Which VoIP Phone System Services Are Best For Your Small or Medium-Sized Business?
Like any other technology that has hit its stride, the VoIP industry has plenty of players. This means that you need to check out several of them in order to see what is standard, who goes beyond this standard, and how well they exceed it. Here are a few things to look for to help you determine which VoIP phone system services are best for your business. At the end, we’ll also tell you which one has gotten the best marks in our VoIP phone service review.
All of the Standard Features
Every one of the VoIP companies we reviewed offer some standard services. These include use via cell phones and office phones; call waiting, forwarding, hold, transfer and waiting; toll-free numbers; local number portability; hold music; call groups; a virtual receptionist; professional greetings; iOS and Android app support; call blocking; conferencing; and integration with Salesforce.
This in itself seems like a robust package, but it is likely that you’ll want at least some things outside of this sphere. It is in this area that the robustness – or lack thereof – of the various providers becomes readily apparent.
The Barebones Providers
Occupying this section are two VoIP providers: Grasshopper and Ooma. One look at our review list shows that they have the most X’s of all of the providers on it. An X represents a service a company doesn’t offer. You can’t use either of them from a computer – a capability that is standard with all of the others. There’s no unified inbox, you can’t use multiple devices, there’s no outbound call control, no virtual mailbox, no switchboard (PBX) software, and this is just a short list. The amount of “nos” almost exceeds the number of “yesses.” On the plus side, they do have a couple of things almost nobody else does, including video on hold, push to talk, and privacy.
In the Middle
Providers Shoretel, Jive, Mitel, Fonality, Alliance, and VoIP Studio all offer a robust selection of features. Along with the basics, they add things like the ability to use their service from a computer using a headset and mic, Outlook integration, outbound call control, PBX (switchboard) software, internet faxing, a virtual mailbox, on-demand call recording, and more.
It is important to note that all of these providers don’t offer all of these things. Instead, some – most notably Jive – are missing a few of these options. Still, even they have enough extras to put them above the “barebones” category.
The Top of the Line
Only one provider has almost every option available. This makes it the clear winner of our reviews. That provider is Nextiva. There is just one thing that it doesn’t have, and that is video on hold. Everything else that VoIP services offer is available from them.
Some services are only available from Nextiva. Of our reviewed companies, they’re the only ones with virtual extensions, seven-digit dialing, group intercom, and call queuing. If you need or want any of these services, Nextiva’s your company.
It is important to note that you don’t have to sign up for everything Nextiva has to offer. You choose your own features, so you don’t have to pay for any that you won’t use. This makes it easy to get the best possible selection with no unnecessary costs. The base price is just $19.95 per month.
To sign up with Nextiva or any of the other reviewed providers, just contact us. We’ll be glad to go into further detail about the differences between all of the companies we’ve reviewed and ensure that you choose the best one for your small or medium-sized business.