As businesses shake off their old-fashioned PBX Systems in favour of Hosted telecoms, the choice of VoIP providers has grown overwhelmingly. It’s not easy to navigate your way through the VoIP providers for small business to find the solution that’s right for you. The most important first step is to consider the requirements of your business and which VoIP provider can fulfil those needs. This article reveals what to look for in VoIP service providers for small business, and compares some of the best small business VoIP providers.
What Should I Look for in a Small Business VoIP System?
Consider whether your potential provider suits your business’s calling patterns. If you make a lot of international calls, it may be worth checking out the rates for different countries, especially those you call frequently. One mistake you could make is to go with the first choice when considering the cost of a VoIP provider, as it may not be the whole story.
There is also variation amongst VoIP providers in voice quality. A provider may offer economical rates but this may come at the expense of the clarity of phone calls. This may be a problem if your business depends on customer service over the phone, in which case prime voice quality could be something worth investing a bit extra in.
The market is currently filled with VoIP providers, many of which disappear as quickly as they appear. Take some time to learn which providers are recognised with solid reputations.
Some of The Best Small Business VoIP Providers
This provider offers an array of products to suit any type of business, with prices starting at only £9.99 per user per month. RingCentral’s features are solid, and offer service level agreements to ensure the reliability of their service. RingCentral Office (for Business) contains all the PBX administration functions a small business would need, as well as unlimited calling, and mobile app use compatible with iOS and Android. There’s also 1000 toll-free minutes, unlimited conference calling, fax, business SMS, and mobile and desktop unified messaging apps with HD video conferencing. It can be integrated with Microsoft Office, and provides call logging and team collaboration tools as well. On premium plan and above, RingCentral also supplies Automatic Call Recording and Salesforce CRM integration, so it may be worth investing a little more if these features would streamline your business practices.
Perhaps the most recognisable name in the world of VoIP, their call quality is known for its high standard. Vonage also offer competitive business plans that are generally cheaper compared with standard carriers. Their mobile applications are of interest to smartphone users due to their ability to let you use your phone as a virtual extension without swallowing up mobile minutes.
Okay, maybe Vonage isn’t the most recognisable VoIP brand, but then again many people may not be aware that there’s more to Skype than video calling. But Skype can be used as a VoIP service, with its capacity for placing and receiving calls, sending texts, leaving voice and video messages, sharing your screen and receiving Wi-Fi hotspot access. Businesses and customers can both use Skype to make Skype-to-Skype group video or voice calls for free. The service is compatible with pretty much any platform imaginable, all with its famously outstanding voice and video quality and pleasingly simple interfaces.
Ideal for small businesses who want the advantages of VoIP, but wish to keep the appearance and basic functionality of a Private Branch Exchange without setting their expenses back too much. There is no hardware needed on-site, as Grasshopper creates an instance on their servers that connects extensions to existing phone numbers. This is how Grasshopper can keep prices so low. The web interface is intuitive and easy to use, providing quick access for users to voicemails, call logs and faxes. Though Citrix Grasshopper lacks some of the more advanced features of its competitors, its streamlined quality is perfect for entrepreneurs and small businesses just starting out. Grasshopper guarantees unlimited extensions and 24-hour customer support as well.
Mitel’s products offer an advanced set of features specially catering to small to medium-sized businesses. The Internet connection they deliver is designed with providing clearer voice quality for VoIP calls in mind. They can also offer your business configured IP phones. All of their services are provided by Mitel themselves, and have conducted the research and development of their solutions in-house, so the advisors and technicians you deal with should have a comprehensive working knowledge of all of Mitel’s services. They offer certain plans tailored to small business, the prices of which are dependent on your particular business needs and are available on request from an agent either by phone or online. These include:
• Professional – perfect for companies with only one to ten employees. The Professional plan gives you Mitel MiCloud Business’s standard features including hot-desking, mobile twinning, and web-based administration.
• Business: Extension Only – Extension Only allows a drop-in, four-digit extension number extended from the main MiCloud Business system.
• Lite – This contains the applications from MiCloud, but without unlimited calling time.
NFON provide scalable carrier-grade telecoms over the BT Network. They are one of the largest providers that can supply cloud telephone systems from 1 to 249,000 extensions to any type of business. NFON can send a project manager to assist the customer, ideal for a first-time small business customer. The solution includes full web-based call management, queues and IVR, all of which is managed through your web browser, and can be integrated with Microsoft Lync and most CRM solutions.
Lily Comms is the new kid on the block in the world of Hosted telecoms, but over the past few years have proved themselves worthy contenders for the other major VoIP names. Their prices start at a competitive £6.99 per month, and offer a solid range of features. These include excellent call handling features, a virtual conference room, a multi-language Auto Attendant, personal call routing, and mobile extension.
The functions of Teliqo Direct’s services are available to the customer in one monthly fee, without any hardware or software costs, connectivity charges, capital outlay or add-on charges for extras. Their systems are built on exclusive technology that Teliqo themselves developed, which allows for easily customisable Direct Hosted solutions. This means that, like Mitel, users can directly cooperate with the technical specialists responsible for the system, without having to go through third party platform providers. It is completely customisable and adaptable, and presents a fully integrated solution across all devices. This system is scalable from as few as 15 to over 1,000 extensions.
A small business looking for the right VoIP system is faced with a lot of difficult choices to make, which could potentially cost them time and money. In order to avoid this problem, Software Advisory Service can provide you with a shortlist of potential partners that can provide you with your ideal VoIP solution. The service is completely non-chargeable, and with our experienced team of consultants, you can be sure you’ll be getting quality service. Contact one of our expert consultants today via the 'Compare providers' button on the right.