Phones remain a central element in business communication in 2020. With the general transition from legacy PBX systems to cloud business telephony using Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) the potential of business phone systems has expanded exponentially.
Today, the majority of business phone providers offer a large range of features going far beyond simple calls - from video calling and voicemail-to-email to AI-powered analytics and CRM systems. In addition, most services provide softphone apps for smartphones, tablets, and desktops, allowing users to take and make calls from anywhere.
However, what exactly is included in the bundles by different providers varies greatly. As do the pricing options. To give you an overview, and help you with your decision, here is a list of the five best providers of VoIP business phone service for enterprises in 2020.
1 - Nextiva
+ Comprehensive offer
+ Outstanding uptime
+ Award-winning customer service
+ Cutting-edge tech extensions
The undisputed number one on our list is Nextiva. It’s not just us who think so - the Arizona-based VoIP provider was also recently ranked as the best business phone service by U.S. News.
The reasons for this top ranking are numerous. Not only does Nextiva offer top-notch telephony services for voice and video calls, as well as conference calling, and all that with 99.999% (‘five nines’) uptime. The provider also offers all the additional VoIP phone system features that make life easier for its users. Voicemail-to-email, find-me-follow-me, call transcription, and AI interactive voice response are offered along with many other options.
Nextiva supports both softphones and physical phones. Apart from its apps for iOS, Android, and desktops, it is compatible with VoIP phones, and even offers upgrades for existing desk phones to simplify the transition from legacy PBX systems for businesses.
But going far beyond that, Nextiva has developed an impressive software suite with comprehensive tools to optimize customer communication, team collaboration, and deliver deep, actionable insights.
Its NextOS platform delivers analytics powered by AI and machine learning to assess both customer interaction and team performance. Cospace, its team collaboration tool, was developed specifically with a distributed workforce in mind and can be used to organize, automate, and review workflows, share documents, make calls, assign tasks, and plan team activity.
Finally, a massive plus of Nextiva is its stellar customer service. Available 24/7 via email, live chat, and - of course - phone, Nextiva’s customer service department is known for responding promptly and helpfully: 95% of calls are answered on the second ring. Unsurprisingly, this outstanding service has won Nextiva several customer service awards - most recently, several prestigious Stevie awards, for the fifth year running.
Pricing starts at $19.95 per month and user for the Essential plan, $20.95 for the Professional plan, and $27.95 for the Enterprise plan - for a 36-month contract with 100+ users. Fewer users or shorter contracts are more costly, but even so, Nextiva delivers phenomenal value at the lower end of market prices.
2 - Dialpad
+ Easy scalability
+ Simple setup and admin
+ Very price competitive
- Limited customer support
- Limited internationality
Geared exclusively toward the cloud and softphone applications, Dialpad offers unified communications at a highly competitive price.
Dialpad’s core features are voice and video calling and texting. Large video conference calls are enabled via UberConference. The service also includes options such as internet faxing, call transcription, as well as integrations with G Suite and Office 365.
Dialpad’s higher tiers also include compatibility with Salesforce, Slack, HubSpot, and Zendesk among others. A full overview of all integrations is available on Dialpad’s App Marketplace.
One downside of Dialpad is that it is very US-centric, which shows in serviced area and customer service. Its free trial is only accessible in the US and Canada, and users abroad have reported issues with its apps. Furthermore, while 24/7 phone support is provided on the Professional Plan, on the Standard Plan it is only reachable during the week, Pacific Standard Time. This may be an issue for enterprises based outside North America, or with offices abroad.
Dialpad’s pricing starts at $15 per month and user for the Standard plan. Its Pro plan tallies in at $25 per user and month, and includes additional features such as 24/7 phone support, local numbers in over 50 countries, and a Salesforce integration. An Enterprise plan, for a minimum of 100 licenses, is available at custom pricing.
3 - Vonage
+ 24/7 customer support
+ Mobile-only plan
- Additional costs for some features
Based in New Jersey, Vonage offers VoIP business phone services across the US, Europe, and Asia.
Vonage’s core offer in terms of VoIP services is its Business Cloud. It prides itself on being an “all-in-one communications software platform”, and provides voice and video calls and messaging. Recent additions also include team collaboration features.
The range of integrations is impressive, including Office 365 and G Suite to HubSpot, Zoho CRM, Oracle, Zapier and others. However, some features and integrations are billed separately, which can easily ramp up monthly bills.
Vonage’s Mobile plan starts at $19.99 per line and month and offers unlimited calling and SMS messages, team messaging, and mobile and desktop apps. With the Premium plan, which comes at $29.99 per line and month, video conferencing, chat and file share for up to 100 people are added, as well as Multi-level auto-attendant features and CRM integrations. The Advanced plan, at $39.99 per line and month, adds call recording, call groups, and visual voicemail.
4 - RingCentral
+ Rich features for business collaboration
+ AI integrations
+ International customer support
Ring Central’s Office Platform is a comprehensive service encompassing calls, audio conferencing, SMS, and online fax. The company’s services are available on softphones but are also compatible with existing PBX hardware.
The platform also includes capabilities for AI integrations, as well as a large integration offer that includes Salesforce, Office 365, Zoho, Zendesk, Oracle, and many others.
RingCentral offers international services across the US, Europe, and Asia. Customer support is available 24/7 in English, and - uniquely - the company runs non-English support from Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm Central European Time.
RingCentral’s Essential Plan starts at $19.99 per user and month and includes voice calls and messaging. To also have access to video calls, the Standard plan at $34 is required. More functionality becomes available at the premium ($44) and Ultimate ($50) tiers. The offer is clearly more costly than that of other services on the list, especially if you want to use the full feature set.
5 - Aircall
+ Strong CRM
+ Call-center setup
+ Large number of integrations
+ Easy setup
- Limited Support
- Issues with reliability
Aircall is a cloud UCaaS service, which encompasses voice and video calls and messaging channels on web, desktop, and mobile.
Its strength lies in the easy setup and maintenance of call centers. Accordingly, the provider offers a massive range of CRM, helpdesk, and productivity features. These features are complemented by an analytics platform that lets you gain actionable insights into customer relations and team performance.
Integrations with other CRM systems and team collaboration platforms are also provided - from Salesforce and Zendesk to Freshdesk and Slack.
The issues that are most often cause for complaints from customers are the limited and sometimes unhelpful support, as well as problems with the reliability of apps.
Pricing starts at $30 per user and month for the Essential plan, which includes unlimited inbound calls, integrations and API, smart queuing, and phone support. At $50 per user and month, the Professional plan becomes available, which includes advanced analytics and reporting, a Salesforce integration, and a dedicated account manager. Custom pricing for enterprises is also available.
Investing time and effort to compare the services offered by different VoIP providers pays off. Given considerable differences in features and pricing, knowing which elements are essential to your business success - and which you can do without - can guide you to the right choice.
But whether you are looking for a fully integrated solution, or a basic add-on to your current system: With the broad offer currently available on the market, you can’t but find the right fit for your enterprise.