Here are some of the top options for best business phone system:
|Average monthly cost, per user||Features||Best for?|
|Nextiva||$19.95 – $27.95||Free domestic calls|
Free phone numbers
|– Businesses who want to save on phone bills |
– Businesses looking for an easy-to-use phone system
– Businesses who simply want a reliable supplier
|8×8||$25 – $55||Free domestic calls|
Huge savings on international calls
Free CRM integration
|– Businesses who use CRM regularly|
– Businesses who make frequent international calls
|Vonage||$19.95 – $27.95||Free domestic calls|
Free phone numbers
Free auto attendant
|– Tech-savvy companies that want access to digital features|
– Businesses who want analytics
– Businesses who use phones for conferencing
|RingCentral||$19-$49||Unlimited calls within the US/Canada**|
Unlimited audio conferencing
Video meetings with up to 100 participants
Popular integrations including Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Slack, and more
|– Small-Medium sized businesses looking to gain a lot of features in one package.|
|Intermedia||Custom pricing||Mobile application, desk phone option, and laptop phone calling options|
Unlimited domestic calling (US, Canada, and PR)
Cloud file storage3rd-party integrations
Cloud-based phone system
|– Those looking for a unified communications platform to handle all communications in one place.|
VoIP Phone Systems vs Landline:
Most companies used to use to landline phone systems (traditional PBX or private branch exchange) which use analog technology – copper wiring that connects to your business’s internal hardware (PBX).
However many companies have changed to a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) due to a couple of key factors:
- Reliability (most VoIP phone systems boast 99% uptimes)
- Affordability (most VoIP phone systems are much cheaper than traditional landline systems)
- Flexibility (VoIP phone systems allow you to add users with just a couple of clicks)
- Features (from video conferencing to call forwarding, most VoIP phone systems allow for advanced and basic features at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems)
With these in mind, choosing the right business phones system for your company means that you can improve your service and save money. More importantly, there are a ton of options to choose from. Let’s break it all down.
VoIP Business Phone System Systems:
When deciding on which business phone system is the best fit for your company, you’ll want to think about several things. These include how many users/lines you’ll require, what your budget looks like, and which digital telecom features you want to add.
Let’s break down the different types and what they offer in more depth:
Traditional PBX Business Phone System System
Also known as a “landline phone,” a traditional PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system is supported by a local or regional phone company and uses on-premise analog hardwiring. This means when adapting a landline phone system for your business, you’ll need to purchase all the physical hardware in order to host multiple lines in your network. Most traditional PBX systems now feature call transferring and call directories, but their options in terms of digital communication add-on features are limited.
Although they’ve been around the longest as business phone systems, it’s important to note that landline systems are becoming outdated compared to other telecom features IP systems now offer. For instance, traditional PBX systems aren’t portable or flexible – meaning, they typically don’t offer mobile options or away-from-desk flexibility. They’re also now often the hardest to repair when something goes wrong, as technology is moving away from analog systems.
VoIP Business Phone System Systems
One thing to keep in mind when exploring different traditional and VoIP options is that many different systems now fall under the “VoIP” category. That’s because so many phone systems now route calls through the Internet! We’ll try to keep it simple and break it down into its most commonly referred-to forms…
On-Site Hosted PBX System:
An on-site hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange) phone system is a type of telephone system that is installed and managed at a business’s physical location. It connects all of the telephones within an organization to servers that are managed in-house at your business. You would be responsible for the:
- IT staffing and support
- And improvement to your system
An on-site hosted PBX system typically includes hardware components such as servers, switches, and telephones, as well as personalized software that manages the system’s functions, such as call routing, voicemail, and call center capabilities.
One of the main benefits of an on-site hosted PBX system is that it provides a high level of control and customization for the business. Since it is located on the premises, the organization can easily make changes and upgrades to the system as needed, and also has complete control over the security and privacy of its communication.
Off-Site Hosted PBX System:
Commonly referred to as a cloud-based PBX phone system, an off-site hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange) phone system is a type of telephone system that is hosted by a third-party provider and accessed over the internet. Unlike an on-site hosted PBX system, which is installed and managed at the business’s physical location, an off-site hosted PBX system is managed by a service provider who takes care of the installation, maintenance, and upgrades of the system.
In an off-site hosted PBX system, all of the hardware components, such as servers, switches, and telephones, are located at the service provider’s data center. The business accesses the system through the internet, either through a web browser or through dedicated phone hardware, and can make and receive calls just as if the system was located on-site.
The only drawback? You may not be able to fully customize your phone system to how you want. You’d be reliant on your service provider for the features you need. These days, most service providers can handle just about anything. Most businesses these days use an off-site hosted service.
What are the Cost Differences?
Most VoIP providers cost less than traditional PBX systems (landlines) across the board. Average pricing can range around:
|Start-up costs||Monthly costs|
|Traditional PBX (landline)||$70 per line||Average of $80 a month per line|
|VoIP||$30-$55 per line||Average of $25 a month per line|
This price may fluctuate depending on features, the size of the company, and the service provider. Generally speaking, you can expect lower monthly costs including:
- Cost per user
- Maintenance cost
- Smaller fees for features
- International calls
Second, monthly costs with VoIP are more affordable. Businesses who use VoIP save approximately 60% on their monthly phone bills compared to landline users – since VoIP packages usually start at around $20 per user (and go up, depending on the amount of digital add-on features). Compare a monthly phone bill for a small business that uses 5 lines. If the company went with a traditional landline system, they would average around $435 per month (after they’ve paid for installation). The same company would pay around $150 per month (at $30 per user).
What are the Top Features in Business Phone Systems Today?
Since businesses are now reaping the benefits of advanced technology to boost productivity and communicate faster, there are many telecom features you should be considering. Not to mention, you can add many for pennies on the dollar! There’s no reason to still be using outdated technology for your communication needs!
Here are the top features to consider when trying to find the best phone system for your business:
Since companies have been implementing more communication channels than ever before, it only makes sense to streamline all messaging into one place. VoIP systems allow you to save time with a unified communication system, where you can access voice messages, fax, text messages, emails, and more in one mailbox.
Mobility & Call Forwarding
Companies have increasing on-the-go needs in recent years. Around 45% of American businesses now either require or allow remote work, while over 60% of American employees travel for work. Not to mention, workplace environments are moving faster and expecting demands to be met quickly. It makes sense to consider a telecom system that facilitates mobile usage (ie. mobile apps) and call forwarding to devices you use outside the office.
Especially for companies receiving a lot of inbound calls regularly, you want to think about integrating an automated attendant aka "virtual receptionist" that can easily route calls to correct extensions/departments and save you time. They can seriously boost customer service, as you’ll never have to worry about missing a phone call or keeping customers waiting too long, and they’ll let you avoid constant interruptions throughout your day.
Video conferencing is becoming a popular way of conducting meetings in recent years, with 86% of companies saying that they utilize a video conferencing platform regularly. VoIP systems offer integrated video conferencing options so that co-workers or collaborators can meet, anytime anyplace. Plus, you don’t have to pay additional fees for an external platform - you can use it in the same place as your other telecom needs.
It’s important to many business owners to oversee internal operations, which are becoming increasingly logged via telecom systems. There’s no longer any need to take notes or remember important business conversations. VoIP offers real-time reporting on conversations (ie. call recording), analytics, and metrics so you can stay up-to-date at all times.
With many VoIP phone systems, you can opt for cloud storage for your company documents. This makes it easy to track where documents and store them digitally rather than in a physical location. At any time you can search for those documents with a simple search tool and find what you need.
While many people may not consider this a feature, it deserves a mention. VoIP phone systems make it easy to add users in minutes rather than hours. Users will just need to create a profile and add their information. From there, users can get started with a business phone number.
Some other features may include:
- Caller ID
- Call Waiting
- Speed Dialing
- Call Logs
- Address Book
- Virtual Numbers
- And more!
Who are the Top Business Phone System Suppliers?
There are tons of reputable business phone system suppliers that can help you fulfill your business needs. Luckily, providers offer handfuls of different subscription packages and options for add-on features. They can work with you to find the best fit. Before selecting a few suppliers to call, it’s best to get an idea of your priorities, goals, and must-have’s so your call goes efficiently!
Here are a few telecom suppliers who offer reliable, affordable, and flexible options:
Ready to keep researching the top VoIP providers in the business? Compare leading providers such as Nextiva vs. RingCentral, Vonage vs. RingCentral, and Grasshopper.
Are you ready to compare your options and see how you can save? With our service, all you have to do is answer a few questions about your needs. Then, we match you with our top suppliers that can deliver on them. You get to compare prices and features, and there’s never any obligation to buy!