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Mitel Review

Best Call Center Phone System

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

Business with a call center are looking for a phone system that can serve the needs of the entire organization. The business phone system should be able to serve both those in and outside of the call center. Businesses with a call center should look for a solution that offers an excellent phone system for the entire office, with robust call center services that can be tacked on for those employees who need it.

The system needs to have all of the features those in a call center need, such as call routing with queuing capability, skills-based routing, interactive voice response (IVR), CRM integration options, call monitoring, and detailed analytics that show how the call center and its agents are performing. In addition, the base phone system should have all of the tools the rest of the organization needs. These include automated attendants, voicemail, voicemail-to-email, softphones and a mobile app.

After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend Mitel as our 2018 pick for the best business phone system for call centers. Mitel's phone system offers flexibility in hosting options, service plans, features and tools. The system can be hosted in the cloud or on-premises, and there is also a version that combines the two options. It offers all of the features and tools businesses need from a phone system, especially those with a call center. Mitel's call center services cost $24 to $112 per user per month for cloud users or $800 to $1,000 per on-premises user.

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.

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.

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Part of what makes Mitel such an attractive call center phone system is that it offers systems for all businesses. The system is available as an on-premises or cloud-hosted solution.

While both hosting choices offer similar features and tools, their installation and pricing structure vary greatly. In addition, 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.

The cloud-hosted system is very simple to get up and running. All it needs are IP phones, the necessary bandwidth to support your call volume and voice prioritizing software. Other than that, no special equipment or wiring is required. With this option, Mitel handles all of the maintenance and upgrades.

Businesses can also choose an on-premises system from Mitel. However, instead of working directly with Mitel for the purchase and installation, you will partner with a Mitel reseller in your area. These local resellers will determine the type of equipment you need and then install and get it up and running.

These 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 designed to be customized with add-on modules and processors. The on-premises system can be used in shelf-top, rack-mount and wall-mount scenarios.

Besides the hardware, the on-premises system requires software to prioritize voice traffic on your business's network, as well as PRI circuits or SIP trunks to connect a dial tone to the system. Note that with the on-premises option, you and your IT staff are responsible for all of the system's maintenance and updating.

Whether you are using the on-premises or cloud-hosted solution, the entire system is controlled via web-based portal. Within the portal, administrators can assign extensions, set preferences and monitor activity.

In addition to the multiple hosting options, Mitel offers businesses flexibility in the services they can access. It has a number of different service plans for its regular and call center phone systems that vary in the included features and price.

If you want some features of an upgraded plan but not all of them, you can add those features and tools to your current plan on an a la carte basis. Many of the other phone system providers we considered don't offer this flexibility.

Mitel's cloud-hosted VoIP phone system 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.

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.

These are some other features Mitel has to ensure quality of service:

  • iLBC codec for landline call quality
  • A range of Tier 1 voice and data providers to deliver significant redundancy, enhanced call completion and data
  • Connectivity with individual telephone and data carriers that spans multiple locations so calls can be rerouted if issues arise
  • A shared customer information database that is replicated to additional data centers and backed up daily offsite

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 call center 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.
  • CRM 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. In addition to the built-in integrations, the system can be configured to integrate with virtually any CRM.
  • Analytics: The system's dashboard gives you a real-time view of your call center's performance. 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.

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. The system also offers a "find me, follow me" feature that allows calls to be forwarded based on call-routing rules that users set themselves.
  • Softphone: The system includes a softphone that allows users to make and receive calls on their computers. This can be used from a computer inside the office or from a laptop computer outside of work. The softphone has the same functionality as a desk phone. You can use the softphone by either plugging in a headset or using the computer's speakers and microphone.
  • Collaboration: The system includes a host of collaboration tools, such as audio conferencing, instant messaging, presence, video chat and desktop sharing.

The cost of Mitel's phone system varies by hosting option. The cloud-hosted system is made up of monthly per-user fees, while the on-premises system consists mostly of one-time, upfront costs.

The cloud-hosted system gives users several different service plans to choose from. Each plan differs in cost and included features. What's nice about Mitel is you can mix and match plans. Rather than paying for features that only some employees use, this gives you the freedom to only pay for the features that each employee needs. Many of the services we looked into don't offer this level of flexibility in choosing service plans.

All of the service plans include unlimited domestic calling, a mobile and desktop app, standard PBX features, voicemail, voicemail-to-email, call routing, and integration with Microsoft Outlook. Additionally, each user can instant message with co-workers and access a presence tool that shows them which of their peers are free and which are busy on a call.

  • Essential: This plan is $30 per user per month. It includes conference calling for up to eight participants and online meetings with desktop sharing for up to four users at a time. It also includes video conferencing for up to eight users at a time. With this plan, you have to pay extra for online faxing, call recording, Salesforce integration and voicemail transcription.
  • Premier: This plan is $37 per user per month. It includes conference calling for up to 25 callers at a time, online meetings with desktop sharing for up to 25 users at a time, and video conferencing for up to 12 users at a time. All of the features that you have to pay extra for with the Essential plan are included for no additional cost.
  • Elite: This plan is $55 per user per month and includes everything in the Essential plan. Additionally, it includes conference calling for up to 100 callers at a time, online meetings with desktop sharing for up to 100 users at a time, and video conferencing for up to 24 users at a time.

There is an extra charge for the call center services. This cost is only for the users in the contact center. It is an additional $24 per user per month for call center agents and $112 per user per month for call center supervisors.

Mitel does not sell its on-premises system directly to businesses. Instead, you have to work with one of its local resellers. This means that pricing may be different for each user. While we weren't able to get exact pricing, the representative we worked with provided some estimates. The representative we spoke with quoted us prices of $800 to $950 per user depending on the features you want. Those costs could rise depending on the call center tools your business needs. Remember, though, that prices will likely vary based on the reseller you are working with.

Mitel requires contracts, typically for 1-3 years. In addition, there is a one-time charge for installation, setup and training.  

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.

If you are interested in the on-premises Mitel system, you have to work with a local reseller in your area. Depending on the reseller in your area, this could be a negative. If the local reseller is unresponsive or quotes high prices, it will likely dissuade you from using this system. However, each time we connected with a local Mitel reseller, we had positive interactions.

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.

We were also disappointed in the Mitel website. It was difficult to find all of the information we were looking for, including specifics on what each phone system offers. In addition, we couldn't find the types of valuable support resources that many of Mitel's competitors offer, such as FAQs or any pricing information.

Ready to choose a business phone system? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

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.

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.