The Avaya/ATT/Lucent Partner system was produced under these different corporate logos for quite some time, almost 20 years. Originally an ATT product, the Partner system migrated to Lucent and
finally Avaya. During this time it evolved into one of the most comprehensive, and price competitive, small business phone systems on the market. Available voice mail (in several versions), T-1/PRI, and a modular design made it one of the most popular business phone systems on the market.
Partner systems can come in single modules or they can be expanded with slot carriers or connector modules. These slot carriers hold multiple Partner modules and come in two slot or module connectors and five slot carriers or cabinets. Modules can be voice mail, T-1, or several combinations of telephone or CO lines.
But times and business change. Is the Avaya Partner system still usable in the current business climate? Well, yes and no. If your business desires to take advantage of current technologies that can save time and money, such as SIP trunks (telephone lines over the internet) and remote VoIP
telephones the Partner system may not be your best option. If you are a growing business it also may not make sense to put money into a system that is not being produced any longer by the manufacturer and new parts are increasingly difficult to find. A better option may be to upgrade to an Avaya IP Office, which can support all the new technology mentioned as well as most of the old Partner telephones, so upgrades can be less costly than replacing everything.
Alternatively, it may be a good idea to look at cloud or “hosted” telephone systems. It really just depends on your business model. But, as designed, the Partner system is a solid business phone system that performs as well today as it did when it was released. Service is generally easy to find in most metro areas as the installed base of systems is massive. Parts are currently still available in most secondary markets and parts from most of the versions of Partner systems will work on most of the other versions as it was made to be backward compatible.