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Best VoIP services of 2019

TechRadar logo TechRadar 09/06/2019 Nate Drake
a screenshot of a cell phone: Image Credit: RingCentral © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Image Credit: RingCentral

The internet revolutionized telecoms by making Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) available, but the development of cloud-based systems and the proliferation of mobile devices has transformed the telecoms market even further. 

Whereas before it would take lots of hardware and months of setting up to put a business telecoms network into play, now it takes minutes with a cloud-based VoIP solution.

Even better, the costs have gone down significantly due to the lack of need to invest in infrastructure, meaning that the latest telecoms solutions for business are incredibly accessible and very cost-effective.

For the startup business, it's never been easier or so cheap to set up a business phone system or even a call center. 

For the established business, not only are cloud-based VoIP systems more cost-effective, but the availability of analytics means that not only can staff productivity and the customer journey be better tracked, but it's also simple to gain actionable insights from the business intelligence provided.

Whichever VoIP system you're thinking of buying into, here we present the best currently on the market. 

  • Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line. 

1. RingCentral Office

An accessible VoIP solution from an old reliable

PROS:

+ User Friendly
+ Variety of price plans

CONS:

- Lower plans very basic

RingCentral was founded in 1999. It provides cloud-based solutions and collaboration solutions for businesses.

RingCentral has 4 pricing tiers. Users can save 33% by signing up to an annual subscription.

The ‘Essentials’ plan is $19.99 per user per month. It includes 10 users, toll free/local number, 100 toll free minutes and 4 people video conferencing.

The ‘Standard’ package is $24.99 per user month. This includes unlimited users, toll free/local number, 1,000 toll free minutes, 4 people video conferencing and unlimited internet fax.

The ‘Premium’ tier starts at $34.99 per user per month and is deemed RingCentral’s most popular plan. It includes all the other two plans have to offer plus 2,500 toll free minutes, 100 people video conferencing, automatic call-recording and voicemail-to-text.

The ‘Ultimate’ plan is $49.99 per user per month. It includes all the features available with the other packages but also offers 10,000 toll free minutes and 200 people video conferencing.

Users can avail of a 14-day free trial.

Setup is relatively easy and includes a versatile cloud-based management system. Users can opt to keep their own phone or purchase new ones from RingCentral. Users who choose to keep their own hardware only need to plug them into their existing phone jacks.

RingCentral is cloud-based. As a result users can utilise its application to make voice calls, faxing, texting as well as audio and video conferencing.

Some of the more price effective packages do lack some features users might expect to find in standard plans. These include auto attendant and automatic call recording. However, the higher tiers more than make up for this by including a huge number of extra features.

2. 8x8 X Series Cloud Service

Bring your phone system to life with this handy VoIP solution

PROS:

+ Competitive pricing
+ Variety of features
+ Simple setup

8x8 Inc provides cloud communications and customer engagement solutions. These include voice, contact center, video, mobile and unified communications for small, medium to enterprise business.

The ‘X Series X2’ plan starts at $28 per month per user. This includes unlimited calling within 14 countries, phone number, extension dialling, voicemail, auto attendant, click to dial, music on hold, call recording, 1GB media storage, call queues, mobile/desktop apps, team messaging, unlimited internet faxing, 100 participants and analytics essentials. The system also integrates with G Suite, Office 365, Outlook, NetSuite, Salesforce and ZenDesk.

The ‘X Series X3’ package is $38 per month per user. It includes all the ‘X2’ plan has to offer along with unlimited calling within 32 countries, 5GB media storage and an operator switchboard.

The ‘X5’ plan weighs in at $60 per user per month. Extras included in this tier are unlimited calling within 47 countries, 10GB media storage, web callback, interactive voice response (IVR), 2,000 minutes outbound predictive dialler, contact center, service quality and supervisor analytics.

The ‘X6’ package starts at $115 per month per user. It includes 4,000 minutes within 47 countries, customer experience analytics, 8x8 Expert connect and post call survey.

The system is easy to setup and has a variety of features which would suit the most discerning users. There are three different ways to use the service if the standard desk phone doesn’t suit your needs.

3. Mitel MiCloud Business

VoIP services from a long running provider

PROS:

+ CRM integration
+ Mobile application

CONS:

- Relatively expensive

Mitel Networks Corporation provides unified communications solutions for business. Its main focus is almost entirely on VoIP products.

The ‘Essentials’ tier starts at $20.99 (£13.59) per user per month. It includes PBX features, collaboration, conferencing, call routing, personal agent queuing and reporting.

The ‘Premier’ package, said to be the most popular, weighs in at $26.59 (£17.84). It includes extras such as CRM integration, call recording, outbound dialler, callbacks, skills and priority routing.

The ‘Elite plan starts at $38.49 (£23.79) per month per user. It includes archiving, operator and multimedia routing.

Mitel MiCloud Business has many features which aren’t commonly found with most VoIP provider. These include the ability to link your cell number to your work extension, customizable hold music and voicemails can be transcribed and emailed to you.

Users can also access more common features such as auto attendant, rerouting, call forwarding, call holding and call parking.

The system is also available on your browser as well as on desktop and mobile applications.

4. Dialpad

Dial your way to a more affordable cloud VoIP provider

PROS:

+ 30-day free trial
+ Single sign-on

CONS:

- 24/7 support only available on Enterprise plan

Dialpad was founded in 2012. The company is most known for its video and audio-conferencing software, Uberconference. Dialpad Talk is their VoIP system.

The ‘Standard’ plan is $20 (£16) per user month. It includes toll free numbers, unlimited calling in US/Canada, call forwarding, call controls, HD video calling, call waiting, voicemail greeting, unlimited, SMS, MMS, group texting US and Canada.

The ‘Pro’ plan starts at $30 (£24) per month per user. It includes all the ‘Standard’ plan has to offer plus hold queues, 24/5 days support, international numbers, international offices in over 40 countries, multiple offices supported, Zendesk, Salesforce and Slack integration.

The ‘Enterprise’ package include extras such as 24/7 support, Enterprise SLA, professional services support, admin APIs, custom analytics and reporting.

Users can also avail of a 30-day free trial. The annual subscriptions offer discounted monthly rates making it even more cost efficient.

The basic tier offers single sign-on which is missing from most other providers. The basic plan includes integrations such as G Suite and Office 365.

5. Jive

A cost-effective and well-featured VoIP provider

PROS:

+ End-to-end encryption
+ Same features for each tier
+ CRM integration

Jive provides communications and collaboration software for business. It was founded in 2001.

Pricing is based on the number of users. There are 5 tiers available.

‘Tier 1’ pricing is for between 1-4 and costs $29.95 (£22.50) per month. ‘Tier 2’ covers 5-9 users and is $25.95 (£19.50) per month. ‘Tier 3’ is $23.95 (£18) for between 10-24 users. ‘Tier 4’ is for 25-49 users and costs $21.95 (£16.59). Finally, ‘Tier 5’ is $19.95 (£15) for over 50 users.

The more users you have, the cheaper your monthly pan. The company also offer customized pricing for businesses with over 100 users.

Jive offers the same variety of features no matter what you pay. This includes auto attendant, virtual fax, end-to-end encryption, call recording, custom hold music, call parking, call forwarding in addition to call center-specific features such as wait time announcement and agent login/logout.

Whisper is a feature unique to Jive and allows admins instruct their agents while they are on a call.

Jive also integrates with Salesforce, Zoho and Redtail. 

a screenshot of a cell phone: Image Credit: Jive

Image Credit: Jive
© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.
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