The Exciting Tech Replacing Business Phones and Landlines

Out with the old, in with the new. This is a mantra for forward-looking individuals from all walks of life. This progress-oriented mindset is especially useful for people who rely on telecommunications technologies for business.

In the past, voice communication at work was carried out through landlines and business phones. Now, you can replace these costly and outdated landline systems with VoIP alternatives. VoIP gives us a wide variety of new features and VoIP tech also liberates us from the confines of an office because it can function wherever an Internet connection is available.

VoIP systems are generally cheaper and easier to set up than their landline counterparts. In addition to high-quality audio calls, VoIP providers offer tools for file-sharing and team collaboration.

Features to Consider

Before choosing a plan, it is helpful to review a VoIP service by the following criteria:

  • Price
  • Features
  • Ease of use
  • Ease of setup

Price is self-explanatory. You should make sure that the price of the service is appropriate for the value that it adds to your business.

If you decide that you can afford the service, pay attention to the features. The most basic VoIP plans offer just audio calling and few complimentary features. However, these basic plans are often not enough for modern businesses. If you need extra features like file-sharing and voicemail transcription, you will likely need an advanced plan.

It is also important to note that selecting a service with more features than your company needs can prove troublesome. Additional features can often lead to a more complicated interface.

After you find a service with the right features for your business, consider the ease of use. Many of the best VoIP services have set up wizards that will guide non-technical users through the set up process. Some features may require a product expert to set up properly.

Finally, consider how long it will take for your average worker to master the basic features of the VoIP service. Easy-to-use services are preferred in most offices.

If you are convinced that VoIP is right for you and your business, you will be happy to hear that we have curated a list of five great VoIP options.

1. Skype for Business

Skype for Business is Microsoft’s flagship VoIP service. Skype is popular for its video conferencing features, but it offers a range of features that are usual for businesses of any scale.

Price

Skype for Business can be purchased for as low as $5 per month and offers a few cloud-based services such as OneDrive and SharePoint. If you want the full Office desktop suite and Skype, choose the premium option at $20 per month. Along with Skype, this option includes applications like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access.

Features

Office 365 offers many features, but we will focus on the options within Skype. The calling features of Skype are:

  • Call routing
  • Call recording
  • SIP Phone Support
  • Speed dialing
  • Group calling

This VoIP service also offers a toll-free option and SMS messaging. Skype is designed for one-on-one conversations and interviews, so you may prefer a different plan if you rely heavily on group video conferencing.

Ease of Setup

Most users will find that Skype for Business is simple to set up. The basic steps for preparing Skype for business use are:

  • Create an account and sign into Office 365
  • Go to the admin center to set up a domain
  • Add users
  • Set up the instant messaging service
  • Download Skype for Business on all company devices

Setting up a domain can be tricky for inexperienced users, but Microsoft’s support documents are a suitable replacement for an expert.

Ease of Use

Skype’s basic features are available in the interface, so your employees should find that calling other users is a simple process. Calling physical phones is as simple as typing the number into the appropriate field.

2. RingCentral Office

RingCentral Office is a versatile VoIP service that is recommended for users that require the full range of features. RingCentral Office is not the most cost-effective option on the market, but its functionality and reliability quality is highly rated.

Price

RingCentral Office is priced at $20 per month for the basic plan. The premium plan is $35 per month. Special hardware is required to use RingCentral Office, so be prepared for some extra initial costs.

Features

While RingCentral Office is expensive, it offers extensive features. For audio calling, you can take advantage of:

  • Call routing
  • Call recording
  • Software phone features
  • SIP phone support
  • Speed dialing
  • Emergency calling

This service also supports video conferencing and HD visuals.  Some users appreciate extra features like:

  • Voicemail transcription
  • SMS
  • Voicemail to email conversion

Ease of Setup 

The setup process is remarkably simple. RingCentral Office uses a setup wizard to quickly make the VoIP applications available for your team. No technical knowledge is needed to set up this VoIP service.

Ease of Use

All features are available via the main interface. However, you may find it necessary to train your team on all the functions of RingCentral Office. For example, using a hardware phone through the program is a different process than using a software phone. Some users may become confused.

3. Vonage Business Cloud

Vonage Business Cloud is one of the most popular VoIP services in the United States. It offers a wide range of features, and its basic features are easy to learn for non-technical users.

Price

Vonage Business Cloud can be purchased for as low as $20 per month. However, add-on features can come at high costs. Unfortunately, video conferencing is not in the basic package. This VoIP service is a good option for companies that need a basic calling application without many extra features.

Features

Vonage Business Cloud offers various calling features, including:

  • Call routing
  • Call recording
  • Software phone features
  • SIP phone support
  • Toll-free options
  • Speed dialing
  • Group calling

It also offers voicemail transcription, SMS messaging services, and voicemail to email conversion.

Ease of Setup

Vonage Business Cloud is easy to start using if you follow the setup wizard. However, add-ons may require technical experience.

Ease of Use

After a brief training session, all users should be able to understand and use most of the features in the service’s simple UI.

4. 8×8 Virtual Office Pro

8×8 Virtual Office Pro is a premium VoIP service. This VoIP service has flexible settings to support the needs of your company, but you may be disappointed if you are planning to provide some personal touches.

Price

The premium service costs upward to $55 per month. Some extra fees are required if your company goes beyond the allotted amount of toll-free calling. 8×8 Virtual Office Pro can function without any special hardware, so it is regarded as one of the most cost-effective options.

Features

8×8 Virtual Office Pro offers the standard set of features offered by similar premium services.  Its main features are:

  • Call routing
  • Call recording
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Speed dialing
  • Software phone features
  • SIP phone support
  • Toll-free calling
  • SMS messaging
  • Group calling
  • Voicemail to email conversion
  • 911 emergency calling

8×8 Virtual Office Pro also has simple admin controls that allow a single user to monitor and make changes to all devices connected to the VoIP system.

Ease of Setup

The setup wizard makes configuring this service a quick process.

Ease of Use

The interface can seem crowded, but it is not a major issue after users become experienced through practice.

5. Mitel MiCloud Business

Mitel MiCloud Business has all the basic video and audio calling features. Mitel is a good option for heavy users because of its unlimited calling deal. With no additional fees, Mitel’s above-average price is justified. It offers a fantastic mobile app that is suitable for your employees who have a habit of working while on the move.

Price

Mitel MiCloud Business can be purchased for as low as $30 per month.

Features

This service has most of the features of its top-tier competitors, but it lacks transcription capabilities. However, you will notice that the mobile features and collaborative tools make Mitel a good option for most offices.

The primary features of Mitel MiCloud Business are:

  • Call routing
  • Call recording
  • Software phone features
  • SIP phone support
  • Toll-free calling
  • Group calling
  • File-sharing
  • Instant messaging
  • SMS

Ease of Setup

This service is easy to set up if you follow the setup wizard.

Ease of Use

The mobile app is highly regarded for its simplicity. The browser-based version is also easy to use.

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