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What Are Commercial Intercom Systems?

A commercial intercom system is a device that enables remote communication and property access. The purpose of this system is to help commercial tenants remotely speak to visitors as well as grant them access. These systems are ideal for a range of business properties, industrial warehouses, mixed-use buildings, retail stores, schools and many other commercial settings. Unlike residential intercom systems, commercial intercom systems have an industrial appearance and are built tougher to withstand the harsh environments they are used in. They are available as either wireless or wired. Every commercial system has two components: base station and substations. The base station is the hardware that is installed at the entrance of a property, whereas the substations are installed throughout the property but mostly in each office suite or unit. Both the base station and the substation have a speaker and a microphone, which enables the tenant to talk with the visitor. Some intercom systems are equipped with a camera for added security.

Commercial intercom systems have been around for decades. They have more advanced features today.


  • Easy Access and Management from Anywhere. The grand beauty of a commercial intercom system is the easy access and management. The intercom system is equipped with a card reader, which enables personnel to access authorized areas with ease. The system further enhances security by controlling access at the entry points and has a ‘fail-safe’ which keeps the doors locked in case of a power outage. For added convenience, the system can have call boxes and touchless call sensors for ease of use.
  • Accessible Communication. The integrated security layers with mobile apps empower the security team and make it possible for tenants to call other offices, buildings or facilities across the globe. The master station can be programmed to work as a virtual receptionist to help visitors. It is also good to note that commercial intercom systems can be integrated into VMS, PBX and access control software.
  • Convenient. The convenience of commercial intercom systems is undeniable. It is super scalable, which means you buy what you need and when you need it. This further means your unique budget will be accommodated. You can go for the station styles and options that suit you. Moreover, thanks to stations being located across the facility, visitors can call security after hours.

How Commercial Intercom Systems Work

When a visitor arrives at your commercial building, they have to inform the right person about their arrival. The office intercom systems make it easy for a visitor to contact any business or tenant in the facility. To do this, the visitor needs to use the intercom’s directory to find the business or tenant they are visiting. Once they locate the tenant, they push a button to place a call to that individual. Alternatively, the visitor can make a call to the front desk of the business they are visiting. When a call is placed from the base station, the corresponding tenant will receive a notification on the office intercom. The substation can be a device that is installed in the office or a smartphone. The tenant will then speak to the visitor, open the door or dismiss the call. Opening the door using commercial intercoms requires pressing a ‘door open’ button on the substation device. When the button is pressed, the electronic relay in the intercom base station will be triggered. The relay will send a signal to the door-releasing mechanism. This mechanism can either be a magnetic or an electronic lock. The mechanism will release, and the door will be unlocked, thus granting the visitor access. The mechanism will then lock automatically once the door closes.




The commercial video intercom system comes with a camera which allows the tenants to see the visitor before granting them access to the building. The system may either have one-way video or two-way video calling. With one-way video, only the base station has a camera and the tenant can see the visitor. With the two-way video calling, both the base station and the substation have cameras. This means both the tenant and the visitor can see and hear each other during a call.

The advantage of a commercial video intercom system is that it heightens security. Being able to see who is at the door helps verify their identity and, at times, intent before granting access. This is why more commercial buildings are investing in video intercom systems.



The main use of an office intercom system is internal communication. It enables employees or tenants to communicate with their colleagues within the building. These systems are gradually fading out of the picture. They are being replaced by other forms of communication like emails, messaging apps and smartphones. The system also lacks a door release mechanism which means it cannot be used to provide access for visitors, building staff and tenants.

Office intercom systems are not as common in office buildings. If you are thinking about investing in an intercom system, your focus should probably be on the multi-tenant commercial intercom. This is a system that enables tenants to speak remotely with visitors and grant access by opening the door.



Do you want to be able to grant access to your property without having to walk all the way to the door? If you do, you need a commercial intercom system equipped with a door release feature. The door release feature enables tenants to unlock the gate or door remotely by simply pressing a button.

Commercial intercoms with the door release feature require that your doors have one of two lock types: a magnetic or an electric strike lock. While these two types of locks operate differently, they function the same. To unlock the door, the intercom’s electronic relay simply needs to trigger the door release mechanism. Moreover, the commercial intercom needs a wireless or wired connection between the intercom and the door release mechanism.