The Top Commercial Intercom Systems & Security For a Business or Multifamily Community
Intercom systems have been around since 1894 and there has been a great deal of change in both the commercial and multifamily intercom market. In today's fast-paced world, ensuring the security of your commercial property is paramount. A commercial intercom system is not just a luxury but a necessity, offering enhanced communication, access control and security solutions tailored for businesses. Whether you're managing an office, a retail store, multifamily community or any other commercial business, integrating an intercom system can significantly enhance your security measures and streamline communication.
Commercial intercom systems these days have advanced features like video, mobile phone integrations and wireless connectivity options, so learning the right intercom for your business or complex isn’t always easy. There are a lot of options out there and some may not work as intended depending on your needs. So we’ve put together this comprehensive guide of features and recommendations for the best commercial intercom systems on the market today.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Commercial Intercom System Topics This Blog Includes:
- What are Commercial Intercom Systems?
- What are the Types of Commercial Intercom Systems?
- What are the Best Features in Commercial Intercoms?
- What are the Best Commercial Intercom Systems?
- Why Businesses Need a Commercial Intercom System?
- The Future of an Intercom System
- The Flying Locksmiths Intercom System Design & Installation
What are Commercial Intercom Systems?
What are the Types of Commercial Intercom Systems?
Intercom systems have evolved over the years, adapting to the changing needs of businesses. Today, there are multiple intercom types tailored to different commercial needs, each offering unique features and benefits.
Business Intercom Systems
Business intercoms are designed specifically for the unique needs of businesses. These intercoms often come with features that facilitate smooth communication within an office or between different departments. Whether it's connecting the main office to a warehouse or allowing communication between different floors, a business intercom system ensures that messages are relayed quickly and efficiently. They are often integrated with other office systems, ensuring seamless operations and enhanced security.
Example of how office intercoms are used: A large e-commerce company with a multi-story office building integrated a business intercom system to connect their customer service department on the ground floor with their inventory management team on the top floor. This reduced the response time for inventory checks and improved overall customer satisfaction.
Audio Intercom Systems
An audio intercom system is a basic, but effective, communication between a person outside a building and someone at a reception desk inside a building. These systems only allow for audio verification before granting entry. They are useful for commercial properties and multifamily communities where security is a top priority because knowing who is at the other side of the door is crucial. With audio intercoms, businesses can ensure that only authorized individuals gain access by talking to a person before granting access, thereby enhancing the overall security of the premises.
The use of an audio intercom is simple, the visitor presses a button to notify someone inside the building they are waiting at the entrance. From inside the building a person holds down a button and asks whom they are speaking with and why they need to get into the building. The visitor then holds down a button and says who they are and why they need to get into the building. If the person should be granted access, a door release button is pushed and the visitor can enter the building
Video Intercom Systems
A video intercom system takes security and communication to the next level. Incorporating video capabilities, these systems allow for visual verification before granting entry. This is especially useful for commercial properties where security is a top priority. With video intercoms, businesses can ensure that only authorized individuals gain access, thereby enhancing the overall security of the premises. The added video feature also provides a record of all entries and exits, which can be crucial for investigations or audits.
Example of how video intercoms improve security: A high-end jewelry store in a bustling city center used a video intercom system to vet customers before allowing them entry. This added layer of security ensured that only genuine customers were granted access, reducing potential threats.
Pros: Visual verification, enhanced security.
Cons: Higher cost, more complex installation.
Pros: Lower cost, simpler installation.
Cons: Lack of visual verification, potentially less secure.
Wireless intercoms, on the other hand, offer flexibility and ease of installation. They use radio frequencies or Wi-Fi connections to communicate between stations. This means they can be installed without the need for extensive wiring, making them ideal for businesses that require a more flexible setup or those that are housed in older buildings where additional wiring might be challenging.
Pros: More stable and secure, less susceptible to interference.
Cons: More complex installation, less flexibility in placement.
Pros: Easier installation, more flexibility in placement.
Cons: Potential interference from other devices, not good with poor Wi-Fi signal, possible security concerns.
How these can be integrated and chosen: A historical commercial property opted for a wireless intercom system to avoid extensive wiring, preserving the building's aesthetics.
What are the Best Features in Commercial Intercoms?
- Video Capabilities: As mentioned, video intercoms offer visual verification, ensuring that only authorized individuals can enter the premises.
- Wireless Connectivity: Wireless intercom systems provide flexibility in installation and can be integrated seamlessly without extensive wiring. Wireless systems may also be integrated with video; improving the control of access to your facility and providing more information.
- Access Control: This feature allows businesses to control who can access different parts of the building. With access control, you can ensure that sensitive areas are off-limits to unauthorized personnel.
- Multiple Stations: Having multiple stations ensures that communication can happen across various parts of the commercial property. Whether it's the base station in the main office or secondary stations in other parts of the building, seamless communication is guaranteed.
- Easy Installation: A good intercom system should be easy to install. Whether you're opting for a wireless intercom or a wired one, the installation process should be straightforward and hassle-free.
- Durability: Given that these systems are used frequently, durability is a key feature. The door stations, in particular, should be robust enough to withstand daily use.
- Cloud-Based Systems: A modern intercom system for business will offer cloud-based solutions, allowing for remote access and management. This is especially useful for businesses with multiple locations or those that require remote monitoring.
- Mobile App Access Control: With the rise of smartphones, many intercom systems now offer mobile app integration. This allows for easy access control and monitoring directly from a mobile device.
- Contactless or Touchless Entry Systems: In the age of pandemics, contactless entry systems have become increasingly popular. They offer a safe and hygienic way to grant access without physical contact.
- Integration with Other Security Systems: The best intercom systems can be integrated with other security systems, offering a comprehensive solution for businesses. Integration with other security cameras may prove vital for businesses, as a comprehensive security camera system may be higher-quality and encompass a larger area, giving you more awareness.
What are the Best Commercial Intercom Systems?
At The Flying Locksmiths, we prioritize the safety and security of your business. We understand that choosing the right commercial intercom system is crucial for ensuring the safety of your property, assets, and employees. To help you make an informed decision, we present the features and benefits of our preferred commercial intercom systems: Aiphone, ButterflyMX, DoorBird, Liftmaster and Swiftlane.
Aiphone: Commercial Intercom System
- Remote monitoring capability of your facility
- The most varied options and applications of all systems on this list
- Fantastic for small businesses, offices and warehouses
- Record audio and video and watch at a later time
- Schedule time-based call forwarding and timed announcements
- Allow a master user to manage separate building systems from a central location
Is Aiphone commercial intercom worth it?
Having installed Aiphones across the country for decades, Aiphone is among the best in their class solely for their tried-and-true hardware, ease of use and myriad products and applications.
If you’ve ever used an intercom, 9 times out of 10 you’re using an Aiphone intercom. They’re fantastic from applications in warehouses and small offices all the way to multifamily applications like condos and apartment complexes too.
No matter what application you have, it’s best to ask us if Aiphone will work first. Good chance it does!
ButterflyMX Video Intercom Solution
- Review visitor entry, restrict/issue property access, and easily update the resident directory
- A wired system with an attractive user interface and hardware platform for residents, visitors and delivery personnel
- Issue virtual keys for seamless visitor access
- Provide convenient smartphone access to ButterflyMX’s features
Why choose ButterflyMX over other commercial intercoms?
The ButterflyMX intercom is hands-down our recommendation for multifamily applications. With a resident directory, access pins, virtual keys and video calling, it has every feature you could want held within one tight package.
The ButterflyMX Video Intercom is specifically for apartment buildings looking to provide access to common areas to resident and employee visitors and vendors. With a sleek, modern design, this commercial intercom system provides wireless intercom functionality from a hub installed in the wall outside the front access area.
For commercial applications, their tenant directory helps route deliveries and visitors to the right place with no administrative overhead in authorization.
While they do of course have other solutions for all sorts of use cases such as keypads, video intercom front desk stations and self-guided tour functionality—their flagship video intercom is universally recognized as an incredible solution.
We chose this as one of the best commercial intercom systems on the market due to its ease of installation, quick time-to-value and cost. Check out the ButterflyMX solution set.
DoorBird Commercial Intercom System
- You can manage access to multiple doors and integrate into existing security systems
- No monthly fees for using the software, which is uncommon for a cloud solution
- Fingerprint, facial recognition, mobile access or keypad access
- For multifamily intercom needs—connects to either a residents phone or an in-unit hardware intercom
- Remotely manage your property using the free DoorBird app or WebAdmin tool
Our technicians thoughts on the DoorBird intercom
On the commercial side, DoorBird checks all the boxes that an intercom should. It offers multiple methods of access in an attractive, flush or surface mounted panel.
Their tagline ‘Technology meets Design’ shines through with the slick design of their units that are reminiscent of older, legacy intercom models while evolving the aesthetic for the new age.
DoorBird is best suited to commercial applications—especially those in the multifamily space.
That being said, there are single tenant or small business applications as well that DoorBird addresses well. With their feeless storage and video capability, they fit nicely into any design-conscience business storefront.
Check out their image gallery: DoorBird Intercom image gallery
LiftMaster Commercial Intercom System
- LiftMaster is the obvious choice for communities or businesses that want an easy integration with their gate opening system—or need a new gate opening system
- Easy integration with on-site access control
- Video intercom options for multi-tenant or security guard/administrative authorization
- Manage multiple entrances across multiple properties
- Mobile app offers residents and their guests convenient, secure access to all entry points
- Integrate existing property management software for automatic tenant directory uploads
Our techs’ thoughts on LiftMaster’s commercial intercom systems
Firstly, LiftMaster is a mainstay in access—specifically in the world of commercial gate systems. There likely isn’t a property manager in the entire country who hasn’t interacted with LiftMaster in some way throughout their tenure.
That doesn’t mean LiftMaster is the best commercial intercom for all applications though. In fact, many of its competitors beat it up consistently—especially in gateless high-rises.
Essentially, if you need a gate, go with LiftMaster. Otherwise, there are cheaper and more modular solutions on the market for most applications. LiftMaster is best used in facilities where most of the access occurs at a gate itself, and although they have plenty of solutions for just about every application, most specialized software will overtake them in form and function.
Swiftlane Commercial Intercom System
- Swiftlane is our favorite power-over-ethernet
- Completely modular, low-cost installation
- Unified, cloud-based access control and video intercom systems
- Offer residents features such as facial recognition, mobile unlock, key cards, and PIN codes
- Receive video intercom calls from the free mobile app
- Schedule multi-use PIN codes during specific time frames
What do our technicians think of Swiftlane?
With its ease of installation and compatibility with its proprietary access control and others, Swiftlane Video Intercom is a no-brainer for many commercial intercom applications. It’s got the usual bells and whistles like self-guided touring and reducing the need for keys in general but pairs that with an easy-to-use platform and a low startup cost for entry. With features such as touchless unlock based on facial recognition, resident call lists and QR Code unlock, Swiftlane is a mobile-native’s wireless intercom system.
We typically suggest Swiftlane for buildings with lower tenant or unit counts due to its smaller-format housing, user interface and price point.
Like Aiphone, Swiftlane is also used in non-multifamily or apartment community applications such as SMBs (Small to Medium Businesses).
However, when deciding to use a wireless intercom, always be sure to consider the reach of the buildings WiFi. Without reliable access, the system won’t work properly and connection could be spotty.
The Swiftlane Intercom gets an A+ from us.
So What Is The Top Commercial Intercom Of 2023?
It’s a tough pick, but we would say the top commercial intercom of 2023 from our decades of experience installing them is a tossup between ButterflyMX vs. Swiftlane.
So which one do you choose? It all boils down to one simple question.
How many tenants do you have?
If it’s a significant number of tenants, go with ButterflyMX. Although Swiftlane has less of a startup cost, it doesn’t work as well with navigating large directories.
Although Swiftlane’s tenant navigation and communication experience is leagues better than, say, legacy DoorKing Systems where you’ve got one button that goes up (and that’s all), tenant navigation is superior on ButterflyMX, and your users will find a more streamlined user experience which allow you to charge higher rents in the long run.
Why Businesses Need a Commercial Intercom System?
In the realm of commercial business, security is paramount. Intercom systems offer a dual benefit: enhancing security while also improving communication and access control.
Keeping Your Business Secure
Improving Tenant Quality of Life
Securing Deliveries of Product
For businesses that rely on regular deliveries, an intercom system ensures that products are received securely. Delivery personnel can communicate directly with the relevant department, ensuring deliveries are made efficiently and securely.