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zeeman
Dec 02, 2011

How well would a cloud based phone system work as a replacement for a traditional "land line" system?

I've read about Panasonic's Business Phone System and it sounds like it could be an attractive alternative to our land line. It is intended to be used by small companies, with the max number of individual lines limited to 10, which would work for me. The purchase price at the moment is $99 instead of the normal $300 thanks to a holiday special, and it costs about $40 per month for each line. The big savings for me would be in long distance costs, i.e. free vs. a lot of $. It makes voice mail network based with unlimited storage and has an IP-based fax "machine" that sends incoming faxes directly to email. It also have an auto attendant feature that lets a virtual person answer the call and direct it to the proper individual. All of that seems like a pretty good deal to me, but I was wondering if others had experience with a cloud based phone system and how it worked for them.

jimlynch
12/06/2011
I agree that you have to take into account the quality of your internet provider. If it stinks or is questionable in any significant way, then I'd think twice about replacing it.

I also think it's a good idea to talk to somebody who has actually used Panasonic's Business Phone System before trying the service. That way you can get a real world perspective on it and you might discover any hidden problems before paying for it yourself.

A little bit of research and leg work might save you a lot of time and aggravation later.
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OldHippie
12/05/2011

One thing I would ask is how good is your internet provider?  I have AT&T DSL at home that is very variable in speed and has some occasional reliability problems.  If that was the level of reliability I could count on for business telephony needs, I would not feel very comfortable depending on a cloud based phone system.  If you have a good ISP, this would be less of a concern, obviously.

 

I read a little about the Panasonic system  and it sounds interesting, basically a mini SIP trunking system in a box.  I wonder what the voice quality is like though?  I use Google Voice sometimes, and while the quality is acceptable, it definately is inferior to a landline, at time breaking up or having that digitized voice quality.  I assume that a system that you pay for has higher quality voice communication, but I don't know that for a fact.   

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