Choosing a Platform

Considerations for a System Platform

IP, Digital or Hosted?

Choosing the best platform for your phone system is an important decision so consider these solutions:

An IP phone system basically puts your phone system on your network as another application. This simplifies management, makes good use of your bandwidth and can drastically reduce costs in some situations. Multiple locations can often be connected by using existing data connections rather than installing separate circuits for voice.

Some things to consider when going all IP are:

  • How well does my network function now?
  • Do I have the right infrastructure in place such as CAT 5 wiring, Level 3 switches and adequate bandwidth?
  • Internet issues will affect your phone system from time to time. Is that tolerable?

If you are not ready to go full IP, you can choose a combination of digital phones and IP phones, or you can have all digital phones but connect to other locations using IP networking. This is one distinct advantage of both the Avaya and the Panasonic systems that Merlin offers, enabling you to build the system in the most cost-effective manner. If you are not ready to upgrade your network at this time or if you only want IP phones for remote or home offices, a combination of platforms or a “hybrid” system offers you the most flexibility.

Hosted systems rely on the provider for features and functionality, which vary greatly with different companies. Not all hosted providers will offer phones that operate the same way. Make sure that you are comfortable with the user guidelines and costs.


Supporting various platforms and endpoints (sometimes called phones) such as VoIP, SIP, analog or digital, the Avaya product line is forward-thinking and flexible. Endpoint choices include wireless phones, software-only phones, remote IP phones, digital phones or industry-specific analog phones. Each phone location can be considered individually. Should you prefer a server-based phone system, the new IP Office Server Edition is now available which also increases the capacity of the system to 2,000 users. The system package includes administrative staff training on the Windows-based, high-security management software that always impresses the IT staff during a demo.

Now you will have the ability to make changes to your system and see real time call statistics without needing a telecom knowledge base. With the Avaya IP Office, your company is assured of the newest technologies, considerable growth capacity – and solid reliability.


Starting with the TDA-50G product line of budget-friendly, reliable systems for the small business, and extending to the TDE600 and NCP IP systems, Panasonic’s extensive product line incorporates reliable solutions for the small to medium-sized business as well as the large multi-location enterprise. With the best-in-class wireless phones as well as digital, SIP, IP and analog phones, you can build your new Panasonic system to carefully consider each location. You can even see your Panasonic security cameras from a video phone connected at a home office or other remote location.


Since the acquisition of Nortel Networks by Avaya, Merlin Communications welcomes all Norstar customers to contact us for service, maintenance and for upgrades as you need them. Although the Norstar product line has been discontinued, Avaya realizes the need for existing Norstar customers to protect their investment.  We have access to a stock of Norstar parts for maintenance and repairs, which is available only to authorized dealers. Avaya also offer special migration plans that allow Norstar customers to reuse their existing Norstar telephones while upgrading to the latest Avaya platforms. This offers new features and warranties without having to purchase a whole new system. Please be aware that the Nortel Avaya migration is only available through authorized Avaya business partners. Not all Nortel resellers have Avaya training certifications and are not authorized Avaya Business Partners. Your communications system is your life line – before investing further in your existing Nortel system call us and let us put you on the right path.

Other Offered Phone Systems:

  • Corporate & Commercial Telephone Systems
  • Business Telephone Systems
  • Office Telephone Systems
  • Small Business Phone Systems

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