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Ooma Review

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks

Thanks to its simplicity, flexibility and affordability, Ooma Office is our choice as the best phone system for remote teams. This is a cloud-hosted system that gives employees the flexibility to tap into their phone system from wherever they are located via mobile and desktop apps. The mobile and desktop apps give you all of the same functionality, and then some, that you get from using a traditional office phone. Users can make calls and host and attend video meetings whether on a mobile device or computer. And while Ooma doesn't offer all of the features and tools that some unified communications systems offer, it does include those that remote employees will value, like auto-attendants, voicemail and call forwarding. Additionally, the solution is extremely affordable and offers round-the-clock support. 

Ooma

Ooma

The Verdict

Ooma Office is our choice as the best business phone system for remote teams because of its simplicity, affordability, and ability to support remote employees via mobile and desktop apps and video conferencing.

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Ooma Office Pricing

When it comes to its service plans, Ooma has two options: Ooma Office and Ooma Office Pro. Both plans have recurring monthly per-user fees. All of the plans include unlimited calling. Here is a breakdown of each plan:

Ooma Office: This plan, which costs $19.95 per user per month, includes the mobile app, a virtual receptionist, call park, ring groups, music on hold, transfer music, extension dialing, voicemail and voicemail-to-email.

Ooma Office Pro: Office Pro, which costs $24.95 per user per month, has several key added features, including access to the desktop app and video conferencing. It also includes call recording, enhanced call blocking and voicemail transcription.

We like that Ooma Office Pro increases the number of features and tools with the Office Pro plan, which allows businesses to continue staying with Ooma as their needs grow. Instead of having to switch providers altogether, you can pay an additional $5 a month per user for that increased functionality. There are no contracts with Ooma Office. You make all payments on a month-to-month basis. The company offers a 30-day, risk-free trial.

Ooma has an Enterprise plan for larger organizations. Ooma Enterprise costs $27.99 per user per month. Contracts are required for Enterprise users. This plan has a number of added tools, including customizable call flows, dashboards and analytics, as well as an open API.

For businesses that have older analog phones and want to continue using them, there is equipment you can purchase for a one-time cost. The basic equipment package starts at $129.97. It includes the base station, which is the system's main component, and two Linx devices, which are used to connect analog phones to the system. IP phones can be plugged directly into an Ethernet port and don't need any special connection. Since each base station supports five analog phones, you may need additional base stations, which are $100 each. If you don't have analog phones you need to use, none of this equipment is necessary.

Another cost to consider is desk phones. Unlike with other business phone solutions that require IP phones, you can use analog phones with Ooma Office. However, you can add more users to the system if you use IP phones. Ooma offers several different Yealink and Cisco phones, ranging from $70 to $400.

Bottom LineBottom Line: Ooma offers flexible where the breakdown in cost per user is based on the features your team will need. Consider Ooma if you need features for a remote workforce.

Ooma Features

While it doesn't have the wide selection of features that some other phone systems offer, Ooma Office does have the calling and mobile tools very small businesses need most. Although it sounds nice to have all the accessories today's phone systems offer, most would go unused by very small businesses. Ooma keeps its prices down by only providing the features very small businesses need most. 

Ooma Office's features include:

  • Unlimited local and long-distance calling
  • A virtual receptionist
  • Voicemail
  • Call transfers
  • Call logs
  • Daytime and after-hours modes
  • Ring groups
  • Music on hold
  • Call forwarding
  • Online faxing

Ooma Office Pro offers even more features and tools. For the extra $5 a month per user, you have access to a desktop app, which lets each user check out the company directory, manage calls and set up ring groups. Other features in the upgraded plan include call recording, enhanced call blocking, voicemail transcription and overhead paging.

The big plus with Ooma Office Pro, especially for businesses with remote teams, is the addition of video conferencing to the platform. This gives each user the ability to host their own video meetings with up 25 people. It also allows for screen sharing, chatting with individual members of the meeting or the entire group and mute options. You can scheduling one-off and recurring meetings. There are no limits on the meetings that can be scheduled.

Ooma also has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices that lets employees make and receive calls using their business lines. When you make an outgoing call from the app, the person you call will see your business phone number on their caller ID, not your personal mobile number. With the mobile app, you can also transfer calls to other employees, listen to and manage your voicemails, and easily access co-workers' extensions.

TipTip: Ooma has a robust set of features that sets it apart from the competition. If your business needs more than a basic phone setup, consider Ooma

Ooma Office Pros

Ooma Office is a cloud-hosted system that, depending on the types of phones you want to use, doesn't require any additional equipment. If you are using IP phones, you can set up the system quickly. All you need to do is plug the phones into your LAN. Once the phones have been plugged in and have powered up, you can make and receive calls.

Even if you want to use analog phones, setting up the required equipment is an easy process. Even someone without any phone system expertise can install the required equipment in less than 20 minutes.

If you use analog phones, you need to set up your base station and Linx devices to get the system working. The base station serves as a full router, prioritizing voice data on your internet connection. This helps ensure solid reception on each call. The other main component is the Linx device. The option to use analog phones you already have, without having to purchase new IP phones, can be a big cost-saver for very small businesses and a nice benefit of this service.

You first connect the base station to your high-speed internet connection. You then plug the base station's AC adapter into an electrical outlet. For the best service, Ooma recommends that you have at least 256Kbps upstream and downstream for each simultaneous call during peak usage times. Once the base station is connected, you then plug an analog phone into the unit.

Once everything is up and running, you control the system via Ooma's online portal. The portal, which is easy to use and navigate, is where system administrators assign employees extensions and phone numbers, set up the automated attendant, and create ring groups.

Ooma Office Cons

Ooma doesn't offer all of the features that some of its competitors do. So, if you are looking for a solution that offers every possible feature and tool, this system might not be a perfect fit. For example, if you have contact center needs, some of those associated tools, like whisper or barge, are not included in Ooma's small business plans. However, if you do have those needs, Ooma's Enterprise plan, which costs $50 per user per month is a solid option. Those plans do require you to sign a long-term contract.  

In addition, Ooma doesn't have the same built-in integrations with other popular applications, like Slack, Salesforce, Microsoft and G Suite.

Another potential downside is the conference calling participant restrictions. If you only get the Ooma Office plan, you are limited to 10 callers at a time. The good news is that Ooma has upped those limits with the recent introduction of the Office Pro plan.

Customer Support

We were pleased with the customer support we received from Ooma. To test the level of service, we contacted the company numerous times by phone, email and live chat, posing as a microbusiness owner interested in its phone system. 

Most of our interactions with the company were positive. Representatives immediately answered most of our calls. There were a couple of times, however, when our calls weren't immediately answered – or were picked up, but no one was on the other end of the line.

Overall, the representatives we spoke to gave detailed answers to our questions about how the system works, the available features, the mobile app and pricing. There were a few times the responses didn't provide as much detail as we wanted, though, and we then had to contact Ooma again for further information. Each time we followed up with a representative over email, they immediately responded.

We also found the live chat service helpful. With some providers' live chat services, it took a long time for a customer service representative to answer our questions, but we got prompt responses from the Ooma team. 

Ooma provides 24/7 phone, email and live chat support.

Image Credit: scyther5 / Getty Images
Ooma

Ooma

The Verdict

Ooma Office is our choice as the best business phone system for remote teams because of its simplicity, affordability, and ability to support remote employees via mobile and desktop apps and video conferencing.

Visit Site
Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
business.com Staff
Chad Brooks is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of media of experience. He has been with Business News Daily and business.com for the past decade, having written and edited content focused specifically on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Chad spearheads coverage of small business communication services, including business phone systems, video conferencing services and conference call solutions. His work has appeared on The Huffington Post, CNBC.com, FoxBusiness.com, Live Science, IT Tech News Daily, Tech News Daily, Security News Daily and Laptop Mag. Chad's first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.