Have you grown tired of the traditional way of making calls for your business? If you’ve answered yes, you’re not alone! According to a report by Mconnect (a company of Multicom), around 31% of all businesses use VoIP phone service for their offices.
Thanks to the advent of this technology, businesses can use a VoIP phone for several benefits, such as reduced costs, integrations, better voice quality, and much more.
Many companies aim to provide these VoIP services in today’s competitive market.
However, in a sea of service providers, figuring out which best aligns with your brand can be difficult.
To help you make the right choice for your company, we’ll cover the 5 best VoIP service providers to see which fits your business best. In this comprehensive guide, you can learn all you need about a business phone system, types of VoIP phone services, and the best VoIP provider.
What is VoIP?
Short for “Voice over Internet Protocol,” VoIP is a technology, which is commonly used for business phone systems. It allows users to use a phone or a computer to transmit audio information from one place to another using the internet. The use of the internet is what separates VoIP from a traditional phone (landline).
A landline uses copper wires to send information in the form of analog data. VoIP, on the other hand, transforms analog data into digital data, then converts it back into analog data for the receiving-end user to understand it correctly.
A business phone system is typically multi-line and enables users to connect with other employees (within the office) simultaneously and enjoy other benefits such as voicemail, recording, unlimited calling, etc.
However, you should know that VoIP isn’t the only type of business phone system. Other types of business multi-line phone systems include KSU (Key Service Utility), PBX (Private Branch Exchange), and PABX (Private Automatic Branch Exchange). These typically use extensions and wires like a landline.
Types of VoIP Service
Let’s now explore the different types of VoIP services you can use.
The first VoIP phone service on the list is UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service). UCaaS is a cloud-based communication that helps businesses to facilitate a robust connection between clients and co-workers.
UCaaS goes beyond phone calling and offers additional services such as texting, web, video conferencing, etc. One of the main advantages of having a UCaaS platform is that it is cost-effective.
The reason being UCaaS consists of several features that only one platform can provide at a time. For instance, in the past, a company would have subscribed for calling, video conferencing, and texting monthly services individually.
UCaaS brings all these (and more) features under one roof. This also assists in cases where the provided services may not work. Instead of calling up different vendors, companies only need to contact one platform for troubleshooting.
Cloud VoIP Phone Service
This one is quite straightforward. You apply for a cloud-based VoIP phone service, and your provider takes care of the rest. It allows you to make internet calls using the provider’s server network as a host. The good thing about cloud-based VoIP is that you don’t have to manage all the hardware.
Hosted VoIP Service
A hosted VoIP service is where your provider hosts and manages the entire VoIP system. Using this one is beneficial because it removes the need to have an on-premise telephone or even spend money on expensive hardware.
There’s also centralized control over the entire system, which allows you to make changes via an online administration portal. All backend functions are handled by your provider, including maintaining servers.
You only need to have a stable internet connection and phones to avail of a hosted VoIP phone service.
The last one on the list is CPaaS. This is a customizable service that is also cloud-based. CPaaS lets developers add only the required communication services and access integrations in real-time.
It typically offers a wide set of SDKs and APIs for developers to use. One of the most significant advantages of using CPaaS is how easily you can integrate it with other applications.
Features Provided By VoIP Companies
Now that we’ve got a good idea of the different types of VoIP phone service and their types, here are some well-known features that VoIP companies provide to enterprises.
One of the most common features that VoIP companies offer is call recording. While on a call with someone (client or worker), you can record the entire conversation and later upload it to the cloud or save it on your device.
Another feature that most VoIP phone service providers hand out is the ability to make unlimited calls within the United States and Canada at one fixed rate. This is helpful for businesses that engage in thousands of calls every month since the monthly subscription does not change regardless of how many calls they make.
With the help of an automated or digital attendant (often called a “call tree”), anyone who calls your business will be redirected to the appropriate person to talk to. Automated attendants remove the need for a receptionist.
Toll-Free Numbers and Voicemails
This isn’t required for every business, but if you want to, you can request your business number to be toll-free. There is also the option to send a voicemail directly to the email inbox of the end user. You can either send the voicemail as an audio file or a transcript.
You’re probably well-versed with this one since many people use conference calling occasionally for personal purposes. You can use this feature to add more than one participant to a call and have a group discussion between workers. This is generally utilized for daily or weekly meetings in a company.
Top VoIP Phone Service Providers in 2023
Here are five of the best current VoIP phone service providers in the market.
We had to feature RingCentral MVP at the top of our list for its simplified communication and impressive solutions. Not only does the VoIP phone service cater to various industries, but they also suit businesses of any size.
Easy of Use:
The cloud-based business phone service is easy to set up, has a user-friendly interface, and can be managed effectively through a single app – accessible from any device.
RingCentral MVP unifies all forms of collaboration, including virtual phone systems, team messaging, and HD video meetings.
With more than 300 app integrations such as Google Drive, Office 365, Salesforce, and Slack, RingCentral puts an end to app switching by streamlining communications.
- Provides international phone numbers in around 100 countries.
- The app is available in more than 17 different languages.
- PSTN support for 45+ countries.
RingCentral offers various plans, billed annually from $20 to $35 per user. The rates differ if you pay monthly.
Another popular unified communications platform: Nextiva, is known for its ease of use and security. The platform also has award-winning customer service and support, making it a reliable business phone service.
Ease of Use:
Whether it is the easy setup or user-friendly interface, Nextiva ticks all boxes of being an effortless VoIP phone service. Managing everything through one platform, they also have a top-rated mobile app to transfer from desktop to phone.
Nextiva handles clear calling, video meetings, text messaging, email, and SMS. In addition, users can also choose their call center phone systems to manage high call volumes.
Nextiva integrates with Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, and more.
- Offers free toll-free and local numbers.
- Unlimited internet, fax, and voice call.
- 8 different points of carrier-grade data centers and presence.
Nextiva’s VoIP call center solutions have two basic plans, with the cheapest one around $50 per month for each user. At the same time, their phone service plans range from $21 to $31 per month/user.
Zoom dominated the scene with its easily accessible video conferencing, especially during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. With the Zoom Phone, businesses can now use their cloud-based VoIP phone service too.
Ease of Use:
The platform provides access to a centralized admin portal and a seamless one-click service to elevate from calls to meetings.
Zoom provides unlimited calling options and calling features such as call forwarding, voicemail, call blocking, and more. Other services include their classic video conferencing and team messaging ability.
While Zoom’s phone service integrates with Salesforce, its meeting solution integrates with Slack, Google Workspace, and more.
- Toll-free services are available in 29 countries.
- Domestic calling in more than 40 countries and territories.
- Local PSTN in around 47 counties.
The plans start at just $10 for their calling services. Users can go for the metered (pay-as-you-go) or unlimited regional calling.
With a cloud-hosted communications system, Vonage offers an easy admin portal and flexible features. The VBN Admin Dashboard is specially designed to give businesses more control. Its unified solutions also help a diverse range of industries.
Ease of Use:
Phone administrators will have a relatively trouble-free experience with their admin portal. Everything from monitoring activity in real-time to phone numbers is fully controlled in the dashboard. Besides this, you can also have a mobile and desktop app to collaborate across various devices.
Vonage offers voice calling, video conferencing, team messaging, and business SMS. The phone systems also include features like call forwarding, voicemail, and do not disturb.
The business phone service consists of multiple integrations such as Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zendesk.
- Provides local phone numbers.
- Toll-free or 1-800 numbers are available for users.
- International company numbers can be obtained.
Basic features are accessible with the cheapest plan, around $19.99, while the advanced plan costs about $39.99.
8×8 delivers comparatively low-cost plans and provides an all-in-one VoIP phone service. They also offer budget solutions which are ideal for small businesses. Users can also get their features tailored for a better collaboration experience.
Ease of Use:
Like other VoIP phone service providers, 8×8 also unites all forms of communications into one administrative platform. This can too be managed through your mobile or desktop.
Some of their communications include a business phone for calls, video conferencing, team chatting, and more features such as SMS with their APIs.
8×8 easily connects with businesses and apps such as Google Workspace, Salesforce, Okta, Microsoft Teams, and HubSpot, along with others.
- PSTN services are available in more than 50 countries.
- Unlimited voice calling for more than 45 countries.
- Audio and HD video conferencing handle around 500 participants.
Users can mix and match between plans. You can choose their $24 per user plan or the advanced plan of $44 per user.
How to Choose The Best VoIP for Your Business?
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best VoIP phone service providers, let’s review some of the factors you should consider before choosing one. Keep in mind that the business phone service provider you select should match your requirements in the best way.
Ask the Right Questions
The very first thing to understand is your requirements. Ask yourself questions like:
- Does it provide every feature that my business needs?
- How many employees will use it?
- Is it providing enough value for the money spent?
- Are there any drawbacks/unnecessary features?
Once you understand your needs, you’ll be in a much better spot to pick from a plethora of VoIP service providers.
Since your VoIP tool will transmit crucial data about your business among clients and co-workers, you need to ensure that a proactive customer support team backs the service you choose. Under most circumstances, you’ll receive telephonic service during business hours.
However, some business phone service companies also offer 24/7 customer support. In addition to normal assistance, you can look for extra help on a platform such as tutorial videos, FAQs, or a customer-centric service portal.
Having various integrations is one of the best time-saving investments for any company. Look for a VoIP service that integrates with other applications you normally use.
Whether it be your CRM, email, fax, or anything else, ensure you pick a platform that can integrate with any other app you want. In fact, you can also search for tools that are customizable via third-party integrations.
To help you choose more quickly, here’s a concise list defining which platform can work best for you:
- RingCentral: Best for businesses looking for an all-in-one VoIP phone service solution.
- Nextiva: Best for businesses searching for an easy-to-use platform.
- Zoom: Best for businesses who need high-resolution web/video conferencing.
- Vonage: Best business phone system for companies looking for a highly customizable option.
- 8×8: Best VoIP phone service for businesses who want lower costs and deal with more international calls.
Advantages of Using VoIP Service for Your Business
Modern VoIP phone systems have more benefits and fewer drawbacks than traditional landlines. It’s a low-cost, easy-to-manage, and efficient broadband system that allows communication to be smooth. We’ve highlighted some of their main advantages over landlines.
VoIP is a suitable and low-cost option than traditional phone systems. This is because it relies on internet connections for making and receiving calls. This can significantly lower your telephone bill and business expenses, which are essential for all organizations regardless of their size.
Every company has its requirements, but traditional telephone systems only offer limited solutions. On the other hand, VoIP systems are far more flexible, which means they can be transformed to meet your business needs.
High Call Quality
Broadband calls are expected to be crisp and clear, and VoIP systems are certainly up to that challenge. With a robust internet connection and bandwidth, VoIP calls have no latency, lag, or drop issues. As long as you have a fast internet connection, you’ll face no issues in voice quality.
Apart from being friendly on the pocket, VoIP phone service is known to have better accessibility than standard telephone systems. Cloud-based VoIP services facilitate making calls from anywhere granted you’ve got a fast mobile data connection.
Scalability is another added advantage of VoIP that makes it a good alternative. Since VoIP is based on the internet, adding new users is quite simple. Without new telephone lines, businesses can manage to scale their firm and do not need to bear the costs of extra hardware or lines as the company grows.
Every VoIP system contains a virtual number, also known as a portable VoIP number. It can be transported anywhere, and if your business needs flexibility in this area, it is a great option to switch to a portable communication system.
VoIP systems can enable businesses to share videos, documents, and images while engaging in a call, empowering your company to hold interactive client meetings or staff conferences.
Where is VoIP Commonly Used?
VoIP phone services can be employed in various organizations and industries. Here are some sectors that utilize VoIP:
VoIP provides a no-contact solution for patients to consult with doctors or medical professionals. This helps healthcare workers to mitigate patient issues without meeting in person.
Customer service is a valuable asset for any e-commerce or retail business. Using VoIP, e-commerce brands can create virtual call center phone systems. This allows them to handle customers’ queries and provide them with support from anywhere in the world. It is a cost-efficient solution that also optimizes the service quality.
VoIP can be used to hold online classes with the help of virtual classrooms so that students can attend lectures from anywhere.
VoIP systems are suitable for remote workers to connect with the team and increase their productivity. VoIP provides a common platform for all workers to collaborate if a business has employees from different locations.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1) Who invented VoIP?
Answer: The founder of VoIP is Marian R. Croak. She laid all the groundwork needed for VoIP to emerge. Croak also has 200 other patents to her name, half of which are for VoIP technology.
2) Does Oppuous provide the VoIP services mentioned in the list?
Answer: Yes. Oppuous is partnered with companies such as Vonage, RingCentral, Zoom, and dozens of other UCaaS platforms.
3) What is the difference between VoIP and SIP?
Answer: When you look for a VoIP service, you’re bound to encounter the term SIP, or “Session Internet Protocol.” The two acronyms are usually confused with each other due to a few similarities. SIP is a protocol that helps users to engage in a multimedia communication session with others. Contrary to standard VoIP phone service, SIP can transmit information such as files, messages, video, etc.
VoIP systems are versatile solutions that facilitate communication features that meet your business demands. They are a modern, cost-effective, and manageable alternative to traditional phone systems. You can improve your business by having a reliable VoIP phone service provider from the list above.
To find a VoIP service that best suits your needs, book a consultation with Oppuous here and see how we can take your current business phone system to the next level. You can also be eligible for up to three months of free service and phones!