Differences Between Old Phone Systems and New VoIP PhonesNortel Refurbished M-Series Telephone for Nortel phone system

If you are considering a business phone system upgrade to VoIP here are some differences you might run into. We will make generalizations throughout this article that may or may not apply to every single VoIP provider. For the purposes of the discussion, when we use the term “VoIP” we will strictly be referring to cloud-based phone systems such as:


The classic phone systems we have in mind are such as:


Here are some of the features you might expect to be different when you make the switch to VoIP.


Classic phone system usually did a pretty good job of being able to page via telephone speakers and overhead PA system simultaneously. Cloud VoIP systems tend to have a lot more trouble with this. Some cloud phone systems can only page overhead speakers, not the telephones on desks. This issue has the potential to create large gaps in paging coverage area. Others can only page telephone speakers but not overhead speakers at the same time.

The good news is that our AtcomCloud service, when coupled with a proper paging adapter such as the Algo 8301, does a great job of paging desk phones and/or overhead PA speakers at the same time.

Night Mode Button

Putting your phone system into night mode is simple with most traditional phone systems – simply press your Night button. However, a night button can be easier said than done with VoIP phones. Most VoIP systems do indeed have a way to put your system into night mode. But the method may not be as simple as a single button. On the positive side, automatic night schedules are usually much easier to administer with a VoIP system. In addition, AtcomCloud is able to give you a single button for night mode albeit somewhat limited in scope compared to your traditional system.


Digital TDM Avaya phones connected to an IP Office had a unique feature called “Twinning”. Incoming call could ring a cell phone as well as the desk phone and be answered in either place. OK, no big deal, most VoIP systems can do that. However, the Avaya phone allowed you to “pull” the call back to your desk phone after it had been answered on the cell phone. This is not so easy for cloud VoIP systems to accomplish! Again, we are happy to say that this is something AtcomCloud is able to accomplish using “Move My Call”.

Voice Call

Many Nortel phones you see will have a button labelled “Voice Call”. Although it’s possible not many people know what the feature actually does, many others use it daily! This remarkable feature (when it first came out) allowed one extension to call another and immediately establish 2 way audio like an intercom system. In fact, some other manufacturers did refer to the same feature as “Intercom”. Not all cloud VoIP system have an equivalent. Again, AtcomCloud is able to accommodate anyone needing this functionality by dialing “08” in front of the extension number.

Other Features

If there are any other classic phone system (PBX) features you’re concerned about drop us a line and we’ll do our best to answer your question!