a vital role in controlling access to buildings and individual rooms. To allow entry to authorized individuals, intercom systems often connect to door release mechanisms, such as electric strikes, electric latches, magnetic locks, and panic bars. The intercom system needs to be properly connected to the specific type of door lock used, taking into account the voltage requirements of the lock, such as AC or DC. It’s important to consider the existing locks in a commercial property when selecting an intercom system, as it may be possible to reuse the existing locks. This can save on installation costs and minimize disruptions to building occupants. Additionally, reusing existing locks can help maintain consistency in building security and ensure that the locking mechanisms are appropriate for the type of door and the level of security required. Wiring considerations are also important to ensure that the intercom system is properly connected to the door release mechanism and that the system functions reliably. Proper installation and maintenance of commercial intercom systems can help ensure that buildings are secure and provide peace of mind to building occupants.
In summary, this blog post has covered a lot of ground in terms of what to consider when purchasing a commercial intercom system. We’ve talked about wired versus wireless systems, the need for video capabilities, and the different types of locks and door release mechanisms that intercom systems can be connected to. We’ve also discussed the different types of commercial buildings that may require intercom systems and the specific considerations for each type of building. If you’re in the market for a new intercom system, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the different options and factors to consider. That’s where Swiftlane comes in. Swiftlane provides modern, cloud-based access control solutions that are easy to use and highly customizable. If you’re interested in learning more, we invite you to reach out to Swiftlane to get a demo or a quote. With Swiftlane, you can be sure that you’re getting a reliable, secure, and convenient intercom access control system that meets the unique needs of your building.