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VoIP Phone Systems

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Jive Voice logo
 
Jive's suite of unified communications solutions is an ideal choice for small businesses needing a cloud-based system. A strong support structure and proven track record make Jive Communications a great fit for a growing business.
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Jive's suite of unified communications solutions is an ideal choice for small businesses needing a cloud-based system. A strong support structure and proven track record make Jive Communications a great fit for a growing business.
 
Nextiva Office logo
 
Designed for small and growing businesses in any industry, Nextiva's award-winning VoIP business systems bring enterprise-level features and simple online management at an extremely affordable price.
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Designed for small and growing businesses in any industry, Nextiva's award-winning VoIP business systems bring enterprise-level features and simple online management at an extremely affordable price.
 
Virtual Office by 8x8 logo
 
8x8 Virtual Office is a cloud-based phone system that integrates with a number of CRM suites and help desk solutions. It offers unified communications capabilities such as desktop sharing as well as call center features like IVR.
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8x8 Virtual Office is a cloud-based phone system that integrates with a number of CRM suites and help desk solutions. It offers unified communications capabilities such as desktop sharing as well as call center features like IVR.
 
Vonage Business Solutions logo
 
Vonage Business Solutions offers a robust business VoIP system that can provide businesses with features such as outlook integration, call continuity, cell phone integration and local number portability (LNP).
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Vonage Business Solutions offers a robust business VoIP system that can provide businesses with features such as outlook integration, call continuity, cell phone integration and local number portability (LNP).
 
FluentStream VoIP logo
 
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
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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

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RingCentral Office logo
 
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.
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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.
 
MegaPath logo
 
MegaPath is Business Voip software that works with medium to large-size businesses in any industry. The system offers companies Internet connectivity, unified communications, security services, managed networking services, and more. With... Read More
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MegaPath is Business Voip software that works with medium to large-size businesses in any industry. The system offers companies Internet connectivity, unified communications, security services, managed networking services, and more. With... Read More
 
ReadyTalk Hosted Voice logo
 
ReadyTalk is a cloud-based communication service provider and offers hosted voice, video and web conferencing and streaming webinars. ReadyTalk’s hosted voice solution, powered by Evolve IP, delivers cloud-based business phone services... Read More
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ReadyTalk is a cloud-based communication service provider and offers hosted voice, video and web conferencing and streaming webinars. ReadyTalk’s hosted voice solution, powered by Evolve IP, delivers cloud-based business phone services... Read More
 
ShoreTel Sky logo
 
ShoreTel Sky is a hosted voice service that offers businesses offers phone system features, comprehensive unified communications, 3rd party application integrations and rich data mining and intelligence features.
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ShoreTel Sky is a hosted voice service that offers businesses offers phone system features, comprehensive unified communications, 3rd party application integrations and rich data mining and intelligence features.
 
Business Voice logo
 
Business Voice 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
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Business Voice 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

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +64 4 488 7035


 
NICE inContact Hosted Call Center logo
 
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
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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
 
Five9 Cloud Contact Center logo
 
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.
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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.
 
ContactWorld by NewVoiceMedia logo
 
ContactWorld, created by NewVoiceMedia, is a unified communication platform for any size corporation. It offers standalone call center functionality, including automatic call distribution, predictive dialer, call recording, auto attendant,... Read More
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ContactWorld, created by NewVoiceMedia, is a unified communication platform for any size corporation. It offers standalone call center functionality, including automatic call distribution, predictive dialer, call recording, auto attendant,... Read More
 
Skype for Business logo
 
Skype for Business is a hybrid voice messaging solution that enables teams and individuals across the world to communicate and collaborate. It offers both cloud-based and on-premise solutions. This solution allows users to interact... Read More
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Skype for Business is a hybrid voice messaging solution that enables teams and individuals across the world to communicate and collaborate. It offers both cloud-based and on-premise solutions. This solution allows users to interact... Read More
 
CorvisaOne logo
 
CorvisaOne is a hosted suite of contact center applications that offers features such as IVR and ACD call routing for inbound and outbound call centers. Users can customize integrations and create apps with CorvisaCloud’s APIs.
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CorvisaOne is a hosted suite of contact center applications that offers features such as IVR and ACD call routing for inbound and outbound call centers. Users can customize integrations and create apps with CorvisaCloud’s APIs.

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +64 4 488 7035


 
ShoreTel logo
 
ShoreTel provides an on-premise unified communication(UC) solution for conferencing, collaboration, presence and mobility applications and features that caters to businesses of all sizes. ShoreTel’s solution can be deployed using... Read More
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ShoreTel provides an on-premise unified communication(UC) solution for conferencing, collaboration, presence and mobility applications and features that caters to businesses of all sizes. ShoreTel’s solution can be deployed using... Read More
 
Adobe Connect logo
 
Adobe Connect is a web conferencing software solution used by companies for conducting online meetings, webinars and training sessions. The solution is for adhoc collaboration as well as planned online meetings. The solution enables... Read More
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Adobe Connect is a web conferencing software solution used by companies for conducting online meetings, webinars and training sessions. The solution is for adhoc collaboration as well as planned online meetings. The solution enables... Read More
 
Aircall logo
 
Aircall is a cloud-based phone system designed for teams like customer support or sales teams. Aircall is a software that allows companies to get phone numbers in 30 countries, configure them in seconds and forward calls easily across... Read More
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Aircall is a cloud-based phone system designed for teams like customer support or sales teams. Aircall is a software that allows companies to get phone numbers in 30 countries, configure them in seconds and forward calls easily across... Read More
 
3CX logo
 

3CX

3CX is a software-based PBX that works with SIP standard-based IP Phones, SIP trunks and VoIP Gateways. Pricing for 3CX is based on the number of simultaneous calls that the system supports. Solutions are tailored to different business... Read More
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3CX is a software-based PBX that works with SIP standard-based IP Phones, SIP trunks and VoIP Gateways. Pricing for 3CX is based on the number of simultaneous calls that the system supports. Solutions are tailored to different business... Read More
 
Sharpen logo
 
Sharpen’s cloud-based platform is a SaaS contact center solution for midsize to large enterprise businesses. As an all-in-one solution, the platform provides businesses the ability to communicate with customers by SMS, MMS, live... Read More
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Sharpen’s cloud-based platform is a SaaS contact center solution for midsize to large enterprise businesses. As an all-in-one solution, the platform provides businesses the ability to communicate with customers by SMS, MMS, live... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: February 13, 2018


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, like an IVR 
  • Needing a system that’s more user-friendly

IVR designer screenshot in Five9 Cloud Contact Center

IVR designer in Five9 Cloud Contact Center

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:

Feature Function Benefit
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 service. 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, like 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’s needed before you begin will make the selection process easier.

Free Download:
Business VoIP Systems Pricing Guide

 

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