Phones for School – Analogue Vs Digital Vs VoIP
Many schools that are currently in the market for new telephony will no doubt have received numerous phone calls from companies offering the world. The problem is, who do you believe? The silver-tongued, shiny-suit wearing wide-boy, or the straight talking type who may not be the cheapest, but provides you with exactly what you need first time around?
Many individuals selling to schools see them as easy targets, as most schools have very old equipment and staff turnover is relatively high. It is vitally important that any school looking to purchase or lease new telephone equipment realizes what they need before agreeing to change.
Common Misconception 1: "Everything is changing to digital. Just like TV's"
This is just not true! Many individuals trying to sell new equipment realize that digital phone systems are more expensive and therefore return them a higher commission. The truth is that over 75% of UK businesses and 98% of UK households are still using the analogue (PSTN) network, this is not changing for the foreseeable future. True – digital technology is of a higher standard than analogue, but, you will end up paying more for the telephone system and the upheaval of upgrading to digital (ISDN) may well leave you with no phone lines for a period of your working day / s. It is also important to realize that most telephone systems available today will run comfortably of either analogue or digital networks.
Common Misconception 2: "We need a VoIP Telephone System because it will save us money"
Again this is not true with single site schools! To save money using VoIP technology firstly your call spend would need to be huge and second you would need multiple sites to benefit from the free calls available with this service. Not to mention the fact that your IT network would need to have the latest managed switches which almost all do not have yet. The ROI for most schools would be 5 – 6 years which makes looking at this as a cost saving exercise pointless.
In our view the best Phones for School would be one with the least amount of upheaval, the best value for money, and the largest support network. In essence, stick to analogue lines, try to get a good deal at no extra cost, and go for a brand that you have heard of such as Panasonic.