Today's cloud-hosted VoIP unified communications systems are putting more features and tools in the hands of businesses of all sizes than ever before. Features that were once only affordable to larger organizations, like auto attendants, call recording, voicemail transcription and conference calling, are now readily available to small businesses. Furthermore, you don't need to install high-priced PBX equipment inside your business.
Other valuable tools that businesses looking for a feature-packed business phone system may want include call forwarding, extension dialing, call monitoring, call queuing and CRM integrations.
By offering all of these options and much more, Jive is our choice as the best business phone system for features and tools. Jive is a cloud-hosted VoIP solution with powerful features and simple setup for a fair price.
The service efficiently supports both voice and video calls, integrates well with existing CRM systems, and offers contact center services. In addition, the service is reliable and works well for both small and large businesses.
View all our recommendations for business phone systems on our best picks page.
Unlike other phone systems that have different service plans based on the number of features included, Jive offers all users access to nearly all of its tools. Pricing varies based on how many employees you have. The more users you have, the less you pay per person.
Jive has five pricing tiers that range from $20 to $30 per user, per month. The pricing tiers are as follows:
- 1 to 4 users: $29.95 per user, per month
- 5 to 9 users: $25.95 per user, per month
- 10 to 24 users: $23.95 per user, per month
- 25 to 49 users: $21.95 per user, per month
- 50 to 99 users: $19.95 per user, per month
Custom pricing is available for businesses with more than 100 employees.
Regardless of how much you pay, you have access to all of the features and tools Jive offers, except Go To Meeting, an online meeting service that Jive now offers as part of its phone system. You can get this included in your phone system for no additional cost if you agree to a 13-month contract. If you want to pay month to month but still want access to Go To Meeting, it's an additional $39.95 per user, per month.
Jive offers users a wide selection of desk and conference phone options. Desk phone prices range between $75 and $800 each.
It's important to note that Jive doesn't require businesses to sign contracts or pay annually. But, those companies that commit to both are eligible for better deals on service or phones.
Ease of Use
Because Jive is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system, you don't need to purchase or install any special PBX hardware or equipment. The system runs on the exact same internet connection as you use to get online. With that in mind, Jive recommends having a business class router; an Ethernet switch capable of Quality of Service (QOS); and a firewall that allows you to access http, https, and UDP traffic on your network. It is also critical to have the necessary bandwidth to handle your company's call volume. Each Jive call requires 100Kbps of internet bandwidth.
With this system, you don't need a trained IT staff to keep it running smoothly. Since it is a cloud-hosted system, Jive handles the maintenance and upgrades. If you buy your phones from Jive, they come preconfigured and are ready to use as soon as you plug them in. If you buy your phones from another provider, you will need to work with Jive's support team to properly configure the phones.
You can choose local or toll-free numbers. For local numbers, you can select options from more than 200 area codes nationwide. If you are an established business wanting to keep the number you currently have, you can port your number over from your current provider.
The entire system is controlled via an online portal, which can be accessed from an internet-connected device. From the portal, administrators can make changes to a dial plan, configure new phones, add or delete users, manage extensions, change on-hold music, set auto attendant greetings, and update call filter settings.
Employees can change their call forwarding, voicemail and online fax settings. In addition, employees can use a softphone to make and receive calls from their computer, instant message with co-workers and start video meetings.
Jive is extremely reliable. The system has a 99.99 percent uptime and 11 data centers worldwide, including seven in the U.S. Jive provides all users with unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada. The company notes that there are some locations in Alaska and Hawaii that they might be charged extra for.
The phone system has more than 80 features. Jive offers 45 basic VoIP features, such as auto attendants, barge, call monitoring, call recording, three-way conferencing, custom hold music, custom greetings, dial by name or extension, paging, ring groups, voicemail, voicemail-to-email and virtual fax. The system also includes custom schedules that allow administrators to set time-based call routing. This feature can be used to route calls during open and closed business hours, for example.
One valuable feature for businesses where employees share workspace is the hot desking tool. This lets more than one employee use the same phone.
Call-management features include call history, call park, auto reject, auto-divert, call queues, call routing, call waiting, call transfers, caller ID, do not disturb and find me/follow me.
A nice aspect of Jive is that all users receive some contact center services at no extra cost. This includes advanced ring strategies; custom queue hold messages and music; precall announcements; report caller hold time; queue call barge; recording, spy, and whisper; and wait-time announcements.
However, one downside is that if you need more extensive contact center tools, like skills-based routing, automatic call back and agent scripting, you will need to work with one of Jive's partners, InContact.
The system also offers video conferencing that features click to connect, group text chat, SIP security, full-screen display and the ability to record meetings. Additionally, Jive is offering users GoToMeeting services. GoToMeeting includes screen sharing, call me and cloud recording. GoToMeeting is Business.com's choice as the best video conferencing service for small businesses. You can read our full review here.
With Jive's mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices, users can make and receive calls from their business line, conduct conference calls, send and receive text messages, view call histories, and choose ringtones. The mobile app features geofencing that allows users to set location-based rules that, among other things, automatically turns on and off do not disturb.
Jive integrates with many third-party business applications like Salesforce, Zoho, Redtail CRM, Oracle, Zendesk, Chrome, Webex and Outlook.
Jive has a conference calling service built into its system. With the conference bridge feature, which comes included at no extra charge, each employee can hold their own conference call with up to 10 callers.
If you host conference calls with more than 10 callers, you'll need to use a conference calling service. These services allow for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of callers on each call. You can find more information on these services on our conference call services best pick page.
We were pleased with Jive's customer service. We contacted the company multiple times by phone and email posing as a business owner interested in a phone system.
Each time we contacted the company, we were greeted by helpful representatives who provided us detailed answers to our questions. They helped us better understand the system's platform, how it worked, the available features, the pricing structure and the mobile app. By the end of our calls, we always had a clear understanding of Jive and all it had to offer.
The representatives always followed up by email to ensure we didn't have any follow-up questions and provided us with a detailed price quote. Any time we responded to their emails asking a question, we received a prompt response.
Customer support is available by phone, email and live chat 24/7. In addition, the company's website is filled with helpful information, including data sheets, user guides, FAQs and videos.
Editor's note: Looking for a business phone system? Click the Compare Quotes button below to have our sister site BuyerZone connect you with vendors that can help.