Types of Business PBX Systems
One of the most unique (and beneficial) features of signing up for a VoIP business phone plan is the PBX system. A PBX (Private Branch Exchange) connects internal calls to one another in addition to connecting external calls to internal lines, and vice versa. You will save money by using a PBX system because the system allows you to share a certain number of lines, instead of having to pay for each line per user.
There are three types of business VoIP PBX solutions to consider:
- On-premise PBX
- Hosted PBX
- SIP Trunk
On-Premise IP PBX
On-premise IP PBX systems are installed in the office and maintained by the owner. There may be a large upfront investment for the hardware of a PBX, so large enterprises and corporations with their own IT staff are more likely to use an on-premise PBX than small businesses.
Hosted PBX systems are located off-site and managed by the service provider. Small and large businesses can benefit from using a hosted PBX because they are budget friendly and are much less hassle. A hosted PBX costs anywhere between $19.99 and $39.99/month per extension.
If you already have a full phone system and PBX configured in your office, you can still convert to VoIP by implementing a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunk. A SIP trunk connects the office's in-house PBX to translate all incoming and outgoing calls into cheap Internet calls.
Business VoIP phones are called IP phones and connect directly to the Internet. You can also use traditional phones as business VoIP phones by fitting them with an analog telephone adapter (ATA). ATAs connect the analog phone to the Internet and convert the analog voice signals of traditional phones to the digital Internet signals.
Call Features for Business VoIP Phone Systems
Business VoIP providers offer many features that can make managing calls more efficient. The call features can:
- Transfer incoming calls between employees
- Place incoming calls on hold and in a queue for the next available service representative
- Record greeting messages and set according to time of day with an auto attendant, and save on the cost of a receptionist
- Receive and view faxes and voicemails as text in the web portal
- Mobile VoIP app can be downloaded to smartphones, laptops, and tablets for remote workers
Business VoIP makes it easy for businesses to save money and grow their profits at the same time. Business VoIP plans are highly customizable for businesses of all types and sizes. All providers offer cheap prices and plentiful business-ready features, but some providers might be more in tune with your company's needs.
Popular Business VoIP Providers
Here is a quick rundown of some of the most popular providers in the VoIP industry.
Vonage's overarching goal is to help customers connect for less.
The way Vonage works is very simple: purchase a Vonage Box, connect it to your router, plug your home phone into the Vonage Box, and then listen for a dial tone. Vonage uses your existing high-speed internet connection to place calls, and even gives you the Vonage advantage of taking your phone plan to your mobile device. By downloading their Vonage Extensions app, you can even make and receive home phone calls on up to two smartphones. And in most instances, you'll also be able to keep your current phone number: simply check their Port Number tool to see if your number can be transferred.
For businesses, Vonage offers a Build Your Own plan, allowing businesses to add features and phone lines on top of unlimited calling and no long distance charges. This flexible plan allows any business, big or small, to take advantage of Vonage's quality and calling features.
This telecommunications leader offers both business and residential solutions that are feature-rich and affordable. Broadvoice offers its services to both residences as well as businesses, with phone plans to match any and all needs. Plus, they offer no hidden fees or extra charges, and they guarantee their broadband services for up to thirty days. Broadvoice also delivers mobile apps so that you can take your VoIP service on the go. Their plans also include 60 free international minutes, and low international rates thereafter.
Broadvoice's plans are simple to use and easy to set-up, which helps to ensure that your switch to VoIP is a seamless experience. After signing up for Broadvoice service, you'll be sent a Broadvoice Adapter. This hardware is free to lease, compact in size, easy to hook up, and connects easily to your broadband router. This adapter gets plugged into your router, and your phones are plugged therein. Then you're ready to start experiencing the crystal-clear quality of Broadvoice service. Broadvoice also offers the option to BYOD (check their list of compatible phones to see if yours applies).
On the business side of VoIP, Broadvoice offers cloud PBX, SIP trunking, along with other services that will enhance and enrich your business. Take advantage of Broadvoice's world-class features and easy to maintain phone service to start saving today.
Jive delivers an innovative phone system with quality phone service, ensuring that businesses are getting the most out of their phone solutions. Jive caters to businesses in any industry: from business to hospitality to government solutions, Jive has you covered.
One of the more popular VoIP solutions is Jive's Enterprise Plan. The Enterprise plan offers a flexible platform for an all-inclusive price, and is perfect for any business. Features of Jive's Enterprise plan include a cloud-voice solution for overall efficiency, no setup fees, collaboration tools like time-based routing and video conferencing, powerful analytics tools for helpful business insight, and 24/7 customer support. Plus Jive keeps up with you on the go by offering remote and virtual tools to keep you connected.
Jive also offers multiple tiers for small businesses looking to connect with VoIP. These solutions are easy to set up, packed with features, and available at a very competitive price.
OnSIP makes setting up and administering a business phone system both easy and efficient. Their feature-rich, flexible plans let you use any standard SIP phone for service. Plus, their phone solutions can easily grow with you.
With OnSIP, customers have the option to choose from three different business-focused plans: pay as you go, metered, and unlimited. Your choice will depend on your business' needs as well as your calling habits. Their plans come with a host of business-focused features (like voicemail, auto attendant, ring groups, dial by name directory, and more) as well as free on-network calling. If you opt for their Pay As You Go or Metered plan options, you will be charged low per-minute rates for standard inbound and outbound calls.
OnSIP's plans also allow for third party integration (with programs like Zendesk, Highrise, and Salesforce) for a more complete and more effective phone solution.
RingCentral has been rethinking and remolding communications and on-premise hardware since 2003, working to deliver cloud solutions to businesses large and small.
Their cloud phone system is a reliable, comprehensive solution that is both easy to manage and easy to set up. It is adaptable, allowing users across all locations to work on one system. It is also BYOD ready with the help of the RingCentral Mobile App, even allowing users to manage their account and system from anywhere. With RingCentral, consumers also receive an allotted number of toll-free minutes as well as HD video conferencing and online meetings across mobile and desktop.
By switching your business phone system over to one of RingCentral's business plans, you can save up to 60% on your monthly phone expenses.
8x8 makes using a cloud-based phone option easy by including a complete suite of communications that are reliable and flexible.
Through 8x8, business customers have two options: Virtual Office or Virtual Office Pro. Both come with US-based support and unlimited calling, as well as a number of other perks and tools for your business. However, the Pro version comes with web conferencing with video, internet faxing, and call recording. Additionally, customers can choose from three different extension types: metered, unlimited, and global. Your choice will depend upon the calling habits of your business.
Their hosted VoIP business phone service can be utilized by businesses both big and small, helping them achieve success through reliable communication. In fact, 8x8 touts that their service has helped customers to achieve more cost savings, improved customer service, and more room for IT resources.