Best PBX System for Small Business

10 plans were found!

Plan: Essentials and Standard

By: RingCentral Phone Systems
Approximate Price: $19.99 - $24.99

Plan rating:
5/5

Pros:

  • Internet Fax
  • Dedicated fax number
  • Dial-by name directory
  • Phone & web support

Cons:

  • No International call plans
  • No refund on cancelling annual pre-paid service for months unused

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: unlimited
  • Toll Free Minutes: Essentials – 100; Standard – 1,000; Premium – 2,500; Ultimate – 10,000
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: No risk 30 day trial for up to 4 users
  • Phones Supported: All VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: If required, RingCentral can supply Cisco, Polycom and Yealink handsets
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone, PC and Tablets
  • Conferencing Calling: N/A
  • Fax: Send and receive Internet Fax
  • Installation Fees: none
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None on month-to-month, no refund on annual pre-paid service
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: planning, designing and project management
  • Installation Consultation Service: implementation project management, ongoing support, and consulting
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Options: Email, phone, live-chat
  • Support Hours: 24×7 – Office subscribers with 2 or more users. Otherwise 13×5 support

RingCentral Review

RingCentral has replaced its former SMB offering called Professional with Cloud Phone, which is another cloud based virtual telephone service designed for start-ups’, entrepreneurs, and business people who are on the move. The new Cloud Phone service plans deliver a variety of solution for Soho and small businesses that are heavily reliant on their mobile phones for business. As a result, Cloud Phone delivers both an inbound call answering service as well as outbound call functions. Because RingCentral Cloud Phone is now both an inbound and outbound service it offers all of the VoIP features that it’s larger IP/PBX enterprise services offer. Consequently, Cloud Phone is a fully functional and feature rich virtual PBX. However, if all you require as a SOHO or SMB is a reliable inbound answering and call transfer service then Cloud Phones extensive feature set may be more than what you are looking for.

Just like other virtual telephone services Cloud Phone provides a virtual business number for customers for inbound calling. The virtual business number can be local, toll free or you can port an existing business number over to RingCentral. The auto-attendant will answer any incoming calls 24/7, which ensures you never miss a call. Further, there is a customised greeting and configurable menu options. This allows calls to be answered and forwarded appropriately and even redirected to a mobile or to any phone of your choosing. If you should be unavailable, then RingCentral will automatically divert the call through to voice-mail.

RingCentral Cloud Phone is designed to be a feature rich, virtual telephone system, for businesses of all sizes. Unlike its competitors in the SoHo and SMB market it does not lack out-going calling capabilities. If your chief concern is receiving and making business calls, or even faxes when you are out and about working from a mobile telephone then this service works great.

Summary: Ring Central Cloud Phone is a feature rich virtual phone service for small businesses and home office businesses but can scale to much larger organisations.

Plans: Solo and Partner

By: Grasshopper Phone Systems
Approximate Price: $29.00 - $49.00

Plan rating:
5/5

Pros:

  • Auto-Attendant answering service
  • Call transfer to Mobile Phone
  • Send receive Fax
  • Unlimited extensions
  • Reliability using PSTN

Cons:

  • No dial tone, so no real outbound service
  • Difficult to make outbound calls using
  • Mobile app with business caller ID

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: Solo and Partner – unlimited minutes
  • Toll Free Minutes: Solo and Partner – unlimited minutes
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: 30 day trial with money back guarantee
  • Phones Supported: All telephones (PSTN based)
  • Phones Supplied: N/A
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone
  • Conferencing Calling: 3-way calling
  • Fax: Receive Internet Fax
  • Installation Fees: none
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None, 30 days cancellation period
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: N/A
  • Installation Consultation Service: N/A
  • Support Service: US based Live
  • Support Options: Email, phone, live-chat
  • Support Hours: 24×7

Grasshopper Review

Grasshopper virtual phone service has two entry-level products, the entry level service plans are Solo and Partner which are designed for entrepreneurs and very small businesses. Solo, as the name suggests targets the Single Owner Home Office (SOHO) business or entrepreneur and so it provides just one virtual business number and 3 extensions and is charged at $29 per month. However if you need more than that you may need to move up to the Partner plan, which, on the other hand is targeted at the small medium business with several employees and so it comes with 3 virtual business numbers and 6 extensions. Partner costs $49 per month. Both service plans offer unlimited minutes. However, what we have to remember here is that this is an inbound focused virtual telephone service, so these minutes are for received calls, not calls you are going to be initiating.

Grasshopper provides a great inbound virtual telephone answering and forwarding service. What this means is it auto answers any incoming calls to the Grasshopper business number and then provides an answering and forwarding service, which enables businesses to operate using any type of phone, including their mobile phones. This delivers mobility and continuity to the business as you can how always be reached whether you are at home, in the office or out and about.

The major differentiator between Grasshopper and most of their competitors is that Grasshopper utilizes the standard PSTN telephone network to transfer calls. This might explain why its call per minute charge is higher than most of its competitors but it also means that Grasshopper is very reliable, has high voice quality and will not suffer from internet reliability issues.

Grasshopper is an inbound call answering service, and works by using an auto-attendant to answer incoming calls with a professional customized greeting and a menu of configurable options – such as press 1 for Sales, 2 for Support, 3 for Billing. The menu can be made up of departments or extensions dependent on the organization, and each can be redirected to a different phone. A handy thing is any number of real phones can be linked to the virtual extension number, which can ring in sequence or simultaneously. Therefore, you could have your mobile as the first number and the house phone as the second, this way you can ensure you will not miss an important call.

Summary: Grasshopper is a feature rich virtual phone service for small home businesses that enables you to run a business from a mobile phone.

Plan: Base

By: Phone.com VoIP Business Phone Service
Approximate Price: $19.99 per user per month

Plan Rating:
4.5/5

Pros:

  • Low price on service and International calling
  • Many free features
  • Mobile app
  • Make outbound calls from mobile using business caller ID

Cons:

  • CRM integration is a premier feature
  • Voicemail transcription is extra
  • Low number of minutes
  • No refund on cancelling an annual contract

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: Base = 300; Plus -500; Pro – 1,000
  • Toll Free Minutes: included in the free minutes for each plan
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre- paid, Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: Free 30 day trial money back guarantee
  • Phones Supported: All VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: Phone.com can supply Cisco, Polycom and Yealink handsets and Analogue adapters
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone, PC and Tablets
  • Conferencing Calling: Up to 500 participants
  • Fax: Send and receive Internet Fax
  • Installation Fees: None
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None on month-to-month, no refund on annual pre-paid service
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: N/A
  • Installation Consultation Service: N/A
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Service: US Support Options: Email, phone, online forms
  • Support Hours: 24×7

Phone.com Review

Phone.com’s is designed for small business and for easy use with the SOHO and SMB markets in mind. As a result the product is designed from the ground up to be easy to administer and configure through an internet accessible portal. Ease of administration is a critical feature with SMB virtual telephone systems as it allows both administrators and even the users to configure their phone extensions remotely from any internet enabled device.

Phone.com does not sacrifice quality for simplicity as it is built upon high definition VoIP and boast over 40 advanced VoIP features that are available on all their plans. Phone.com also offers alternative communications such as SMS and chat via the Chat Calls and Business messaging SMS features. There are also notable collaboration tools such as group messaging where you can initiate and moderate a group chat over SMS using the mobile app. Another communication media is Fax and that can be sent to voicemail for viewing, and printing or forwarded to email if preferred, either way faxes are now easily processed within Phone.com.

Another great feature is the conference bridge that comes with each user extension and it can support up to 500 participants. As a moderator, you have access to over 15 voice control functions such as to record or mute, unmute participants, set entry or exit chimes, or to require name announcement during the call.

The Phone.com service is separated into two service plans; Pay-Per-Minute, and an Unlimited Minutes plan.

The choice of payment plans has on the one hand a Pay-Per-Minutes Plan. With this plan Phone.com has three additional price plans:

At the entry level there is the Base plan which comes with 300 free minutes and is priced reasonably at $12.99 per user per month ($9.99 if paid annually in advance),

On the other hand with Unlimited Minute plans the costs are for Base, Plus, and Pro at $29.99, $37.99 and $59.99 respectively per user extension per month. 

Where Phone.com does excel against their competitors is with regards their service plans that offers unlimited minutes as these are actually free calling minutes, including notably toll free minutes. As a result all minutes whether inbound or outbound are included within the free minute’s allocation for each service plan.

Summary: Phone.com is a feature rich IP/PBX service with wide set of features at competitive pricing for the small home business.

Plan: Essentials

By: VirtualPBX Business Phone System
Approximate Price: $19.99/user/month

Plan rating
4.3/5

Pros:

  • Easy to set-up
  • Concierge Service
  • Enterprise features
  • Low price and minutes
  • Smartphone App
  • True Advanced Call Distribution

Cons:

  • Limited conference participants
  • Limited conference minutes
  • Support only available during business hours

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: Essentials – unlimited
  • Toll Free Minutes: Essentials – 100;
  • Pay as You Go Options: 1 metered VoIP line
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: Free 14 day trial money back guarantee
  • Phones Supported: All VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: VirtualPBX can supply Cisco, Polycom and Yealink handsets and Analogue adapters
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone, PC and Tablets
  • Conferencing Calling: Up to 10 participants (can be expanded)
  • Fax: Send and receive Internet Fax
  • Installation Fees: None
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None on month-to-month, billed only on months used on annual pre-paid service
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: Concierge Service
  • Installation Consultation Service: Concierge Service
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Options: Email, phone, online forms
  • Support Hours: Business hours only

VirtualPBX.com Review

Essentials: $19.99/user per month

  • Unlimited Local Minutes
  • 100 Toll-Free Minutes
  • Unlimited VoIP Minutes Between System Users
  • 2 Toll-Free or Local Numbers
  • 1 VoIP Device for Every User
  • Auto Attendant, Ring Groups, and Voicemail

The service works in the same way as most virtual phone systems at this level as an incoming call management and transfer service. It does this by using an auto-attendant to answer any inbound calls 24/7. The auto-attendant plays a customizable greeting and presents the caller with your customized IVR menu. This configurable menu will contain the names, departments or extension numbers of the business. Such as select 1 for Sales, 2 for Billing, 3 for Support. When the inbound caller selects an option the call is then transferred to a pre-configured user’s phone. However the user can configure several phones and associate it with an extension using the find-me follow-me configuration. By using find-me follow-me several phones can be rung simultaneously or in sequence, this is a good way to prevent missing calls if you are frequently away from your desk. For the entrepreneur this is ideal as they typically work from a mobile phone and are often out of the home office.

In addition to call answering and basic mobility, there are also audio conferencing and an email to fax service, which provides some other business functionality.

Summary: VirtualPBX is a feature rich IP/PBX service with wide set of features at competitive pricing for the small business.

Plan: Home Office (SoHo)

By: AXvoice Voip Service Provider
Approximate Price: $14.99/month

Plan rating:
4/5

Pros:

  • Cheap call rate or additional minutes
  • Free incoming minutes

Cons:

  • Lacking advanced call distribution features

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: 200
  • Toll Free Minutes: N/A
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre- paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: Money back guarantee
  • Phones Supported: All VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: AXvoice can use any phone with an adaptor
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone, PC and Tablets
  • Conferencing Calling: Up to 50 participants
  • Fax: N/A
  • Installation Fees: $19.99 shipping and provisioning
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: Under terms of guarantee
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: N/A
  • Installation Consultation Service: N/A
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Options: Email, phone, online forms
  • Support Hours: 24×7

AXvoice Review

The Entry level small business plan is SoHo, and it has all the standard 30 + AXvoice features that are common to all plans. Where SoHo differs from it larger siblings is in the amount of free minutes per plan. With the SoHo plan you get 200 ‘free’ or more correctly, bundled minutes – as you are paying for them – a month. Call forwarding is also ‘free’ for 200 minutes and any additional minutes cost 1.5c per minute. But you do also get some other features such as Caller ID With Name, Call Forwarding and some Conference Calling.

AXvoice focuses their business packages at the SOHO and small business market. This means single owner, entrepreneur or small businesses that have several employees requiring both inbound and outbound calling facilities. The only requirements are that you have a reliable Internet service.

AXvoice supports both incoming and outbound support, and has over 30 plus features in the home office plan. These features provide inbound functions such as do not disturb, anonymous call rejection, distinctive ring, conference and 3-way calling, and call waiting with caller ID. For the outbound functions, AXvoice provide features for caller ID blocking, International call blocking, alternate caller ID, simultaneous ring and music on hold. Additionally there is also a feature for 7, 10 and 11 digit dialing.

Other notable features that AXvoice provides are Find-me Follow-me, Failover where you can provide a number for calls to be forwarded to in the case of an internet failure, and BYOD support. There are also call logs and voicemail notifications via email as well as voicemail access via the web.
AXvoice also provide a money back guarantee, and the service can be cancelled at any time.

Summary: AXvoice is a feature rich virtual IP PBX service for SOHO and SMB but can scale to fit businesses of all sizes.

Plan: eVoice Lite

By: eVoice: Small Business Phone Numbers
Approximate Price: $6.25/user.month

Plan rating:
4/5

Pros:

  • Good, simple virtual phone service

Cons:

  • Additional minutes quite expensive
  • No fax support

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: Lite – 300; Standard – Unlimited
  • Toll Free Minutes: N/A
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: 30 day free trial
  • Phones Supported: Any touchtone phone, All VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: eVoice can use any phone with an adaptor
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone
  • Conferencing Calling: 3-way calling
  • Fax: N/A
  • Installation Fees: No provisioning
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: Under terms of guarantee
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: N/A
  • Installation Consultation Service: N/A
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Options: Email, phone, online forms
  • Support Hours: 24×7

eVoice Review

The eVoice service has been rebranded eReceptionist in Europe and as its name suggests is marketed as a straightforward auto-attendant and call forwarding platform for SoHo and SMBs.

However in the US the eVoice service comes in two categories and 4 plans; eVoice Lite, which is the single user edition and single user price plan and then there is the Standard eVoice category, which consists of three basic plans, a combination of three pricing options.

eVoice Lite – is priced at $12.99 per month, supports a maximum of 2 users and unlimited extension, you also get 300 free minutes and up to 6 virtual toll free or local business numbers.

eReceptionist Pricing (UK)

Interestingly even though eReceptionist is built upon eVoice it is marketed and priced differently outside the US & Canada. For example, even though eReceptionist is just a rebranding of essentially the same product it is marketed and priced differently in markets such as the UK. Therefore in contrast to eVoices service plans, eReceptionist has its own service plan scheme, such as:

  1. PAYG (Pay as You Go) – £7.50 per month and this is the entry level plan designed to support only a single user and with no free minutes.
  2. Startup – £14.95 per month supports up to 2 users and has 350 free minutes.
  3. Startup Plus – £19.95 per month supports up to 4 users and comes with 750 free minutes
  4. Scaleup – £29.95 per month and supports up to 6 users and comes with 1600 free minutes as well as advanced analytical reporting.

 free minutes as well as online faxing – (incoming faxes only).

The way the system works, regardless of whether it is eVoice or eReceptionist, is that it is designed with the professional in mind that is always on the go. Therefore, eVoice provides a dedicated business number and handles all inbound calls to the number ensuring that calls never get missed. By using a dedicated number it also provides separation between personal and business calls which can be a problem on a mobile phone.

The eVoice Lite plan provides either a local number or a Toll Free number for the business number and an auto attendant provides a professional, customized company greeting with menu options. The menu can be configured to project an image of a much larger company with extensions labelled as departments, for example press 1 for sales, 2 for Billing. Inbound calls can then be routed to either your home office phone or to your mobile, or both if you configure the find me follow me feature. Furthermore, eVoice has call forwarding rules that allow you to forward calls based upon rules such as the time of day, and these schedule-based rules can be configured any time you want on the online web portal. There are many other features available such as call screening, voicemail transcriptions, music on hold, and audio conference calling.

Summary: eVoice Lite is an entry level virtual phone service for SoHo or one man businesses. In Europe eReceptionist is the equivalent service for SoHo..

Plan: X Series X2

By: 8x8 Virtual Office
Approximate Price: $25/month/user

Plan rating:
4/5

Pros:

  • Advanced integration with CRM
  • Advanced collaboration features

Cons:

  • Lacking advanced call distribution features

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: unlimited
  • Toll Free Minutes: metered
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: N/A
  • Phones Supported: All VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: 8×8 can supply Cisco, Polycom and Yealink handsets
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone, PC and Tablets
  • Conferencing Calling: Up to 50 participants
  • Fax: Send and receive Internet Fax
  • Installation Fees: None
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None on month-to-month, no refund on annual pre-paid service
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: planning, designing and project management
  • Installation Consultation Service: implementation project management, on-going support, and consulting
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Options: Email, phone, online forms
  • Support Hours: 24×7

8×8 Review

The 8×8 recently changed their service plan structure to offer better entry level service plans for the small home office or entrepreneur. The new service plan called the X Series X-2 is targeted at the SMB. Nonetheless, just like the other 8×8 service plans it too is a feature rich virtual telephone service which includes in addition to basic VoIP voice function many business application tools as well as mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Like all other service plans there is also a softphone application for a PC, and integration tools and plag-ins for web based applications such as click-to-call.

The X-series X2 service plan is ideal for the SMB as it has some advanced features that some businesses may find very attractive such as inbuilt integrations for third party business apps like Salesforce.com, Netsuite and Zendesk. In addition, some of X-series X2 web features include Click-to-Chat, messaging and business SMS, as well as live text and group chat with presence detection. These are handy business applications to have in addition to the standard auto-attendant and call transfer features of a virtual phone system, which makes the X-series X2 a better fit for the SMB.

Summary: 8×8 is a feature rich virtual IP PBX service for businesses of all sizes but the X-series X-2 is best suited for SMB.

Plan: Essentials

By: Nextiva Phone Service Provider
Approximate Price: $19.95/month/user

Plan rating:
4.5/5

Pros:

  • Communication, Collaboration and productivity tools
  • Send & Receive calls from mobile
  • Functionality available from any-phone, any-where
  • vFax

Cons:

  • No business SMS
  • No Video support on mobile app
  • vFax can be very slow

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: unlimited
  • Toll Free Minutes: 1000
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: 30 day money back guarantee
  • Phones Supported: All VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: Nextiva can supply Cisco, Polycom and Yealink handsets and Analogue adapters
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone, Windows Phone
  • Conferencing Calling: Up to 9 participants (can be expanded)
  • Fax: Send and receive Internet Fax
  • Installation Fees: None
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None on month-to-month, billed only on months used on annual pre-paid service
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: Concierge Service
  • Installation Consultation Service: Concierge Service
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Options: Email, phone, online forms
  • Support Hours: Business hours only

Nextiva Review

Nextiva for small business is a virtual IP/PBX service with many valuable business tools that caters for businesses of all sizes but it has an affordable entry level service plan

suitable for SOHO and SMBs. The Nextiva service strategy is to offer three plans that follow standard industry models with Essential, Professional and Enterprise. Essentials, is the plan specifically targeting the SOHO and SMB market.

The Essentials service plan comes in at $19.95 per user per month and with all the standard IP and VoIP PBX business features. Moreover the basic plan is designed for entry level users so it concentrates on low cost startups and reduced administration burden.

Essentials also comes with a free local or toll free number as well as free porting of an existing business number. The entry level Essential plan also offers unlimited calling, free local and toll free numbers, unlimited virtual faxing and voicemail to email. There is also a voice-mail to text, which transcribes voicemails to text using voice recognition software and then forwards the text file via SMS or email.

The way Nextiva works is like other incoming call handling services there is an auto attendant that will answer calls 24/7 and will play a customized greeting before presenting the caller with an IVR menu so that they can choose the person or department they wish to talk too. The Nextiva Essential service also has a mobile app with some restricted features (no video support) for smartphones, (IOs and Android) as well as a desktop application for laptops and desktops (Windows and Mac). The purpose of these apps is to provide mobility and allow users to stay connected to the Nextiva system wherever they go.

What differentiates Nextiva Essentials for its entry level small business competitors is its unique business integration, collaboration and productivity tools. These may not be useful for every small business but for some they could prove to be invaluable. Some of Essential’s advanced features are delivered as value-add-ons such as these collaboration and productivity tools:

  • Unlimited Audio Conferencing
  • Unlimited peer-to-peer Video Conferencing
  • Mobile App Calling
  • Team messaging
  • NextOS Call Pop with Nextiva CRM
  • Outlook And Google Mail Integration

Summary: Nextiva’s service is a unified communication IP/PBX service with a wide set of features with unlimited minutes and has an entry level Essential service plan suited for the SOHO or small business.

Plan: Mobile Service plan

By: Vonage business communication phone service
Approximate Price: $19.99/month/line

Plan rating:
5/5

Pros:

  • Run the business from a mobile
  • Softphone & Mobile apps
  • 50+ VoIP features

Cons:

  • No desktop phone
  • No Multi-layer auto attendant

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: unlimited
  • Toll Free Minutes: N/A
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: 30 day money back guarantee
  • Phones Supported: All analogue or VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: Analogue adapter
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone
  • Conferencing Calling: Team Conferencing
  • Fax: none
  • Installation Fees: N/A
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None on month-to-month, billed only on months used on annual pre-paid service
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: N/A
  • Installation Consultation Service: N/A
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Options: Email, phone, online forms
  • Support Hours: Business hours only

Vonage Review

Vonage has revamped their Vonage Business Communications (VBC) platform by delivering service plans and prices to match businesses of all sizes and capabilities. The VBC is a UCaaS delivery and collaboration platform that integrates voice, video, messaging, team meeting and social media within a single product. VBC has three core service plans that can be used to match the ambitions and communication requirements of any size of company. The three plans are called Mobile, Premier and Advanced, with Mobile being the best fit for a SoHo or SMB sized company. 

Mobile service plan

The Mobile service plan is aimed at the small business, that typically does not have an office or need desk phones, that is looking for a cost effective virtual PBX service that will run effectively on smartphones or mobile devices. It is priced at $19.99 per seat (user) and comes with the standard 50+ VBC VoIP features as standard, such as:

Mobility and omnichannel: Mobile app, Follow Me, Call Forwarding, Paperless Fax, Business SMS, voicemail to email, Vonage visual voicemail as well as many devices on an extension

Collaboration and Productivity: Call Conferencing Bridge, Call Monitoring, Call Announce, Call Groups, Team Meetings and Team Messaging

Customer and employee experience: Call recording on-demand, Call screening, Call queues, Do Not Disturb, Call Continuity, Call Park and Spam shield

Flexibility: Set Caller ID, Call Block, Smart Numbers, Local or geographic numbers, and an App centre

The aim of Vonage Business Communications is to provide an advanced UCaaS platform for communication across many channels, such as voice and messaging to aid collaboration and boost productivity.

The Mobile plan works on smartphones and is aimed primarily at those companies where employees are out and about and work from their mobile phones and devices. As a result the Vonage Mobile service plan is available for iOS Phones and Tablets and for Android.

The Mobile plan provides integrated calling and messaging via SMS using the business number into the service. However it does not support all those goals as it lacks several of its larger siblings’ features. The VoIP feature set is still very good for a SoHo or small business but it does lack some features such as voicemail to email and business application integration.

The Vonage Mobile plan provides unlimited calling in the continental U.S. and Canada. Mobile data charges may apply however and SMS is free but on a reasonable usage basis.

In summary, for businesses that do not require desk phones and that work predominantly from mobile devices then the Vonage Mobile service plan should be of great interest, At $19,99 per user per month it is not the cheapest around but is packed with plenty of voice and business features that are becoming necessary for modern small businesses to have.

Plans: B-hive Metered Seat and B-hive Standard Seat

By: Broadvoice cloud PBX service
Approximate Price: $10.00 - $18.00/user/month

Plan rating:
5/5

Pros:

  • Good features for SoHo and SMB
  • Mobile apps
  • Pay-As-You-Go (B-Hive Metered)
  • Unlimited Minutes (B-Hive Standard)

Cons:

  • No call recording
  • No Global Extensions
  • No Virtual Fax

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: unlimited (B-Hive Standard)
  • Toll Free Minutes: N/A
  • Pay as You Go Options: B-hive Metered
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: 30 day money back guarantee
  • Phones Supported: All analogue or VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: Analogue adapter
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone
  • Conferencing Calling: 3-way calling
  • Fax: none
  • Installation Fees: N/A
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None on month-to-month, billed only on months used on annual pre-paid service
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: N/A
  • Installation Consultation Service: N/A
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Options: Email, phone, online forms
  • Support Hours: Business hours only

Broadvoice Review

Broadvoice replaced the now retired Phone Power small business solution in early 2020. As a result they have not only retired Phone Power but their existing Broadvoice service which is now called Legacy. In their place come the Broadvoice’s new B-hive service plans based on the recently introduces Cloud PBX. There are three basic B-hive plans aimed at covering businesses of all sizes from small to large. For the entry level virtual telephone service for the SMB market they have introduced the B-hive Standard Seat.

B-hive Standard Seat

The B-hive Standard seat is aimed at the SMB market and will be of interest to small companies that are looking for a cost effective unlimited calling virtual PBX service. It is priced at $18 per seat (user) and comes with an array of basic calling features as standard, such as:

  • Unlimited call minutes and calling
  • Call Forwarding
  • Call Park
  • Find Me/Follow Me
  • Hot Desking
  • Web Portal
  • Mobile App
  • Voicemail-to-Email Notification
  • Local DID
  • Zero cost Business SMS

B-hive Metered Seat

The B-hive metered seat is aimed at the small business that is looking for a cost effective Pay-As-You-Go virtual PBX service. It is priced at $10 per seat (user) and comes with an array of basic Call features as standard, such as:

  • Call Forwarding
  • Call Park
  • Find Me/Follow Me
  • Hot Desking
  • Web Portal
  • Mobile App
  • Voicemail-to-Email Notification

In addition, the charges for call as messaging are:

  • SMS $.01/Message
  • Domestic Calls $.029/Min

The notable difference between B-hive Metered and B-hive Standard is that the former works on a Pay-As-You-Go basis and the latter provided unlimited free minutes of calling. The only other improvement is that B-hive Standard plan provides local DID and zero-cost SMS. Which one is better suited for a small business is therefore dependent on your users’ telephone usage patterns. However there is nothing stopping you mixing the service plans and having different plans for different users. As an example, by deploying the B-hive Metered service plan on low usage extensions and the B-hive Standard service plan for high usage users. Indeed in order to support a SMB cost-effectively as opposed to a SoHo operation this is the most likely plan of action.

Ultimately, the stated aim of Broadvoice’s B-hive plans is to provide a hub for unified communications across many diverse channels, such as voice and messaging to aid collaboration and boost productivity. The B-hive Standard plan does strive to meet that goal through integrating calling and messaging via free SMS and unlimited calling minutes. However, it does not support all those goals as it still lacks several of its larger sibling’s features. The VoIP feature set is still very good for a very small business but it does lack some features such as supporting a global extension plan, vFax, call recording and the communicator feature, which is a softphone for a computer, laptop or tablet. However there is a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices available for download.

Summary: Broadvoice is a low cost (on annual prepay) unlimited minutes virtual PBX service with many features for a SMB business but it does lack features commonly found in its competitors’ products.

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