Business.com is supported by commissions from providers listed on our site. Read our Editorial Guidelines.
BDC Hamburger Icon

MENU

Close
BDC Logo
Search Icon
Advertising Disclosure
Close
Advertising Disclosure

Business.com aims to help business owners make informed decisions to support and grow their companies. We research and recommend products and services suitable for various business types, investing thousands of hours each year in this process.

As a business, we need to generate revenue to sustain our content. We have financial relationships with some companies we cover, earning commissions when readers purchase from our partners or share information about their needs. These relationships do not dictate our advice and recommendations. Our editorial team independently evaluates and recommends products and services based on their research and expertise. Learn more about our process and partners here.

Updated Jul 03, 2024

The Best Business Phone Systems of 2024

Modern business phone systems boast AI tools for conversation intelligence, video capabilities, detailed analytics and more.

Jessica Elliott
Jessica Elliott, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Verified CheckEditor Verified
Verified Check
Editor Verified
Close
A business.com editor verified this analysis to ensure it meets our standards for accuracy, expertise and integrity.
Best Business Phone System for Collaboration
RingEX
RingCentral logo
  • Starts at $30 per user/month
  • Video capacity: 200
  • 24/7 customer support
USALinks to RingEX

855-619-0564

Visit Site
  • Starts at $30 per user/month
  • Video capacity: 200
  • 24/7 customer support
Best Business Phone System for Ease of Use
Ooma Office
  • Starts at $19.95 per user/month
  • Video capacity: 100
  • 24/7 customer support
USALinks to Ooma Office
Visit Site
  • Starts at $19.95 per user/month
  • Video capacity: 100
  • 24/7 customer support
Best for Business Phone System Video Conferencing
Zoom
  • Starts at $10 per user/month
  • Video capacity: 1000
  • 24/7 customer support
USALinks to Zoom
Visit Site
  • Starts at $10 per user/month
  • Video capacity: 1000
  • 24/7 customer support
Best Business Phone System for Customer Support
NextivaONE
  • Starts at $29.95 per user/month
  • Video capacity: unlimited
  • 24/7 customer support
USALinks to NextivaONE
Visit Site
  • Starts at $29.95 per user/month
  • Video capacity: unlimited
  • 24/7 customer support
Best Business Phone System for Voice Intelligence
Dialpad
  • Starts at $23 per user/month
  • Video Capacity: 10
  • 24/7 support on upgraded plans
  • Starts at $23 per user/month
  • Video Capacity: 10
  • 24/7 support on upgraded plans

Table of Contents

Open row

At business.com, our team of technology experts has analyzed hundreds of tools and services designed to improve essential business operations, from POS systems to GPS fleet management services to remote PC access software, and we use these experiences to provide business owners with actionable guides and industry insights. Every playbook and explainer is infused with advice from real IT consultants, implementation experts, security specialists, software developers and more.

Our rigorous product review process involves in-depth industry research, vendor interviews, hands-on testing and service comparisons. Each analysis — whether for a business phone system, CRM platform, call center software or website builder — is independently verified by a business.com editor to ensure our recommendations are free of bias and errors. Learn more about our editorial process.

Tip Bulb

How We Decided

In identifying the best business phone systems, we researched whether each platform facilitated unlimited calling, international calling, video calling and text messaging — and how well. We examined usage rates and caps, tried the software to gauge user-friendliness and explored each program’s reporting functionality. We favored solutions that featured AI tools and allowed customization and integrations. In addition to comparing plan options, we sought free trials and tried the customer service resources.

75

evaluated

20

researched

7

chosen

In identifying the best business phone systems, we researched whether each platform facilitated unlimited calling, international calling, video calling and text messaging — and how well. We examined usage rates and caps, tried the software to gauge user-friendliness and explored each program’s reporting functionality. We favored solutions that featured AI tools and allowed customization and integrations. In addition to comparing plan options, we sought free trials and tried the customer service resources.

75

evaluated

20

researched

7

chosen

The best business phone systems unify conversations and streamline administration. For a small company, the right platform can deliver significant returns by enhancing customer experience and boosting employee productivity. We’ve tested dozens of voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone services rigorously to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Start your research confidently by comparing solutions and reviewing our comprehensive buyer’s guide.

Ooma business phone

Having a top-notch business phone system is vital to ensuring your organization can communicate effectively both internally and externally. Source: Ooma

Compare Our Best Picks

BDC Ribbon
Our Top Picks for 2024
Ooma Office
NextivaONE
Dialpad
GoTo Connect
8×8
Rating (Out of 10)9.19.09.08.58.88.68.6
Best For

Collaboration

Ease of Use

Video Conferencing

Customer Support

Voice Intelligence

Multi-Site Management

Growing Businesses

Monthly Cost of Cheapest Plan (Per User)

30 for 1 to 100 users

$19.95

$10

$29.95 for 5 to 19 users

$23

N/A

N/A

Annual Cost of Cheapest Plan (Monthly Per User)

20 for 1 to 100 users

N/A

$10

$21.95 for 5 to 19 users

$15

N/A

N/A

Length of Free Trial

14 days

30-day money-back guarantee

Not listed

Not listed

14 days

14 days

Not listed

Video Meeting Capacity

100 to 200

25 to 100

100 to 1,000

One to unlimited

10

250

500

SMS/MMS Limits

25 to 200 per user

250 per account

Varies

1,000 to 2,000 per user

250 outbound and unlimited inbound

80 per seat

Not listed

Unlimited International Calling

No

No

Yes, add-on

No

No

Yes

Yes

Review Link
Scroll Table

Our Reviews

RingCentral logo
  • Base Price: $30 per user per month or $20 per user when paid annually
  • Top Features: Collaborative notes, integrated whiteboards, productivity integrations, built-in AI, interactive team calendar, multilevel auto attendant and  video conferencing
  • Trial Period: 14 days
Editor's Rating: 9.1/10

855-619-0564

Visit Site

Why RingCentral is Best for Collaboration

RingEX, formerly RingCentral MVP, from RingCentral, is our top pick for collaboration because it connects internal and external partners in interactive spaces. Its collaborative notes, integrated whiteboards and productivity integrations distinguish RingEX from its competitors. When testing the platform, we appreciated the ease of organizing chat messages and turning shared notes into formatted documents. Moreover, we loved the searchable voice and video meeting summaries generated by RingSense AI for RingEX.

RingEX threads

RingEX makes it simple to manage all of your communication threads via its desktop application. Source: RingCentral

RingCentral Costs

Service plan Cost What’s Included
Core $30 per user/month

$20 per user/ month paid annually

  • RingSense AI Essentials
  • Calendars, Microsoft Teams and Slack integrations
  • Basic call queues
  • On-demand call recording
  • Team messaging
  • Unlimited audio conferencing
  • 25 business SMS
  • Multilevel auto attendant/interactive voice response
  • API access
  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • Video conferencing with 100 participants
  • Call logs
  • Video recording
  • 100 toll-free minutes
  • Visual voicemail
Advanced $35 per user/moth

$25  per user/ month paid annually

Everything in Core, plus:

  • On-demand or automatic call recording
  • Hot desking
  • Video meetings with 100 participants
  • CRM and industry-specific integrations
  • Internet fax
  • Business Analytics Essentials
  • 1,000 toll-free minutes
  • Advanced call queues
  • Call monitor, whisper and barge
  • 100 business SMS
Ultra $45 per user/month

$35 per user/ month paid annually

Everything in Advanced, plus:

  • Unlimited cloud storage
  • Device analytics and alerts
  • Video conferencing with 200 participants
  • 10,000 toll-free minutes
  • Business Analytics Pro
  • 200 business SMS

RingCentral Advantages

  • Feature-rich team spaces support real-time interactions, ideal for increasing engagement.
  • RingSense AI for RingEX summarizes voice and video interactions
  • A robust set of integrations gives businesses the ability to get even more out of the system

RingCentral Disadvantages

  • RingCentral supplies fewer short message service (SMS) text messaging credits per user than most competitors.
  • Virtual faxing is not included with all service plans
  • Pricing discounts are only available to businesses with more than 100 users.

RingCental User Scores

TrustRadius: 7.7/10

“RingEX allows us to create precise work groups for all the teams in our organization to keep track of their tasks and files,” wrote one user.

Trust Pilot: 2.3/5

“We love the versatility of communications among various devices (desk ph; iPad; computer; cell ph.) And that R/C can be on the go,” one user wrote.

Learn more about RingCentral in our complete review.

  • Base Price: $19.95 per user/month
  • Top Features: Mobile and desktop apps, video meetings, messaging templates, appointment scheduling and virtual receptionist
  • Trial Period: 30-day money-back guarantee
Editor's Rating: 9/10
Visit Site

Why Ooma is Best for Ease of Use

Ooma Office is an excellent choice for business phone service that can be deployed in minutes, not hours. It features a redesigned desktop client and intuitive mobile apps. Admins can configure the system in three steps and employees can view settings from their main screen. Indeed, Ooma is our pick as the best VoIP system for ease of use. With Ooma’s latest updates, the platform has evolved to rival top competitors without losing its small business focus.We loved the wholly reimagined desktop client. It has an uncluttered interface with clean fonts and an intuitive feel. Likewise, the mobile apps separate personal and professional calls while giving users similar functionality as desktop clients.

Ooma platform

Customizing the Ooma platform is an easy process thanks to the platform’s intuitive interface. Source: Ooma

Ooma Costs

Ooma Office Plans Monthly Price (per User) What’s Included
Ooma Office Essentials $19.95
  • Unlimited calling
  • Call forwarding
  • Ring groups
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Call park
  • Extension monitoring
  • Hunt groups
  • Overhead paging
  • Analog and virtual fax
  • Basic call blocking
  • Google Chrome extension
  • Mobile and desktop apps
  • Call flip
  • Multisite support
Ooma Office Pro $24.95 Includes everything in Ooma Office Essentials, along with:

  • SMS/multimedia messaging service
  • Shared inboxes
  • Video meetings with 25 participants for four hours
  • Hybrid ring groups
  • Dynamic caller ID
  • Advanced call blocking with Nomorobo
  • Call recording
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Call, message and fax analytics
  • Messaging templates
  • Microsoft and Google integrations
  • Advanced call logs
Ooma Office Pro Plus $29.95 Includes everything in Ooma Office Pro, along with:

  • Call queues
  • Find me, follow me
  • Video meetings with 100 participants for 12 hours
  • Expanded virtual receptionist
  • Shared voicemail box
  • Call screening
  • Digital call deflection (option to text)
  • Online bookings
  • Video conferencing recordings
  • Hot desking

Ooma Advantages

  • Ooma’s Express Setup Assistant walks small businesses through the simple three-step process.
  • A revamped desktop client shows texts, video meetings and voice conversations.
  • Faxing, both virtual and analog, are included in all plans

Ooma Disadvantages

  • It does not allow companies to mix and match VoIP service plans.
  • The Essentials plan does not include video conferencing and SMS.
  • Ooma does not give you the option of mixing and matching different service plans.

Ooma User Scores

Trust Radius: 7.5/10

“Ooma gives me all the capacity of my office phone even on-the-go. It’s great being able to receive voicemails straight to my email and creates a seamless transition from office to on-the-go,” according to one user.

Trust Pilot: 2.0/10

“We have used Ooma for our small business for over 15 years. Overview: the service is good for small businesses with limited phone budgets…The reasons we stuck with its service are many: low price, ease of adding extensions, phone functionalities like forwarding, and digital reception, and it is painless to move the lines to new offices,” one user wrote.

Learn more in our complete review of Ooma.

  • Base Price: $10 per user/month
  • Top Features: Video conferencing, AI companion, call recording, monitoring and voice transcription.
  • Trial Period: None
Editor's Rating: 9/10
Visit Site

Why Zoom is Best for Video Conferencing

Zoom’s familiar video conferencing software and full-featured business phone system are powerful. The single platform solution’s flexibility differentiates it from other VoIP providers. You can equip employees in video-intensive roles with top-rated technologies and achieve cost savings through metered and unlimited phone licenses. For these reasons and others, Zoom is the best business phone service for video conferencing.

The free video meeting tools come with Zoom Phone subscriptions while Zoom Workplace plans have advanced capabilities, including Zoom’s AI Companion. While RingEX and GoTo Connect summarize video meetings, only Zoom offers a digital assistant. It answers participants’ basic questions. The AI Companion also sums up chat threads, which is a huge time-saver for us. Asynchronous video (Zoom Clips) is another unique feature that conveys ideas without turning everything into a real-time meeting.

Zoom call rules

Zoom gives you the freedom to set up specific call rules for how incoming calls should be answered. Source: Zoom

Zoom Costs

Zoom service plan Cost What’s Included
U.S. & Canada Metered

(Zoom Phone)

$10 per user/month
  • Pay-as-you-go domestic and international calling
  • Unlimited 40-minute video meetings with 100 participants
  • Team Chat
  • Clips Basic
  • Notes
  • Mail and Calendar
U.S. & Canada Unlimited

(Zoom Phone)

$15 per user/month
  • Unlimited U.S. and Canada calling and metered international calls
  • Unlimited 40-minute video meetings with 100 attendees
  • Team Chat
  • Clips Basic
  • Notes
  • Mail and Calendar
Global Select

(Zoom Phone)

$20 per user/month
  • Unmetered regional calling in one of 48 countries or territories and metered international calls
  • Unlimited 40-minute video meetings with 100 participants
  • Team Chat
  • Clips Basic
  • Notes
  • Mail and Calendar
Business Plus

(Zoom Workplace)

$26.99 per user/month
  • Unlimited regional calling
  • AI Companion
  • Unlimited 30-hour meetings with 300 attendees
  • Team Chat
  • Clips Plus
  • Scheduler
  • Workspace Reservations
  • 10 GB cloud storage
  • Visitor Management
Enterprise

(Zoom Workplace)

Custom
  • Full-featured PBX phone
  • Up to 1,000 video meeting attendees
  • Team Chat
  • Unlimited cloud storage
  • Rooms and Webinars

Zoom Advantages

  • Innovative AI-powered tools summarize chat threads and answer questions during video meetings.
  • Zoom Phone and Workplace subscriptions support live and asynchronous video interactions.
  • You can mix and match service plans based on individual employee needs.

Zoom Disadvantages

  • Zoom doesn’t receive the highest marks for customer service.
  • There are not phone dial-in numbers when using the free video service plan.
  • Some users have said the set up can be confusing at time.

Zoom User Scores

Trust Radius: 8.8/10

“Zoom Phone was a great fit for us as our staff, mostly non-technical, was all-in on Zoom. We were able to go fully cloud-based with just a handful of handsets. It was easy to use personal cell phones as office phones,” one user wrote.

TrustPilot: 1.5/5

“This is the one of the best bussines communicative meetup software that can run at average network and gives good hd quality video & audio calls,” one user wrote.

Learn more in our complete review of Zoom.

  • Base Price: $29.95 per user/month
  • Top Features: Threaded conversations, video calling, desktop and mobile apps, SMS/MMS messaging, and call flow builder.
  • Trial Period: None
Editor's Rating: 8.5/10
Visit Site

Why Nextiva is Best for Customer Support

Nextiva’s expert-level customer service agents give this business phone system an edge over rivals. Not all competitors offer phone support on entry-tier plans as most provide self-guided deployment experiences. In comparison, Nextiva supplies all accounts with free implementation assistance and round-the-clock customer service. We were pleased with our first-hand experiences and user feedback analysis, which is why we chose Nextiva as the best VoIP system for customer support.

In addition to knowledgeable and responsive agents, Nextiva provides detailed user documentation. Admins can sign up for status alerts or view real-time updates online. We appreciated that Nextiva promptly replied to mobile app reviews and support tickets. NextivaONE Threaded Conversations is another valuable feature for managing business communications from one spot.

Nextiva threaded conversations

Nextiva’s threaded conversations allow users to see all of their communications, whether it be by phone, text or instant message, all in one place. Source: Nextiva

Nextiva Costs

Service plan Cost What’s Included
Essential $29.95 per user/month
  • Unlimited calling
  • One-to-one video meetings
  • 1,500 toll-free minutes
  • Auto attendant
  • Call groups
  • Voicemail-to-email notifications
  • MS Outlook and Google Contacts integrations
  • Unlimited internet fax
  • Video conference recording
  • Team chat
  • Threaded messages
  • Call log reports
  • Contact management
Professional $33.95 per user/month Everything in the Essential plan, plus:

  • Multilevel auto attendant
  • Unlimited calling
  • 40 video conference attendees
  • 3,000 toll-free minutes
  • Voicemail-to-SMS notifications
  • HubSpot and Zendesk integrations
  • 1,000 SMS/MMS
Enterprise $43.95 per user/month Everything in the Professional plan, plus:

  • Call recording
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Single sign-on
  • 2,000 SMS/MMS
  • One-to-one video meetings
  • 12,500 toll-free minutes
  • ServiceNow and Bullhorn integrations

Nextiva Advantages

  • Accounts receive hands-on implementation support and 24-hour customer service.
  • NextivaONE centralizes conversations and files into a single app.
  • All users have access to 24/7 phone support

Nextiva Disadvantage

  • It only offers voicemail transcriptions to Nextiva Enterprise users.
  • To get the lowest rates, you must sign a long-term contract.
  • Lacking as many AI tools as some competitors.

Nextiva User Score

Trust Radius: 9.2/10

“We like the user-friendly platform and the advanced technology for calling needs,” one user wrote.

Trustpilot: 4.6/5 

“We have been using the new Nextiva One platform for several months and really enjoy it. The ability to have access to your ‘phone’ on any device has been great. Customer service has been very responsive,” one user wrote.

Learn more in our complete Nextiva review.

  • Base Price: $23 per user/month
  • Top Features: Variety of AI tools, auto-attendants, voicemail transcription and messaging.
  • Trial Period: 14 days
Editor's Rating: 8.8/10

Why Dialpad is Best for Voice Intelligence

Dialpad is the right business phone system for sales and recruiting teams that want to leverage AI for voice intelligence. The vendor trained DialpadGPT on over six billion minutes of conversational business data from sales, collaboration and service spaces. Its company dictionary feature elevates Dialpad above similar phone services. We love that it picks up keywords specific to your brand or industry. Indeed, every recorded call turns into an easy-to-digest email with action items and a searchable transcript.

The business communication plans provide basic speech coaching cards, which we found helpful for entry-level agents. Most advanced AI tools, like Ai Assist or Playbooks, are optional add-ons for Ai Sales Center subscriptions. Likewise, Dialpad doesn’t include generative AI video meeting tools with VoIP services. This is disappointing since RingEX, GoTo Connect and Zoom offer AI-powered video summaries.

Dialpad AI assist tool

Dialpad’s Ai Assist tool provides users with transcripts and advice while a call is happening. Source: Dialpad

Dialpad Costs

Dialpad Service plan Monthly cost  What’s Included
Standard $23 per user
  • Unlimited calling, with support for one location
  • Visual voicemail
  • Three ring groups
  • Call recording
  • Unlimited AI meetings for up to 10 participants
  • SMS, MMS and team messaging
  • Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 integrations
  • Visual voicemail and transcription
Pro $35 per user Everything in Standard, plus:

  • Support for 10 locations
  • 25 ring groups
  • CRM integrations
  • Hold queues
  • International SMS and phone numbers
  • Open APIs and webhooks
Enterprise Custom Everything in Pro, plus:

  • Unlimited ring groups and office locations
  • Dial by extension
  • Priority routing
  • Data retention policies
  • Single sign-on provider integrations

Dialpad Advantages

  • Generative AI technology converts voice calls into searchable and actionable summaries.
  • Out-of-the-box reports cover calling habits, interactive voice response (IVR) call flows and more.
  • There are robust speech coaching tools that can be super valuable for both sales and customer service teams

Dialpad Disadvantage

  • Video conferencing is limited to 10 participants at a time.
  • The video conferencing AI tools and capacity fall behind rival business phone solutions.
  • Users have reported glitches in the mobile app.

Dialpad User Scores

Trust Radius: 7.7/10

“Since transitioning to Dialpad Ai Voice, we have benefited from having a single, dependable, user-friendly platform that is easy to oversee. As a result, staff morale has improved, and customer satisfaction has increased,” one user wrote.

Trustpilot: 4.4/5 

“Been with Dialpad for years and always has worked as designed, clean and clear with just the right admin features,” one user wrote.

Learn more in our complete review of Dialpad.

GoTo Connect company logo
  • Base Price: Custom pricing
  • Top Features: Customizable auto-attendants, visual plan editor, video conferencing, paging, and robust admin dashboard.
  • Trial Period: 14 days
Editor's Rating: 8.6/10

Why GoTo Connect is Best for Multisite Businesses

GoTo Connect solves the administrative headache of managing business phone systems for multiple workplaces. We were impressed by the tools that helped us handle user licenses and devices, call quality control and even our return on text messaging campaigns. As our preferred business phone service for multisite management, GoTo Connect supports unlimited locations and a remarkable number of network devices. Plus, you can add customer engagement or contact center licenses to increase an employee’s capabilities.

Rivals like RingEX and Dialpad only support one branch on their entry-tier plans. Only some competitors give detailed call quality reports. Meanwhile, GoTo Connect displays several network metric cards on the system health dashboard and you can configure alerts. With more VoIP providers restricting SMS usage, we especially liked the SMS/multimedia messaging service (MMS) failure and delivery rate report. When combined with call volume analytics from the dial plan editor, companies have multiple ways to analyze trends.

GoTo Connect dashboard

GoTo’s dashboard makes it simple to make calls straight from your computer. Source: GoTo

GoTo Connect Costs

Service Plan Cost What’s Included
Phone System Custom; contact GoTo for pricing details
  • Call from any device
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Smart call routing
  • Unlimited auto-attendants, dial plans and ring groups
  • Call queues
  • Hot desking
  • Paging
  • Intercom
  • Call recording
  • Smart notes
  • Meeting transcription
  • Automated SMS messages
  • Real-time and historical reports
Customer Engagement Custom; contact GoTo for pricing details Everything in Phone System plan, plus:

  • AI messaging assistant
  • Shared inbox
  • Custom surveys
  • SMS and MMS campaigns
  • Customizable dashboard
Complete CX Custom; contact GoTo for pricing details Everything in Customer Engagement plan, plus:

  • Intelligent call routing
  • Skills assignment
  • Tag management
  • Call campaign
  • Ring strategy
  • Monitor and coach agents
  • Agent softphone and dashboard
  • Supervisor analytics
  • AI chat analysis
  • Custom roles and permissions

GoTo Connect Advantages

  • Companies can establish unlimited sites, ring groups, dial plans and automated greetings.
  • A comprehensive admin control center and health dashboard increase visibility into sites, users and devices.
  • All plans have international calling options to 50+ countries

GoTo Connect Disadvantages

  • GoTo Connect support documentation and customer service options can be challenging to navigate.
  • In the Phone System plan, AI tools are not included.
  • Upgraded plans are required to use custom permissions.

GoTo Connect User Score

Trust Radius: 8.0/10

“GoTo Connect facilitates remote collaboration. This is especially valuable for our company with dispersed teams and adopting remote work arrangements, allowing employees to communicate effectively regardless of their physical location,” one user wrote.

Trustpilot: 2.4/5

Learn more in our full review of GoTo Connect.

  • Base Price: Custom pricing
  • Top Features:
  • Trial Period: None
Editor's Rating: 8.6/10

Why 8×8 is Best for Growing Businesses

Small businesses may face limitations with VoIP systems when connecting a team outside the United States or obtaining an international phone number. This isn’t a concern with 8×8, as it offers direct inward dial numbers in 55 countries for local workers or virtual phone numbers for brands looking to test the market. 8×8 X-Series is our first choice as a business phone system for growing companies because of its global scalability and abundant voice, video and messaging features.

We appreciate that every team member uses a single application, from the work-from-home call center agent or on-the-go sales representative to the front office receptionist or accountant. Administrators can manage X-Series licenses via desktop or mobile apps to give employees the required functionality. 8×8 provides comprehensive tools for each job role. Although GoTo Connect offers an excellent admin experience and unlimited global calling, it falls behind on international workplace support and phone numbers.

8x8 call routing

8×8 gives businesses the freedom to route calls in any way they see fit. Source: 8×8

8×8 Costs

8×8 X Series plans Cost What’s Included
x2 Custom pricing. Contact 8×8 for details
  • Unmetered calls to 14 countries
  • Voicemail with transcription
  • Media storage with a 30-day retention period
x4 Custom pricing. Contact 8×8 for details Everything in 8×8 x2, plus the following:

  • Unmetered calls to 48 countries
  • Media storage with a 130-day retention period
  • 8×8 Frontdesk
  • Supervisor and call activity analytics
x6 Custom pricing. Contact 8×8 for details Everything in x4, plus the following:

  • Barge, monitor and whisper
  • Skills-based routing
  • Queued and web callback
  • Post-call survey
x7 Custom pricing. Contact 8×8 for details Everything in 8×8 x6, plus the following:

  • Omnichannel routing
  • 8×8 Contact Center for Microsoft Teams solution certified
x8 Custom pricing. Contact 8×8 for details Everything in 8×8 x7, plus the following:

  • Auto-dialer: preview, progressive and predictive
  • Quality management and speech analytics

8×8 Advantages

  • Companies can scale communications on a budget with mix-and-match plans and unmetered international calls.
  • 8×8 X-Series offers global toll-free and business phone number coverage.
  • Mobile devices can be used to monitor activity metrics.

8×8 Disadvantage

  • The customer support services fall behind those offered by some rivals.
  • Users report mobile app can have issues, especially following updates
  • 8×8 does not offer as many AI tools as some competitors.

8×8 User Score

Trust Radius: 8.5/10

“We are a small business and it has been a great experience transferring over to 8×8 knowing that our account and services can grow with our company,” one user wrote.

Trustpilot

Trustpilot: 2.2/5

“I have used many different service providers in the past and 8×8 has the best support and easiest to manage system. I migrated my own business to 8×8 just over a year ago and its worked fine ever since,” one user wrote.

Learn more in our complete 8×8 review.

Business Phone System Pricing

Cloud-based phone systems typically cost $10 to $75 per user, per month. Many office phone and UC system providers have several service plans that vary in price and features. Restaurants and retail shops use a mix of dedicated and shared VoIP numbers while remote team members may require metered or unlimited phone lines. Some providers allow companies to mix and match subscriptions, ensuring each employee has access to the tools they need.

Most vendors ask for annual prepayment or extended contract terms for the lowest pricing. A long-term agreement can result in early termination fees if you cancel before it expires or forget to stop the auto-renewal, which is relatively standard. These costs can be significant, especially if you participated in a promotion for free desk phones or headsets.

Since the hosted PBX equipment is stored in the cloud, there are usually no large installation or setup costs. Unlike a traditional office phone system, modern phone services work with your existing hardware, such as tablets, cell phones and computers. Softphone apps and browser-based programs provide full business phone functionality.

Several multiline business phone systems sell or lease hardware with service plans. Renting phones can reduce capital costs but most experts recommend purchasing them outright. Buying them through the phone provider does have its benefits as it’s often preprovisioned for your account.

Phone System Features

Business phone systems are full of valuable features and tools. Some VoIP providers offer only a few dozen features while others have over 100.

Metered or Unlimited Calling

Most VoIP phone services today allow unlimited incoming and outgoing calls. However, this usually only applies to domestic calls and calls using local phone numbers. Many providers impose extra charges and restrictions for toll-free calling. In addition, some cloud phone systems offer metered extensions or pay-as-you-go phone lines.

Voicemail Options

Business phone systems may offer shared and individual voicemail boxes. Most let users check messages from anywhere. VoIP providers also offer visual voicemail and voicemail-to-email. The former displays a list of your voicemails and you can listen to them in any order while the latter sends an email with your message as an audio attachment. Voicemail transcription is another popular feature but availability varies according to the service plan.

RingEX transcribed voicemail

Most business phone systems offer users the ability to read their voicemail messages directly from their desktop or mobile app. Source: RingCentral

Caller ID

This basic function shows the number of the person calling you. The caller ID appears on desk phones or through a softphone on your computer or mobile device.

Speed Dial

Instead of dialing a seven-digit number, you can push one button to connect to the numbers you call most. This feature applies to desk phones but many softphone apps provide a favorites list for your most-used contacts.

Did You Know?Did you know
Softphone apps connect your tablet, computer or cell phone to your business phone service. This software provides a keypad and other call handling features for placing a caller on hold or transferring them to a co-worker.

Personal and Company Directories

A personal directory is an easy way to manage your contacts. It gives you access to your contacts’ phone numbers whenever needed. A company directory displays every employee (and their contact information).

Do Not Disturb

When working on a big project or important task, you can put your phone in this mode to prevent interruptions. Your phone will not ring and all callers are sent directly to voicemail.

Single and Multilevel Automated Attendants

An auto attendant answers calls to your business, plays a greeting and directs the caller to the person or department they are trying to reach automatically. Advanced systems may offer multilevel auto attendants, which offer more extensive options, including transferring the caller to another auto attendant or IVR system.

TipBottom line
Even small businesses benefit from using a virtual receptionist to improve experiences. Automated attendants can answer lines promptly during peak hours. The systems also handle after-hours calls and reassure clients that you will receive their messages and respond upon opening.

On-hold Music

You can choose the music callers hear while they wait on hold. Most vendors offer prerecorded tracks while others let you upload a custom music playlist, which may include messages for callers.

Paging

You can use your phone to send messages to everyone, similar to a traditional intercom system. Certain services can also connect your VoIP system to a physical paging system.

Call Flip

This option allows users to move seamlessly between devices while on a call without putting the caller on hold. It’s ideal for business owners who run their company from a smartphone or anyone who shifts between mobile and desktop devices frequently.

Presence

The presence status shows employees whether their colleagues are on a call or available to chat. Some solutions let users choose a status like out-of-the-office, away from my desk or in a meeting.

Call Reports

Call logs provide basic analytics on your company’s phone usage. You can often break down usage statistics by filters, such as by employee or department.

Nextiva reporting

Business phone systems include various reports and analytics that give businesses better insight into the calls their organization is making and receiving. Source: Nextiva

Online Management

All VoIP systems can be managed in an online portal. From the dashboard, you and the other administrators can add users, set phone numbers, review call reports, create ring groups and see monthly statements. Employees can also access the portal to check their voicemail, view a company directory and set call forwarding routes.

Bottom LineBottom line
Online admin tools centralize emergency management. Some systems let employers establish 911 locations and forwarding rules for internet outages. These tools are critical to business continuity and disaster prep planning.

Call Forwarding

Your office phone can forward calls to another number automatically. This could be a mobile phone, another employee’s line or an external VoIP or analog phone.

Extension Dialing

Employees can dial a co-worker by a three-, four- or five-digit extension instead of their entire phone number.

Call Recording

Many cloud-based phone systems give you the ability to record your calls. Depending on the phone provider and administrator settings, this feature may be on-demand or automatic.

Ring Groups

You can create ring groups for employees who answer calls from the same group of customers. For example, your customer service team might have its own ring group. The entire group is notified when a caller asks to speak to a customer service representative.

Call Queues

This tool is typically used in call centers or companies with high call volumes. However, even small businesses like restaurants can use this feature during peak hours to manage phone orders. It puts callers “in line” so that their calls can be answered when operators become available.

Speakerphone

Many IP phones include a speakerphone option that allows you to speak to a caller without using the phone’s handset.

Call Transfer

Employees can quickly transfer calls to their colleagues. Some solutions offer warm transfers, which let you speak with your co-worker before passing the call.

Audio and Video Conferencing

Top-rated phone systems typically support three-way calling, one-to-one video meetings or larger conferences on one or more service plans. Native online meeting technologies let your team convert a chat or voice conversation into a video call with one click.

Team Messaging and SMS

Most business phone systems offer SMS/MMS text messaging options and team chat tools. Employees can use softphone or browser-based apps to communicate one-on-one or in groups. The team messaging services usually support file sharing while business texting solutions may vary by subscription.

FYIDid you know
Due to text messaging laws and regulations, many VoIP providers no longer offer unlimited texting with service plans. Clarify the limitations and overage fees before choosing a phone system.

How to Choose Business Phone Systems

The best business tools and technology are those that seamlessly integrate into existing workflows and enhance communications. However, what may work for a solopreneur or small team might not meet the needs of a small to midsize business. Given that your phone service is a vital business technology, it’s crucial to compare your options and consider several factors before making a decision.

1. Develop your use cases.

Decide who will use your business phone service, what they will use it for and where. List employees and their locations (on-site, remote or hybrid). Identify specific communications requirements, such as the ability to host video conferences or share files. Also, determine which team members need hardware, such as desk phones or headsets.

2. Evaluate your options.

Consider the differences between phone systems and determine whether you want an on-premise or cloud-based service. Estimating short- and long-term costs for each approach is a good idea. Remember to factor in phone equipment and international calling expenses.

Next, go through user reviews on third-party sites and the Better Business Bureau. Look for guides that break down differences among services. Also, request recommendations from professional groups. After researching solutions, develop a list of potential vendors.

3. Review pricing and features.

Use a spreadsheet or project management tools to compare providers. Enter features, prices and any standout capabilities. Also, note customer support options and see if the vendor offers additional integrated programs, such as webinar, event or call center software.

4. Set up demonstrations and trials.

Several business phone services provide on-demand demos in exchange for your contact details. Others will set up a meeting where company representatives answer your questions and walk through various functions based on your specific use cases.

Also, take advantage of free trials. This allows your team to test the mobile and desktop applications, different features and admin panel. Remember to interact with customer support to assess response times and agents’ familiarity with the system.

5. Request input from your team.

Once you’ve documented each company’s details and tested the software, ask your team to weigh in. Encourage them to share their experiences and concerns. With their input, decide what training your employees will require and how this impacts your decision. Look for a VoIP service that fits your budget while serving the needs of your staff.

Benefits of Business Phone Systems

Cloud-hosted phone services improve customer experiences while increasing efficiency. A professional phone number boosts a solopreneur’s credibility in the eyes of consumers while automation features fuel a small team’s productivity.

Lower Costs

Many companies switch to VoIP to save money. Unlike an on-premises system, your business isn’t responsible for server maintenance or upgrades. A cloud service’s flexibility means you don’t necessarily need hardware. Employees can use their existing computers or cell phones for free or add an analog telephone adapter to connect traditional desk phones.

Better Customer Experiences

Advanced features like auto attendants and customer relationship management (CRM) integrations translate into satisfying customer experiences. Clients can reach the correct department or select an employee by name through the company directory. Likewise, employees see ring group details (the line your caller chose) and customer information, such as when they last called or their survey results. This enables your staff to personalize their greeting and meet customer expectations.

Scalability

With a VoIP phone service, you can add or remove lines, features and user permissions from the admin dashboard. Call reports provide insights about call volumes and missed calls, which informs scheduling and hiring decisions. These capabilities help small businesses scale operations to meet demand.

Increased Productivity

The best business phone systems of 2024 unify business communications, resulting in less application switching. They also provide virtual receptionists and IVR menus, reducing call transfers. AI-powered tools can generate voice and video summaries, highlight action items and track assigned task progress. Moreover, admins can schedule recurring reports to keep leaders abreast of call volumes without performing the same steps weekly or monthly.

TipBottom line
Boost productivity by selecting a phone system that offers task management, collaboration, integrations and video services. This will reduce the time your employees spend toggling between programs, which studies show creates inefficiencies.

Additional Options Worth Exploring

Here are several more business phone systems that might be a good fit for your needs.

Vonage

Vonage stands out for its customization due to its a la carte features, pay-as-you-go APIs and low-code or no-code design tools. It offers over a dozen add-ons to expand your capacity during peak season. With a couple of clicks, you can add metered or unlimited extensions, call queues or call recording. Likewise, we appreciate the free trial credits and sample code to embed the voice and message APIs.

A nice aspect of Vonage is that it’s subscriptions differ from rivals because it doesn’t include every feature. If an employee doesn’t require desk phone or fax functionality, there’s no need to pay for it. We were impressed with the range of add-ons. It has standard and advanced options, from a popular shared business inbox to an AI virtual assistant. Learn more in our Vonage review or visit the Vonage website directly.

OpenPhone

OpenPhone is a versatile virtual phone system. Its unified inbox and conversation features align remote teams, allowing them to deliver exceptional customer experiences. We were pleased that it offers an economical base plan with business hours routing and shared inboxes while the step-up tier adds phone menus. Time-saving auto-responses, snippets and voicemail transcripts come with all plans.

We were impressed by the unified conversations and internal threads features. Shared spaces track all communications and group them into active, unread and unresponded categories, ensuring no customers fall through the cracks. Distributed workers can view the entire interaction history on individual records, including call transcripts, voicemails and text messages. Internal conversations appear here also and team members can @mention each other to request additional context or status updates.

Grasshopper

Grasshopper’s unique offering sets the platform apart from competitors. It doesn’t aim to replace your current office PBX system or transform how you handle calls. Instead, Grasshopper provides one or more business phone numbers and softphone apps with the fundamentals, plus a few perks. Depending on the plan, you can forward calls to one or more co-workers without per-user fees.

With softphone apps for desktop computers and mobile devices, professionals can use Grasshopper for cellular, Wi-Fi and VoIP calling. It works particularly well for partnerships or small teams covering low-volume phone lines. When customers call your number, Grasshopper forwards it to the first provided call forwarding number. If that line is busy or doesn’t pick up, the virtual service tries the next available forwarding number automatically.

800.com

Rather than a complete phone service like some others on this page, 800.com is a provider of 1-800, vanity and local phone numbers. This service allows small business owners the ability to separate their personal and business calls. 800.com offers three service plans, each of which includes a fax number, call recording, text messaging, analytics, voicemail transcription and a variety of call-forwarding options.

FAQs

VoIP phone lines start at $10 monthly, with annual billing for metered calls (pay-as-you-go). Unlimited calling plans run about $20 to $30 monthly.

Cloud-based phone services are ideal for small teams. Time-saving automation features and UC channels improve business operations and customer experiences.

By ordering a virtual phone number, you can forward calls to your current phone without adding another cell line or buying a separate device. Softphone apps display incoming calls by line, so you always know when a customer is calling.

VoIP relies on the internet, which requires electricity. If you don’t have a backup plan, an outage can leave your business without phone service. Several phone providers let you configure an automatic failover solution.

This figure depends on your business model. A small restaurant with two counter phones and one in the office may pay for two to four users and numbers while a five-member remote staff needs at least five subscriptions.

What to Expect in 2024

Multichannel communications are here to stay. VoIP providers recognize that businesses want unified platforms, not dozens of subscriptions to siloed products.

VoIP Market Growth

Internet-based phone services will continue to grow rapidly in 2024. MarketWatch estimates that the global cloud PBX market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.54 percent, from $14.93 billion in 2023 to $36.33 by 2030.

As phone vendors phase out landline service and internet service providers roll out fiber optics to more U.S. regions, we expect a growing number of small business leaders will shift to online communications. The draw of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools and the desire for data also increase interest in the VoIP market.

U.S.-based infrastructure improvements could fuel VoIP adoption among small businesses in less connected areas. In 2024, U.S. states will finalize their Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment proposals and expand broadband access, potentially increasing internet speed and reliability for many workforces.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Strategic Partnerships

Communications companies partner with third parties to improve integrations and work toward shared objectives. Meanwhile, acquisitions give vendors access to technologies that complement their platform and vision.

Recent collaborations include:

  • Nextiva Acquires Thrio: In 2024, Nextiva purchased the AI-powered contact center solution Thrio to improve its customer experience offerings.
  • Vonage and Verizon collaboration: In 2024, the providers agreed to develop new APIs together and Verizon will offer its network APIs on Vonage’s platform.
  • Zoom and Lumen partnership: In 2023, the companies announced that their agreement would simplify integration and offer Lumen Solutions for Zoom.
  • RingCentral buys Hopin’s Virtual Events Assets: In 2023, RingCentral acquired technology and talent from Hopin, the all-in-one event and audience engagement platform.
  • Ooma acquires 2600Hz: In 2023, Ooma bought its key supplier, 2600Hz, which will generate recurring revenue, provide control over its technology stack and expand its market.
  • Nextiva purchases Simplify360: In 2023, Nextiva acquired Simplify360 to leverage technologies for reputation management, helpdesk CRM, social media and live chat.

Emerging Technologies Driving VoIP Feature-Sets

As noted in our best business phone system reviews, several providers updated their VoIP services to leverage emerging technologies, such as generative AI. We expect communications platforms to prioritize these capabilities by enhancing their AI offerings as we’ve seen with RingCentral and Dialpad.

Look for vendors to offer AI tools to summarize chat threads and improve data analytics. Another trend is that more platforms integrate call center and event technologies and provide them as add-ons to VoIP systems. We also expect continued investments in platform integrations and security.

Jessica Elliott
Jessica Elliott, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Jessica Elliott is a trusted expert in the realm of business software and technology, with nearly two decades of hands-on experience. Her keen insights span a wide array of sectors, including cloud computing, SaaS solutions and business phone systems. With a knack for evaluating and dissecting various business applications, Elliott specializes in advising business owners on the best platforms suitable for companies of all sizes. In addition to her technical acumen, Elliott holds certifications from HubSpot and is also well-versed in digital marketing, sales funnels and finance. Her valuable insights have been featured in esteemed publications such as U.S. News & World Report, USA Today and Investopedia.
BDC Logo

Get Weekly 5-Minute Business Advice

B. newsletter is your digest of bite-sized news, thought & brand leadership, and entertainment. All in one email.

Back to top