What is Enterprise VoIP?
Enterprise VoIP is a modern communication solution that allows running the telephony service based on a local corporate network. The technology is designed to fit the needs of huge corporations with a lot of workers in the office. Its main advantage is free, unlimited calls between employees of the company. Using enterprise VoIP services, organizations are able to scale the service according to their needs by adding or removing the lines. It will allow clients to reduce expenses on communication and control them more effectively. Despite providing many advanced features, unlike traditional phone services, enterprise VoIP does not require huge efforts to install and configure the system. It can be managed by a system administrator or a small technical team. All you need is a stable internet connection, which is quite easy to achieve. Every company can implement its VoIP system via a cloud provider, an on-premise platform, or a hybrid solution. Each technology has its advantages — the company can select the most suitable solution according to their business needs. In any case, it will help to save up to 80% compared to the traditional phone solution. Now, we’re going to review and the best enterprise VoIP providers and the tips for selecting the most suitable solutions.
One of the leading American providers with the head office in Scottsdale, AZ. The company was founded in 2006, and since that time, it gained great popularity among business companies of any scale. Many big corporations are their clients. The platform provides a full set of advanced features. They include free number porting, local or toll free numbers, auto-attendant, hold music, faxing, texting, mobile app, welcoming greeting, conference calls, call recording, voicemail, analytics tools, call pop, call logs, advanced CRM features, custom reports, branding and customization, live chat with the customers, virtual database builder, etc. The service is extremely reliable — the uptime is 99.999%. As for customer service, enterprise customers have the highest priority. The support is available on the phone, via online chat and email. The technical staff is helpful and always provides informative help. There is no question they are not ready to help with. The pricing depends on the number of lines. The starting price is $30 per month per user for more than 100 clients. If your company is not very big, you can get fewer lines. For example, a 10 line system will cost $40 per month per user — $400 per month. For enterprise users, all additional services are already included. So, if you need something like a toll-free number, it is included in your current plan. Moreover, you are allowed to use your equipment — it will save a lot of funds for your company. Contact the company before the registration — they will help you to adjust the correct configurations.
The American enterprise VoIP service provider with the main office in Holmdel, NJ. They provide full-scale solutions for enterprise customers with 99.999% uptime and flexible pricing. Since being founded in 2000, the company became one of the market leaders in the enterprise segment. Its target audience is the business of any size — the platform is ready to work with the project of any complexity. The platform provides a great set of advanced features, both administrative and calling. So, the company will be able to use all the benefits of modern digital telephony without any limits. The set of features includes call announce, caller id, call screening, silent mode, anti-spam protection, call continuity, hold, logs, park, queue, recording, and waiting, advanced dashboard, HD voice codecs for calls of the highest quality. Also, there’s a shared line appearance, local number or number in multiple countries, toll free numbers to make a call center, voicemail, application for mobile devices and desktop computers, faxing and text messaging, visual voicemail, advanced chat option to keep in touch with your customers, file sharing and others. The technical support is provided on the phone, via live chat and email. Besides, there is an extensive knowledge base, an online training center, and a lot of recorded webinars. For enterprise customers, agent support is available 24/7. Moreover, there is an extensive community that is ready to help with any issue. To start using the services, you have to contact the company. They will provide you a personal offer according to our needs. They do not Provide prices for enterprise customers, but you can understand an approximate cost looking at the prices for business customers. Thus, for a 10 line system, you will be charged from $17.99 to $27.99 per line. Most likely, enterprise services will not cost much different. Also, you are allowed to use your existing hardware as well as buy the branded telephones.
The company was created in 1991 and launched in 2003. Its headquarters is located in Belmont, CA. Is it quite old, it became one of the first cloud-based enterprise VoIP providers. They provide highly personalized services for enterprise customers for affordable and flexible pricing. So if you are looking at how to reduce communication costs, contact RingCentral for a personal offer. The company offers a full set of both basic and advanced features including faxing, video conferencing, custom app integration, video, and audio meetings with screen sharing, toll-free and local numbers, text messaging, call management and phone numbers administration, mobile apps for Android and iOS, HD voice codecs for high-quality connection, voicemail, team collaboration with colleagues, integrations with popular third-party platforms like Google, Microsoft, Box, Okta, Salesforce.com, Zendesk and Desk.com. There are personal solutions for every industry, including healthcare, financial services, high tech, government, education, retail, real estate, manufacturing, construction, legal, and many others. As you can see, the platform will be useful for every business. Customer support for enterprise users is available on the phone, via live chat, community, and developer center. Also, you will be able to find the information yourself in the knowledge database and the recorded webinars. The phone support has the local numbers in several countries — The system administrators will be able to contact the support most conveniently. Along with a live chat, it is available 24/7. The pricing depends on the number of used services and used phone lines. To start using the service, you have to contact the sales department first. They will be happy to give you a personal offer. If to compare pricing to the cost for small businesses, you can expect approximately $50 per month per user. The plan includes the biggest set of available tools and features, including toll-free and local numbers.
The platform is one of the oldest companies on the market with an experience of over 25 years. The headquarters is located in San Jose, CA. Oriented for business customers, the company was considered one of the fastest-growing organizations in North America. Many businesses — both small and huge enterprises — prefer using their high-quality services. The provider offers a full set of digital telephony services and inflexible pricing according to the business needs. The company working in any industry will find its solution with 8×8. It is a cloud-based provider, so you do not need to buy and maintain your server. Besides, you are allowed to use your hardware — it’s very useful when you are changing the VoIP operator as you will be able to save a lot of money. The platform provides a lot of basic and advanced VoIP features including multiple operations with phone calls, convenient dashboard to manage calls and services, local numbers, online fax, text messages, voicemail, call recording, HD codecs for highest quality of phone calls, applications for the desktop and mobile devices, audio and video conferences, integration with different third-party platforms, and many more. Moreover, your company can select one of three product packages — 8×8 Express, 8×8 X Series, and 8×8 Contact Center. Each of them has a different set of available tools and configurations — select the one which suits your business needs the most. If you have any questions, talk to the customer service on the phone, via email, and online chat. They are available 24/7. Moreover, there is an extensive knowledge database where you can find an answer to almost any issue related to the platform. The pricing depends on the needed options and the number of lines. The cost varies from $25 to $172 per user per month. So, a system of 10 lines will cost $250 to $1720 per month. If you need to get a toll free number, it is available in multiple countries, not just in the USA. The activation fee is $9.99, and the monthly pricing starts from $4.99, depending on the number of included minutes.
The company was created in 2006, and since that time, it became one of the best companies on the market. The headquarters is located in Orem, UT. What is the secret of its popularity? They offer flexible transparent pricing, informative customer support, no hidden fees, as well as multiple basic and advanced calling functions. It is a completely cloud-based platform, so you will not need to think about your equipment, which is hard to configure and maintain — it will save a lot of your money. Besides, the platform has a partnership with huge vendors like Cisco, Polycom, Panasonic, Verizon Business, and even Microsoft. The platform is the best solution for insurance companies, government agencies, medical centers, car manufacturers and others need it more than digital VoIP product to keep in touch with the customers and establish a reliable communication between the workers and different departments. Jive offers more than 80 features for any business. They include 99.99% uptime, call analytics, monitoring, recording, and logs, routing, transferring, waiting, queues, forwarding, history, caller ID, do not disturb mode, spam filter, call queue management, conference bridge, custom greetings, hold music, advanced dialer, online fax, lion failover, paging, voicemail, speed dial, extensions, local and toll free numbers, etc. The full list of features is available on the website. The customer support is available via email and on the phone in 24/7 mode. They are very informative and are ready to help in any situation. Also, you can read the product documentation, which is quite detailed and contains many problematic cases. The monthly cost depends on the number of lines you use in your organization. It starts from $29.95 per user per month if you take the Tier 1 plan (1-4 users), and is $19.95 per user per month in the Tier 5 plan (more than 50 users). Let’s suppose you need a 10-line system in your company. The cost per each user will be $23.95, so, for 10 users, you will be charged $239.50. Some additional features like toll-free numbers will cost you an extra 1.9 cents per minute. The company sells the supported phones. However, you are allowed to use your equipment. If you change the provider, it will save a lot of money and resources.
The American company from San Francisco, CA, demonstrates the future of online communication for a business of any size. Unlike most competitors, they do not concentrate on the hardware — they offer the software product which works on every existing device, be it a desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet. Also, the service can be integrated with other platforms. The platform offers several products for different business needs: Talk — typical phone system, Support — call center to provide Technical Support for your customers, Sell — special instruments for effective work of sales department, and UberConference —the software to establish video conferences with screen sharing. With Dialpad, your business will get an effective instrument to establish cooperation with your colleagues and between departments, as well as customers. Besides basic options, you can use one of the advanced tools like toll-free and local numbers, feature-rich call management, video calls in HD quality, customizable hold music, voicemail, call transcription in real-time, analytics dashboard, and many others. Also, the platform can integrate with such third-party tools as G Suite, Office 365, LinkedIn, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Okta, and OneLogin. Do you have any issues? Contact customer service via an online chat, email, and on the phone. Also, there is an option to use a help center with detailed instructions regarding any aspect of the work with the platform. For enterprise customers, support is available 24/7. The pricing is flexible and quite affordable. There is no exact pricing for enterprise clients; you have to contact the sales department and have at least 100 users. If your organization is less, you can use the plans for the business. For example, the Pro plan will cost you $30 per month per user. So, for a 10 line system, you will be charged $300 monthly. As you do not need to buy any equipment, the final cost can be much lower than many competitors.
One of the best and most reliable enterprise VoIP providers with headquarters in Santa Clara, CA. Since its foundation, the company became one of the market leaders about cloud-based platforms for businesses of any size from small companies to huge corporations. As it is working in the cloud, you do not have to get specialized hardware — it will save a lot of money for your company. Your organization will get a powerful infrastructure ready to work in several minutes. The platform offers such options as audio and video calls and conferencing, text messaging and online faxes, file sharing, teamwork, voicemail, softphone, applications for mobile and desktop devices, HD quality, full encryption, feature-rich call management, convenient dashboard, lots of plugins to support third-party apps and services, 99.999% uptime, integration with Outlook, Office 365, Gmail, Skype for Business, and Salesforce, and many others. Do you need any help or health an issue with using the service? Contact technical support. It is multi-channel and is available 24/7. Thus, you are able to use a phone call, email, online chat, help documentation, detailed guides, knowledge base, and even remote desktop sharing. So, you will never be left without help — the stuff does their work perfectly. The monthly cost will depend on the needed features. There are four plans with monthly price from $19.95 to $64.95. The most popular plan is Business Plus for $24.95 per user per month. So, for a system with 10 lines, you will pay $249.50. Toll-free numbers are included in the current plans; you do not have to pay for them additionally. Also, you are able to buy pre-configured equipment or use your existing one.
Another popular enterprise VoIP platform for business of any size. The company was founded in 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA. Since its foundation, it became one of the market leaders due to its affordable, flexible, and transparent pricing and working in the cloud. Every company will benefit its services as they have solutions for every organization and industry. Your business will receive the full set of basic and advanced features like HD voice for the best call quality, advanced call management, convenient dashboard, voicemail, hold music, fax and text messages, the ability to get free desk phone for every worker in the office, 99.999% uptime to be always available, the applications for desktop and mobile devices, great spam filter, cloud backup of recorded phone calls and many others. Also, you are able to use your equipment, which saves a lot of money for your enterprise. The technical support is multi-channel and works in 24/7 mode. The team is available on the phone, by email or via online chat. If you have any issues, contact them immediately — they will be happy to help with solving any problem. They do their job properly — you will remain satisfied. Also, there is a great support portal that provides a lot of details articles with high-quality screenshots. You or your system administrator will be able to set up and configure every parameter even without the need to contact the technical stuff. As for pricing, it is much cheaper than most competitors. Thus, the Business Pro plan will cost $11.16 per user per month. So, for a system with 10 lines, you will pay $111.60 per month. Most competitors are much more expensive. Moreover, many additional options like toll-free numbers are included in the current plan.
One of the most flexible enterprise VoIP services with headquarters in New York and colocation centers in Los Angeles and Manhattan. The company uses the latest communication standards, which guarantee the highest quality of phone and video calls. They also provide a simple API to be used by developers in third-party services and applications. They have more than 40,000 business customers in different countries. Your organization can choose one of three modes to work with: only softphones with the applications on mobile and desktop devices, only desk phones with configured hardware, and hybrid mode, which includes both hardware and applications. Having signed up, you will get a full set of basic and advanced communication features like call management, group calls, hold music, inbound bridge, automatic queues, emergency calls, voicemail, the applications for desktop and mobile devices, business hours rules, integration with Chrome, Slack, Odoo, Highrise, and Zendesk, and many others. Another great option is the website chat, which can be used free of charge. It can also be configured for Sales, Sales + Support, and Support. The customer service is available 24/7 and can be reached by email, phone, or ticket system on the website. The support website includes tutorials, recorded webinars, and frequently asked questions. The pricing depends on the required features. The most popular one is unlimited. It is priced at $18.95 per month per each user and includes many additional options like toll-free numbers. So, the system of 10 lines will cost your organization $189.50 per month. Every new customer gets a free Polycom phone for every seat. Therefore, you are allowed to use your current hardware.
How to Choose an Enterprise VoIP Provider
If you’re thinking about moving your company to IP telephony, you’re probably wondering how to implement the VoIP properly. You can find more information about business VoIP providers here. After all, every call from the client is essential for the business — we are pretty sure you are not going to lose any of them. That’s why you need to make sure that the VoIP platform does not harm the flow of incoming calls. There are several questions you have to consider choosing an enterprise VoIP provider. Let’s look at them closer. Estimate the budget and needs There are a lot of providers, and each of them has its strong points, options, and tariff plans. Do a little research to find the right service provider. A VoIP platform is needed to make external outgoing calls and receive incoming calls. First of all, answer the following questions:
- For what purpose do you use your current telephone system?
- Do your employees have to make many long-distance and international calls?
- How many workplaces do you need, and how many people will use the virtual PBX?
- Do you have existing phone numbers? Will it be possible to replace or transfer them?
- How much do you plan to spend per month on communication?
- What are your most popular destinations?
- How many branches do you have and where are they located?
- Do you need additional services and options?
If you call a little and your budget is limited, choose those who offer cheap tariffs with basic options. If you have branches and customers all over the world, plan to connect more numbers and lines — choose big operators, whose services are more expensive, but they offer more options and opportunities. Then study the international call price, especially to the places you call most often. Multiply by the average number of calls per month, add to the subscription fee and connection fee, and compare the sums for each operator. Then determine how many lines you need, so that, working places. See how the price will change with the minimum and maximum number — for example, for 5, 15, or 100+ lines. You may need more in the future, and it is better to estimate the costs right away. Assess what additional features you need and how much they cost. The more useful options and services the provider has, the better. At the same time, the cost of services can increase proportionally. Evaluate the network bandwidth Before you start thinking about how to organize an IP telephony system for your business, think about the quality of the Internet connection and local network. As VoIP telephony works through the Internet, you should be sure that your Internet channel and local network will be able to process a large amount of data and functions stably. High-quality calls require high speeds and reliability, so download and upload speed must be as high as possible. For example, one HD call requires the bandwidth of up to 1 Mbps. So, 100 lines will take up to 100 Mbps. We don’t talk about video calls now. And do not forget about other online needs like browsing, emailing, file sharing, cloud storage, etc. Contact your VoIP provider to ask what bandwidth is required for your needs. They will also help you to get the best equipment to guarantee your Internet telephony will work properly. If you are not sure if your channel can handle the traffic, contact your Internet provider. They should give you a clear idea of the possibility of your existing system. Another critical component of the correct work of your phone lines is a piece of proper network equipment. The router must be powerful enough to handle the traffic and support QoS technology. This feature will prioritize real-time audio and video traffic over data traffic like browsing and emailing. It will help your enterprise VoIP system to work perfectly.
Know the Difference: On-Premise vs. Hybrid vs. Cloud Hosted
Many companies are considering a choice between a local PBX hosted on the server or a cloud/virtual/hosted PBX that can be rented from the operator. There are many supporters of both the first and the second model of PBX use. Everything depends on the size of the company and the tasks assigned to the telephone system. To help you make the right choice, we have prepared a comparison of cloud and local PBX. Cloud-based or Hosted Pros:
- Quick start — a connection is performed within 1 day.
- A third-party operator supports enterprise VoIP systems. All responsibility for the work, maintenance, and updating the functionality of the PBX is the responsibility of the operator.
- Affordable solution (compared to on-premise), if we consider the short-term perspective. At the initial stage, it does not require significant investments.
- For the customer, costs for installation, setup, and maintenance are minimal — you will be able to reduce huge expenses.
- It is possible not to worry about network infrastructure and its configuration. It is especially crucial for smaller companies with limited budgets for network equipment.
- You do not need to keep the staff or invite a specialist to maintain the enterprise VoIP system.
- There is no need to train an employee or system administrator to maintain the system — adding users, connecting external lines, etc. The operator does all this for you under the service contract.
- All updates and functionality extension Itare included in the PBX maintenance contract. You don’t need to take care of it — the provider does it independently in the agreed terms.
- All your data is under reliable protection.
- Possibility to choose only those functions which are necessary for your business.
- Scalability. You can add an unlimited number of new users at any time. And reduce them when needed.
- It can be quite difficult to choose the right company.
- You highly depend on the Internet connection — a reliable connection is available, not in every location.
- You have to trust confidential data to a third party — in some cases; this is completely unacceptable.
- Your company has full control over the work of the telephone system.
- The VoIP system is more easily integrated with other company software systems, such as CRM.
- Suitable for medium and large companies with high-quality network infrastructure that can carry an additional load of VoIP traffic.
- You do not need to depend on a third-party contractor. You maintain your corporate PBX on your own.
- The system data, in particular, the history of calls and recordings of conversations, are stored locally in your company and are not available to third parties – this is especially important for companies who work with confidential data.
- In the long perspective, this is a less costly solution (compared to the cloud).
- Ability to customize the system individually to the needs of your business.
- There is no need to pay to VoIP providers.
- Long implementation period — from 7 days.
- At the initial stage, it is necessary to make significant investments (purchase, installation, and configuration of special equipment and software).
- You need to pay for the services of specialists or hire a dedicated team.
- The process of adding new features is expensive, time-consuming, and complicated.
- Scalability. With the growth of the company, there will be additional costs for the modernization of equipment. In some cases, it will be very complicated and even impossible.
Hybrid The hybrid system combines the features of on-premise and cloud systems. It is the best solution for the organizations which already own analog telephone lines and want to implement a modern VoIP system. In this case, This solution will use the existing infrastructure to the full extent. This system is best suited for the locations where it is not possible to deploy a full-scale network with an Ethernet interface in every office, or it is every difficult or unreasonable to replace all the analog phone hardware.
Questions to ask a Prospective Enterprise VoIP Service Provider
Why should we prefer your company? In up to 99% of cases, enterprise web providers will offer the same services and features. You can also expect averagely the same pricing and multi-channel 24/7 support. But even the smallest details can be vital and change the situation drastically. In that several percents of the difference, you can be offered some exclusive options, great discount, or an application with unique features. So, ask the sales department deep questions. How will the service work during the first several weeks? When you select the new service or are entirely new into it, your first weeks can be tough. First, learn the basic features, read all product documentation and guides on the support portal, or contact the technical crew. Be ready that some functions work in a completely different way than you may have used to. So, you will have to handle it. What new enterprise-level features should I know about? Having handled the necessary things, it’s time to learn more advanced ones. For example, one of the next steps is integration with current CRM software. It can also be integrated with other third-party products, work with social media, provide video conferencing, auto-attendant, and many other options. The faster you cope with them, the more effective your business will work. How reliable is the service, and how do you solve the outages? It is essential to run the business without interruptions due to some unpredicted events. Every respective provider must have abundant backups capable of handling with an extreme situation without loss of service. For example, natural disasters and terrorist attacks can be ruining. Even banal electric line drop can break everything. Ask the provider, which measures it will take to restore the activity as soon as possible. News articles and social media are a good source to know how the company coped with previous issues. Which hardware is compatible? Most cloud-based providers allow working on any device like a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. In some cases, you may need to get special equipment such as VoIP phone, headset, VoIP adapter, etc. What if you have the necessary equipment? Is it allowed to bring your device? Or which protocols and codecs should it support to work properly? Is it possible to port my existing phone number? If you are a well-known company and change the location or provider, ask whether you can use your old phone numbers. Why is it so important? They are known to your customers. To change the number means to lose them all and complicate the communication process.
Key Benefits and Features of Enterprise VoIP Phone Systems
Easy scaling Your business can rapidly grow or slowly reduce its activity. Due to this, your enterprise VoIP needs can also change. Modern phone systems aren’t able to scale in several clicks. Just buy several additional lines or disconnect them. You will pay only for the services you need and will be ready for any future changes. You do not depend on your location If your company has multiple offices in different cities or even countries, affordable communication between all the departments has never been so easy and inexpensive. Your workers will have the same phone number no matter where they go, and without any roaming fees. You will be able to control the business from another country like you are sitting in the same office. Advanced call management With enterprise VoIP, you can manage all your phone calls effectively. For example, in the dashboard, you can set up the business hours rules not to be interrupted in your own time. Also, there is an option to forward calls to another colleague, voicemail, or set a priority to some subscribers. Integration with third-party cloud services Test enterprise web works via the Internet; you can easily integrate it with other cloud-based platforms like CRM, social networks, email, office suits, and others.
Handy Enterprise VoIP Terms to Know
Concurrent It is when several things happen at the same time. The number of concurrent calls is the number of calls you can make at the same time. The same about concurrent channels. If you use ten concurrent channels, you need ten phone lines. Softphone It is a special application that you can use to make a call using your desktop PC or mobile device. All you need is just a headset with a microphone or loudspeakers. What does it mean for your business? You do not have to buy expensive specialized hardware. ISP It is the short name of the Internet Service Provider. It is a company that provides an internet connection. It can cable provider, phone company tor even cell operator. Upstream The same as upload. It is an outgoing connection speed — from you to the remote server. Downstream The same as a download. It stands for an incoming connection speed — from the remote server to your device. Symmetric/Asymmetric The term describes whether the downstream and upstream speed is equal. For high-quality two-way communication, the speed should not differ much. Ideally, they must be the same. IVR or Auto-Attendant It is a special interactive menu the person hears when it calls your phone number. It is a computerized guide that leads you to the necessary information. Redundancy The term describes the number of backup servers and locations. For example, when one location will be broken due to natural disasters or direct attacks, your data will have a copy in another location. Bi-coastal redundancy means there are two farms, both East and West Coast.