Ip Telephone System For Small Business
Enjoy multiline models for desktops, an endpoint for small conference rooms, and backlit, pixel-based displays. Fixed keys and two-way navigation make it easy to use, and full-duplex communications deliver crystal-clear voice.
ip telephone system for small business
The importance of having the right business phone system was demonstrated during the coronavirus pandemic. Companies with old systems struggled to answer calls when stay-at-home orders closed offices. Modern cloud-based phone services, by comparison, gave businesses big and small the flexibility to keep operating and even scale for growth while employees worked remotely.
Choosing the best VoIP service for your business requires careful consideration, and our guide aims to help. Read on to explore how VoIP business phone systems work, what they cost, and how to ensure you get the best one for your organization.
Cloud-based phone services offer plans with unlimited calling, text messaging, and video conferencing. However, the features vary by provider and plan. Some platforms provide advanced tools like AI-driven insights and real-time meeting transcriptions, while others seamlessly connect with your analog devices. Pricing for the top VoIP business phone systems starts at $15 per user per month.
Avaya also provides business phone numbers in more than 100 countries on all plans except Essentials. Mid and upper-tier packages offer audio and video conferencing capabilities. Avaya has a large ecosystem of integrations apps, but the number and type vary by tier. Standard users can connect to Google Workspace, Slack, and Microsoft 365, whereas Premium offers CRM integrations.
It's possible to have on-premises servers for VoIP phone software, similar to a system called a PBX that handles traditional business landline calls. However, many VoIP systems are cloud-hosted, meaning that the VoIP provider's servers process your calls. That often makes it easier to connect to them from multiple locations, including through a cloud-based mobile app. This can be good for businesses with people who are frequently on the road or working from home.
A business VoIP phone system advertises a variety of features, including call recording, call forwarding, and video conferencing. Think about what your business needs to decide which basic and advanced features are important to you.
For instance, if you have employees working remotely, call forwarding to people's home phones and an auto-attendant letting callers be routed to the right person might be important features. You may also want internal messaging tools from your business VoIP service provider if your company doesn't already have one you're happy with. If you're frequently on the go, you might want voicemail-to-email features that let you quickly see what people are calling about and a mobile app that lets you access phone service features from your mobile device.
Many business VoIP providers offer plug-and-play desk phones that are designed to operate with the provider's network as soon as you receive them. Such companies also often offer smartphones and desktop apps that can connect to their networks when you download them from the provider or your phone's app marketplace. If you're setting up an entire office worth of phones or adjusting existing devices to work with your new VoIP provider, you may want to see if the company can provide assistance over the phone or in person in setting up your new equipment.
VoIP service can be handy for remote employees. Often, business VoIP service will let you use the same devices at home and at work with minimal configuration, so you can use your business phone number to receive and make calls wherever you are. In addition, you frequently can use mobile devices or software-based desktop tools to connect to your VoIP system from any smartphone or computer. Many VoIP services also come with messaging and videoconferencing tools.
Many VoIP providers also advertise compliance with particular privacy and security standards, including the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards for safeguarding healthcare information, and Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Many also undergo audits according to protocols like SOC 2 and SOC 3, designed to ensure that companies have adequate safeguards to prevent data breaches. If you're required by regulators or corporate policy to do business with companies with particular security certifications, you can shop around for VoIP providers that have the necessary credentials.
The business phone systems in our rating can range from $15 to $100 per user per month. Lower-priced packages typically have limits on the number of users and offer fewer advanced features. The lower-priced plans are best for small businesses and solopreneurs.
Voice over IP (VoIP) is the modern evolution of business phone systems. Although desktop phones were once connected to analog PBX systems, today's VoIP solutions route digital calls via the internet, using platforms that are increasingly cloud-based. What's more, their functionality has broadened beyond voice to include video calling, text chat, SMS, and other features. Such diversified systems are often termed unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS).
Because VoIP is a mature market with lots of players, matching your business with the right system can be challenging. Some vendors provide general-purpose service, while others cater to customers with specialized needs, such as call centers. VoIP systems also offer varying degrees of integration with third-party software, such as CRM systems, to help automate business tasks. To help you understand your options, we sought out the leading solutions and put them through their paces. Below are the top-ranked offerings based on our tests. Read the mini-reviews and buyer's guide for tips on how to shop for the right VoIP system for your business.
With Unite, Intermedia offers an excellent VoIP communications system that scales from small to midsize businesses, up to enterprises. The company bundles free phones or related devices (cameras, headsets) with each subscribed seat, and its focus on integrating with third-party software makes it attractive for businesses that want to further support help desks and customer relationship management (CRM).
RingCentral has long impressed us with its business VoIP offerings. The latest iteration, dubbed RingCentral MVP, stands for "messaging, video, and phone," which is indicative of its move away from basic voice services toward a UCaaS approach. RingCentral has also proven itself reliable at high call volumes, something that many rival services struggle with when put under pressure. Its AI-backed transcription and call analysis features are particularly impressive. We're also appreciative of RingCentral's administration capabilities that give admins many options in an easy-to-navigate UI.
8x8 has gone all-in on UCaaS, as reflected in its new (and somewhat cumbersome) branding. You'll get a unified experience for all your business calls and conferencing, and 8x8 rolls out new features and updates with a steady cadence. One example is the new Frontdesk feature, which debuted with the latest release. The tool makes it easier for small businesses to emulate the traditional receptionist's desk.
Although 8x8 lacks some of its competitors' more advanced features, we think it's still a plucky and fast-moving competitor in the small to midsize business VoIP space. Its focus on UCaaS demonstrates its forward-thinking approach, and should make it attractive to any organization that wants to make the most of what software-based calling and conferencing solutions offer. Its pricing might be more attractive to organizations with tight purse-strings that don't need all of the features found in our Editors' Choice winners.
Vonage is a VoIP pioneer in both the business and residential markets. Because of its deep roots in the industry, it's had a chance to build and refine many features that younger players are still trying to iron out. Vonage offers a good selection of third-party software integrations, notably including Salesforce, and it even offers support for companies that want to build bespoke applications that integrate with the platform.
Dialpad may not be able to go head-for-head with the largest competitors in the business VoIP field, but it still has many features. If you're interested in a technology-first vendor that strives to regularly innovate, particularly if you're planning to deploy softphones as your main clients, this low-cost solution might be right up your alley.
Teams is Microsoft's widely used, all-in-one team collaboration platform, and Teams Phone is the official VoIP add-on for it. As you'd expect, then, it has excellent integrations not just with the other Teams components, but also Microsoft 365. It doesn't quite measure up to our Editors' Choice picks, especially in regards to call center functionality. Still, it's hard to ignore the market leader in office productivity software when it comes to business communications.
Dedicated Microsoft shops might not even look further than Teams Phone when choosing a VoIP provider. Its UI is familiar, and it certainly doesn't hurt that Teams Phone customers receive support from Redmond, as they're used to. However, if you haven't already bought into the broader Teams platform for business collaboration, we have a hard time recommending that route if all you're looking for is a standalone VoIP system.
If you're looking for a modestly priced business VoIP system that won't overwhelm you with a huge catalog of features, Ooma Office might be a good choice. It uses a wizard-based approach to setup and management, which small IT departments will appreciate. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a feature-packed VoIP system, Ooma may disappoint. Still, if cost is a concern, Ooma is affordable and doesn't require a contract.
Mitel is a longtime player in business voice communications. As a result, its guiding principle for its MiCloud Connect VoIP system has been to replicate the features of traditional, on-premises PBX systems, such as making it easy to interconnect remote offices. Even when it's acting as a cloud service, it prefers to have a designated central office so that it can take advantage of a robust LAN. That means it can be harder to set up than some other business VoIP services, but it can offer real advantages in call quality. 041b061a72