Small business owners in the market for new phone systems often are overwhelmed by the number of choices available. Which Voice over IP (VoIP) provider is best suited to meet their needs? Is there a difference in the options each provider offers? To help determine which provider is right for your small business, we’ve gathered information on the following top VoIP carriers:
- 1-Volp—Perfect for a growing start-up, 1-Volp can accommodate as few as five employees and as many as 100. Custom announcements and a variety of options allow businesses to keep callers informed of hours, locations, and more. Calling plans include features such as digital call forwarding, call parking, extension monitoring, auto attendants, custom on-hold music, intercom functionality, and voice mail.
- 8×8—This VoIP provider offers a mobile app that lets users manage business communications anywhere, a feature that makes it one of the most popular VoIP services around. Personalized voice mail, call history, staff directories, and call waiting are just a few of the features that 8×8 provides.
- All Call Technologies—A virtual phone system, All Call doesn’t require users to purchase any equipment and lets companies keep their current phone carrier. The virtual receptionist answers calls and provides callers with several menu options. Using the company’s Entrepreneur Plan, businesses can offer one phone number, with extensions that reach employees on their cell phones.
- Grasshopper—Offering both toll-free and local numbers, Grasshopper enables users to operate completely via cell phone. Customized extensions allow calls to be forwarded to any phone, thereby eliminating the need for customers to purchase additional equipment. Plan options include voice mail, on-hold music, a fax to e-mail feature, and an auto-receptionist.
- Nextiva—A cloud-based VoIP, Nextiva is designed for businesses of every size. Its mobile app lets users manage calls and use instant messaging and video features from mobile devices, while its traditional phone service offers standard features including call-waiting, on-hold messaging, and conference calling. Nextiva also has call-center plans that allow one-click transfers and let users see call-queues.
- Ooma Office—Perfect for very small businesses, Ooma Office can handle up to 20 users. With unlimited calling in Canada and the United States, users can take advantage of a virtual receptionist, after-hours attendant options, voice-mail forwarding, and more. No specialized phones are needed, because Ooma Office works with existing phone systems.
- RingCentral—Its variety of plans makes RingCentral one of the most versatile VoIP providers. Depending on the business needs, users can select an office plan, contact center solutions, or virtual phone systems. Once a company’s IP desk phones and computers are plugged into the Internet and the RingCentral app is installed on mobile devices, users can take advantage of secure voice, video, text, and phone connections through the RingCentral platform. The company offers an auto-receptionist, paging, and call logs, among other features.
- ShoreTel—Users can run ShoreTel as a traditional on-location phone system, operate through the cloud, or enjoy a combination of the two. Along with the standard phone services, including an auto-attendant, voice mail, and call waiting, ShoreTel enables companies to monitor employee calls.
- Skype—One of the original VoIP providers, Skype continues to be one of the most popular. Its free, easy-to-install system allows users to manage their calls on either a computer or a mobile device.
- Speek—A VoIP-based phone conferencing system, Speek sends users customized URLs requesting contact information. When the conference call is about to begin, the Speek service calls each attendee, thereby eliminating the need for users to remember complicated numbers and PINs.
- Zultys—This all-in-one VoIP provider offers mobility, voice, video, and data solutions. Businesses can take advantage of its on-site services as well as its cloud-based solutions to customize a plan to meet their exact needs. Perfect for scalability, Zultys offers two phone systems that can accommodate up to 50 employees for small business needs or 250 for large corporations.
Changing technologies have completely revolutionized the way small business works. No longer confined to a single location, businesses can operate around the globe while still presenting a single phone number for communication. Taking advantage of VoIP technology is one of the smartest decisions a small business owner can make, particularly in the early stages of growth. As the company grows, the phone system can grow as well, making the transition from start-up to success that much easier.