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Best PBX Business Phone Systems

Updated Jan 19, 2024
Best PBX Phone System for Collaboration
  • Over 2,000 integrations
  • AI meeting insights
  • Collaborative notes
  • Over 2,000 integrations
  • AI meeting insights
  • Collaborative notes
Best PBX Phone System for Multisite Retail and Healthcare
  • PCI and HIPAA-compliant
  • Mix-and-match plans
  • 24/7 live customer support
  • PCI and HIPAA-compliant
  • Mix-and-match plans
  • 24/7 live customer support
Best PBX Phone System for Small Businesses
  • Analog fax and pager support
  • Toll-free and local numbers
  • Over 50 essential features
  • Analog fax and pager support
  • Toll-free and local numbers
  • Over 50 essential features
Best PBX Phone System for Voice Intelligence
Dialpad
dialpad company logo
  • Real-time analytics
  • AI speech coaching
  • Call recording with all plans
  • Real-time analytics
  • AI speech coaching
  • Call recording with all plans
Best PBX Phone System for Remote Teams
GoTo Connect
GoTo Connect company logo
  • Web, desktop and mobile apps
  • AI meeting assistant
  • Smart call routing tools
  • Web, desktop and mobile apps
  • AI meeting assistant
  • Smart call routing tools

Table of Contents

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Virtual private branch exchange (PBX) services support multiple lines and route calls to on-site and remote employees. Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is a sensible solution for companies prioritizing flexibility. The best PBX business phone systems reduce call wait times and improve team collaboration. We reviewed the best business phone systems to compare their features and pricing. Our best picks are based on ease of use, call management tools and more.

Compare Our Best Picks

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Our Top Picks for 2024
RingCentral
Nextiva
Dialpad
GoTo Connect
Rating9.0/109.6/109.5/109.5/109.3/10
Best Use Case

Best for Collaboration

Best for Multisite Retail and Healthcare

Best for Small Businesses

Best for Voice Intelligence

Best for Remote Teams

Free Trial

14 days

Contact Nextiva for a trial

30 day money back guarantee

14 days

No

Monthly Price

$30 – $45 per month

$30.95 – $45.95 per month

$19.95 – $29.95 per month

Starts at $15 per user per month

Not listed

Discounts

Annual and volume (50+ users)

1 – 3 year contracts and volume (5+ users)

No

Annual

Not listed

Unlimited Calling Locations

U.S. and Canada

U.S. and Canada

U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico

U.S. and Canada

U.S., Canada and 50+ countries (Standard plan)

Included Toll-Free Minutes

100 – 10,000

1,500 – 12,500

500 inbound

0

0 – 1,000

Text Message Limits

25 – 200

1,000 – 2,000

250 – 1,000

Unlimited

40 – 80

Text Message Limits

100 – 200

40 – unlimited

25 – 100

10

150 – 250

Review Link
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RingCentral: Best PBX Phone System for Collaboration

  • All RingCentral subscriptions include video meetings, team messaging and artificial intelligence (AI)-meeting insights.
  • Mobile and desktop users can draw, write and add graphics to a nearly infinite whiteboard.
  • Text messaging is limited to 25 to 200 per month, with additional short message service (SMS) available for purchase.
Editor's Rating: 9/10
Visit Site

855-619-0564

RingCentral’s unified communications platform offers individual and shared lines, starting at $20 monthly with annual billing (or $30 per month for month-to-month service). All subscriptions include a multilevel auto attendant and interactive voice response (IVR) system. However, native task management, group chat and whiteboard tools make RingCentral the best PBX phone system for collaboration.

Employees and external stakeholders can meet in group chat spaces from mobile and desktop devices. With dedicated threads and folders for your teams, projects and topics, users can focus on the task, not search for information. We also love the native task management features. You can assign tasks to one or more people, add color labels and view status updates. As noted in our RingCentral review, video conferencing and AI come with all plans.

Whether chatting, video conferencing or assigning tasks, you can upload files easily, thanks to RingCentral’s cloud storage integrations. Indeed, RingCentral provides more integrations than competitors, including more than 500 application programming interfaces. With RingCentral Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams, users can make and receive calls without leaving the Teams app.

Nextiva: Best PBX Phone System for Multisite Retail and Healthcare

  • Nextiva’s core platform resides in secure SSAE 16-certified data centers in the United States and Canada.
  • The PBX provider offers 24/7 multisite support via chat, phone or email.
  • Call recording and voicemail transcriptions are only available for Enterprise users.
Editor's Rating: 9.6/10
Visit Site

Nextiva is a business phone service offering mix-and-match plans, volume-based pricing and discounts for one, two- or three-year contracts. Its North American-based data centers use the highest security protocols, and Nextiva complies with Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. Nextiva is our top pick for multisite retail and healthcare companies because all subscriptions provide 24/7 support and display customer or patient details.

For healthcare practices, Nextiva executes a business associate agreement. This contract gives medical offices access to telehealth services, including one-to-one and team audio and video conferencing, virtual fax and call recording. Likewise, Nextiva provides solutions to help businesses become PCI-compliant and process credit card payments securely. In both cases, Nextiva’s auto attendant and contact management features enable organizations to handle incoming callers efficiently.

We were impressed with Nextiva’s note-taking tool and call pop feature. The former lets employees leave comments on contacts or calls, while the latter displays caller information before and during the call. As discussed in our Nextiva review, call pops are fully customizable to show a patient’s primary care provider or a customer’s last purchase.

Ooma: Best PBX Phone System for Small Businesses

  • Ooma has a straightforward setup process backed by 24/7 customer support.
  • When enabled, the system automatically forwards calls during an internet outage.
  • The base plan does not include text messaging, team chat or video conferencing.
Editor's Rating: 9.5/10
Visit Site

Ooma Office phone service includes more than 50 standard features, with prices starting at $19.95 monthly. We appreciate that Ooma works with companies to connect existing equipment, such as overhead paging systems or analog phones and fax machines. Best of all, the online portal is simple, with drop-down menus. The nontechnical user interface, 24/7 customer service and analog-device support make Ooma the best PBX business phone system for small businesses.

Although Ooma stands out for its straightforward approach, the platform doesn’t lack modern features. Every plan includes a virtual receptionist, ring groups and mobile apps. Businesses can establish groups for different departments and have lines ring simultaneously or sequentially. Ooma Office provides Pro users with subgroups. We love this option for small businesses needing more coverage options.

Higher tiers also add call recording and an analytics dashboard. The reporting leaderboard shows how employees use your phone lines, including missed, outgoing and internal calls. Our Ooma review details additional features in Pro and Pro Plus packages like Find Me Follow Me and customer relationship management (CRM) integrations.

Dialpad: Best PBX Phone System for Voice Intelligence

Dialpad
dialpad company logo
  • Real-time analytics and data visualization tools show current service levels and call volumes while helping leaders identify trends.
  • Supervisors can analyze call recording collections or view granular details of each call journey.
  • Internet fax is an add-on for all subscriptions.
Editor's Rating: 9.5/10

Dialpad’s business communications software starts at $15 per user monthly with annual billing. It’s the lowest-priced PBX phone system we reviewed. Like competitors, Dialpad offers accessible voice, video and messaging tools from a single platform. However, it provides AI speech recognition and machine learning (ML) models that pick up your industry lingo to track conversations and customer sentiment better. Consequently, Dialpad is the best PBX business phone system for voice intelligence.

Companies can go beyond call logs with Dialpad’s rich data visualization tools. These turn call and video information into graphs and charts. For supervisors wanting to optimize call journeys, Dialpad lets you create recording collections for training or call quality purposes. Conversely, you can see each action during a call to learn how bottlenecks occur or what leads to poor experiences.

Dialpad Ai generates call summaries for every voice call and tracks action items. Updating your company dictionary lets Dialpad AI capture how often a caller mentions a competitor or requests a supervisor. Plus, it coaches your staff in real time, which we describe further in our full review of Dialpad.

GoTo Connect: Best PBX Phone System for Remote Teams

GoTo Connect
GoTo Connect company logo
  • The intuitive visual call flow editor and flexible device options connect distributed teams easily.
  • GoTo Connect’s Standard plan allows unlimited calling to over 50 countries.
  • The base plan does not offer real-time analytics, call recording or paging.
Editor's Rating: 9.3/10

GoTo Connect’s unified communications platform supports how and where your team works while providing the tools administrators need to monitor phone usage. It has desktop, web, Android and iOS apps. Employees can use the service with 180 desk phone models. With device flexibility and smart routing tools, GoTo Connect is the best PBX phone system for remote teams.

We found the drag-and-drop dial plan editor easy to use when setting up call flows. Even better, the call volume analytics display insights about various touchpoints in the dial plan, including invalid configurations. This information, combined with call volume data, helps businesses adjust call routing or remote schedules to suit customer needs. In our review of GoTo Connect, we go over add-ons like the customer engagement tool, which provides a multichannel inbox.

GoTo Connect has the highest video conferencing capacity of all PBX systems we reviewed, allowing up to 250 participants on the Standard plan. This subscription also allows unlimited international calling to more than 50 countries and includes a Smart Notes feature for video meetings.

Costs of PBX business phone systems

PBX phone services range from $15 to $45.95 monthly per line. Each phone line supports multiple inbound and outgoing calls. Some VoIP providers, including RingCentral, offer shared lines. These let businesses use one phone number on several devices, and any employee can pick up calls. Otherwise, any staff member who requires a phone number and a softphone application for their desktop or mobile device needs a license.

Most vendors offer discounts for annual billing, allowing companies to save up to 33 percent off the monthly costs. Nextiva provides a bit more flexibility. Organizations can reduce their rates by signing 12-, 24- or 36-month contracts. To get the lowest fees, you can prepay for three years. On top of billing discounts, PBX providers may decrease costs based on the number of licenses purchased.

Implementation fees are rare. Still, business owners should clarify the terms and review the agreement before switching to a cloud-based PBX system. No on-site hardware is required. However, companies may need analog telephone adapters for standard office phones or want VoIP devices, like headsets or desk phones.

Entrepreneurs can personalize their PBX services with various add-ons, from international phone numbers to high-volume SMS packages. Other expansion options include advanced call analytics, webinar and room connector licenses and call center capabilities.

Features of PBX phone systems

PBX platforms and services provide versatility, offering flexible call routing and communications options. Everything is accessible through online portals and apps.

Auto attendant

An auto attendant is your company’s virtual receptionist. It greets callers and offers menu options, like press one for sales. The best PBX business phone systems provide single and multilevel auto attendants.

Did You Know?Did you know
IVR solutions are advanced versions of automated attendants, and several PBX platforms have IVR capabilities. Callers can speak an employee’s name or department with an IVR service instead of pressing a number.

Ring groups

When calls come in, the service will ring an individual’s devices or your ring group. PBX system administrators establish ring groups by placing employees into the category and deciding if they want lines to ring simultaneously or sequentially. Some vendors allow staff members to be in multiple ring groups.

Voicemail

You may have company and individual voicemail boxes depending on your PBX phone setup. Each option supports custom greetings and settings. Vendors increasingly offer visual voicemail, which displays a list of messages from desktop or mobile devices. Some also have voicemail transcription and voicemail-to-email or voicemail-to-text.

Conferencing

Modern PBX solutions have native audio and video tools. Participant and time limits vary by vendor and subscription. Most include team and one-on-one chat, virtual backgrounds and moderator features.

FYIDid you know
There is a clear trend toward AI in PBX phone systems as many providers develop or expand AI and ML tools. These features include auto-summarizing meetings and analyzing transcripts for topics of importance.

Call management

Cloud-based PBX platforms provide online portals for managing call flows and business hours. Most provide user-friendly dial plan editors to map out routing options and set up call forwarding rules. Advanced plans may allow custom configurations for multilevel auto attendants with call queues, two or more locations and overflow coverage solutions.

Desktop and mobile apps

Business softphone apps turn any device into part of your PBX phone system. Most vendors offer desktop, iOS, Android and web-based applications. Functionality may differ between platforms, so it’s vital to review specifications to ensure each team member can access essential tools.

Integrations

Many internet-based services connect to your business contact and calendar databases. However, higher-tier subscriptions usually integrate with CRMs and project management platforms. These sync information between the two systems and let employees make and receive calls from third-party tools, reducing app switching and increasing staff productivity.

Call Analytics

PBX vendors provide call logs as a standard feature with all plans. However, the best services go beyond the basics by offering data visualization tools and speech analytics add-ons. Aside from measuring call volumes, reporting features show key performance indicators like missed calls by users and call duration.

Choosing a PBX business phone system

The right PBX system should be easy to deploy and provide the support your team needs. However, prices and features vary by PBX phone service, and comparing services is challenging. Follow these steps to select the best platform for your company.

1. Evaluate your company’s objectives and budget.

Understanding your business challenges and goals will help you get the most out of your budget and phone system. After all, there’s no point in paying for sophisticated collaboration features if you only employ frontline staff that communicate mainly through voice and text. Likewise, a basic platform with limited integrations will be less efficient for a fully remote team needing to accept calls while taking notes in project management software.

Speak with your team leaders and go over the following questions:

  • Will your phone service help teams achieve specific goals, such as improving collaboration or customer experience?
  • How many employees need VoIP phone numbers, and will they use softphone apps or desk phones?
  • What third-party applications do you want to sync to your phone system?
  • Will your company use shared phone lines or require phones for common areas?
  • Do you need to connect to analog devices, like overhead pagers or fax machines?
  • How many video conferencing participants do you expect to have on calls?

Tip: Some PBX platforms have task management and real-time collaboration tools to help leaders manage remote workers. Test these options before committing to a new service.

2. Research PBX providers.

Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to check out vendors. Read online guides (like this one) to learn about reliable providers. Then, scan third-party review sites, mobile app ratings and the Better Business Bureau website. Look at usability scores and customer service experiences.

Note any stand-out features that align with your goals or industry. Next, head to the provider’s websites to view pricing and compare subscriptions. Identify which packages have the features your team requires and use this information to compare providers.

3. Request demos and free trials.

After narrowing your list down to a handful of PBX providers, set up demos. Get one or more team members to join the demo or ask if you can record it. Have questions ready, and if there are any features you want to learn more about, just ask. Lastly, register for free trials to see how the applications work for everyday processes.

Remember to contact customer support and use the self-service knowledge bases. You want to get the full picture of how the PBX vendor supports your company.

4. Review information with decision makers.

Go over your experiences with each platform and list the pros and cons. Pay particular attention to ease of use. Follow up with sales reps if anyone has any questions or unresolved issues. After reviewing all details, decide which PBX provides the best overall value for the price.

Advantages of PBX Business Phone Systems

Flexible call management features and few, if any, upfront costs make PBX phone systems a popular option for small and midsized businesses. The platforms provide many benefits beyond simple telephone services.

Enhances customer experiences

You can personalize your PBX system to suit your business model and client base. For instance, during peak hours, you can switch on the automated attendant to greet callers automatically. Custom hold music makes their wait time less stressful, and CRM integrations mean your staff can greet the customer by name when they pick up the line.

Other unified communications features like text messaging and video conferencing allow companies to send reminders or troubleshoot issues face-to-face. With call forwarding, clients can reach your business anytime, even during an internet outage.

Increases operational efficiency

Automating processes saves businesses money and time. PBX phone systems let you automate many call flow steps. Virtual receptionists and IVR software can answer and route calls to departments, voicemail or call queues (waiting lines). Integrations sync information between databases, reducing manual data entry.

Delivers communications insights

Data is essential to your organization. It informs hiring and scheduling decisions, as well as marketing and promotional planning. On a basic level, PBX systems provide call volume data by date, user and department. You can determine how many people hang up before an employee answers the line or how long a typical customer service call takes.

Voice intelligence platforms offer granular details. These tools can show how often callers mentioned a competitor’s name or expressed dissatisfaction.

Supports workforce scalability

PBX services provide ultimate flexibility. Most vendors allow monthly plans, and you’re not obligated to purchase a set number of lines. You can add or remove licenses at any time. Typically, you can complete the process through an online portal. Consequently, cloud-based PBX systems work equally well for seasonal businesses and rapidly growing companies.

PBX Business Phone System FAQs

VoIP is the technology that lets you make calls over the internet instead of a landline. Hosted PBX is the cloud-based server that connects your calls to other networks. It uses VoIP technology to transmit data.

Cloud-hosted PBX solutions are user-friendly to set up and operate. Several VoIP services offer straightforward apps and services, including Ooma and Nextiva. We recommend Ooma for small businesses switching from analog to VoIP.

PBX systems connect all phone lines to a central, on-premise network or a cloud-hosted service. Businesses must maintain on-site systems, including the wiring and network server while the VoIP provider manages everything for virtual PBX services off-site.

Aside from hardware for your internet service, you don’t need equipment for hosted PBX. It uses your internet connection, allowing you to make and accept calls from any internet-connected device.

PBX phone services were traditionally on-premise and used analog lines. However, most modern solutions are digital or cloud-hosted. VoIP PBX services don’t use analog wiring. Instead, voice data is transmitted through your internet service.

Jessica Elliott
Jessica Elliott
Contributing Writer at businessnewsdaily.com
Jessica Elliott is an authority on business software and technology. She has spent nearly two decades offering guidance on the newest trends and tools across industries, including SaaS solutions, cloud computing, business phone systems and more. She regularly engages in hands-on examinations of various business applications to identify the most robust, user-friendly platforms on the market that are suited to companies of all sizes. Elliott, who earned certifications from HubSpot, also has a wealth of experience in digital marketing, sales funnels and finance. Her expertise has appeared in USA Today, U.S. News & World Report and Investopedia.
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