Flexibility is also a crucial element in a business phone system. If your business moves to a new location, you want a phone system that can easily move with you. You also want flexibility in the types of phones that work with the system. IP phones can be expensive, so, ideally, the system will allow you to use any type of phone, including analog desk phones and mobile devices.
When it comes to features, very small businesses likely don't have the same requirements as larger organizations. They need a phone system with robust basic features, but they don't want a system that charges them for tools they will never use. Among some of the more valuable features very small businesses want in a phone system include auto attendants, mobile apps, voicemail, ring groups and conference calling.
Ooma Office fits all of these needs and is our choice as the best business phone system for very small businesses. It was built specifically with smaller organizations in mind.
Ooma Office is easy to install, doesn't require an IT team to maintain and works with both analog and IP phones. While the system doesn't have all the features some of its larger competitors do, it offers some of the most valuable ones, like auto attendants, voicemail and call forwarding. The system is extremely affordable and offers round-the-clock support.
View all our recommendations for business phone systems on our best picks page.
Ooma Office Pricing
Unlike cloud-hosted systems that only have monthly fees, Ooma Office has both one-time equipment fees and recurring monthly service fees. Here's how the costs for Ooma Office break down:
These are one-time costs when you sign up for the service. The basic equipment package starts at $129.97. It includes the base station, which is the system's main component, and two Linx devices. The Linx devices 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. Should you need additional Linx devices, they are $50 each. Since each base station supports five analog phones, you may need additional base stations. Each added base station is $100.
The monthly service fee for Ooma Office is $19.95 per user, per month. Included in this cost are all the features Ooma offers, as well as unlimited calling and a dedicated phone number for each user.
One other cost to consider is for desk phones. Unlike other business phone solutions that require IP phones, with Ooma Office, you can use analog phones. However, using IP phones let you add more users to the system. Ooma offers several different Yealink and Cisco phones, ranging between $70 and $400.
There are no contracts with Ooma Office. All payments are made on a month-to-month basis. The company also offers a 30-day, risk-free trial.
Ease of Use
Ooma Office's on-premises VoIP system can be installed by someone without phone system expertise in less than 20 minutes. While the system only supports up to 20 analog phones, it can support as many as 200 IP phones.
The main component of Ooma's system is the base station. The base station serves as a full router prioritizing voice data on your internet connection. This helps ensure you have solid reception on each call. The other main equipment piece is the Linx device.
The first step in setting up the system is choosing a number. You can select a local or toll-free number. For businesses wanting to keep their existing phone numbers, you can transfer them over from your current phone system provider. If you are porting a number over, know that it can take several weeks to complete the process. While the process is ongoing, you will be assigned a temporary number.
Once you have your number, you can set up the hardware. 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, or plug an IP phone into your network. When the base station's blue light turns on, you can start making calls.
To connect other analog phones, plug the Linx wireless devices into a power outlet near the base unit, and press the Page key for 3 seconds. A light on the Linx device turns blue when the system recognizes it. Once it's recognized, you can move it to another part of the office and plug a phone into it.
To connect other IP phones, simply plug them into your network anywhere in your office.
Once everything is up and running, the system is controlled 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.
While it doesn't have the selection of features that other phone systems offer, Ooma 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.
Among the features Ooma Office includes are 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 and online faxing.
Ooma has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices that lets employees make and receive calls using their business lines. When making an outgoing call on the app, callers will see your business phone number on their caller ID and not your personal mobile number. With the mobile app, you can also transfer calls to other employees, listen to and manage voicemails and easily access co-workers' extensions.
The biggest drawback with Ooma is the one-time hardware costs. Many phone systems are strictly cloud-based and don't have those types of built-in costs. However, if you are using analog phones, you will save money on having to purchase IP phones.
Another downside is that Ooma doesn't offer nearly the features that many phone system providers do, such as call recording, instant messaging and video conferencing.
Ooma Office has a conference calling service built into its phone system. With the conference bridge feature, which is included at no extra charge, each employee can hold their own conference call with up to 10 callers.
If your company is looking to host conference calls with more than 10 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 pick page.
We were pleased with the customer support we received from Ooma. To the test the level of service, we contacted the company numerous times by phone, email and live chat posing as a very small business owner interested in their phone system.
Most of the interactions we had with the company were positive. Most of the time, our calls were immediately answered by representatives. There were a couple of times, however, where 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 with provided us detailed answers to our questions about how the system worked, the features that are available, the mobile app and pricing. There were a few times our questions were answered, but the responses didn't provide as much detail as we had wanted. We then had to contact Ooma again for further information.
Each time we followed up with a representative via email, they immediately responded to us. We also found the live chat service helpful. Unlike some providers where it took a long time for a customer service representative to answer our questions, we got prompt responses from the Ooma team.
Ooma provides phone support between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. Support is also available 24/7 by email and live chat.
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