All business users and employees rely heavily on phone calls for various purposes, whether it is to get more sales, coordinate on team projects or provide round-the-clock customer support.
One of the biggest drawbacks of traditional phone systems, though, is that users are restricted by their location. Landlines cannot be carried with you everywhere you go, which means prospective customers cannot reach a sales representative when they are away from their desk. This can seriously hamper any business’ sales potential.
Enter hosted PBX, which resolves this problem by routing voice calls over the internet. This gives sales representatives the flexibility to make and receive calls from anywhere on any digitally-connected device. They can simply choose which device to answer calls on, depending on their circumstances at that particular time.
- When a mobile phone is not sufficiently charged, calls can be taken on the computer.
- While traveling across the country for a conference, customers can still be contacted from hotel rooms with any mobile device.
- Whether they are on the road or attending to other matters away from the office, your sales team will be reachable by phone at all times.
That’s not all.
Hosted PBX integrates easily with other business software so data can be shared between sales agents and customers more efficiently.
It also allows the entire sales team to access a group inbox, so customers can always get the help they need even when one sales representative is away on vacation.
Scalability of hosted PBX is another factor in its favor. Businesses are under no pressure to buy an estimated number of phones and phone lines from their provider. Instead, they can scale the software to increase or decrease users, depending on their needs.
Last, but certainly not least, businesses save money by not having to invest in additional physical hardware. They pay only for what they need, nothing more.
This is a huge benefit, especially for startups and mid-size businesses, where every dollar counts.
In short, hosted PBX eliminates the communication headaches that are typical with traditional phone systems.
Comparing Hosted PBX Vendors
This all sounds great, doesn’t it? But before you can switch from traditional landlines, it’s important to identify the best hosted PBX provider for your unique requirements.
Like any business solution, there are dozens of vendors to choose from. Choosing the right provider that fits your needs can be challenging to say the least. We know how important this decision is to your sales organization, though. So to save you time, we’ve assembled a ranking list of the top 13 vendors on the market today.
Let’s start with the best. The comparison chart below offers a quick comparison of the top 5 providers.
Here’s a more detailed look at each of the brands featured on the chart above as well as a few that did not make the top 5 list. To learn more about any of the providers just click on one of the links below:
- Ooma Office
- Alliance Phones
There’s a reason Nextiva tops our list of best hosted PBX providers. They ARE the best in the business.
With a combination of outstanding service, unparalleled technical support, and a wide range of features for businesses of all sizes, Nextiva has transformed business phone service for good.
If you are looking for either a hosted PBX or SIP trunking system that offers superior voice quality, flexible service plans to suit your requirements and budget, 99.999% uptime, and a real person to talk to when you need help, your search stops with Nextiva.
Why settle for second best?
Nextiva is the preferred phone system for businesses with multiple locations. The cloud-based VoIP system is simple to install and get up and running.
It is also easy to navigate, extremely reliable, and (most important) can be managed from one single online portal.
Nextiva Office offers just about every feature a small business would want in a phone system, from unlimited local and long distance calling to unlimited online faxing, music on hold, HD call connect, and the option to receive voicemails via text message or email.
The Nextiva Anywhere feature is also convenient for employees who work much of the time outside the office. This feature allows employees to redirect calls made to their business line to their home phone, mobile, or any other phone of their choice.
At no extra charge, businesses also get a complete conference calling service built into Nextiva’s phone system. This service enables any employee to set up their own conference call with up to 9 callers.
When it comes to sign up fees and contracts, Nextiva goes all out to make it easy for businesses with no setup fees and no hidden charges. Installing the Nextiva office phone system can save a business as much as 60% over traditional phone systems.
Making it even easier is the fact that businesses are not coerced into signing long-term contracts. You can sign up for a month-to-month service and cancel any time. This is a great option for any business looking to test-drive Nextiva’s famed customer service and support.
Let’s talk about the customer service for a moment. Nextiva claims to be fanatical about their customer support.
In the company’s own words, ‘Amazing Service isn’t just something we do. It is who we are.’
Are they exaggerating?
It appears not.
Nextiva’s customers readily attest to the fact that this is absolutely true. Just take a quick look at some of their reviews compared to their competitors (on a scale of 1 to 5):
The company’s reputation for exceptional customer support is well earned. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for on the website, it is refreshingly easy to find a real person to take care of whatever you need.
Nextiva’s Amazing Service® encapsulates the ethos of the company brilliantly.
When you choose Nextiva hosted PBX, you can expect to enjoy powerful communications with incredible ease of use, and absolutely amazing customer support.
It’s not surprising then that Nextiva consistently wins industry awards for its cloud-based business VoIP phone system.
8 x 8
8×8 provides both business and residential VoIP solutions with advanced phone features at rates that are surprisingly affordable.
One of the oldest and largest hosted PBX vendors, 8×8 leverages their wealth of experience and broad market share to offer business and residential users a choice of customized plans to meet their unique business (and personal) needs.
8×8 business customers can choose from 8 different plans, including SIP Trunking, Mobile Solutions, United Communication plans, and specific faxing plans.
The company’s Virtual Office and Virtual Office Pro VoIP solutions offer businesses a combination of reliability, and affordability. Both products come with unlimited calling, US-based support, and a suite of VoIP-ready features that make it easier for sales representatives to connect with customers.
Their flexible residential plans are all designed around the similar theme of ‘freedom from minute limits’. Every plan offers some variation on unlimited calling, allowing users to choose a plan that is best suited to their requirements.
With more than 125 patents to their credit, nobody can contest 8×8’s commitment to developing pioneering solutions that enable business to work more efficiently, and perform more reliably.
An established name in the telecommunications industry, Vonage is the best hosted PBX for non-business users.
While most cloud solutions typically cater to businesses, Vonage has pulled out all the stops to meet the needs of everyday users who are looking for more cost-effective ways to communicate from anywhere.
Vonage offers multiple plans to suit a variety of users looking for unlimited and affordable local, long distance, and international calling along with a suite of tools to manage their calls, and voicemails, more effectively.
Residential subscribers can choose from 4 home phone plans, each of which comes with a variety of business-grade features. Every plan is flexible so it can be customized even further to suit individual requirements.
Residential users also have access to a variety of call handling features, some of which are comparable to those available for business cloud phone subscribers. Features include SimulRing, call forwarding, and call blocking, among others.
Subscribers who would like to retain their current phone number can also do this at no additional cost.
People are increasingly on the go today, and being able to take their VoIP service with them means they can continue being productive and creative anywhere, anytime. All Vonage calling plans come with the award-winning Vonage Extensions App that offers additional convenience for users by allowing them to make and receive calls on their smartphone as if they were at home.
Like Nextiva, Vonage is one of those rare providers that offer customers a 30-day money back guarantee. Though you may not need it, it’s nice to know that you will get a full refund if you are not satisfied with the company’s service or their products.
RingCentral offers powerful cloud-based phone systems and solutions for all businesses, regardless of size and industry. Whether you’re a small startup, a mid-sized organization, or a large enterprise, you will find a plan to suit your needs.
The company is dedicated to eliminating the communications barriers that are inevitable with on-premise hardware. This commitment is demonstrated by their range of cloud solutions that offer unmatched flexibility, reliability, and value.
RingCentral’s cloud communication systems include high definition voice calls, an intuitive product interface, top-rated support teams, and a complete suite of communication tools.
RingCentral Meetings is a stand-alone video conferencing option that is convenient for anyone interested in video conference software only. This software can accommodate up to 100 participants.
Unlimited calling and mobility are also highly desirable features in business phone systems, and RingCentral does not disappoint. Their cloud phone system works across all locations.
Account advisors are available around the clock to help users set up their systems if they are struggling to do it themselves.
Larger plans offer unlimited extensions for easier, 24/7 access to multiple office locations.
With an impressive portfolio of communication solutions for businesses of all types and sizes, Mitel is a shoo-in to any list of best hosted PBX providers.
Reliable and secure cloud-based phone systems are Mitel’s specialty.
This reputed VoIP provider caters to small, mid-sized, and enterprise businesses in all industries. Business customers get every tool they need to establish the reliability and convenience of VoIP calling.
With affordable monthly prices, Mitel’s MiCloud Office and MiCloud Business are designed to help fuel growth, making them ideal for small and mid-sized businesses.
Flexible and responsive, Mitel’s MiVoice Office 250 solution is designed to help smaller businesses cut down on their communication costs.
Another major benefit for new businesses is the ability to add or drop plans as their needs change.
For larger businesses, Mitel offers MiVoice Business, which can support anywhere from 5 to 65,000 users. Mobile and flexible, MiVoice Business provides users with built-in core applications such as Hot Desking, and Dynamic Extension. This flexible phone system allows employees to work remotely and have easy access to voicemail and Unified Messaging from anywhere.
The company’s customer service is top-notch. Customers looking for help have just one phone number to call for answers.
With their easy administration, seamless operation and outstanding customer support, companies can stop worrying about their phone systems and spend more time focused on building their business, and boosting their profits.
HOSTED PBX PROVIDERS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE TOP 5 LIST
The companies listed below are good in many aspects but fall short of being considered a ‘top pick’. When the competition is so fierce, every little counts.
Jive allows prospective customers to test-drive their services with a first month free offer, which is always welcome. Once customers sign up, they get access to additional features, upgrades and add-ons at no cost – another plus point in Jive’s favor. As an added bonus, their services are simple to use for both admins and users.
Layered authentication and encryption networks provide unparalleled security and unlimited messaging, and softphones and an array of mobile apps make it easier to communicate and conduct business on the go.
- Pros: Jive offers a variety of plans and features to suit business of all sizes, from small startups to large corporate. Customers can test-drive the company’s services and choose the perfect plan to suit their business requirements, and their budget.
- Cons: Past customers complain that customer support is a little slow to respond to emails. Calling customer support is a better way to get immediate help when you need it.
With over 100 features, unlimited calling included in their plans, almost 100% uptime, and 24/7 US-based support, Gabbit is one of the best phone services for small businesses.
Gabbit has one of the most straightforward pricing structures as compared to most other providers. For a simple monthly fee for each line, small businesses can access features typically found only with big business phone systems. There are no extra charges or hidden fees.
- Pros: Gabbit is tailor made for small businesses, with a host of features that can be customized to meet the unique needs of each business.
- Cons: Prospective customers do not get a trial period to test Gabbit’s products or services.
OnSip is the number one choice for businesses that are looking for efficient cloud communications for remote teams. OnSip customers enjoy superior HD audio and video quality, easy DIY setup, 100% uptime, and award-winning support.
- Pros: Affordable pricing with a pay-as-you-go facility, exceptional call quality, and outstanding customer support are three of many benefits OnSip customers enjoy.
- Cons: No call recording feature with any of their plans can be a major deterrent for some businesses. Having multiple conference bridges also tends to be expensive on their typical pricing plans.
With more than 50 business-class features, CRM integrations, professional installation, and simple setup, Megapath is a cloud phone service that is built for small to medium sized businesses. Clients can choose from 3 competitively priced VoIP plans.
- Pros: Customers get unlimited national calling, which can help save a substantial sum every month. Megapath also boasts a 30-day guarantee and no contracts to sign. These are two major pluses for businesses looking to test a new hosted PBX
- Cons: Certain features are bundled under the premium category. Clients have to pay extra to access of these features. Some users have complained about slow speeds.
A giant in the Business VoIP industry, Ooma Office offers customers 40+ business VoIP tools, including unified communications, free calls in the US and Canada, call forwarding to mobile, and 24/7 customer support with live chat. Has received rave reviews for exceptional call quality.
- Pros: Small businesses love the fact that Ooma Office plans are affordable, customizable, and help keep costs down. The fact that their plans include unlimited minutes is a huge plus for small businesses.
- Cons: There are complaints about call drops, downtimes, and a few other issues when users switched from their residence services to their business services.
Grasshopper offers small businesses unlimited extensions, conference calling for up to 500 participants, customizable call routing, and a personalized main greeting. Setting up their system is fast and easy. This is a great VoIP solution for small-sized businesses looking for a basic, affordable phone system.
- Pros: New customers get a 30-day money back guarantee and do not have to sign any contract. All customers, regardless of their chosen plan, also get a toll free number at no extra charge.
- Cons: Their plans are relatively more expensive for what you get compared to most other hosted PBX
Vovox offers flexible, customizable solutions for various business models. Small businesses get web and email enabled calls, free on-network calls, 3-way calling, SMS callback, call forwarding, call return, call transfer, and standard voicemail. All of this comes in at a relatively low cost.
Cloud Phone service, which is a virtual business phone number that runs on a smartphone or PC, is the company’s most versatile product.
- Pros: Vovox offers a wide range of services, including a free mobile app with basic calling features and a small amount of credit for calls and texting. Most services are fairly priced and include everything a business would look for in a communication service.
- Cons: The Cloud Phone monthly limits are very restrictive. Consumers get only 1000 minutes to be shared between two users. It is easy to exceed this limit and then have to pay additional fees.
Alliance Phones calls their phone system uncomplicated and reliable, and that’s exactly what businesses can expect from this hosted PBX solution. Their clients enjoy a robust system that is easy to set up and has 99.99% reliability.
The company offers three standard plans that are priced based on the number of system users. There’s the Easy Plus plan for 1-3 users, Simplicity Plus plan for 4-20 users, and the Effortless Plus plan for more than 21 users. All plans can be tailored to fit individual business’ needs.
- Pros: Prospective customers get a 30-day free trial, during which time they get a temporary phone number and unlimited calling.
- Cons: Customers who wish to use their mobile phone have to buy the application.