After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend Mitel as our 2018 pick for the best business phone system for call centers. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology, as well as a comprehensive list of business phone systems, on our best picks page.
Flexible Deployment and Service Options
Part of what makes Mitel such an attractive call center phone system is that it offers systems for all businesses, regardless of the hosting option they want. The system is available as an on-premises, cloud-hosted or hybrid solution.
Cloud: The cloud-based system is very simple to set up. You'll need IP phones, the bandwidth to support your call volume and voice prioritizing software. Other than that, no special equipment or wiring is required. Mitel also handles all of the maintenance and upgrades with its cloud-hosted system.
For the cloud service, we were quoted prices of $30 to $55 per user, per month depending on the features. Call center licenses were an additional $24 to $50 per month. There are added one-time costs for setup and training.
On-premises: The on-premises systems are housed and maintained within your business and require professional installation. Mitel's MiVoice Office 250, designed for small and midsize businesses, uses a software and hardware platform that combines data networking and TDM switching architectures. It supports IP telephones and IP networking for up to 99 sites, and it's customizable with add-on modules and processors. You can use the on-premises system in shelf-top, rack-mount and wall-mount configurations.
It is important to remember that, because Mitel's on-premises system is sold through resellers across the country, the pricing can be different for each user. In order for us to compare pricing between the cloud and on-premises systems, the Mitel representative we spoke to gave us approximate pricing for the on-premises system. We were quoted prices of $800 to $950 per user depending on the features your business wants. Those costs could increase depending on how extensive a call center you want.
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Hybrid: Mitel offers a hybrid version that allows you to have your phone system hosted in the cloud while your contact center services are hosted within your business. We did not receive price quotes for the hybrid system.
Service plans: In addition to the multiple hosting options, Mitel has a number of different service plans for its regular and call center phone systems that vary in features and price. What's nice about this is that companies can mix and match the plans they use. For example, some employees might only need a basic phone system, while others need more advanced features. Your organization can choose the individual plan that makes the most sense for each employee.
Call Center Services and Features
Mitel offers a host of features that businesses in need of a call center will find valuable.
Call center tools: Some of the more valuable contact center features Mitel offers are universal queuing and enterprise resource matching, as well as optimized call routing by service level, skills, priority, customer identity, schedules and caller location. Other calling features include email, fax, voicemail, SMS and web chat integration, customer callbacks, automatic speech recognition, softphones that allow agents to make and receive calls from their computers, pre-recorded announcements, silent monitoring, and call recording.
Integrations: Mitel's contact center services integrate with a number of popular customer relationship management (CRM) programs, including Salesforce, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, Act!, Zendesk and Desk.com. The system can be configured to integrate with virtually any CRM.
Dashboard: The system's dashboard gives you a real-time view of how your call center is performing. You can compare current information with historical data to understand trends and schedule agent availability accordingly. The dashboard also allows supervisors to keep a close eye on agents in training by monitoring specific extensions visually and using silent monitor, barge-in and coach features.
Outbound dialing: Mitel's call center services include an outbound dialer so call center agents can make outgoing calls.
Phone System Features
In addition to the robust call center offerings, Mitel has an equally impressive business phone system for the rest of your office.
Standard features: The system includes an auto-attendant, hold music, call screening, call blocking, the ability to dial by name or extension, voicemail-to-email, Microsoft Outlook integration, online faxing, call blocking, and hunt groups.
Mobility: Mitel offers a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices that allows employees to make and receive business calls, conduct conference calls, and check voicemail. Other mobile tools include the ability to use a softphone to make and receive calls via any internet-connected computer, and a "find me, follow me" feature that allows calls to be forwarded based on call-routing rules that users set themselves.
Collaboration: The system includes a host of collaboration tools, such as audio conferencing, instant messaging, presence, video chat and desktop sharing.
Reliability: The cloud solution is very reliable. Mitel has five different data centers around the world to ensure service is always up and running. Overall, the system's uptime is between 99.97 and 100 percent.
Service guarantee: The Mitel service level agreement states that, should the uptime drop below 99.99 percent during any given month, customers are eligible to receive a credit on their future bills.
Customer support: To test the type of support you can expect, we called Mitel multiple times posing as a new business owner interested in a phone system and call center services. All of the associates we spoke to were extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the system. They answered all of our questions thoroughly and provided details on the phone system, its features, the call center services and pricing. After our calls, they followed up with emails that included more information on the system and its costs. Mitel offers customer support by phone 24/7, 365 days a year.
One of the biggest limitations with Mitel is the unknown of how the service will operate after its recent acquisition of ShoreTel. The company is clearly in a transition period, as many of the documents we received still had the ShoreTel name and logo on them. What's comforting to know is that both Mitel and ShoreTel were solid offerings on their own before the acquisition. It stands to reason that combining two top companies into one will only make a stronger offering. We will continue to monitor the situation as it plays out.
Another potential negative is that we had trouble finding Mitel's accreditation status and reports with the Better Business Bureau. While we did find reports for some of its local offices, we did not find one for the company's main headquarters.
Ready to choose a business phone system? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:
- Business Phone System Buyer's Guide
- The Best Business Phone Systems 2018
- Best for Small Businesses
- Best Business Phone Service
- Best for Small Offices
- Best Virtual Phone System
Editor's note: Looking for information on business phone systems? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need