The best phone system for your business
What is business VoIP?
Business VoIP is a way business phone services use the internet for communications purposes instead of traditional landline connections. Business VoIP involves sending video, voice, and data communication using the internet.
This technology is more advantageous compared to landline services because of its rich features for lower costs making it a better option for small and mid-size companies. For a smaller fee and a simpler set up, your business can enjoy high-quality VoIP phone services.
Some of the features that come with business VoIP include hosted PBX, auto attendant, call routing, desk to desk calling, music on hold, and overall unified communication services.
The benefits of VoIP business phone system
Why you should you switch to a business VoIP phone service?
Business VoIP, as discussed, is very beneficial. Below are some of its key benefits and why you should switch to a business VoIP phone service.
1. Business VoIP is more affordable
So how does having VoIP for your business save you money?
Well, first, the monthly charges for a business VoIP are significantly lower than the standard phone system. Since VoIP uses an internet connection, the rather expensive hardware needed for phone lines is not required. Furthermore, the old phone system operated on one call per line at a given time. This means that large companies that make lots of calls would need a lot of external lines. These lines would be billed individually and at a premium rate.
Using VoIP will also save you money when it comes to international calls. Traditional phones call charges are usually partly based on region and distance. That is, the longer the distance between the caller and receiver, the higher the call charges. This makes international call particularly costly. However, with VoIP, the calls are much cheaper, and even with some providers, the international calls are free.
VoIP is a simple set up because it is a cloud PBX system. So how does this cloud-based system translate to saving money? Well, all the hardware required for setting up the traditional phone system is not in play. Such equipment can get significantly expensive. Furthermore, they require technical maintenance, another dig at your budget.
Other financial benefits of using business VoIP is that it allows your organization to expand in the most inexpensive way. You do not require to make major adjustments or redesigning to accomplish any growth.
2. Business VoIP lets you work anywhere and any time you want
Business VoIP system has this feature called ‘find me/follow me,” which lets you have one virtual extension. This virtual extension comes in handy in different ways. For example, you do not need separate numbers for your office, home office, or cell phone, just one virtual extension for all devices. You can also set up your business phone to ring all the extensions, decide if the call should go to voicemail, and what to do with a missed. On top of that, when you make a call with your cloud phone using any device, the caller ID will always show the receiver your business phone number.
3. Business VoIP offers auto attendant
This is a virtual type of receptionist that automatically greets callers with a custom message. Auto attendant will also direct callers to the right individual, extensions, or department they are looking for. The caller usually picks options from the provided menu.
4. Business VoIP has business SMS
With business SMS, you can use any of your personal devices such as a tablet, smartphone or computer to send business-related text messages to colleagues, clients, or suppliers without needing a separate work phone number.
5. Business VoIP has flexible messaging options
With business VoIP, you have a couple of options on how you can retrieve your messages. You can easily transcribe your voicemails into text and get it via email. Or the fax can be virtually sent as a PDF.
Basic features to expect in a VoIP phone system
The VoIP phone system has all the standard features of a traditional phone but also has many more extra features. This is why the phone system is becoming more popular among small businesses. The basic features to expect in most of the VoIP providers are as follows:
- Web-based system administration
- Call forwarding
- Caller ID
- Call transferring
- Call blocking
- Call waiting
- Automated attendant
- Conference calling
- Conference bridging
- Video conferencing
- Voicemail to email in an audio format
- Voicemail to text
- Fax to text in a PDF format
- Mobile management for Android and iOS
- Hold music
- Ring group
- Online sharing on multiple devices
- Find me/ Follow me
How do you choose the best VoIP provider?
What to consider when picking business VoIP provider?
The factors that will guide you to a VoIP provider is dependant on the size of your business, the nature of the business, the numbers of users, the growth potential, and the business budget. This makes choosing a suitable VoIP provider rather difficult. Since the decision is crucial for the prosperity of your business, here is what you should prioritize.
The cost of the VoIP provider and the features it comes with
This is key when choosing a business VoIP service. The amount you put in the telephone system should translate into value in terms of productivity and features. There are features that VoIP providers charge an extra fee for while their competitors offer the same feature for free or as a standard.
To avoid paying for features, you can get for free; you need to review all the VoIP providers. You should also check if the VoIP provider offers customization so that you do not pay for features you do not use.
Customer support; online support, call center
24-hour customer support is crucial when it comes to VoIP services. You do not want to have a hard time getting assistance if something goes wrong. Enquire about the nature of support the VoIP provider offers.
Quality of service offered by a VoIP provider
It is not enough getting numerous features from your phone service provider. The features have to be of high quality. The signals should always be strong so that calls do not drop or get interrupted. This can be frustrating when you are on an important call.
Customized VoIP packages for flexibility
VoIP services usually offer tailor-made plans suited for your business needs. These packages are flexible and allow for scalability. On a high season, for example, you can scale up, and on a low season you can scale down so that you do not pay for what you do not need. This is a good feature. If your business fluctuates with seasons, then pick a flexible VoIP provider.
Top business VoIP phone services
The best VoIP for your business
Picking a VoIP is largely dependant on your business. However, there are global leaders in the VoIP service that never disappoint. Some providers are best known for one feature, so if your business relies on that feature, then they are worth a shot. Here are our top VoIP service providers.
What is the best VoIP service?
RingCentral is generally regarded as the best VoIP service on the market. You can’t really go wrong with RingCentral as it checks all the boxes when it comes to features. It is also easy to use and very reliable. With regular updates of its features, you will not be left behind. This premium VoIP experience comes with some extra costs. Using RingCentral means you have to cough a little more money compared to its competitors, but it is all worth it.
RingCentral has three packages. The Essential plan, which is the most basic, will cost you $19.99 per user per month if billed annually. If you decide to pay for the Essential plan on a monthly basis, the cost will rise to $29.99 per month. This plan allows ten users, video conferencing of up to 4 people at a time, unlimited calling, visual voicemail services, and 100 tollfree minutes every month. You will also get integration with Google, Microsoft, Box, and Okta.
The second tier package from RingCentral is the Standard plan. This plan will cost you $34.99 per month. The extra $5 per month will ensure you get 1,000 tollfree minutes, call log reports, unlimited fax, and multi-level auto attendant.
The premium plan from RingCentral is designed for large enterprises with a lot more call volumes. It costs $44.99 per user per month and comes with 2,500 tollfree minutes. The package also supports up to 100 people video conferencing, voicemail transcription to text messages, and automatic call recording.
When you start adding the extra features and add on, you realize that RingCentral is not the cheapest option. However, it is definitely worth it. It has everything you would need in a VoIP provider, and that is why it is our best overall VoIP provider.
What is the best VoIP service for small business?
Ooma is the best phone systems for small businesses. It is well priced for small businesses and is very simple. Moreover, their services are scalable and therefore offer room for company growth. If you are looking to expand and grow your small business and still maintain low communications charges, then Ooma is what you are looking for.
Ooma has the famous Ooma Office plan. This plan comes with unlimited domestic calls (USA and Canada), virtual fax, three-way calling, and most of the other features. Ooma Office starts at $19.95 per user per month.
There is also the Enterprise plan that comes with a unified communications solution that can be customized. This package also comes with more lines. The Enterprise package also offers more CRM integration, that is, you get complete integration of your phone system to your CRM software. This obviously comes with advantages such as transferring the whole client workspace when you transfer a client call in your workspace.
The only issue with Ooma is the high hardware costs.
What is the cheapest VoIP service?
For the best balance of service and features at affordable prices, then you should consider Nextiva. It has features like auto attendant, unlimited calling, conference calling, and voicemail to email transcriptions.
Nextiva is termed inexpensive compared to other VoIP providers that offer similar features because it has no package above $50. Additionally, if you get into long-term contracts and have more users, then the prices become even cheaper.
Nextiva’s basic plan is the Office Pro that will cost as little as $19.95 per user per month. This is if you sign a 36-month agreement and have 100 or more users. If you don’t sign a contract and have less than four employees, the fee shoots to $34.95 a month. This plan comes with cloud PBX, unlimited calling, auto attendant, tollfree number, and voice to email transcription.
The Office Pro Plus, which is the mid-level plan by Nextiva, costs $22.95 per user per month. This again is on condition that you sign a 36-month contract with 100 plus employees. Without a contract, and with fewer employees, the fee for this plan rises to $37.95 a month. This plan comes with extra features such as one professionally recorded greeting, SMS messaging, Mobile App, and conference bridge.
Office Enterprise is the top-level plan from Nextiva. It costs $29.95 per month per user with the same commitment contract and a high number of employees. Without those conditions, the price rises to $44.95 per month. This plan supports additional features as such three professionally recorded greetings, call recording, CRM software, and analytics & reporting.
What is the best VoIP service for international calls?
If your business largely depends on making international calls, then 8×8 is the VoIP phone service for you. This business phone service offers unlimited international calling package for up to 47 countries. 8×8 might not be economical, but if your clients or vendors are mainly based abroad and you need to constantly talk to them on call, then this is the VoIP provider you want.
8×8 have three packages; they all come with international calling. The most basic package costs $28 per user per month. This plan offers unlimited calling to 14 countries. You will also get other services like audio and video conferencing, text messaging, phone number, media storage (1gb), unlimited fax, voicemail, auto attendant, team messaging, and CRM software integration.
The second package from 8×8 would cost $38 per user per month. This plan comes with unlimited calling to 32 countries. The other extra feature for this package is that you get 5gb of media storage instead of 1gb.
The top tier package from 8×8 will cost you $60 per user per month. This plan comes with unlimited calling to 47 countries with 10gb of media storage. The other extra service this package offers is advanced analytics.
8×8 will be cheap in the long run if your clients are based abroad. You would end up paying more for international calling with other VoIP providers.
What is the best VoIP service for mobile business?
If you have an outdoor kind of business, then you might want to consider Grasshopper for your business phone services. Some businesses do not need or want desktop phones and would prefer running daily activities using a mobile phone. Grasshopper has Android and iOS apps designed for making and receiving calls on your mobile phone using the business number. This also means you can use your phone for business and private purposes but not mix them up.
Grasshopper has three packages. All the packages have unlimited calling, local phone number, and voicemail. Their basic plan is the Solo plan, which costs $29 per month and comes with one number and three extensions. Their mid-level package is the Partner plan that costs $49 per month. This plan comes with three numbers and six extensions. Finally, Grasshopper has the Small Business plan, which costs $89 per month. This plan has unlimited extensions with five phone number.
Grasshopper might seem like a good bet for small businesses; however, it is very costly and with fewer features. But, if you are looking for a VoIP provider that will integrate well with your personal mobile device and let you work on the go, then Grasshopper is the one for you.
What is the best VoIP service for collaboration?
Vonage offers unlimited calling, chat, and video conferencing perfect for multiple collaborations. Vonage is also very flexible and easily scalable.
Vonage is on the cheaper side of VoIP providers. It has three plans, Mobile, Premium, and Advanced packages. The mobile plan costs $19.99 per month per line. It includes up to four lines. The premium plan starts at $29.99 per month while the Advanced plan starts $ 39.99 per month. These prices reduce as the number of users increases.
The Advanced and Premium packages support a lot of integration and features. These features include CRM integration, auto attendant, video conferencing, team messaging, mobile app, unlimited calling, SMS messaging, voicemail to email transcription, and music on hold. The Advanced package also comes with onboarding support, visual voicemail, call group, and on-demand call recording.
What is the best VoIP service for free calls?
Freshcaller is popular for free calls. Small businesses that cannot afford a paid VoIP package can enjoy a free entry-level plan. Freshcaller also comes with caller ID, custom greetings, and call center tools.
Freshcaller has three packages, Sprout, Blossom, and Garden. Sprout is the free entry-level package. Blossom is priced at $25 per user per month, while Garden costs $49 per user per month. The plans also include calls that are charged per minute starting from 16 cents. Tollfree numbers cost $2 per month, while local virtual phone numbers cost $1 per month.
Jive VoIP provider
Jive provides simple and affordable hosted VoIP solutions to small businesses. Simplicity if Jive’s key selling point. They can help businesses manage their phone set up in a simple way that improves internal and external communications.
With Jive you will get full control of call routing and call sequencing features. Other features that come with Jive include call queue, call analytics, call sequencing, call recording, custom greetings, fax, auto attendant, desktop integration, hold music, virtual fax, ring groups, and unlimited extensions.
Jive also has a US-based customer service with 24/7 live chat, phone, and email options. Jive also has a dedicated Youtube channel meant for understanding phone systems.
Jive pricing is based on the number of users. Its first plan that supports up to four users costs $29.95 a month. The plan becomes cheaper as the number of users increases. For 50+ users, the cost falls to $19.95 a month. There are also rates for 100+ users.
MegaPath VoIP provider
MagaPath is known for its high-quality features at affordable rates. They provide VoIP and PRI/Analog line to small and mid-size companies. Moreover, MegaPath has tailor-made plans suited to fit your business need. These plans are also very scalable to help your business grow.
When it comes to MegaPath charges, it all depends on the features you want and the plan you choose. The basic business VoIP phone service starts from $19.95. This comes with about 50 communications features.
UniTel Voice VoIP provider
This business VoIP phone service is meant for small companies and startups. It covers the basics; call quality, customer support, and other features. UniTel is also affordable and really easy to use. You can manage your cloud PBX features and run your company from the mobile app, softphones, or IP-phones.
What makes UniTel special is its customer support. Their customer support is US-based and is free. At all times, there is a person to help you set up the system.
When it comes to prices, UniTel Voice starts charging at $9.99 per month. This includes extensions, unlimited users, voicemail, unlimited greetings, and more. UniTel Voice has free features such as free voice recordings and free set up.
With UniTel, you are also not forced to commit to a long term contract. Their plans are on a month to month basis.
Mitel VoIP provider
Mitel provides a number of business phone systems. It has plans for unified communication, call centers, and cloud communications systems. Mitel gives you total control over your phone communications due to their robust and comprehensive system.
Mitel has three packages. The popular one is the MiCloud connect phone service, which costs $20.99 per user per month. This plan comes with PBX features, conferencing, and collaboration. There are also Elite and Premium plans. These come with CRM integration, automated operators, call recording, and archiving.