About Us

Computel Communications systems was founded by Stephen DeBello and Art Lauda in 1979. Computerized telephones for business was the basis for the name Computel even though telephone systems at the time back in 1979 were not nearly as computerized as the systems of today.


Computel was initially funded with the profits from the purchase of a Mitel SX200 PBX telephone system by a Company called ADL/UCS for a share in Computel. ADL installed Altos based computer systems, and UCS refurbished and supported IBM mainframes. ADL/UCS was later to be purchased by TRW and the stock was returned to Computel. This entrepreneurial start planted our roots in the computer and communications world right from the start.


Early on in Computel’s history, innovation was a key component in the product offerings. Computel redesigned the ”Logic” telephone system, manufactured by Northern Telecom, the “Canadian Bell”. The redesigned Logic telephones included additional features such as system speed dialing, voice intercom with answerback and music on hold; features then only available at twice the price on the then newly introduced Electronic Key Systems, all packaged in sleek new telephone form factor, offering a modern alternative to the old 10 button and hold “Clunkers” predominantly being installed and rented at the time by New Jersey Bell.  This redesigned system allowed Computel to sell reliable, feature rich systems to our customers with typically a two year payback over the NJ Bell rentals, establishing our philosophy of providing the best possible solutions at a cost effective price. Sales doubled each year for the first several years.


Over the years, Computel has installed equipment from many of the best and largest equipment manufacturers such as Tie Communications, Mitel, Iwatsu, Hewlett Packard, Valcom and Bogen. Many of Computel’s communications solutions have evolved around Nortel Networks equipment as it was found over the years, that Nortel has consistently provided reliable state of the art equipment at affordable prices.


Early in the 1980’s, Computel was selling the Vantage Key System, manufactured by Northern Telecom. The sales department at Northern Telecom inquired about who was emptying their distribution warehouses of all of the Vantage Key Systems. Once it was discovered that it was Computel, Northern Telecom signed up Computel as their first Key System Distributor in the United States in 1983. The Vantage later was redeveloped into the Norstar system which Computel also sold. The Norstar achieved unprecedented worldwide market share of all communications systems for small and medium business. In fact, Computel still has customers who continue to own Norstar systems which are 20 years and older!  


We are excited to continue this tradition with the  recent purchase of Nortel Enterprise division by Avaya.


Computel looks forward to the new world of communications with new technologies such as Voice over IP and SIP (Session Initiated Protocol)