Telephony & VoIP Providers
Best Telephony & VoIP Providers
- Top Rated Telephony & VoIP Providers include: Nextiva, Google Voice, Viber, UberConference, Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager), NICE inContact CXone, 8x8, and Jabber.
- Other Telephony & VoIP Providers on the TrustMap include: RingCentral, Skype for Business, ShoreTel, Genesys PureConnect, Fuze, NetFortris (formerly Fonality), IBM Sametime, and Avaya Aura Platform.
- A complete list of Telephony & VoIP Providers is available here.
TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on satisfaction ratings and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap, and those above the median line are considered Top Rated.
Telephony & VoIP Providers Overview
What is VoIP Technology?
VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, is technology for delivering voice and other forms of communication over an Internet Protocol or IP. Often billed to enterprises as Unified Communications Platforms (where VoIP presents the underlying technology), these platforms offer familiar communications services that the business world relies on for collaboration. Typically, phone, video conferencing, and live chat are conducted on the one VoIP platform, sans assistance from the public switched telephone network (PSTN), though of course hybrid solutions exist and are popularly used.
VoIP Telephony for Business Phone vs. Unified Communications
There exist two strains of IP-based communication/collaboration solutions. One type is for SMBs who just want a business phone with advanced telephony-type features and maybe some conferencing capability or minutes. The other, grander type is a highly scalable unified communications platform designed for larger enterprises. The top vendors offer an end-to-end unified communications platform, but also offer low-cost low-tier business phones, collaboration tools, and simpler mobile office type solutions as well.
Unified communications platforms are related to simpler and more limited collaboration and outreach software and tools (live chat, video conferencing, etc.), though vendors in the unified communications space tend to offer more reach and flexibility, to encompass all communication between divisions and people within the enterprise and across its boundaries, including integrated or addable contact center functionality.
Benefits of IP Telephony
IP telephony is purportedly cheaper, simpler, more scalable, higher-availability, and equally or more reliable than regular telephone networks. These are the chief value propositions of VoIP products and the unified communications platform versus disaggregated or PSTN-dependent communication.
Telephony and VoIP Software Features & Capabilities
Beyond the broadside of traditional telephony, here are functions VoIP & UC platforms may support:
Collaboration & Conferencing
While all VoIP products support one-on-one private communications (e.g. a phone call) leaders offer, within the same platform, many collaborative features like conference calls or web conferencing, as well as SMS & messaging. These are often included even in SMB offerings billed as "business phones" (as in 8x8's Virtual Office Pro edition). Enterprise suite vendors tend to highlight their collaboration offerings because these are the features that set top vendors apart (notably Avaya's great host of collaboration components and apps under their Aura suite of software).
Security: Authorization, Authentication, Transport Layer Security (TLS), Media encryption (SRTP)
Because of the vulnerability of IP networks, various methods of providing communication privacy and security should be considered. Vendors may vary in how they attempt to secure communications.
Integration with Contact & Customer Information Systems
To facilitate communication, VoIP & Unified Communications Platforms might integrate with systems that store contact data (e.g. CRM, Outlook, etc.).
Advanced phone features
Because telephony is at the center of VoIP use cases, these platforms may offer many interesting advanced phone and dialing features, such as extension dialing, ring group (splitting calls or rotating them within a group of employees), auto attendant and menu-systems, Internet faxing, and call/message recording (with visual voicemail & delivery to email).
Business Phones & other Hardware Components
Obviously unified communications vendors and SMB VoIP & mobile office vendors must offer hardware to support their platforms' capabilities, such as phones, headsets, servers, notably Cisco's Business Edition 6000 & 7000 or Mitel's MiVoice Office products, and other infrastructural devices. Subtle differences between these devices may contribute to very similar and relatively equal software platforms being perceived very differently in terms of quality or fit, and these subtleties should not be discounted.
Mobile Apps & In-App Communications
Low cost or seemingly minor apps that work in tandem with the platform and allow access to the VoIP system on a mobile device, or that initiate communication from within other enterprise applications (e.g. the CRM) may make a great difference when evaluating, again, very similar and equally capable unified communications platforms.
Call & Communications Analytics
Because of the volume of data transmitted through the system, some software can provide analytics that might be used to evaluate agent, channel, and call performance, seeking out inefficiencies or anomalies, endpoint status, and more. Also, integration with VoIP analytics platforms might be considered for monitoring system performance.
Field, Telework & Telecommute
One potential benefit of VoIP and virtual offices is the ability to interact with personnel (or support personnel as they interact with customers) as though they were in the office with dashboard interfaces, a reliable connection, quality streaming, and security protocols and methods (e.g. Virtual Private Network / VPN). Products may vary in their ability to function outside the boundaries of the enterprise.
Telephony & VoIP Products
Rated PCMag's Editors' Choice for Business VoIP 2016, NetFortris (formerly Fonality) is a leading business phone system provider that bundles its unified communications software for a complete business communications solution. NetFortris says it is known for:Innovating with Heads Up Display (HUD)...
Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync), is an IP PBX for messaging and web conferencing.
ShoreTel is a business communications solution that combines a distributed communications platform, intuitive user applications, IP phones, and an easy-to-use management system that integrates with leading business information systems. ShoreTel Voice Switches are purpose-built appliances providing...
Cisco Jabber is a collaboration platform built on interactivity, with instant messaging and voice / VOIP and video telephony. Jabber is available both as a browser-based solution and through mobile applications. Cisco acquired Jabber in 2008 and has supported it since.
Genesys PureConnect is a contact center platform for multichannel interactions, offered with a choice of deployment models – as a cloud-based service, on-premise, or a managed service. This solution includes IP telephony that extends scalable, application-rich IP PBX and messaging functionality...
Fuze Voice is a global, cloud-based unified communications platform that is designed to empower productivity and deliver insights across the enterprise by enabling simplified business voice communications, flexible video conferencing and always-on collaboration. The vendor’s value proposition is...
RingCentral, from the company of the same name headquartered in Belmont, California, is a cloud-based VoIP option.
Skype (the personal edition) is a popular, free web or video conferencing / VOIP option which Microsoft suggests may be adequate for very small businesses of less than twenty employees.
UberConference is a conference call platform with document management capability along with integrated third-party applications such as Google Drive, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Evernote, and Googel Hangouts.
NICE inContact offers a complete cloud contact center solution in the NICE inContact CXone platform (formerly inContact Cloud Contact Center), designed to help organizations around the world improve their customer experience with a unified suite of omnichannel routing, workforce optimization,...
Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager) is a unified call control center supporting enterprise collaboration functions across the spectrum of telephony, video & web conferencing, and messaging.
8x8, headquartered in San Jose, California, offers Virtual Office, upgradeable to Virtual Office Pro, a business phone / VoIP service, that (should the Pro upgrade be desired) contains unfied communications type features (integrated conferencing, SMS, etc.), but targeted at SMBs or smaller...
IBM Sametime (formerly IBM Lotus Sametime) is a unified communications / VoIP platform.
Asterisk, from Digium headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, is a business phone / unified communications offering.
Grasshopper is a telephony system that allows companies to use a 1-800 or local number for their business, record a main custom greeting, add departments and employees, and dispatch calls to cell phones.
FreeConferenceCall.com is a high-definition audio conferencing solution with features such as customizable greetings and hold music, one-click web controls, transcribed keywords, and integrations with Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar.
Evolve IP’s cloud IP Phone systems are designed to help businesses move away from having to manage carriers, hardware and vendors by providing an enterprise quality hosted PBX with advanced unified communications features and world-class voice quality to any user, in any location, for a low,...
Jive Hosted VoIP is a telephony and VoIP software solution with many integrated features for small businesses and SMBs, from Jive Communications headquartered in Orem, Utah.