Business VoIP Phone System

by Chad BrooksLast Modified: January 4, 2018

Intro
Best Picks
Pricing
Negotiation
Reviews
State of the Industry
Why Choose VoIP for Your Business?
VoIP Phone Service: Our Evaluation
Map
Services
Compare Quotes

The Best Business VoIP Phone System For 2018

While there were previously very few options when it came to telephone service for businesses, the explosion of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) into the phone service industry has changed the landscape. With hundreds of VoIP phone system providers operating today, choosing the right one for your business can be an arduous task.  

Besides features, tools, price and mobile accessibility, you need to take various other factors into account when looking for a business VoIP phone system. We want to help you narrow down your choices.  

In addition to spotlighting some of the most valuable tools to look for and offering advice on getting a VoIP business system that fits into your budget, this guide offers our recommendations on the business VoIP phone systems for various needs. 8x8, RingCentral, Ooma Office, Jive and Dialpad are the 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 even farther to see of a comprehensive list of VoIP phone systems for businesses.

Best Picks

Mid-Size
Small Business
Very Small Business
Features and Tools
Mobile App
RingCentral

Best VoIP System for Midsize Businesses

RingCentral

RingCentral Office is the best VoIP phone system for midsize businesses because it is easy to install and use and includes all of the features and tools organizations of that size need.

The cloud-based VoIP phone system doesn't require any special equipment or wiring to install. All it needs is the necessary bandwidth to handle your call volume, a router that prioritizes voice traffic and IP phones.

8x8

Best VoIP Phone System for Small Businesses

8x8

8x8 is a cloud-based VoIP phone system that is easy to use, reliable, feature-rich and affordable. To get the system up and running, all you need is a properly configured router and enough bandwidth to handle the call volume you're anticipating. Other than that, there is no equipment to install or maintain.

It has nearly every feature a small business would want from a phone system. Some of the more valuable features are auto-attendants, call forwarding, conference calling, voicemail, voicemail-to-email and music on hold. There is also a mobile app for iOS and Android devices that allows users to make and receive calls from their business lines. 8x8 integrates with a variety of other programs businesses are already using, including Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce and SugarCRM.

Ooma

Best VoIP System for Very Small Businesses

Ooma

Ooma Office is a VoIP phone system designed specifically for very small businesses. The system is built for businesses with fewer than 20 employees, has a variety of valuable features, and is easy to use and install.

The system can be set up in just a few minutes, doesn't require any special wiring, and can be used with both analog and IP phones. The main component of the Ooma Office system is the base station, which is a router that prioritizes voice data and directs traffic to optimize the phone service.

Jive

Best VoIP System for Features and Tools

Jive

Jive is one of the best VoIP business phone systems because of its array of included features and tools. Unlike many other providers that charge extra for some of their best features, Jive includes them for all users. 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 70 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 Mobile App-Based VoIP Phone System

Dialpad

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

Dialpad is a cloud-based system that allows employees to work from anywhere. With the app, 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.

Pricing

The cost structure for a business VoIP phone system differs for cloud-based and on-premises systems.  

Cloud-based systems have monthly fees, but little to no upfront costs. Conversely, on-premises systems have large upfront capital expenditures with small monthly fees.  

The exact prices for each type of system vary based on how many lines and features you need. Cloud-based phone systems run from $10 to $75 per user, per month. Your cost per user typically decreases the more users you have.  

Besides your user costs, some providers also charge extra fees for things like additional toll-free numbers, international numbers and vanity numbers. However, since most cloud-based systems are plug-and-play, there usually aren't any major installation charges.  

With on-premises systems, you pay most of your expenses upfront. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars per user. The price will depend on how many users you have and how many features are included.  

Besides the user fees, there are also some pretty significant installation costs to consider with on-premises systems. Since these systems will be housed within your business, they need to be professionally installed, which will cost a few thousand dollars at minimum. There are also some smaller monthly fees with on-premises systems for SIP trunking, or PRI circuits, which is what brings a dial tone into the system.  

The other expense you need to consider with a business VoIP system, regardless of whether you have a cloud-based or on-premises system, is the cost of IP phones. There is a wide variety of handset phones on the market and a wide range of price points. Phones can run as cheap as $50 each to more than $400 each.

Editor's Note: Looking for 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

While many VoIP phone system providers have set pricing, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you are getting the best deal:  

  • See if the provider offers discounts for agreeing to a long-term contract or paying for an entire year in advance.
  • Check if it would give you a lower price to start if you plan on adding more lines in the future.
  • Ask if it would be willing to match a competitor's cheaper price.
  • See if it would be willing to give you phones for free if you commit to a long-term contract.  

A critical step when signing any contract, regardless of whether the company is willing to negotiate price with you, is to closely read the entire contract before agreeing to anything. You need to make sure the terms of the contract are exactly what you were expecting and don't include any hidden fees or price increases. Be sure to get specific costs of tax and any surcharges. Many businesses are shocked to see their first bills after signing up for a VoIP service because they weren't anticipating ancillary fees like taxes and surcharges.  

In addition, it is imperative that you fully understand the phone system provider's cancellation policy. You need to know how much advance notice is necessary to cancel and whether there are any fees for it. Make sure you have answers to these questions before signing any contract for VoIP phone service.

Reviews

State of the Industry

VoIP has completely changed the business phone system industry. Prior to the introduction of VoIP, all phone systems used traditional landline technology. Typically operated by your local phone company, landline systems ran on copper wiring and required businesses to purchase and maintain a large amount of expensive equipment.  

VoIP and the cloud have changed all of that. Instead of copper wiring, VoIP systems run on the same internet connection you use to get online. While you can have an on-premises VoIP system, many businesses are forgoing all of the upfront expenses by using a cloud-based offering.  

Instead of investing in expensive equipment, you only pay a monthly fee for each user with hosted VoIP phone systems. They require no maintenance and include a wealth of valuable calling and collaboration features.  

Their affordable costs and the ability to control the phones through an online portal are part of the big attraction of VoIP phone systems. A recent study from Telzio shows that businesses typically see 30 to 75 percent savings when switching to VoIP.  

Once a novelty, VoIP phone systems are becoming the standard. Research shows that with landline service losing 500,000 customers a month, the VoIP market is expected to grow by 10 percent every year through 2020. Overall, the number of IP telephony users in the world will exceed 150 million this year. 

Why Choose VoIP Phone Service for Your Business?

Many VoIP services have the same quality and reliability you expect from your phone company, but they cost less and offer more features. VoIP services often have better international rates and can be used on cordless phones, computers, smartphones or tablets so you can reach clients and coworkers. Plus, you don't have to worry about dropped calls. VoIP services give you a lot of flexibility: You can direct your voicemails to your email, use a mobile app that lets you use your smartphone like your office phone, plus you can forward calls from your office to any device, including a desktop or laptop computer.

If you are looking for a system that will suit your needs at home, for local and international calling, check our international call services site. You can visit our video and web conferencing sites if you are looking for services that host secure virtual meetings. If you are in the market for a VoIP system, we encourage you to read our articles about VoIP services.

VoIP vs. PBX Systems

PBX, private branch exchange, systems are traditional business phone systems. These analog exchanges consist of physical equipment hosted in your office that connects your internal lines to external phone lines. PBX is a reliable phone system for your office, but the costs are much greater than a VoIP phone service's costs. VoIP services use software and are typically hosted in the cloud, so there is usually no hardware to purchase, install or maintain.

While VoIP systems are typically just as reliable as PBX systems, they rely on your internet connection. That means if you ever have a power outage that leaves you without internet, your phone lines will also be down. However, you can still access your VoIP account from a mobile device, if it has a data plan.

Which VoIP Phone System is Best for You?

When choosing the best VoIP service for your business, consider your budget, the size and type of your company, and what your calling needs are. Maybe add-on features will be the determining factor in your decision. For example, some VoIP services provide video conferencing in addition to phone capabilities, which is useful if you have multiple offices or remote employees.

Another important consideration is the type of plan the VoIP service offers and the contracts that are available. For example, does your business make more phone calls, or do you receive more calls? Factors such as this determine the type of service plan you should get. Furthermore, some services offer annual contracts, which typically results in lower monthly rates; others let you operate on a month-to-month basis, which may cost more per month. Also be on the lookout for a company's hidden costs like setup and early termination fees.

VoIP Phone Service: Our Evaluation

Without a doubt, the most important aspect of your VoIP service should be reliability. Nothing else matters if coverage is poor and you can't make or receive calls when you need to. Most providers on our lineup provide a service-level agreement that ensures high-quality service. Service-level agreements are critical because they provide assurances against disruptions in your VoIP service.

Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to assess all products and services in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. We evaluated VoIP plans, and terms of service agreements, independently. The manufacturers had no input or influence over our reviews. Results of our evaluations were not provided to the companies in advance of publication.

VoIP Service Setup & Accessibility
One benefit of using VoIP for your phone service is that you do not have to worry about extensive setup. Since VoIP phone services are hosted in the cloud, the servers and hardware systems are provided and maintained by someone else. The only thing you have to worry about is setup on your end.

Look for a VoIP service that offers quick setup and setup support, so when it comes time to install the system, there is as little hassle as possible. When evaluating the overall ease of use of the 10 VoIP services on our list, we measured two aspects. First, we assessed how easy it is to sign up for the service. For example, can you request quotes and see your rates using the website or do you have to wait to speak with a salesperson?

The second aspect we considered was the type of equipment the service provides and the costs associated with it; for example, some companies let you connect to their network using almost any type of VoIP phone while others require that you lease equipment from them. You will want to compare prices carefully before committing to a service.

VoIP Applications, Features & Administration
VoIP phone services for business differ from standard VoIP systems you would use at home, because they offer more advanced feature sets. For example, most business VoIP services offer a virtual receptionist that greets customers and, if you have multiple lines, will direct callers to the appropriate person. They also offer solutions if your company has a high volume of callers.

Look for VoIP services that offer virtual call queuing. This service is a must when you have a high volume of calls and want to provide superb customer service. This feature gives your customers the option of staying on the line or leaving a message, knowing that the next available agent will call them back.

Other queuing methods are available but are not as customer friendly. One such method is ACD, automatic call distribution, which disperses incoming calls among available agents in the order the calls were received. Another option is hunt groups, which sends calls to specific employees on the first try. This often leads to much longer hold times, since a few employees are receiving the bulk of calls.

Not every business needs the same functions for its phone service. In our VoIP comparison, we looked at providers that offer a variety of business functions. Each service offers basic functions that most companies require like call waiting, conference calling, call transferring and a downloadable app for your smartphone, so you can take calls even when you aren't in the office. For the Overall Functionality Score, we awarded each VoIP service a letter grade (from A to F) based on the features it offers businesses. Look to our matrix to see how well each service performed.

Another thing to consider when selecting a VoIP system is scalability. Even if your company is small right now, you want a service that grows with your company as you expand. Most services offer extra lines, though some charge an extra fee.

Help & Support Quality
The final important factor we evaluated when looking for the best VoIP service is help and support. We considered the overall quality of support provided by company's representatives when interacting with them over the telephone, email and live chat. In addition, we considered whether they offer online forums and searchable FAQs, so you can quickly locate an answer to a minor question or issue you have.

We reached out to each of the companies our list, by phone and live chat (if the service offered that feature) tracking the amount of time we had to wait to connect with a representative. To receive full credit for phone assistance and live-chat support, hold times had to be less than five minutes. We also timed how long it took for a company to respond to our email inquiries. To receive full credit for email support, companies had to respond to our email in 12 hours or less.

During our interactions with each service, customer support had to provide knowledgeable answers to direct questions. If a representative simply sent links to the company website or tried to push a sale, the company didn't receive full credit. Companies also lost points when we were transferred multiple times between different agents.

Finally, we looked for a money-back guarantee. The best VoIP services offer a 30-day guarantee that allows you to cancel service at any time and for any reason. This ensures that you will not be out of luck or money if a service isn't right for you.

Map

FluentStream
1028 Park Avenue West
Denver, CO
FluentStream
XLite Software
One Bentall Centre
Vancouver,
XLite Software
Zultys MX System Software
785 Lucerne Drive
Sunnyvale, CA
Zultys MX System Software
XO Hosted PBX Software
13865 Sunrise Valley Dr
Herndon, VA
XO Hosted PBX Software
XMission
51 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT
XMission
Vonage Business Solutions Software
23 Main Street
Holmdel, NJ
Vonage Business Solutions Software
VOIPo Hosted PBX Software
19 Spectrum Pointe Drive
Lake Forest, CA
VOIPo Hosted PBX Software
VoiceMaxx CE Software
401 S 4th St
Louisville, KY
VoiceMaxx CE Software
Virtual Office
2125 O’Nel Dr.
San Jose, CA
Virtual Office
VOXOX
5825 Oberlin Drive
San Diego, CA
VOXOX
Telzio Software
917 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Telzio Software
ShoreTel Sky Software
1385 Broadway
New York City, NY
ShoreTel Sky Software
Slingshot Software
990 Washington Street
Dedham, MA
Slingshot Software
Solgari Cloud PBX Software
209 W Patison Street
Port Hadlock, WA
Solgari Cloud PBX Software
Verizon UCCaaS Software
140 West St
New York City, NY
Verizon UCCaaS Software
Truly Wireless Software
2 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA
Truly Wireless Software
Speakeasy Software
P.O. Box 21720
Vancouver,
Speakeasy Software
Versature Software
5424 Canotek Rd
Gloucester,
Versature Software
SwyxWare Software
Emil-Figge-Straße 86
SwyxWare Software
ReadyTalk Hosted Voice Software
1900 16th Street
Denver, CO
ReadyTalk Hosted Voice Software
RingCentral Office Software
20 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA
RingCentral Office Software
OnSIP Hosted VoIP Software
55 Broad Street
New York City, NY
OnSIP Hosted VoIP Software
Mobex Hosted PBX Software
505 E. Jackson Street
Tampa, FL
Mobex Hosted PBX Software
MyOwnConference Software
Ukmergės g. 223
MyOwnConference Software
Ooma Office Software
1880 Embarcadero Rd
Palo Alto, CA
Ooma Office Software
OBiPLUS Software
51 E. Campbell Avenue
Campbell, CA
OBiPLUS Software
PBXact Software
300 First Avenue
Red Lion, PA
PBXact Software
MiVoice Business Software
350 Legget Dr.
Kanata,
MiVoice Business Software
Masergy UCaaS Software
2740 North Dallas Parkway
Plano, TX
Masergy UCaaS Software
MightyCall Software
2105 5th Ave
Seattle, WA
MightyCall Software
Phonebooth OnDemand Software
Venture Center III,
Raleigh, NC
Phonebooth OnDemand Software
PIMS Dialer Software
5400 Laurel Spring Pkwy
Suwanee, GA
PIMS Dialer Software
Phone.com Software
211 Warren St.
Newark, NJ
Phone.com Software
OfficeConnect
830 Parkview Dr N
El Segundo, CA
OfficeConnect
Line2 Pro Software
230 California Street
San Francisco, CA
Line2 Pro Software
Evolved Office IP Phone System Software
989 Old Eagle School Rd
Wayne, PA
Evolved Office IP Phone System Software
Intermedia Hosted PBX Software
120 West 45th Street,
New York City, NY
Intermedia Hosted PBX Software
Avaya IP Office Software
4655 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, CA
Avaya IP Office Software
Jive PBX Software
795 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA
Jive PBX Software
itPBX Software
205 Regency Executive Park Drive
Charlotte, NC
itPBX Software
Fuze Software
2 Copley Place
Boston, MA
Fuze Software
DLS Hosted PBX Software
950 Oak Street
Lake in the Hills, IL
DLS Hosted PBX Software
IBM Sametime Software
1 New Orchard Road
Armonk, NY
IBM Sametime Software
Highfive Software
PO Box 82525
Kenmore, WA
Highfive Software
iCall Software
4500 140th Avenue North
Clearwater, FL
iCall Software
Answer360 Software
2625 8th Avenue
Fort Worth, TX
Answer360 Software
FortiVoice Software
899 Kifer Road
Sunnyvale, CA
FortiVoice Software
Fonality Software
5601 6th Ave S
Seattle, WA
Fonality Software
Sharpen Software
211 N. Pennsylvania Street
Indianapolis, IN
Sharpen Software
Broadview OfficeSuite Software
275 Westminster St
Providence, RI
Broadview OfficeSuite Software
Alteva Hosted VoIP Software
880 Montclair Road
Birmingham, AL
Alteva Hosted VoIP Software
Axon Virtual PBX Software
6120 Greenwood Plaza Blvd
Greenwood Village, CO
Axon Virtual PBX Software
AirePBX Software
6060 Sepulveda Blvd
Van Nuys, CA
AirePBX Software
Cisco Unified Communications Manager Software
170 West Tasman Dr.
San Jose, CA
Cisco Unified Communications Manager Software
Cisco Business Edition 6000 Software
170 West Tasman Dr.
San Jose, CA
Cisco Business Edition 6000 Software
Click2Coach Cloud Software
901 5th Ave,
Seattle, WA
Click2Coach Cloud Software
Business Voice Software
4655 Old Ironsides Drive
Santa Clara, CA
Business Voice Software
CloudCall Software
320 Congress St.
Boston, MA
CloudCall Software
ContactWorld
49 Stevenson St.
San Francisco, CA
ContactWorld
Adobe Connect Software
345 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA
Adobe Connect Software
AT&T UC Voice Software
1025 Lenox Park Blvd
Atlanta, GA
AT&T UC Voice Software
BroadVoice Cloud PBX Software
Broadvoice 9221 Corbin Ave
Northridge, CA
BroadVoice Cloud PBX Software
3CX Software
4300 W Cypress Street
Tampa, FL
3CX Software
RingCentral
20 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA
RingCentral
OnSIPManhattan, NY
OnSIP
8x8
2125 Onel Drive
San Jose, CA
8x8
Nextiva
8800 E chaparral Road
Scottsdale, AZ
Nextiva
Jive
1275 West 1600 North
Orem, UT
Jive
RingByName
7206 NW 31stStreet
Miami, FL
RingByName
Phone.com
211 Warren Street
Newark, NJ
Phone.com

Services

List of 90Business VoIP Phone System

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