Small Business Phone Systems

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Showing 1 - 20 of 151 products
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Showing 1 - 20 of 151 products

Nextiva

Nextiva is a platform that brings communications together with business applications, intelligence, and automation. This helps businesses communicate and build deeper connections with their customers. The platform brings all ...Read more

4.16 (186 reviews)

14 recommendations

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GoTo Connect

GoToConnect (formerly Jive) delivers a cloud-based unified communication solution to organizations of all sizes across the U.S. GoToConnect includes integrated products for business VoIP, video conferencing and contact center whic...Read more

4.52 (599 reviews)

18 recommendations

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Answer360

Answer360 puts big business telephony applications in reach for small to mid-sized companies. Their applications and features are fully scalable and can be deployed on-premise or as a web-based system. ...Read more

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RingCentral MVP

RingCentral MVP is a cloud-based business communications solution that offers tools for Messaging, Video and Phone. Core features of the solution include conferencing, auto-recording and unlimited long-distance and local calling. ...Read more

4.21 (928 reviews)

15 recommendations

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Slingshot VoIP

SlingShot VoIP provides robust PBX and telephony functionality for small businesses needing an affordable, feature-rich option. Companies can use whichever hardware they prefer, minimizing upfront and implementation costs....Read more

4.00 (1 reviews)

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UNIVERGE 3C

UNIVERGE 3C is a flexible software-based IP-PBX. In addition to features such as auto attendants and call recording, it offers advanced unified communications capabilities so that users can harness multiple modes of communication....Read more

4.00 (1 reviews)

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SendHub

SendHub offers a wide array of integrated Business VoIP applications. The high level of mobile functionality makes this system stand out from the crowd, and comprehensive 24/7 support is included in the affordable monthly fee. ...Read more

4.36 (33 reviews)

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Ooma Office

Ooma Office is a cloud-based voice + video solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. The platform includes a full suite of business phone features designed to deliver a flawless communications experience and advance team coll...Read more

4.50 (148 reviews)

11 recommendations

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NetVanta 7100

ADTRAN's NetVanta 7100 is a hybrid IP PBX and IP router that offers both voice and data networking. It's available in 30- or 100-user versions, which include a full range of features like call queueing pre-licensed for each user....Read more

0.00 (1 reviews)

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Phone.com

Phone.com is a hosted PBX solution designed for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Businesses can combine SIP trunking with hosted PBX service for a single-provider solution. This software also supports mobile devices....Read more

4.00 (47 reviews)

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Software pricing tips

Read our Small Business Phone Systems Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

Switchvox Phone System

Digium business phone systems deliver a comprehensive set of unified communications known as Switchvox for small to midsize businesses. All Switchvox features are included for each user licensed on the system....Read more

4.00 (28 reviews)

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FortiVoice

FortiVoice, an on-premise VoIP solution from Fortinet, allows users to route and screen calls and supports backup connections to the public switched telephone network, as well as a SIP trunking service for single vendors....Read more

0.00 (2 reviews)

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VOIPo Hosted PBX

VOIPo offers "pay-as-you-go" VoIP service priced by the minute, with no contracts, and hosted PBX service for an all-in-one IP telephony solution. Users get both PBX features like ring groups and call center applications like IVR....Read more

4.00 (1 reviews)

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Line2 Pro

Line2 Pro is a cloud-based phone service that combines standard PBX applications with a SIP trunking service for businesses looking to use their existing phones. A flat monthly rate includes unlimited texting and inbound calls....Read more

3.45 (31 reviews)

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VOXOX

Voxox Hosted PBX is a cloud-based business VoIP phone service that offers small to midsize businesses a comprehensive phone system including an online user portal, real-time call logs, a SIP trunking service and multiple add-ons....Read more

3.50 (6 reviews)

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PIMS Dialer

The PIMS Dialer is flexible, scalable, and secure. It’s a cloud-based application, and the servers are housed in a state-of-the-art facility that’s operated around the clock, delivering extremely reliable uptime. Companies can cus...Read more

4.48 (21 reviews)

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Telzio

Telzio offers small businesses a SIP trunking solution priced on a monthly basis per phone number instead of per user. The system also includes PBX applications, such as an auto attendant, conferencing calling and hold music....Read more

4.31 (13 reviews)

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itPBX

itPBX VoIP phone software delivers communication services to businesses through the cloud. They a fit for small and mid-sized companies, and they offer features like call recording, auto attendant, internet fax, and CTI. ...Read more

0.00 (1 reviews)

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Ringio

Ringio is a cloud-based call center management solution that features a CRM dialer, call routing, analytics and more. It’s used by sales teams in many industries such as healthcare, media, non-profit and banking. The system c...Read more

3.50 (6 reviews)

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Communication Studio 2.0

Action Desk by OneReach is a web-based omnichannel system designed for all size companies and enterprises. The agent interface system allows users who are logged in to manage live inbound and outbound phone calls, text messages, a...Read more

4.00 (2 reviews)

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Popular Small Business Phone Systems Comparisons

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: January 28, 2022

Calling a restaurant to check for the opening hours or calling an ecommerce vendor to check the order status, for customers, reaching out to a business for any query is simply about picking up the phone and dialing the numbers.

However, if you own or manage a small business, you know that the receiving end of those calls can be chaotic, to say the least. Customers can often end up on long hold or find your line busy, or worse, have their call go unanswered.

Fortunately, there are tools to provide a method to this madness. With small business phone systems, all incoming and outgoing calls can be streamlined and your business too can provide professional customer support.

To help you find such a tool for your business, we’ve prepared this guide. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What are small business phone systems?

Small business phone systems are voice over internet protocol (VoIP) solutions that allow setting up internet-based telephone service for incoming and outgoing calls. These are essentially the modern-day, automated version of a phone switchboard that provides sophisticated features and convenient usability, even on-the-go.

The system works by sending communication data through the internet rather than traditional phone lines. This means it is not limited by the actual number of phone lines (as a traditional setup is). Instead, it relies on the available bandwidth of the internet connection, which makes it more flexible and scalable than a traditional phone line setup.

Call log in Virtual Office by 8x8

Common features of small business phone systems

The features offered by small business phone systems vary depending on whether the tool is basic or advanced. Following are some features typically considered core or basic for such tools:

Softphone Plug in a headset into the computer or VoIP setup and use it for calls as opposed to needing a traditional phone with a fixed-line.
Unified communication Consolidate and integrate simultaneous calls from multiple phone lines into a single platform.
Call routing Autoroute incoming calls to available agents. Also, allow agents to manually route calls to each other or their supervisors.
Call recording Record calls for future reference.
Computer telephony integration (CTI) Integrate the phone system with the user's computer for functions such as placing, answering, terminating, or transferring calls or information management (viewing caller ID and tracking call time).

Some advanced features that can be found in small business phone systems are as follows:

Auto/predictive dialer Autoplace outbound calls and route them to available agents as soon as the call is answered.
Automatic call distribution (ACD) Create distribution mechanisms for incoming calls as opposed to assigning them randomly. The mechanism can include queuing calls to be answered in a certain order or automatic ring-back (giving callers the option to receive a call back rather than waiting on-hold).
Interactive voice response (IVR) Allow people dialing-in to interact with the system via vocal or keypad inputs, such as selecting the desired language or call routing preferences.
Conference calling Connect multiple ongoing calls into a single call.
Dashboard Track metrics such as the total incoming and outgoing calls, time spent on each call, the productivity of agents, and business hours with the highest number of calls.
Integration Connect with third-party software such as customer relationship management (CRM) to extract contact information or enterprise resource planning (ERP) to manage call workload.
Access controls/permissions Define levels of authorization for agents, supervisors, and managers to access dashboards and reporting, as well as make routing decisions.

What type of buyer are you?

With multiple tools offering similar features, it can be difficult to pick the right one. That's why, before you choose a tool, it's important to understand what kind of a buyer you are and what your business needs are like.

The buyers of small business phone software usually fall into one of the following categories:

  • Small businesses that need a contact center to handle simple queries: Such businesses usually need to provide a human connection equivalent to the front desk personnel at a convenience store.

    They need to address only basic inquiries, such as “if the restaurant is open till 11 PM” or “if the summer collection has arrived in the boutique yet.” The business essentially needs to assist customers find the right information and the agent answering the call doesn’t need background knowledge of the person’s interactions with the business.

    Such businesses can look into phone systems that provide basic features such as softphone, unified communication, and routing. They should explore cloud-based tools that work with their existing hardware. They can also limit their phone numbers to one, and receive multiple simultaneous calls on the same number via VoIP systems.

  • Small businesses that need to offer wider customer support: Such businesses usually need to provide their customers with extensive help with their products or services.

    They need to be able to answer questions such as “Where is the order in the transit?” or “What happened to the complaint registered two days ago?”. The agent answering the phone needs prompt access to the customer’s purchase history as well as any previous interaction with the business.

    Such businesses can look into phone systems that provide advanced features such as ACD, IVR, and integrations with CRM and ERP tools. They should explore both cloud-based and on-premise solutions. They can set up separate phone numbers to receive different kinds of customer queries, however, with unified communication, all the numbers can be run across the same back-end system.

Benefits and potential issues

Phone systems can help small businesses build a professional telephonic front and do away with the manual routing of calls. Some of its benefits include:

  • Improved communication with customers: Avoid missing customer calls or keeping them on hold for too long. With a phone system, multiple calls can be handled simultaneously on a single number and customers will no longer have to wait for callbacks or have their call on hold/wait.
  • Increased efficiency for outgoing calls: Do away with manually dialing phone numbers and waiting for calls to be answered. With features such as the predictive dialer, the system will automatically dial the numbers and route them to agents when the call is answered.
  • Reduction in telephony costs: Reduce the cost of outbound calls with the help of flat-rate and tiered plans provided by phone systems vendors. These are typically cheaper than the cost of calling-per-minute or other packages offered by traditional phone service providers.

Key considerations when buying small business phone systems

While features, needs, and costs are certainly important factors when choosing a tool, there are some other considerations too that you should keep in mind. These include:

  • Industry-specific requirements: Certain industries such as banking or professional services will have specific requirements unique to their operations. These could range from having the ability to verify pin codes via customers’ keypad input to having a specific hierarchy to escalate customer requests. Ensure that the tool you choose supports your unique requirements at a reasonable cost, and not as costly add-ons.
  • Access for remote employees: Whether it’s a delivery agent on the way to drop an order or a sales agent traveling for work, they might need to answer phone calls away from the premises of your business. Hence, ensure that the tool you choose is equipped to support a remote infrastructure via mobile access without any additional investment.
  • Contract fine-print: Vendor contracts or plans can sometimes come with hidden caveats such as needing to purchase certain hardware equipment or having a lock-in period. Before you finalize the vendor, thoroughly review the contract for its terms and conditions. Also, read reviews about the vendor on websites like ours to get an idea of how they have performed in the past.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.