If your business has a contact center, your phone system needs are twofold. That's because you aren't just looking for a system that can serve your contact center or a solution for the rest of your office – you need a system that provides outstanding services and support to your entire organization.
The phone system you choose will support everyone in your company. Therefore, it needs to be feature-rich and flexible enough to grow with your business as it expands. The contact center services are supplemental to the office phone system. You want a provider that allows you to add call center services only for those employees working in the call center.
The key features you want from your call center services are call routing with queuing capabilities, skills-based routing, CRM integration options, interactive voice response (IVR), call monitoring tools like whisper and barge, and call recording. It should also provide detailed analytics so you can have a clear picture of how your call center is performing.
Mitel is our choice as the best business phone system for call centers, because it is a robust traditional phone solution that offers comprehensive contact center services. Part of what makes Mitel such an ideal option for all businesses is the multiple ways it can be deployed. The system is available in the cloud, as an on-premises system or as a hybrid that combines the two. There are multiple service plans that give businesses the flexibility to ensure each employee has the features and tools they need to best support their job responsibilities.
View all our recommendations for business phone systems on our best picks page.
Mitel is available as both a cloud-hosted and on-premises system. The two hosting options have completely different price structures. The cloud-hosted system is priced on a monthly, per user basis. The on-premises system comprises one-time, upfront fees.
For the cloud-hosted system, there are three different service plans businesses can choose from. Unlike other providers we researched, however, Mitel gives you the choice of mixing and matching service plans on a per-user basis. This gives you the flexibility of choosing plans for each employee's specific needs, rather than paying for everyone to have a feature that only a few team members use.
Each of the plans includes unlimited calling, standard PBX features, online administration, a desktop app, voicemail, voicemail to email, instant messaging, presence, Outlook integration, find-me call routing and the Mitel mobile app.
Here are how the plans differ, with pricing based on organizations with 50 to 100 employees:
- The Essential plan is $20.99 per user, per month. It includes audio conferencing for up to eight participants at a time, web conferencing with desktop sharing for up to four users at a time, and video conferencing for up to eight users at a time.
- The Premier plan is $26.59 per user, per month. It includes audio conferencing for up to 25 participants at a time, web conferencing with desktop sharing for up to 25 simultaneous users and video conferencing for up to 12 users at a time. This plan includes Salesforce integration, voicemail transcription, online faxing and on-demand call recording.
- The Elite plan is $38.49 per user, per month. It includes everything in the Essential plan, plus audio conferencing for up to 100 participants at a time, web conferencing with desktop sharing for up to 100 users at a time and video conferencing for up to 24 simultaneous users. This plan also includes always-on call recording, archiving and an operator.
There is an additional charge for the contact center services. For call center agents, there are additional charges that range from $12 to $20 per user, per month. For call center supervisors, there is an additional charge of $112 per month, per supervisor.
With the cloud-hosted system, you can rent IP phones. Prices vary by phone. We were quoted a price of $5 per month for a standard desk phone.
While Mitel sells its cloud-hosted system directly to businesses, you must work with a local reseller for the on-premises system. While we couldn't get an exact price quote, the representative we spoke with provided an estimate that ranged from $800 to $950 per user depending on the features you want included. Those costs could increase depending on the tools your business needs (as well as the reseller you are working with.
Mitel requires contracts. They typically range between one and three years. There is also a one-time charge for installation, setup and training.
Ease of Use
MiCloud Office, Mitel's cloud-hosted VoIP phone system, does not require any special equipment to be installed (except phones), and Mitel handles all the maintenance and upgrades.
The main components of the system are housed in Mitel's georedundant data centers. The company uses multiple data centers around the world to ensure service stays operational.
To ensure your MiCloud Office system has perfect call quality, the company recommends you have a fiber connection and 100Kbps for each concurrent call. In addition to MiCloud Office, Mitel offers MiCloud Business and MiCloud Flex.
Mitel's cloud systems have an uptime of between 99.97 and 100 percent. If the uptime drops below 99.99 percent, customers are eligible for credits on future bills, according to the company's service level agreement.
Mitel offers several on-premises options. They require professional installation, and you are responsible for the maintenance and upgrades.
The on-premises systems, which can be used in shelf-top, rack-mount and wall-mount configurations, support numerous locations, and use a software and hardware platform that combine data networking and TDM switching architectures.
The hybrid option houses the main telephone system in the cloud, with the contact center solution hosted on-premises inside your business.
Mitel offers several performance analytics tools that help make sure the system is always running at top notch. The tools provide round-the-clock monitoring of your business phone system and can detect when a voice quality problem is occurring, identify the cause of the problem, resolve problems before they impact users and prevent future problems from ever occurring.
When it comes to features, Mitel has a comprehensive selection of calling, collaboration, mobility administration and contact center features and tools, making it a full unified communications system.
In its base phone system, Mitel has several calling features, including auto attendants, call forward, call transfer, call waiting, Caller ID, speed dial, music on hold, call screening, call blocking, the ability to dial by name or extension, voicemail-to-email, call blocking and hunt groups. It also offers group paging, intercoms, message waiting notifications and ring tone personalization.
The system includes many administrative features and tools, such as call permissions, feature permissions, account codes and extensions assignments.
With Mitel, there are also several useful collaboration tools, including audio conferencing, instant messaging, presence, video chat and desktop sharing.
Mitel's iOS and Android mobile app allows employees to make and receive calls from their business line, conduct conference calls, and check voicemail. In addition to the mobile app, the system includes a softphone that can be used to make and receive calls from any computer, whether that is an office computer or your laptop when you're away from the office.
In addition to its array of phone system features, Mitel has an equally impressive offering of contact center features and tools, including universal queuing and enterprise resource matching; optimized call routing; email, fax, voicemail, SMS, and web chat integration; customer callbacks; automatic speech recognition; softphones; prerecorded announcements; silent monitoring; call recording; detailed views of interactions in the queue; and IVRs that allow you to collect and capture all customer information in the system.
Mitel's contact center dashboard provides a real-time view of how the call center is performing. The dashboard alerts you to critical conditions, lets you monitor whether agents are in no-work mode, track all media types (voice, email, chat outbound campaigns) through one interface and compare real-time information with historical information to get a clearer picture of trends.
You can also run outbound campaigns with Mitel's contact center services. The outbound dialer can be used for collections, customer follow-throughs or compliance. You can build outbound campaigns that focus on specific business goals and fine-tune them while they are in progress.
Mitel integrates with many popular programs businesses are already using, including Salesforce, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, Act, Zendesk and Desk.com. The system can also be configured to work with nearly any CRM.
Mitel offers conference calling with its phone system. With the conference bridge feature, which comes included at no extra charge, each employee can hold their own conference call that supports between eight and 100 callers, depending on the service plan.
If your company is looking to host conference calls with more than 100 callers, you will 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 picks page.
We were impressed with Mitel's customer service. To test the support offered, we contacted the company multiple times by phone and email posing as a business owner interested in phone and contact center services.
When we reached out by phone, our calls were always immediately answered by a representative, who collected specific information on our business. They then said a specialist would contact us shortly. We were disappointed that we couldn't speak with someone who could answer all of our questions immediately when we called, but that frustration was quickly erased when the specialists reached out to us within 20 minutes.
Each time we spoke to a specialist, they were extremely friendly and helpful. They answered our questions in enough detail that by the end of our calls we had a very clear understanding of how the system worked and what it had to offer in terms of features and tools. The representatives also did a good job of providing various price estimates.
After each of our calls, the specialists always followed up with an email that included more information on the systems, as well as detailed price quotes. Anytime we sent a message asking follow-up questions, we received prompt replies with thorough answers. The support we received from Mitel was excellent.
Mitel offers customer support by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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