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Intercom & Paging Systems

Paging systems benefit businesses by providing better internal communications, general notifications and emergency alerts. Both analog and IP paging solutions are available. The versatility of devices like door phones, entry phones and intercoms makes them ideal for any kind of communications and security strategy.

In retail spaces, paging speakers serve as dual-purpose solutions for both announcements and background music. Offices and warehouses can pair entry phones and door controllers with locking mechanisms to create keyless entry and intercom systems. Purpose-built devices like emergency phones are also available.

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5 Reasons to Install a Paging System

In no particular order, we present five reasons why a paging system is important to businesses, residential buildings, industrial spaces, healthcare and a wide range of industries.

1) Not everyone has a desk

Workers on assembly lines, teachers in classrooms, team members on the sales floor… there are many professions that don’t allow employees to be on the phone. They don’t have a desk, don’t have a phone or simply can’t afford to be around either a desk or phone for any extended period of time.

In the grand scheme of things, a desk job with a desk phone is a bit of luxury. Messaging or calling someone without a phone has its challenges.

Wireless phones and pagers are one solution, but they’re not very effective in loud or busy environments where they can’t be heard or you can’t take your hands away from your work.

Loudspeakers make sure your message is heard. A paging system allows employees to be notified, and then either reply or acknowledge the message at their convenience. No one is risking injury or interfering with productivity to answer the phone.

2) Emergency notifications

Emergencies can’t be planned for, but you can be prepared. A paging system is critical for warning your employees about a pending or sudden emergency. Dangers come in all forms; including severe weather, machine malfunctions, chemical spills and suspicious individuals.

Broadcasting an alert or sounding an alarm can save the lives of your employees and guests. Rather than running around to personally inform everyone, a paging system lets everyone know simultaneously and immediately take action.

School lockdowns and factory evacuations are examples of scenarios where immediate action is necessary to protect people’s lives.

3) Create paging zones

Imagine that you own or operate a retail business. The business is in a building with a sales floor, storeroom in the back and offices. Installing a paging system in this building will require zoning.

Background music and promotional messages targeted to customers on your sales floor would only be distracting in the storeroom or office. Likewise, pages to your storeroom or office can distract customers.

A paging zone is an individually accessible segment of speakers and intercoms. A setup for your retail business would require three paging zones; the sales floor, the storeroom and the offices. Access the zones individually, two at once, or all three. Paging zones create separate environments inside or outside of your building.

Single- and multi-zone paging systems are available. A Multi-zone system is the best fit for a diverse building, especially where customers or guests frequent certain spaces. Hospitals, grocery stores and resorts are examples of large spaces where multi-zone paging is essential. A single-zone system is great for a factory or warehouse where employees could be anywhere and everywhere.

4) Front door and entry security

While you don’t want guests and visitors to just walk right in to your apartment building, business or other unauthorized spaces, you still want to give immediate access to residents, employees and other authorized personnel.

A door phone or intercom lets you communicate with people at your door, dock, gate or entry. Phones with built-in cameras provide visual confirmation, and available components like door controllers and door strikes can lock and unlock entries remotely.

Card readers and keypads provide quick keyless entry to people that need to get through that door without confirmation every time. Keep your premises secure, while granting access to trusted individuals.

5) Background music

A small storefront or office doesn’t require a massive paging system. Everyone is at least within shouting distance (not the best way to communicate, but you understand the visual we’re creating here) and the front door is always in sight.

Background music helps to create a comforting atmosphere for customers, employees and guests. A waiting room with dead silence, no matter how bad the music choice may be, can be a little awkward. Music can also create a more productive office environment.

Paging speakers built with tweeters and subwoofers are designed for more than just voice announcements. They are purpose-built to play high-quality background music where creating the correct environment is vital.

Obviously, installing a high-capacity paging system is not ideal for a small space. Smaller capacity systems are available, as well as speakers that work directly with VoIP phone systems.

VoIP paging equipment

Paging equipment includes speakers, phones, servers and other devices with either analog or IP connectivity. VoIP paging equipment utilizes the same Ethernet cabling as VoIP desk phones, computers and other IP-based solutions. In some cases, you can even connect VoIP paging amplifier or speaker to your IP PBX.

Be aware of the connection type. A VoIP door phone, for example, may be IP-only. Meaning, you cannot use it with your existing analog paging system.

VoIP paging equipment includes:

• IP emergency phones

• IP door phones

• IP intercoms

• IP video entry phones

• IP weatherproof phones

• IP info & emergency phones

• IP call buttons

Many—but not all—VoIP phone systems recognize VoIP paging solutions as regular endpoints, just as they would a VoIP phone. For smaller deployments, this feature is effective if you want to install a couple of speakers for simple paging and/or background music use.

Programming an IP-based paging device can be achieved through a web-based graphic user interface. Use this GUI to access volume controls, upload audio messages and more.

Analog paging equipment with VoIP

Schoolhouses, hospitals and other buildings with paging speakers in every room are likely utilizing analog cabling to connect the speakers/endpoints to amplifiers and paging systems. IT technicians confront conditions like this in both older and modern structures all of the time.

The wiring is embedded in every wall and ceiling, crawling from floor to floor. As a building administrator that wants to convert the existing phone systems and paging solutions to VoIP, this looks like a nightmare situation.

Luckily, you don’t have to rip all of the wiring out of the wall or change over all of the existing equipment. Analog telephone adapters (ATAs), VoIP adapters and VoIP gateways can do the trick. These devices convert the analog signals from your existing paging equipment into VoIP.

Very old analog/paging wiring is something you might want to consider replacing, however. Old wiring can become a potential hazard, especially when used with more-demanding modern technologies. If you’ve ever blown a fuse in your home because you plugged in a hair dryer, for example, that’s a case where the wiring might need an inspection.