Open Sesame: The Story of the Door-Opening Phone

Posted on Fri, Mar 3, 2017 @ 09:03 AM by nexogy

Door-Opening PhoneAs if things are easy these days regarding VoIP and Cloud-Based Phone Systems, nexogy was challenged by a rare situation in order to win a customer that involved a door-opening phone. 

The process goes something like this:


"Who is it?"

"UPS with a delivery for Mr. Smith."

Buzzzzz (door is opened remotely from a desk phone hooked up to 1996 Nortel business phone system).

An Unprecedented Upgrade


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nexogy visited a potential customer in Doral, FL that had asked to have its business phone system upgraded to keep up with today's communication's technology, but there was a caveat:
we had to keep three door opening mechanisms that the old Nortel was currently taking care of through third-party systems.

It was definitely an opportunity and a challenge, not only to win a customer, but by doing so, going the extra mile and replacing these door-openers with a solution that would interoperate with our VoIP cloud-based offering.

Situational Components

In a scenario like this there are typically 3 separate components:

  • a door striker that its main function is to trigger-open the lock upon command
  • an intercom to ring the door and announce oneself; and
  • the receiving end, in this case, a desk phone.

This potential customer would not sign nexogy services unless we were able to offer a solution that kept this door-opening functionality on their legacy phone system.

Algo Solutions manufactures several VoIP products, including intercoms that have the door-opening feature. After ordering a unit and testing locally in a lab environment here at nexogy, we went ahead and said “Yes,” to our customer, we said we would do it. And when we say we’ll do something – we do it.

How we Did it

Our field engineer took the equipment and went to the customer's site right after our cloud-based phone system was deployed and fully functional, risking we would fail and have the customer cancel our services, not to mention the bad reputation that would generate.

The intercom acts as an IP Phone, like a desk phone with no dial pad (although dial pad versions exists for other applications) and when the button is pressed it simply dials a preset number (10-digit, an extension or group of extensions) where the answering party can dial any previously chosen key (*-star in this case) that activates the door striker that opens the door.

So that's what we did, we registered the intercom to our VoIP platform, assigned an extension that rings to a queue where anyone that answers the phone can speak to calling party and open the door remotely by pressing the star key.

Harder Than it Looks

The job looks easy now but it had some extra tasks: power-wire the striker and cabling cat-5 to the unit, mounting and making sure we had a secure connection and selecting an outdoor unit. nexogy did it, again, we went the extra mile and provided a real solution to an otherwise skeptic customer, this is our success, this is why we win.

If you have a current need that you’d like fulfilled in the business telecommunications sphere – know that we’re up to the challenge.

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Topics: business voip

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