This time we decided on Phone Systems as the main discussion point. What stands behind such a decision? Our readers and followers already know that we suggest admin support services. One of the vectors of our admin services is Call Center support. Some of the most frequently asked questions concern phone system, e.g. “How will your agency assist us?”, “What is your experience with different phone systems??”  

As the questions mentioned are often repeated and many clients face them, due to the fact that business phone systems management is something well worth operating but frequently difficult to choose and self-manage, we created our shortlist of some phone systems our virtual assistants are using.   

However, it sounds proper to investigate the business phone systems a bit to make you ‘feel’ the environment and make the best choice ever. 

You have definitely used at least one of the communication platforms (WhatsApp, MS Teams, Zoom, Skype for Business, and many others), particularly in the framework of the lockdown and WFH. Each of them has its pros and cons, a number of limitations as well as quality and pricing issues. So, here we have one question arising: have you ever thought about any alternatives to the communication platform(s) used? Have you looked for something easier to manage but equally multifunctional and even more scalable? A relevant phone system, maybe. This is what our current discussion would be all about. 

So, our recommendations to pay attention to would be as follows:   

  • How many users can cover the exact system or the exact plan;  
  • quality of phone sound;  
  • whether it is a Cloud version or the user will need a phone device;  
  • quality of phone reports;  
  • сall recording (to improve, boost and generate); 
  • call queuing (exceptionally useful for call centers); 
  • internet faxing and business messaging (relatively new service but highly efficient; time- and money-saving one); 
  • conference calling (a widely used feature, allows us to organize an effective virtual meeting), etc. 
  • the possibility to use the phone system in different countries ( US, Europe, etc.); 
  • price for the package;  
  • review users regarding quality of tech support 

Business phone systems vary greatly. We are going to mention PBX (Private Branch Exchange) as a private phone network used within an organization or certain company. The BPX allows its users to communicate both internally and externally through a number of channels, for instance, VoIP, ISDN, or their analogs. 

You may be interested here, what the advantages of such a system over common physical lines/communication platforms are. Look below: 

  • absolutely free of charge calls among its users; 
  • calls quantity/users limit is vast; 
  • additional features enabled (voicemail, reporting, call queues, interactive menu, etc.); 
  • and many more. 

How to choose the best and most convenient phone system available? A lot depends on your business needs and demands. Think thoroughly about what exactly services and needs you would like to get and choose the provider in accordance with these demands of yours. To show you a kind of direction to start your ‘path’ in, we offer certain moments to take into consideration at the very beginning: 

  • Your company’s employees and the app interface conformity. On the one hand, think about the number of employees you have and their ability to get accustomed to the new working environment.  On the other hand, give a thorough thought to the system’s ability to get in tune with your corporate peculiarities and other issues. 
  • Budgeting. The financial side of the issue is one of the most essential. Cloud solutions are really interesting and efficient for outside market collaboration (e.g. business outsourcing, remote or hybrid working mode, etc.). 
  • Additional features. Everyone is longing to have everything the best and most updated. Do you need it though? Do you need a maximally plain system or extra features packed? It is up to you to decide.  

We, in VAfromEurope, would recommend IP BPX as those offering a lot of benefits due to their internet-based nature. The point is, the telephony landscape is dramatically transforming for the consumers under the influence of time and technological progress, all of us need more and more connectivity and reachability the IP PBX offers.  

So, the advantages are the following (not limited to though): 

  • easy to install by yourself; 
  • extensions and trunks of an unlimited number; 
  • multifunctionality; 
  • increased control; 
  • expenses reduction, etc. 

Finally, we have approached cloud VoIP hosted phone systems, the ones our Virtual assistant agency prefer in the course of our performance. Why cloud VoIP? 

  • Absolute self-management; 
  • simplicity and scalability; 
  • CRM perfect integration solutions (as well as any other software apps); 
  • all the devices work together; 
  • considerable cost savings (up to 30%); 
  • and many others. 

Among the VoIP hosted phone systems, we would emphasize the following: 

Ring Central 

Full-service cloud PBX 

In the telephony sphere, Ring Central has excellent reviews from the top companies and flexible pricing plans available. 

Ring Central is sometimes called a global phone system solution as it is available across approx. 100 countries all over the world. 

Pricing: Price span varies starting with $19, 99 depending on the very plan chosen. 

Perfect for small, medium and large companies regarding its feature set and cost balance. 

Free trial: Yes. 

Jive (GoToConnect, since 2020) 

Hoisted cloud VoIP system 

Jive makes any form of communication streamlined and enhanced with its Interactive Intranet mainly. A vast number of additional communication features along with AI integrated to make the conversation flow meaningful and really matter is a part of the Jive functionality.  

Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS 

Free Trial: 30 days of full Jive platform version for an unlimited number of users; free demo. 

Good for small and medium companies. 

Price: ranging from $19,95 to $29,95 monthly for up to 50+ users. 

Vonage Business 

Vonage Business Cloud 

The platform will be of interest to the representatives of various business areas:healthcare, accounting, retail, insurance, transport and logistics, travel and tourism, real estate, and advertising. Developers offer efficient solutions for small businesses and medium businesses.

The system provides conference calling and Dynamic Caller ID connectivity.

For small businesses mainly. 

Free Trial: 14 days 

Price: Mobile $19.99, Premium $29.99, Advanced $39.99  

MicroSip 

Open source portable SIP softphone 

MicroSip is exceptionally useful for reaching people wherever they are. No matter whether you are at your desktop or somewhere far away, the system will make you connected easily and quickly. 

Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS 

Used both in the US and Europe 

Price: $95 as one-time payment  

Free Trial: No 

PortGo 

VoIP softphone 

PortGo will be a good business solution for you as it offers seamless internet connection for free. It is highly flexible and functional as well. 

 Free trial: 15 days 

Nextiva 

Cloud-hosted VoIP phone system 

Nextiva is best for various types of businesses as a cloud VoIP system spread wherever you wish bur centrally managed. What is more, it is all about being a functional communication platform with cloud solutions, CRM software and others.

Suggested for small & medium businesses as well as enterprises 

Price: $21,95-$31,95, depending on the business plan сhosen 

Bottom Line 

Cloud VoIP systems do deserve your attention. They are fast, flexible with good integration and wide functionality. What is more, they are highly cost-efficient. However, every telephone system has its own issues to consider. Tech support plays a vital role here: how quickly the service can be reached and how long it takes to eliminate the shortcomings existing (e.g. Internet connection, Windows installation, user friendliness, etc.) 

The info provided covers the business phone systems direction only partially (although there is a good deal more we have been working with), as its main focus is to inform our customers/followers/potential clients on the topic based on our practical experience. Every company can freely choose the phone system best matching its corporate needs, as the modern market presents variety of them. No matter what your final choice is, the phone systems operation and implementation expertise professional virtual assistants have will definitely facilitate ‘your choice-our experience’ tandem and make the looming success a real one.