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ESI Telephone Systems: “The ESI Classic”

ESI, IVX. Classic, EKT-A

Original ESI EKT-A Classic Display Speakerphone

Here is some history of the ESI product line. I am positive you will find a lot of helpful information below: We start with Voiceworks and the ESI Classic.


Beginning in the late 80’s ESI created their first voicemail product. Voiceworks was a standalone voice mail system that was interfaced with many of the phone systems of the day such as: Comdial, AT&T, Panasonic, Toshiba, Vodavi, Atlas, Partner, Spirit, Avaya, Lucent and many others. In fact, if it had a serial port we could put voicemail on anything.


In the mid-90’s the first complete phone system to come out from ESI was the IVX Classic. This system used the EKT-A 16-button phone with 3 park keys and a 4×8 circuit card for expansion. The capacity was four cards giving a nice size system with up to 16 lines and 32 phones. The IVX Classic had 16 ports of voicemail and 30 hours of voicemail storage. Some of its most impressive features were its built-in Music-On-Hold (MOH), Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), and Enhanced Caller-id. Even today this would be considered a remarkable little feature packed phone system. The phones and cards are only usable on the IVX classic systems.


Why would I speak about a system that has not been sold for 15 plus years? It’s because it is an indication of what lay ahead. In fact I still have four ESI Classic phone system up and still running.


In my next post I will continue this series by discussing the next ESI offering, the IVX 128 and 128 Plus.



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