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Business Phone Systems

by Chad BrooksLast Modified: July 18, 2018

Best Picks
The Best Business Phone Systems of 2018
Pricing
Reviews
Choosing Between Different Phone Systems
Desktop Phones
Features
Methodology
State of the Industry
Common Business Phone System Questions & Answers
Map
Services
Compare Quotes

July 2018 Update

Finding a phone system that combines all communication tools – voice calls, online conferencing, video conferencing, instant messaging and text messaging – into one platform can help businesses improve productivity, new research finds.

A recent study from RingCentral found that 70 percent of workers say their communications volume is a challenge for them. Many workers believe those challenges could be eased if they didn’t have to toggle back and forth between all of their different communication apps. With that in mind, two-thirds of those surveyed want a single platform that integrates all of their communication services.

The research shows that 67 percent believe a unified communications platform would help them achieve a better workflow, 65 percent think it will make them more productive, and 62 percent say it will help work feel less chaotic.

"Businesses need to counter app overload with a solution that enables their workforces to quiet the chaos and achieve workplace zen," the study’s authors wrote. "For the majority of workers, a single platform integrating all their communications channels is at the top of their wish list. This unified experience is key to bringing much-needed simplicity to today’s workplace." 

Many of today’s business phone system provide the type of all-in-one platform workers are looking for. These cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems include voice calling, video conferencing, web conferencing, instant messaging and integrations with email clients like Outlook.

If you are looking for a unified communication system, you can see the phone systems we recommend below, most of which combine all communications' services in one platform.

Best Picks

Phone Service
Small Business
Enterprises
Multiple Locations
Very Small Businesses
On-Premises
Virtual
Call Center
Features and Tools
Mobile App
Growing Businesses
RingCentral

Best Business Phone Service

RingCentral

RingCentral Office is one of the best business phone services because of its wealth of features, ease of use and multiple price points. The VoIP service is hosted in the cloud and requires no special equipment or wiring to install. All businesses need is the required bandwidth to support their call volume and a router that prioritizes their voice traffic.

Once the service has been activated and IP phones are plugged into Ethernet ports, your business can start making and receiving calls. The entire system is controlled via an online portal, from which administrators can assign employees phone numbers and extensions, configure the auto-receptionist, and set up answering rules.

8x8

Best Business Phone System for Small Businesses

8x8

8x8 is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system that's a top option for small businesses: It is easy to use, has a wide variety of valuable features and offers excellent customer service.

Since the system is hosted in the cloud, there is no expensive equipment to install or maintain. All that's needed is a properly configured router and enough bandwidth to handle your expected call volume.

Cisco

Best Business Phone System for Enterprises

Cisco

Cisco offers both on-premises and cloud-hosted business phone systems, making it an ideal solution for enterprise organizations. These systems can support thousands of employees and are specially configured with the exact calling, mobility and collaboration features each business wants.

While Cisco offers several different solutions, we looked specifically at the Business Edition 6000 systems. The on-premises version is a VoIP system designed for businesses with up to 1,000 employees.

Nextiva

Best Business Phone System for Multiple Locations

Nextiva

Nextiva Office is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system whose service can be spread throughout multiple offices or stores. This setup is ideal for businesses with multiple locations, because all you need to get the system up and running is to plug the IP phones into an Ethernet port at each location. The system then automatically syncs all of the locations and allows them to be managed from the same online platform.

Within the online portal, administrators can add employees into the system, assign phone numbers and user IDs, record automated greetings, create call queue routes and priorities, and designate which features each employee can access.

Ooma

Best Business Phone System for Very Small Businesses

Ooma

Ooma Office is a phone system designed specifically for very small businesses. Even though Ooma Office is an on-premises VoIP system, someone without IT expertise can still install it in just minutes.

The main piece of equipment is the base station, which is a router that prioritizes voice data to ensure reliable service. If you are using analog phones, you also need the system's Linx devices, which wirelessly connect the phones to the base station. The base station can connect to up to four Linx devices.

Avaya

Best On-Premises Business Phone System

Avaya

Avaya is a top on-premises phone system because it offers businesses several different platforms that can be customized for your organization's needs. The systems can serve thousands of employees and offer all the features businesses want in a phone system.

The Avaya system we researched in depth was the Office IP platform, which supports up to 3,000 users. When choosing Avaya, businesses start with a two-rack platform unit and then pick specific add-ons, such as mobility or call center services.

Grasshopper

Best Virtual Business Phone System

Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a virtual phone system that doesn't require any special equipment or phones, making it ideal for a remote workforce. Instead of being grounded in an office, Grasshopper offers a sophisticated call-forwarding service that works in conjunction with mobile and home phones.

With this system, customers who call a business are automatically routed to an employee's mobile or home phone, instead of an office line. When a customer calls, the system's automated attendant answers the call and then forwards it to the employee or department they are trying to reach. Employees designate the phone numbers they want their calls forwarded to. This could be a mobile device, a home phone or any other phone of the employee's choosing.

Mitel

Best Business Phone System for Call Centers

Mitel

Mitel is the best phone system for call centers because it can be hosted several different ways, is available in multiple service plans and includes all the features businesses expect in a contact center solution.

Mitel offers cloud-hosted, on-premises and hybrid solutions. There are also multiple service plans available for both the main phone system and contact center services, which differ by price and features. Employers can mix and match service plans based on the features and tools each employee needs.

Jive

Best Business Phone Systems for Features and Tools

Jive

Jive is one of the best VoIP business phone systems because of its array of included features and tools. For example, the service has several call monitoring methods that other providers charge extra for, like spy, whisper and barge modes.

Jive's cloud-based VoIP system, which has 11 servers to ensure top-notch reliability, has an impressive set of more than 80 features and tools. Some of the more valuable ones are auto-attendants, call recording, three-way conference calling, custom on-hold music, voicemail and voicemail-to-email. Jive also offers video conferencing.

Dialpad

Best Business Phone System for Mobile App

Dialpad

Dialpad was built with the desktop and mobile app in mind, not the desk phone. The system's desktop app and iOS and Android mobile apps are some of the best-designed business VoIP applications, making Dialpad an excellent option for businesses that don't have or want office phones.

This cloud-based system allows employees to work from anywhere. With the apps, employees can make and receive calls, video chat, and send instant messages to co-workers. Other features Dialpad offers include three-way calling, reply by text, visual voicemail, do not disturb, online faxing, call recording, call screening and simultaneous ringing.

Vonage

Best Business Phone System for Growing Businesses

Vonage

Vonage is an excellent phone system for growing businesses because it can continue to suit your needs as your business expands. Whether you are starting out with just a handful of employees and growing to three times that, or if you are starting out with a few hundred and expanding to several thousand, Vonage has two different platforms that can fit your needs.

Vonage Business Cloud is designed for small businesses. The systems include more than 50 calling, collaboration and mobile tools, including virtual receptionists, audio and video conferencing, and a mobile app that allows you to make and receive calls from your business line from your cell phone.

The Best Business Phone Systems of 2018

Businesses have more choices than ever when it comes to phone systems. Whether they want a landline, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), on-premises, cloud-hosted or a completely virtual system, businesses now have hundreds of options to choose from. With this vast selection, finding a phone system that is right for your business can often be a difficult undertaking. 

The first questions to answer are what type of phone connection you want – landline, VoIP or virtual – and whether you want the system hosted on premises or in the cloud. With on-premises systems, your IT staff needs to install and maintain the private branch exchange (PBX) equipment. Conversely, cloud-hosted solutions require very little IT resources since all of the PBX equipment is housed and maintained by the phone system provider. With the cloud-hosted option, IT teams focus more of their attention on managing the system's features, rather than the infrastructure. 

Today's systems are compatible with mobile phones and tablets and integrate with popular business solutions such as Outlook and Salesforce. Pricing is based on the number of users and often don't require long-term contracts. Most systems are compatible with newer IP desk phones; however, businesses that prefer to use analog desk phones they already have in place can purchase an adaptor to connect them to the online phone system. With so much to consider, we want to help you narrow down your choices. 

Besides highlighting how each type of business phone system differs and providing a rundown of the different cost structures, this guide also offers our recommendations on the services we think fit best for various needs. Specifically, 8x8, RingCentral, Cisco, Ooma Office, Nextiva, Avaya, Grasshopper, Mitel, Jive and Vonage are the phone systems we think are best for different types of businesses. You can read more about each, and the types of organizations we think they are best for, below.   

If none of our recommendations work for you, scroll down further to see a comprehensive listing of business phone systems.

Pricing

Few large companies these days cling to the traditional landline. In fact, the market for VoIP is expected to grow nearly 10 percent over the next four years, which roughly matches the decline of the landline, according to Statista. VoIP services coupled with Unified Communications (UCassS) are affordable and provide other helpful business services, such as online fax, conferencing and instant messaging. Meanwhile, traditional phone systems are costly to maintain and do not include additional business services that your company may need. 

IT considerations before purchase: 

  • On-premises, cloud, or hybrid hosting options
  • Cost of lease versus purchase versus adding analog adaptors to already owned phones
  • Bandwidth requirements per phone and other internet needs 

Overall, multi-line business phone systems have a variety of price points and structures. How the PBX system – and the equipment that is used to run the phone system is hosted – are the determining factors in how your costs will be structured. The costs of on-premises system are mostly one-time, upfront expenses, while cloud-hosted phone system costs revolve around monthly fees. 

The prices for each type of system vary based on the provider, how many users your small business has and how many features you want access to. Cloud-based VoIP phone systems typically cost between $10 and $75 per user, per month. Since the hosted PBX equipment is stored in the cloud, there usually aren't any large installation or set up costs. 

On-premises systems cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per user. In addition, since all associated equipment is housed within your business, there are large installation and set-up charges. At a minimum, you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars.   

There are also some smaller monthly fees with on-premises phone systems. To connect to a dial tone, on-premises VoIP system users have to pay for SIP trunking or PRI circuits.   

The other major expense with either system is for IP phones. Phones typically cost between $50 and $400 each. If you have a cloud system, some providers will rent you phones for as little as $5 each per month. 

Another expense users of either type of system could incur are for toll-free numbers. While some systems include toll-free numbers, they usually only offer businesses a set amount of minutes, per month. Businesses that go over that set amount of minutes pay a per-minute fee for their toll-free numbers.

Editor's Note: Looking for a business phone system? We can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

 

Negotiation

When running a business, every penny counts. That's why you want to make sure you aren't overpaying for the services you use. Whether you go with an on-premises or cloud-hosted system, follow these steps to get the best deal possible: 

  • For cloud-hosted systems, there often isn't a lot of negotiation that can be done. Most cloud-services have set prices that vary based on the features you need and how many users you have. However, there are a few questions you can ask to see if there is any wiggle room in the price. Since these are monthly services, your best chance at getting a discount is committing to the company for lengthy period of time. You should see if there are any discounts for signing long-term contracts, or for paying for a year in advance, instead of in monthly installments. Another potential option for getting a lower price is to consider starting with a new service near the end of a quarter. Some representatives we spoke to indicated there was more wiggle room when it came to discounts around the end of March, June, September and December.
  • For a hosted system, there is often more opportunity for negotiation. These are systems that are built for you, so there is more opportunity to ask for certain features to be thrown in for free. Depending on how much you are spending, a vendor may add in some features for free to ensure they land your business. In addition, you should always try to ask for the cost of installation to be reduced. Finally, ask if the vendor is willing to lower their user-licensing fees if you commit to expanding your service in the future. 
  • Another area you can negotiate on for both types of systems is with phones. Many phone providers have a lot of options and are willing to give you upgraded phones depending on the service you choose and the length of time you commit to. In addition, providers often run specials that include phones for free. Be sure to see what kind of phones they are offering and whether they would be willing to upgrade them if you commit to their service. 
  • Regardless of the type of system you choose, it is always important to shop around and get several quotes. Even if the first one you investigate is the one you definitely want, considering other options could help you get a lower price when you do commit. If the system you like best isn't the cheapest, see if that vendor would be willing to match the lower price. If you tell them that another system you really like is giving you a better deal, a vendor may be willing to lower their prices to get you as a customer. 

When you commit to a business phone system provider, they will likely require you to sign a contract. It is imperative that you read all the details carefully before signing it. Make sure the terms of the contract are what you negotiated and that there are no hidden fees. 

You should also ask what taxes or surcharges will be tacked on to your monthly service. It's important to know what your full bill will be before agreeing to the deal – not just what the service charges are. The last thing you want to do is open up your first month's bill only to realize it is significantly more expensive than you anticipated. That not only negatively impacts your budget, it starts you off on the wrong foot with your vendor.   

You should also know what you are in for should you ever cancel your service or change providers. Are there any cancellation fees? Do you have to provide advance notice? Are you able to take your local and toll-free phone numbers with you if you switch to a different service. These are questions you want answered before agreeing to a contract.

Reviews

Below are all of our reviews for business phone systems and related categories. Our coverage includes reviews of the best small business phone systems, business phone services and PBX phones and systems. See all of our reviews below.

Choosing Between Different Office Phone Systems for Small Businesses

Landline  

Until recently, all businesses used traditional analog landline telephone systems. These systems were connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and ran on the telephone company's copper wiring.

While these multi-line phone systems were extremely reliable, they required costly equipment that was expensive to install and maintain. Besides the copper wiring that had to be run through the business, landline systems also required a costly private branch exchange (PBX). The PBX is what is used to switch calls between the business and the telephone network. It's also what was needed to offer various calling features, such as voicemail, conference calling and automated attendants.  

Today, traditional analog multiline landline systems are becoming obsolete. Telephone companies aren't developing new analog systems and are no longer providing updates to the systems they used to offer. Finding IT professionals with the skills to keep these systems up and running is also becoming increasingly difficult. Telephone companies have largely shifted their attention to VoIP technology. 

VoIP 

Nearly all new business phone systems use VoIP. Instead of running on copper wiring like landline systems do, VoIP systems run on a high-speed internet connection. It's the same connection most businesses already use to get online. When making a call, the user's voice is instantly converted into a data packet that is moved throughout the internet like other pieces of data, such as emails and images. Tapping into an existing data connection saves you the trouble and expense of installing and maintaining phone lines throughout your offices or stores. 

In addition, VoIP systems work in conjunction with cheaper and less bulky PBX equipment. This allows small businesses to access calling features they previously couldn't afford, like an auto attendant, conference calling and call recording. VoIP systems easily integrate with computers, which lets employees make calls from their machines and have voicemails sent directly to their email, among other things. It can also be beneficial for businesses using customer relationship management (CRM) programs. 

Similarly to how a traditional landline system works, the VoIP provider allows you to choose a phone number with a local area code, a toll-free number or both. 

Scalability is also a big benefit to VoIP phone systems. Most VoIP providers allow you to add new lines on your own within the system's online portal. This makes the process of getting new employees set up with their own line a simple one. 

When VoIP was first introduced, there was much concern over the call quality. Many felt calls sounded staticky, and others had problems with calls dropping off. As the technology has improved, so has the quality of the calls. In fact, the connection quality difference between VoIP and landline is now so insignificant that most users have no idea when they are using VoIP and when they are on a landline connection. 

The only businesses that can't take advantage of VoIP phone systems are those in communities without access to high-speed internet service or with unreliable internet service. 

In addition to offering on-premises systems like landline systems use, many providers offer hosted VoIP systems that have all of the equipment stored in the cloud. If you have a VoIP on-premises system, you will also need SIP trunking or PRI circuits in order to connect a dial tone to the system. Hosted VoIP systems include dial tone service. 

On-Premises  

A huge factor when choosing a phone system for your business is deciding how you want the PBX equipment, which is what's needed to run the system, hosted. Some phone system providers offer on-premises or cloud based systems, while others offer both options.  

With the on-premises systems the PBX equipment is installed inside your business. Your IT team is responsible for securing it, keeping it up and running and upgrading it when necessary. Hosting on-premises gives businesses the ability to keep a few traditional landlines working alongside SIP-trunked VoIP lines. 

Similar to landline systems, on-premises VoIP systems have all the equipment installed and housed on-site inside each business. The hardware is typically stored in your company's server closet. With this option, you are in total control of your system. You aren't relying on anyone else to make sure it is running, and you can configure it to your exact specifications. However, since it is located at your place of business, your IT staff handles all repairs and upgrades. On-premises systems need to be professionally installed. 

Another difference is security. On-premises systems don't have the same security concerns as cloud-hosted solutions, since all the data is stored within your business. Experts say businesses with serious concerns about keeping their calls and phone system data private are best served by on-premises systems. This option allows businesses to configure their firewalls exactly as desired to protect the phone system from any type of intrusion. 

Other businesses well-suited for on-premises phone systems are large corporations that can afford the upfront costs and businesses that want a system they can customize. 

Cloud 

Cloud-hosted phone systems are becoming popular among small businesses. With this type of system, the equipment is housed and maintained in the cloud by your provider, which handles all maintenance and upgrades. The only equipment the business needs is the phones themselves. 

Most cloud systems are essentially plug-and-play ready. Once you activate your service and receive your phones, they can be plugged into any Ethernet port, and calls are ready to be made and received. 

The downside to cloud-based solutions is that businesses are at the mercy of the phone system provider to keep their service up and running. To ensure this happens, most of the top vendors have several redundancies built into their systems. This includes having multiple data centers so that if one goes down, the data can be transferred seamlessly to another to ensure the continuation of service. 

One important factor to consider if choosing a cloud-hosted system is bandwidth. Consult your business's internet service about obtaining the bandwidth required to support a new phone service. The phones of most of the cloud-providers we considered required just short of 100 Kbps per phone call for the best quality. You'll also want to estimate internet needs for other equipment, such as computers, servers and Wi-Fi-connected devices. 

Cloud-based VoIP systems are ideal for small businesses because they have few upfront costs and consistent monthly charges that can fit easily into a budget, and don't require trained IT experts to keep them running. 

Businesses using these systems are best served by installing backup equipment that can reroute calls during power or internet outages. With these systems, new users and features can be added via an online portal. Cloud-based options also easily support multiple locations.  

Nearly all of the providers we examined had an uptime of at least 99.990 percent. That means their systems are down for just a handful of minutes each year. 

Some phone system providers also offer a hybrid hosting option. The hybrid option can be used as an intermediary step toward evolving to a virtual PBX. Hybrid systems combine traditional on-premises PBX equipment businesses already had with VoIP service.

Desktop Phones

Most business phone services are compatible with a variety of IP phones and offer adapters so analog phones can connect to their systems. So it's likely that you can continue using the phones your company already owns. 

IP phones come in a variety of styles. There are traditional corded options, as well as cordless phones and conference room phones. The phones can range anywhere from $50 to $1,000 each. In addition to buying the phones outright, some phone system providers offer the option to rent phones for a monthly fee. 

The per-phone analog adaptor can cost as much as $60, and a traditional fax-machine adaptor can cost between $100 and $150. 

The benefit of buying IP phones from your phone system provider is that they come completely configured and are immediately ready to be used once they are plugged in. If you buy phones from an outside source, your IT team will need to configure the phones on their own to work with the system you are using. 

If you can afford it, it makes sense to upgrade your phones. If you cannot afford new phones, carefully consider how much the workaround will cost the company in the long term.

Features

Today's business phone systems are filled with valuable features and tools. The number each VoIP provider offers varies. Some offer a couple dozens; others offer more than a hundred. Among some of the available business phone system features are: 

  • Voicemail: Each user has access to their own individual voicemail. Most systems allow users to check their voicemail from anywhere.
  • Voicemail-to-email: With this feature, users are sent an email with their message as an audio attachment.
  • Caller ID: Instantly know the number of the person calling you.
  • Speed dial: This lets you quickly dial the phone numbers of those you call most often. Instead of dialing the entire number, speed dial lets you push just a couple of buttons to dial out.
  • Personal directories: Personal directories are a way for you to easily manage your contacts. It gives you access to your contact's phone numbers whenever you need them.
  • Do not disturb: When working on a big project or important task, you can put your phone in this mode to ensure you aren't interrupted. With this, your call will not ring and all callers are sent directly to voicemail.
  • Auto attendant: Auto attendants automatically answer calls to your business. The automated attendant answers the call, plays your callers a greeting and directs the caller to the person or department they are trying to reach.
  • Conference calling: Most phone systems include a conference bridge that allows each user to host their own conference call with anywhere from a handful to several dozen participants. If the system you choose doesn't have a conference bridge that supports as many callers as you need, you may need a separate conference call service.
  • On-hold music: Choose the music that callers hear while they wait on hold.
  • Instant messaging: Many systems give employees the opportunity to instant message with each other. This provides an easy way for employees to communicate with one another without leaving their desk.
  • Paging: Use your phone to send out a message for everyone to hear. This is similar to a traditional intercom system.
  • Presence: This shows employees whether their peers are already on a call or available for a chat.
  • Web conferencing: A new tool some phone providers are starting to offer is web conferencing, which allows users to host online meetings. This gives you the ability of having face-to-face meetings from your computer. It also allows you to share your screen, so those in the meeting can see documents you are referring to.
  • Call reports: This provides organizations with analytics on their company's phone use. It provides statistics on phone usage and can often be broken down by user, department, etc.
  • Online management: All VoIP systems can be managed via an online portal. From the portal, administrators can add users, set phone numbers, review call reports, create ring groups and see monthly statements. Users can also access the portal to check their voicemail, see a company directory and set call forwarding routes.
  • Call forwarding: Have your office phone forward calls to any other number.
  • Call recording: Most systems give users the ability to record their calls when necessary.
  • Call queues: This tool is typically used in call center settings. It allows callers to be put in line so their call can be answered when operators become available.
  • Extension dialing: Employees can use this to dial co-workers by their extension, instead of dialing their entire phone number.
  • Ring groups: Businesses can create ring groups for employees who answer calls from the same set of customers. For example, the customer service team might have their own ring group. When a customer calls in and asks to speak to a customer service representative, the entire group is notified.
  • Directory assistance: This allows callers to access a company directory to reach the employee they are looking for.
  • Call transferring: Employees can quickly transfer calls to their peers.
  • Internet faxing: The allows for fax machine integration with your phone system. However, instead of hooking up a traditional fax machine, this feature allows you to send faxes from your computer.
  • Speakerphone: Many IP phones include a speakerphone offering that allows users to speak without having to use the phone's handset.
  • Texting: Some systems include SMS messaging. This allows users to send text messages from their business phone number.

Methodology

To determine the best business phone systems, we started with a list of more than 70 phone system providers. Next, we separated all the vendors that had a good online reputation, such as those services that were consistently ranked highly by other websites. 

We also, at periodic intervals, queried business owners to see which services they use. If we got multiple business owners raving about the vendor they use, they were also added to the final list of contenders. 

Finally, we went through and visited each company's website. If a company stood out to us, we added them to the list of contenders. We also eliminated most companies that only served businesses in their local region. 

We ultimately narrowed down our pool to 8x8, Avaya, Booth, Cisco, Dialpad, Digium, ESI, EVoice, FreedomVoice, Grasshopper, Jive, Mitel, Nextiva, OnSip, Ooma Office, Phone.com, RingByName, RingCentral, and Vonage. 

Next, we researched each provider by investigating its services, watching tutorials and how-to videos, and reading user comments. We also contacted each company's customer service department and posed as business owners to gauge the type of support each provider offers its users. In all, we analyzed each system based on the following factors: 

  • Deployment options  
  • Level of service
  • Reliability
  • Customer service
  • Calling features
  • Collaboration tools
  • Mobility options
  • Cost
  • Better Business Bureau accreditation, ratings and complaints

State of the Industry

Today's business phone systems provide more than just a way for employees to talk with customers and clients. From instant messaging with co-workers to holding video and online meetings, business phone systems now offer a whole new range of functionality that make them more of a unified communictions system.    Part of this expansion in services has been the introduction of VoIP and cloud-hosted phone systems. Previously, all businesses used landline systems that operated on copper wire connections and required large, expensive equipment to install and maintain on the premises. Now, landline systems are being pushed out the door in favor of VoIP systems, which operate on the same internet connection businesses are already using to get online. 

Soon, nearly all U.S. phone users will use VoIP. Research projects that by the end of 2018, just 6 percent of U.S. phone users will still be using landline systems. In turn, the VoIP market is expected to grow by more than 10 percent a year through 2021.  

Unlike landline systems, VoIP systems can be hosted either on premises or in the cloud. Research from Information Week revealed that 70 percent of organizations have deployed, or are planning to deploy, their communications systems in the cloud. 

Contributing to the popularity of VoIP systems is their ease of use and availability of features. These systems are easily managed via an online portal. From the portal, administrators can add and remove users, assign phone numbers, create ring groups and review usage and billing information. From a feature standpoint, IP PBX equipment has opened up a wealth of new options for small businesses. Using these types of systems give small businesses an affordable way to access a range of valuable features, such as auto attendants, call park, conference call services, call logging, voicemail, voicemail-to-email, on hold music and web conferencing.  

Cost is a huge reason many organizations are jumping to the cloud. On-premises systems require major capital expenditures upfront, but cloud-hosted solutions charge a lower monthly per-user fee. The only upfront purchases businesses might have to make with cloud-hosted phone systems are for IP phones. Research from Telzio revealed that businesses can save as much as 75 percent on their phone system costs when switching to VoIP. 

In addition to traditional phone systems, some businesses, especially those with a remote workforce, opt for a virtual IP solution. Virtual phone systems are essentially extensive call-forwarding systems. Businesses have a main number, with each employee receiving their own extension. However, instead of transferring customers to an employee's office phone, the virtual systems transfer those calls to mobile and home phones. Hosted/virtual PBX systems are ideal for businesses that don't have a need for a full-fledged phone system. This allows them the ability to present a professional image, at a fraction of the cost of more complete phone systems.

Common Business Phone System Questions & Answers

Have a business phone system question of your own?

Farzad, There's a number of great solutions out there. As with all things, the answer is as complex as your needs are. The company I work with has a fantastic VoIP platform that is very cost-effective and delivers great value... for the right customer segment. Every technology provider has certain markets and/or verticals that they service better than others. It's important that the company you work with do a full needs-assessment. Sadly, many companies will represent themselves...

Read More ▼

Hi Paul, your question raises more questions. The answer is really not about one provider over another, it is about why your call quality is not up to par and not stable. VoIP is only as good as the connection the calls flow over. You can have a the Ferrari of VoIP providers but if they are driving on a pot-hole filled road, your ride will stink. I would suggest that attention needs to be paid to your connection to the provider as well as your internal networking. VoIP is very sensitive...

Read More ▼

Map

RingCentral
20 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA
RingCentral
Nextiva
8800 E Chaparral Road
Scottsdale, AZ
Nextiva
Jive
1275 West 1600 North
Orem, UT
Jive
8x8
2125 O'Nel Drive
San Jose, CA
8x8
Cisco
2300 E President George Bush Hwy.
Richardson, TX
Cisco
Ooma
525 Almanor Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA
Ooma
Avaya
4655 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, CA
Avaya
Mitel
350 Legget Drive
Kanata,
Mitel
Grasshopper
320 Summer St.
Boston, MA
Grasshopper
Vonage
23 Main St
Holmdel, NJ
Vonage
Dialpad
100 California Street
San Francisco, CA
Dialpad
RingByName
7206 NW 31stStreet
Miami, FL
RingByName
Phone.com
211 Warren St.
Newark, NJ
Phone.com
Skype
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA
Skype
FluentStream
1028 Park Ave. West
Denver, CO
FluentStream
Digium Switchvox
445 Jan Davis Drive NW
Huntsville, AL
Digium Switchvox
FreedomVoice
169 Saxony Road
Encinitas, CA
FreedomVoice
eVoice
6922 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
eVoice
Gabbit
5017 Washington Place
St. Louis, MO
Gabbit
Windstream
4001 N Rodney Parham Rd
Little Rock, AR
Windstream
Grandstream
126 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA
Grandstream
Elastix
4300 W Cypress Street
Tampa, FL
Elastix
Sangoma
100 Renfrew Drive
Markham, Ontario,
Sangoma
Audiocodes
27 World's Fair Drive,
Somerset, NJ
Audiocodes
Rhino
30928 San Clemente St
Hayward, CA
Rhino
ADTRAN
901 Explorer Blvd.
Huntsville, AL
ADTRAN
Xorcom
145 S Jefferson Ave
Cookeville, TN
Xorcom
CenturyLink
100 CenturyLink Drive
Monroe, LA
CenturyLink
Verizon
1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY
Verizon

Services

List of 33Business Phone Systems

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