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11 November 2020

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5 Small Business Phone Service Providers for Remote Teams

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

When the pandemic hit, many companies started to experience the real value in remote phone services.

Businesses' capability to work remotely got tested, and in most cases, forced. Even with the world justifiably afraid of a virus, work still needed doing, and people still needed an income. However, many companies just weren't prepared.

Simple water-cooler conversations were out the window. More importantly, many companies didn't have the processes or technologies to stay in touch when everyone left the office. They found they needed more than their current setup because most of their structure was designed for employees to remain in the office.

While most companies have a VoIP system that meets their office needs, when everyone was suddenly working from home, they found they lost key features like being able to transfer a call, 4 or 5 digit dialing, and call  recording. In an ordinary world, this seems like extra features. But, during a pandemic where everyone is working long-distance, these features are vital.

At Atlantech Online, we understand the benefits you need regarding phone service, and your remote team is no different. We know that you need good, reliable service and features. That’s why we've compiled a list of the best small business phone service providers, so your remote team can stay in touch without missing a call.

The 5 Top Small Business Phone Service Providers for a Distributed Workforce

When it comes to choosing the best provider, you need to take the time to think through what features and functionality you need. Are you looking for standard features like caller ID and voicemail? Or are you in the market for a unified communications system that enables your team to participate in video calls and instant messaging?

On top of that, you need to really look into the network reliability of any providers you might want to use. There’s nothing worse than paying for a full suite of features that you can’t even use because the network never works as it should.

As you compare the following providers, keep these things in mind and reach out to our team at Atlantech with any questions you may have.

1. RingCentral

ringcentral

RingCentral provides cloud-hosted UCaaS (unified communications as a service) to small businesses with prices ranging between $19.99-$59.99 per user per month. Paying annually saves you up to 33% vs. paying for service month to month. They claim their service is simple to use and set up, and that their customers can enjoy uninterrupted service with a track record of 99.999% uptime.

Some of the features they offer with their cheapest plan (Essentials) include unlimited calling within the US and Canada, unlimited business SMS, and document sharing. 

If you need more features than that, or if you have more than 20 users on your plan, you’ll have to move up to one of the other three paid tiers that have what you need — meaning you’ll have to pay more for each user per month. Depending on how many users you have, that can get pretty pricey pretty fast.

2. Vonage

vonage

Vonage started out offering UCaaS to small businesses, but now they’re expanding their customer base to include enterprise customers as well. They claim to have the same uptime as RingCentral (99.999%), and their pricing ranges from $19.99-$39.99 per user per month.

With their basic plan (Mobile), you’ll get unlimited calling and SMS to the US and Canada, unlimited team messaging, and third-party integrations via the Vonage app center. 

For companies looking to add video chat functionality or CRM integration, you’ll need to pay for the next tier up, which is the Premium plan. Features like visual voicemail and group calling are only available in the highest-paid tier, which is the Advanced plan.

3. 8x8

8x8

8x8 offers similar services as RingCentral and Vonage, but they don’t claim to have a 99.999% uptime — they simply state that their service is reliable. Their pricing is cheaper than the other two options we’ve already mentioned, but keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better. Their prices range from $12-$45 per user per month.

The Express plan ($12/user/month) comes with the features including unlimited calling to the US and Canada, 1:1 instant messaging, file sharing, as well as video and audio conference for up to 50 participants

Moving up to one of the other two paid plans unlocks more features, such as analytics reporting and integrations with third-party applications.

4. Grasshopper

grasshopper

Grasshopper is a little different than the other services on this list. They offer a virtual call system that enables employees to take business calls on their personal cell phones through an app, which may or may not be ideal for you and your staff.

When it comes to pricing, they’re more expensive per user than the other companies we’ve mentioned so far. The lowest plan is $26/month, but you can only have one phone number with three extensions. The partner plan is $44/month (paid annually) for three phone numbers and six extensions, and the most expensive plan is $80/month for five phone numbers and unlimited extensions.

They offer similar features as the other companies, minus video conferencing, which might be a dealbreaker for you.

5. Atlantech Online

atlantech phone

At Atlantech, we have been delivering UCaaS since its 2005. We know we’re more than a little biased, but some things that make us different from the other four companies on this list are:

  • You get customized solutions that fit your needs.
  • You get fast responses because our personnel are available 24/7.
  • You get unparalleled service because our reputation is what makes us authentic—not unreliable marketing techniques.

Nationwide Phone Service

Our nationwide, business-class phone service costs less and does more than your average use and we have a solution for all your needs even including PRI, analog and key systems.

If your company is considering a new phone system, or if you want to move to the cloud for flexibility and improved functionality, we provide a Hosted PBX service on our platform. Or, if you only need individual phone lines for local calling or fax, alarm system, or elevator phone, we can deliver analog service to your location.

atlantech | wireless is a mobile communications service that increases your business capabilities. Mobile phones become extensions of your corporate unified communications network, giving you the flexibility and reliability with native mobile network performance, security, and monitoring—no additional apps required.

eSIM technology

eSim tech allows employees to use their personal phones for their business needs, which has proven to be more beneficial than providing company phones in many ways, including handset cost savings for employers. Not only that, but it decreases the cost for employers.

The benefits of eSIM technology include the need for no additional hardware, a high adoption rate due to intuitive use, no need for apps to download, and access to multiple data plans. 

Microsoft Teams Calling

Atlantech also offers the ability to use Microsoft Teams as a softphone. Microsoft Teams Calling opens the door for companies to work from home or remote locations easily. Since the application is compatible with computers, phones, and other mobile devices, it can be used nearly anywhere, without additional equipment.

Teams Calling also grants users with unlimited local and domestic long-distance calling, as well as direct routing, making it a valuable option for companies of any size. 

Which Phone Provider is Best For You?

There is no one size fits all solution for all remote business needs. What's best for you might not be what's best for someone else. But if you're searching for something that is low cost and reliable, then Atlantech could be the best option for you. If you're interested and have questions, contact us.

 





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t-tom-collins

About the author:

Tom Collins (Twitter, LinkedIn) - is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.

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