Top 5 Nextiva Alternatives for Your Small Business in 2017
Nextiva is a great solution for business VoIP access and is popular with many companies. Voice over IP (VoIP) can help your business reduce phone service costs and access enterprise-grade phone services and integrations.
VoIP is typically much cheaper than plain old telephone service (POTS), since it uses the Internet to transmit voice data for phone calls instead of using the copper wiring of POTS systems. This dramatically reduces the costs of VoIP phone connections and allows data to take the most efficient routes over the Internet. Nextiva allows you to access these services and benefit from advanced business phone features, as well.
In this article, we will compare and contrast a few alternatives to Nextiva that you can deploy for your business quickly and use to build yourself a business communications system. These five alternatives can help you get the VoIP services you need and they all provide high-quality, useful VoIP features and functionality for businesses.
- Benefits of VoIP Service
- Vonage Business
- VoIP Tips and Tricks
1. Benefits of VoIP Service
VoIP revolutionized business phone service by making it cheaper, more efficient and easier than ever to establish business communications systems and make phone calls. With VoIP access, your business can communicate more effectively with customers, members of the public and colleagues. Your VoIP service can provide you with added features, too, such as integrations with popular software platforms.
Integrations can provide you with additional services that you otherwise might not have access to. VoIP phones can be set up so that agents receive the information they need onscreen during phone calls. This allows you to set up your own contact center with powerful VoIP features that can accelerate your business.
2. Vonage Business
Vonage offers a great al-la-carte VoIP service that is flexible and adaptable to a variety of business sizes and needs. You can sign up for the services you need and gain access to powerful VoIP features and integrations. Vonage Business is great for small and medium-sized enterprises looking to save money on business phone services.
One interesting feature Vonage offers is per-minute service for virtual extensions. If you do not use every extension every day and you have a smaller business, you may benefit from having a service that you are not obligated to pay as much for. You are using less, so it would make sense to pay lower rates, too.
With Amazon Chime video conferencing integrations, you can set up powerful video conferences easily and quickly and use a high-quality service with full features.
ShoreTel’s services are not necessarily cloud hosted only, so if you are shopping around for onsite private branch exchange (PBX) services or a hybrid service partially in the cloud, then ShoreTel may make sense in your business. ShoreTel’s full features include a variety of VoIP communications services, text messaging, web, audio and video conferencing and other features.
This vendor customizes the unified communications (UC) solution to every customer, making it easier to find get a truly unique and flexible system for your organization. ShoreTel works to unify the software working together for your system, making the interface straightforward and consistent across different platforms.
8×8 is a VoIP service offering cloud hosted communications systems with a variety of features and integrations. This vendor offers strong analytics tools that can help you accomplish more. In fact, some say their analytics features are comparable to Nextiva’s. You can quickly develop strategies and make business decisions that are informed by data, accelerating your business.
If you need a cloud communications center, 8×8 offers strong expertise and features that can advance your business in meaningful ways.
RingCentral offers affordable pricing and customizable VoIP features. This vendor has a business plan that starts at $19.99 per month and offers basic business communications features that can be particularly helpful for small businesses and other companies that do not use the phone as much but still need a business communications system. This plan has unlimited calling and 1,000 minutes. Video conferencing is another important feature for many organizations, and RingCentral offers it with eve their basic plan. You can also do screen sharing with video conferencing, offering your business some really powerful features.
Megapath has a wide range of different services, including cloud hosted service with no contracts, Internet service, security service and other services many businesses need. They do not require minimum numbers of users for their features, which can really help you access advanced VoIP features. Many other services do require a minimum number of users, making it more difficult to access these features if your business has a small number of employees or relatively few department users.
7. VoIP Tips and Tricks
Getting started in VoIP requires some equipment, software and an Internet connection. Specific requirements depend on which vendor and service you choose. Before you start, follow these tips to make the most of your new VoIP plan.
- Before buying equipment or phones, be sure to ask your vendor about equipment. Some vendors have specific equipment requirements. They may also have specials to help you save money on buying new phones.
- Many vendors have bring your own equipment (BYOE) programs. These companies may require you to have Session Internet Protocol (SIP) enabled phones. This popular Internet language is very flexible and relatively common.
- When shopping for a VoIP service, be sure to write down any questions you have for the vendors. Think about which features are meaningful for your business and ask about availability, pricing and user minimums. Some features may only be available to larger businesses or enterprises with specific equipment and software integrations.
- If pricing is a factor, consider cloud hosted services to minimize the upfront equipment investment you would have to make.
- Keep in mind that cloud hosting may require substantial Internet connection bandwidth. Whenever possible, try to conserve bandwidth in your other operations so your VoIP connections can function properly.
- There are many ways to use VoIP with a distributed team or remote workers. You can allow employees to connect remotely to the VoIP network. This allows them to function as part of the network even when they are offsite. You can even connect smartphones and softphones to the VoIP system, allowing VoIP functionality while away from the office.
- If you are having connection issues, looking at different access points and connections within the network can help with troubleshooting. Phone echo may occur as a result of factors you have limited control over, although new equipment can sometimes solve part of the problem. Keep in mind that data latency is also a common factor.
- Secure your new VoIP network carefully to reduce the risk of hacking. VoIP systems are always vulnerable to hacking if they are connected to the Internet, so be sure to take reasonable precautions. Choose strong passwords for IP phones, use firewalls and be sure to secure any computers with access to the network.
- Allow your employees to provide input when you shop for new VoIP services or a new phone system. If they will be consistently using the systems, it makes sense to allow them to point out important features or provide suggestions for finding the right user interface.