Showing 1-20 of 205 products
Jive Communications delivers a cloud-based unified communication solution to organizations of all sizes across the U.S. Jive Voice includes integrated products for business VoIP, video conferencing and contact center which are all... Read more
Recent recommendations: 77 recommendations
Nextiva is a business-focused VoIP phone system serving small businesses and enterprises. The Nextiva VoIP service provides users with a complete phone, chat, texting, and fax solution. Customers get more than phone service. They... Read more
Recent recommendations: 65 recommendations
RingCentral Office is a complete VoIP and PBX business phone system that brings all the basic and advanced features modern businesses require to a flexible cloud-based service with a very low upfront cost. Read more
Recent recommendations: 60 recommendations
Virtual Office is a collection of comprehensive web-based business VoIP solutions from offered by 8x8. Enterprise grade phone service, virtual meetings, mobile applications, virtual contact centers and more are available to help companies... Read more
Recent recommendations: 50 recommendations
Business Plus is a cloud-based VoiP solution created by PanTerra, which allows users to take or make calls from their office phone number, communicate with their team, and have file access, all from any device with an internet connection,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 34 recommendations
FluentStream is a business phone solution designed for companies of all sizes. It offers call monitoring, telemarketing, IVR and reporting features within an integrated suite. The solution is available both in cloud-based and on-premise... Read more
Recent recommendations: 33 recommendations
Ooma Office is a cloud-based VoIP solution that caters to small-medium sized businesses across various industry verticals that helps them to manage their business operations. For businesses of all sizes, Ooma provides advanced voice... Read more
Recent recommendations: 31 recommendations
Designed for organizations of any size, Dialpad Talk is a cloud-based communications platform that allows businesses to access voice, messaging, meetings and video from any computer, smartphone, or tablet. Other key features include... Read more
Recent recommendations: 30 recommendations
net2phone’s cloud PBX VoIP phone solution enables businesses to communicate in a variety of methods, whether voice, texting, messaging or web chat, over an array of devices, in the office and on the go. The net2phone solution features... Read more
Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations
CallHippo is a cloud-based call center solution that helps mid to large size businesses with workflow automation and virtual telephony. The platform enables users to give detailed analysis to customers through call recordings. CallHippo... Read more
Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations
Twilio's Voice API is a fully programmable VoIP system that helps companies make, manage and route calls to a browser, app, phone and more. Key features include call monitoring, call transcripts, call routing, PBX, auto dialer / predictive... Read more
Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations
ClickITVoip is a cloud-based communication management system designed to help businesses engage with clients and employees via text messages, calls, video conferences and more. The platform includes an automated attendant, which automatically... Read more
Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations
RingCentral Engage Voice is a cloud-based contact center solution designed to help small to large enterprises automate and streamline outbound and blended communications between customers and call centers. It comes with a configurable... Read more
Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations
Dixa is a customer friendship platform that helps brands build stronger bonds with their customers through simple, unified and engaging conversations. Dixa allows your team to deliver instant and continuous service across phone, email,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations
NICE inContact is a SaaS-based call center software that helps businesses to maximizes the quality of leads and minimizes the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises of many features required to process inbound support requests... Read more
Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations
RingCentral Office is a cloud-based business phone solution that offers business communication tools for video, voice, fax and text. Core features of the solution include conferencing, auto-recording and unlimited long-distance and... Read more
Five9’s Cloud Contact Center provides all the functionality of an on-premise telephony system with the lower cost, flexibility and seamless integration of a platform based in the cloud. Read more
Versature’s cloud-based business VoIP services provide Canadian companies with unified communications and call analytics solutions to help manage their business operations. Versature’s key features include auto attendants, click-to-dial,... Read more
Vonix flex is a business VoIP solution that provides hands-on support and reliable service with all business phone plans for small and medium businesses across the U.S. This cloud-based communication platform helps businesses connect... Read more
Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations
UCx, a new generation Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution, helps customers create connections with their employees, customers and shareholders. UCx provides a rich feature set including enterprise voice, a cloud-based... Read more
Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations
What is VoIP phone software?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems allow users to make voice calls over the Internet. It converts callers' voices to digital signals that travel over the internet, allowing people to make calls from their computers.
Features include Do Not Disturb status updates, voicemail to email transcription, bandwidth utilization, and call routing, recording, and conferencing.
Here's what we'll cover:
Common reasons small businesses shop for a new phone system
Many small businesses contact us every day, looking for advice as they search for a new phone system. Some are new businesses just getting started, while others are looking to replace an old or problematic system. The most common reasons they have are that they're:
- Wanting to switch to VoIP
- Relocating or adding new offices
- Unhappy with current call quality
- Looking for more features, such as an IVR
- Needing a system that's more user-friendly
While there's a long list of reasons, there's an even longer list of systems and features addressing these common challenges. However, we find most small businesses require one or more of these core phone system capabilities:
|PBX||The central component of every multi-line phone system, the PBX acts as the switchboard, transferring and routing calls. It's also the component that lets users put callers on hold and have conference calls. It integrates most of the other features listed here.||Provides commonly used functions that allow many phone extensions to share lines and work together as one system.|
|Auto attendant||An Auto attendant greets inbound calls with basic information such as the the business's name, location, and hours, and also lets callers choose how their call will be connected. They often begin something like this: Thank you for calling Software Advice. Please choose from the following menu options...||Answers and directs inbound calls. Helps small businesses present a larger, more professional image.|
|IVR||The Interactive Voice Response feature is similar to, but more advanced than, Auto attendant. IVRs allow customers to access account information, schedule and make payments and complete other transactions requiring deeper interaction all without requiring an employee's time.||Automates many basic call transactions, freeing employees from some repetitive and time-consuming tasks.|
|CTI||Computer-Telephone Integration is a broad term for a collection of functions offered primarily with VoIP systems. CTI allows customer-specific information from the company's database to be automatically displayed on a computer whenever that customer is on the line.||Streamlines call processing, saves employees from having to repeatedly look up basic information when customers call.|
|FMFM||Find Me Follow Me is a feature that makes sure important calls get through to the right person, even if the right person isn't at their desk. FMFM lets users program a sequence of alternate numbers, including external and mobile numbers, to dial in case their desk phone rings and is unanswered.||Ensures important calls are always answered. Valuable in sales-focused industries, where missing a call can mean missing a sale.|
|Softphone||Many VoIP systems include software telephones, or "softphones." These are programs that run on office computers and, when used with a headset, allow calls to be made and received directly from the computer.||Reduces equipment costs by letting offices purchase fewer desk phones.|
|Voicemail-to-email||Another feature common to VoIP systems, this is an automated transcription service. When callers leave voicemail, this service transcribes the audio to written text and sends it as an email.||Saves time listening to voicemail messages.|
|Conferencing||Some PBX systems only allow for three-way calling, whereas others offer true conference calling with dedicated dial-in numbers.||Facilitates internal and external collaboration.|
Key considerations for small businesses
System complexity: Some businesses we speak with tell us they're replacing their existing phone system because it's too complicated and not user-friendly. Buying an overly complex system can be as bad as buying one that has too few features. Apart from paying for features that won't be used, advanced systems can present usability issues.
So before you begin shopping, start with a clear assessment of exactly which functions you need. Don't get caught up in a more-functions-is-necessarily-better mindset when comparing systems. Also, take advantage of the trials and demos offered by some companies to get a firsthand feel for exactly how user-friendly a system is.
VoIP or analog: Telephony technology is split between digital phone systems, which send voice calls over the Internet (Voice over IP, or VoIP), and older analog phone systems, which use traditional phone services. Though VoIP phones can call analog phones and vice versa, and there are hybrid systems that contain components of both, it's best for a business that's looking to start from scratch to choose one or the other. The vast majority of businesses are choosing VoIP.
But VoIP requires a reliable broadband Internet connection. So for businesses that don't have access to broadband, an analog system may be the only option. If you're unclear on how the two systems differ, this Guide to VoIP compares them in easy-to-understand language.
On-premise or hosted PBX: This isn't a choice all businesses will face. Small analog phone systems usually come with a simple hardware PBX that's kept on-site. And medium and large businesses often want the control of an on-site PBX, but they also have the IT budgets needed to maintain them.
Aside from these cases, most businesses should consider using an off-site or "hosted" PBX. It is an option on many small business VoIP systems and offered by many ITSPs. The big benefit with a hosted PBX is it can offer more advanced phone system functions, such as auto-attendants and IVRs, without the expense of purchasing and managing an on-site hardware PBX.
Lines and extensions: With an analog phone system you might, for example, pay your telco for two or four lines to allow your business to have that many simultaneous phone calls. For that to work, you'd need a two- or four-line analog business phone system, which are some of the most common analog systems on the market.
With VoIP systems, extensions can be added by simply connecting the office's internal computer network.
Hardware and special-use requirements: Businesses in certain industries or with unique workplace environments will have specific phone system requirements. Identifying which features are needed will help focus the search for the right phone system for your small business.
There are, for example, industry-specific systems for hotels, call centers, and hospitals. Though most small businesses will not be looking for specialized industry systems, they often do have special hardware requirements. Some need wireless handsets that can operate outdoors or a long distance away from a base station. Others don't use handsets, but instead require wireless headsets with long battery life. Knowing what is needed before you begin will make the selection process easier.