By Chad Brooks, Business News Daily Writer | Updated Aug 13, 2020
- Ooma Office can be a strictly cloud-hosted system or an on-premises system that doesn't require much equipment to install.
- Ooma Office gives very small businesses the option of using IP or analog phones.
- Businesses can choose from two service plans that start at $19.95 per user, per month.
- This article for business owners interested in learning more about Ooma Office, our choice as the best phone system for very small businesses.
Ooma Office is specifically designed for very small businesses. The system is simple to install and easy to use. It can be set up by anyone, not just those with IT experience, and running in minutes. What separates Ooma Office from most of its competitors is that it offers both a fully cloud-hosted option and a hybrid solution that uses on-premises equipment that easily allows businesses to use any phone they choose. Knowing they don't have a dedicated IT team onsite, very small businesses typically want a no-fuss phone system, and Ooma Office fills that need. It's for these reasons and more that we recommend Ooma Office as the 2020 best business phone system for very small businesses.
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.
The pricing structure for Ooma Office is based on the types of phones you are using. If you want to use IP phones, you pay monthly fees. If you want to use analog phones you already own, there are some additional one-time fees for equipment.
There are two service plans to choose from that differ by price and included features. Here is how the two plans break down:
- Price: $19.95 per user, per month
- Core features: Virtual receptionist, call park, ring groups, music on hold, transfer music, extension dialing, voicemail, call transfer, call log, conference bridge, online fax, SMS messaging, virtual extensions, call flip, and overhead paging.
Ooma Office Pro
- Price: $24.95 per user, per month
- Core features: Everything in the Office plan, plus a desktop app, call recording, enhanced call blocking and voicemail transcription.
If you plan to use analog phones, you will need some easy-to-install hardware, which includes a base station and Linx devices. The starter package of a base station and two Linx wireless devices is $129.97. Each additional Linx device is $50, and each office expansion unit is $100. Office expansion units are needed when you connect more than four analog phones to the system.
You can use any type of phone you want. If you want IP phones, you can purchase them directly from Ooma. Ooma has Yealink and Cisco phones that cost $70 to $300 each.
Ooma Office includes a 30-day, risk-free trial. This allows you to test the system to ensure it fits your needs. In addition, Ooma doesn't lock you into any long-term contracts. You pay month to month. This is a nice aspect of Ooma, as some of its competitors require anywhere from one to three-year contracts.
Key takeaways: Ooma has two service plans: Ooma Office for $19.95 per user, per month and Ooma Office Pro for $24.95 per user, per month.
Ooma Office Features
Though it doesn't include every feature other providers offer, Ooma Office has many of the features small offices find most valuable. Further, Ooma Office's newest offering, Ooma Office Pro, adds to the number of available features.
Among the 35 standard features available to all users are voicemail, call transfer, call log, call park, music on hold, extension-to-extension calling, and dial-by-name calling. There is also a virtual receptionist that answers your incoming calls and virtual extensions for employees who work outside the office. Call blocking, ring groups and online faxing are among the other tools all users have access to.
Among the features included in the upgraded Office Pro plan are call recording, enhanced call blocking, voicemail transcription, and a desktop app that gives users the flexibility of using their computer in the same way they would their desk phone.
The Ooma Office conference bridge comes standard for all users. Employees can host conference calls with up to 10 participants for no additional charge.
All users have access to the Ooma mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android devices. With the app, you can make and receive phone calls from anywhere as if you were in the office. You can also use the app to listen to and manage voicemails, access co-workers' extensions, transfer calls to another extension or voicemail box, and direct-dial customer support.
Key takeaways: Ooma offers 35 standard features, including voicemail, virtual receptionists, music on hold and online faxing. All users can tap into Ooma's mobile app.
Ooma Office Pros
What makes Ooma Office an ideal phone system for very small businesses is how simple it is to install and use.
If you use IP phones, there is no equipment to install. All you need to do is plug them into a local area network port, and they are ready to go. However, if you are using analog phones, you will need some additional equipment.
The main component of the system is a base unit, which is a full router capable of prioritizing voice data and directing traffic to ensure reliable phone service. Ooma Office has Linx devices, which connect analog phones to the system. You can connect up to four Linx devices to the base unit.
After activating your account in the Ooma online portal, you select a new main local or toll-free business phone number, or a temporary number if you plan on transferring a current phone number over.
Once that has been assigned, you set up the system's hardware by connecting the base unit to a high-speed modem. You then plug the AC adapter into a power outlet and either plug in an IP phone into your network or plug an analog phone into the base unit. When the base unit turns blue, you can start making and receiving calls.
The types of phones you use determine the number of users who can connect to the Ooma business phone system. Ooma Office only supports 20 analog phones; to accommodate that many phones, you will need three expansion base units. However, if you use IP phones, you can connect as many as 200 devices to Ooma's business phone system.
You configure the system through the online portal. This portal is where you assign employees extensions and phone numbers, set up the automated attendant, and create ring groups. The portal requires no extensive training, so anyone can update and maintain it.
Key takeaways: With Ooma, you can use IP phones and a LAN connection to power your service or analog phones and Ooma's on-premises, easy-to-install router to run the phone system.
Ooma Office Cons
Ooma Office lacks the sheer variety of features that larger competitors offer. If you want every feature out there – such as call screening, missed-call notifications and video conferencing – Ooma's business phone system probably isn't for you.
Another possible downside is the 10-person limit for conference calls. Depending on your needs, that number might not suffice. However, the new Office Pro plan allows for increased participants.
Key takeaways: Ooma Office doesn't offer all the features, like video conferencing, that other phone system providers do.
To gauge the type of support customers can expect, we contacted the company numerous times by phone, email, and live chat, posing as a small business owner interested in phone systems.
During our interactions, Ooma representatives were helpful and friendly. They answered our questions clearly and thoroughly. Each representative we dealt with followed up several times via email, asking if we had additional questions, providing videos that showed how the system operates, and informing us of several promotions.
Support is available by phone Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, and 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. on the weekends. You can also contact support via email and live chat 24/7.
For users of the system, Ooma offers a variety of support options on its website, including video tutorials, FAQs and troubleshooting.
Ooma is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. As of July 2020, there have been 201 complaints closed against Ooma. However, not all of the complaints Involved In Ooma's business services.
Key takeaways: Users can reach Ooma customer support by phone between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week and 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the weekends.
Ready to choose a business phone system? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:
- The Best Business Phone Systems of 2020
- Business Phone System Buyer's Guide
- Best Business Phone Service
- Best Phone System for Small Businesses
- 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.