Best Phone Systems Software 2021 - Overview

  • Overview
  • Buyer's Guide
  • Resources

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology makes it possible to make and receive calls using an internet connection. These cloud-based phone systems also provide tools for video and chat communication to improve collaborations within a business by centralizing communication tools in one easy to use, affordable platform. 

Cloud-based VoIP systems are becoming the most embraced business communication option for companies of all sizes. Landline and traditional on-site PBX systems are being phased out increasingly every year due to the vast benefits of VoIP such as robust feature sets, cost-savings, and impressive productivity hikes. 

Whether you have a small business or an international enterprise, there is a VoIP solution on the market to fulfill your needs and improve your business communications with new features and efficiencies

The features offered by phone system providers are the tools that will help enhance your company communications. While your business needs, users, and budget will all work together to help you choose the best phone system for your business, there is a list of core features offered by most phone system providers that you will want to make sure are included in whichever option you choose.

The core, must-have features of any VoIP phone system include:

  • Call forwarding
  • Number porting
  • Call routing and transferring
  • Call recording
  • Voicemail
  • Auto-attendant or virtual receptionist
  • Mobile apps
  • Integration capability with other business software
  • Call conferencing
  • Data and screen sharing
  • User-friendly dashboards
  • Reporting and analytics

Using the best phone system for your business can bring many benefits (for communication and otherwise) to your company, including:

  • Enhanced communication, both internally and externally
  • Increased collaboration opportunities
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Improved efficiency and productivity
  • Reduced costs
  • Competitive advantage and profit opportunities
  • Advanced reporting and analytics

VoIP phone systems are more affordable than PBX and provide companies with increased mobility and efficiency, so the majority of new software implementations or upgrades are trending toward the cloud.

5G is also positioned to upgrade speed and quality for VoIP products. 5G will boast network speeds upwards of twenty times faster than the current 4G technology. The upped speed and bandwidth also mean fewer dropped connections, higher quality, and the ability for more devices to work much more quickly at the same time.

The size (and projected growth) of your company is undoubtedly going to influence your VoIP system decisions. 

If you have a small company, you’ll need tools and features aligned with growing your business that also fit into your budget. 

As an enterprise, you’ll have more complex communication needs and will benefit from a more robust VoIP system with extensive features, integrations, and security options to support your larger teams in all the collaborations needed to maintain relationships and continue building upon your large company. 

If your business is mid-sized, you’ll need a good combination of tools and features for the best value and scalability options to give your company the most opportunity for improved communication.

There are many excellent VoIP vendors in the marketplace with a wide array of plans and pricing options to accommodate the needs and budgets of all companies. With so many options, choosing the best VoIP system for your company can be tricky, but if you are thoughtful and prepared in your approach to implementing a new communication system, you’ll be able to choose the best option for your business using our VoIP pricing considerations and comparison tools.


Top 10 Phone Systems Software
  • Vonage
  • RingCentral
  • 8x8
  • PanTerra - Streams
  • Dialpad
  • Mitel
  • Nextiva
  • 3CX
  • Avaya
  • GoToConnect
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Company Size (All)
Product Name
Wheelhouse Score
Rating
Features
Pricing
Select product
Vonage

By Vonage

Wheelhouse Score
4.98/5
Excellent
Rating
4.35/5
Excellent
Features
3.53/5
Above Average
Pricing
Lower-Cost

Vonage Business Communications unifies calling, messaging, video and ecosystem of 3rd party integrations that support internal collaborations, customer interactions, mobile and video calling, and more. Vonage is a leading VoIP provider with packages and plans you can customize to fit your business, ...

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RingCentral

By RingCentral

Wheelhouse Score
4.96/5
Excellent
Rating
4.21/5
Excellent
Features
1.91/5
Average
Pricing
Expensive

RingCentral "Work as One."

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8x8

By 8x8

Wheelhouse Score
4.93/5
Excellent
Rating
3.78/5
Above Average
Features
0.93/5
Average
Pricing
Mid-Range

8x8, Inc. is a unified communications service provider and collaboration (UCC) cloud for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), mid-market businesses and distributed enterprises.

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PanTerra - Streams

By PanTerra Networks

Wheelhouse Score
4.91/5
Excellent
Rating
5.00/5
Excellent
Features
1.08/5
Average
Pricing
Economy

All-In-One phone, text / sms, fax, team messaging, business analytics and file sync & share from the ONLY all-in-one, customizable app.

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Dialpad

By Dialpad

Wheelhouse Score
4.89/5
Excellent
Rating
4.50/5
Excellent
Features
1.62/5
Average
Pricing
Lower-Cost

Business Phone System from Dialpad

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Mitel

By Mitel

Wheelhouse Score
4.87/5
Excellent
Rating
4.24/5
Excellent
Features
1.67/5
Average
Pricing
Economy

Mitel’s cloud business phone and collaboration solution, MiCloud Connect, is ideal for businesses who desire an all-in-one, easy-to-use VoIP solution. It’s easy to implement, use, manage and evolve making it ideal for growing businesses who need quick implementation, replication across l...

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Nextiva

By Nextiva

Wheelhouse Score
4.85/5
Excellent
Rating
4.38/5
Excellent
Features
2.50/5
Average
Pricing
Higher-Cost

Nextiva offers customers a large variety of phone services connecting businesses large and small throughout the world. Enjoy monthly packages like the Business VoIP plan for one low fee of $19.95 or take advantage of their PBX/SIP Trunking services for a low $14.95 monthly cost. It is never too late...

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3CX

By 3CX

Wheelhouse Score
4.81/5
Excellent
Rating
4.35/5
Excellent
Features
1.57/5
Average
Pricing
Expensive

3CX Phone System is a Windows-based PBX software that can work with SIP Standard-compliant IP Phones, VoIP Gateways and SIP trunks to deliver a complete PBX solution. More than 30,000 businesses across the globe leverage 3CX’s phone system expertise. It is a commonly used solution for companie...

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Avaya

By Avaya

Wheelhouse Score
4.77/5
Excellent
Rating
4.17/5
Excellent
Features
3.63/5
Above Average
Pricing
Economy

With a bedrock of experience and the continuously trained expertise of system specialists, Avaya develops optimum, tailor-made and cutting-edge communication solutions to support and optimize business processes for industries of all kinds.

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Wheelhouse Score
4.69/5
Excellent
Rating
4.61/5
Excellent
Features
1.03/5
Average
Pricing
Economy

GoToConnect offers of the best hosted VoIP Business Phone Systems for businesses small and large. Whether you are just starting a business on a limited income, or own an enterprise and want to take advantage of huge cost savings by combining phone systems that include unified communications, you sho...

Learn more about Phone Systems Software

What is Phone System Software?

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Phone system software makes it possible to make and receive calls through an internet connection. VoIP software can be run on an office computer and many VoIP providers also offer apps for smartphones and tablets as well. Computer-based VoIP software is also known and a “softphone” which facilitates ingoing and outgoing phone calls over an internet connection. VoIP providers supply phone numbers, toll-free lines, and international toll-free lines to support business communications for small companies and corporations alike. 

How Do Business Phone Systems Work?

Business phone systems work by setting up a phone number for every business phone line a company needs. Each unique phone number is established as its own separate line capable of making and receiving calls over the internet. Each line will ring when a call is coming in and show lights for lines in use. Phone numbers can be customized by business needs and business phone systems also offer a variety of features like voicemail and call forwarding  to improve call quality and enhance communications.  

What Should I Look for in a Business Phone System?

When choosing a business phone system, it’s important to carefully consider important factors such as :

  • Business needs
  • Budget
  • Call volume
  • Scalability
  • Backup lines and protocols for downtime
  • Features and Functionality

You should choose a phone system that offers all the features and technology your business needs to support existing communications, but that can be easily scaled as a business grows and adds employees and lines. 

What are the Common Features of Phone System Software?

The most common VoIP phone system features include:

  • Call forwarding
  • Number porting
  • Call routing and transferring
  • Call recording
  • Voicemail
  • Auto-attendant or virtual receptionist
  • Mobile apps
  • Integration capability with other business software
  • Call conferencing
  • Data and screen sharing
  • User-friendly dashboards
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Integrations
  • Unified Communications (Calls, Chat, Email, Etc)
  • Admin controls
  • Video Conferencing and Chat Tools
  • Directories

What Does VoIP Mean?

VoIP is the acronym for “Voice over Internet Protocol”.

What is VoIP and How it Works?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology transforms voices into digital signals that flow through the internet and enable users to make calls easily from a computer, softphone, or smart device. In its most basic form, VoIP is a phone system that leverages the internet to facilitate calls, and requires only a simple internet to function. With VoIP, unlike PBX, there are no cables or landlines to restrict use to a singular location.

Is VoIP Better Than Landline?

Landline and traditional on-site PBX systems are being phased out increasingly every year due to the vast benefits VoIP such as robust feature sets, cost-savings, and impressive productivity hikes.

What is the Difference Between IP Telephony and VoIP?

While IP Telephony and VoIP are frequently used interchangeably, the two are a bit different when it comes to how the technology works to facilitate calls. IP phone systems use a private data network (that is housed in a set location) that can be securely accessed by users on the network for calls in office or from remote locations. On the other hand, VoIP technology leverages the connective power of the internet to make and receive calls, without location limitations. 

Is VoIP Cheaper than a Landline?

VoIP phone systems are cheaper than landlines, typically costing less than 50% of what a landline costs. This is because they operate over your existing internet connection, compared to the copper wires of landlines, which must be physically installed.

What is a Cloud Phone System?

Cloud Phone Systems are also referred to as Hosted Phone Systems, Hosted PBX or Cloud PBX. Cloud phone systems are a VoIP-based solution that is accessed via a cloud IP Network. These systems facilitate calls and other features using the internet and are managed and maintained by the provider, which reduces upfront investment costs for companies that want a more traditional telecom structure with the convenience and mobility of VoIP. 

How Do Cloud-Based Phone Systems Work?

Cloud phone systems convert voice signals into packets that are sent digitally as data on the internet to make and receive calls. 

What are the Benefits of a Cloud-Based Phone System?

The benefits of a cloud-based, VoIP phone system include:

  • Enhanced communication, both internally and externally
  • Increased collaboration opportunities
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Improved efficiency and productivity
  • Reduced costs
  • Competitive advantage and profit opportunities
  • Advanced reporting and analytics
  • Advanced and customizable integrations
  • More communication controls
  • Improved customer interactions and service

What is a UCaaS Platform?

UCaaS is the acronym for Unified Communications as a Service. UCaaS is a cloud-based communication platform that incorporates the different communication mediums a company may be using, into one centralized platform. UCaaS systems typically include integrated options for voice, voice and video meetings, unified messaging and chat, and presence. 

Which Companies Should Buy Phone System Software?

Any company needing a cost-effective phone system with robust features will likely benefit from VoIP. VoIP systems are highly customizable and there are packages and pricing plans available for companies ranging from startup to enterprise. VoIP providers often offer services for as little as one user, going up to fully featured enterprise phone system tools and technology for corporations. 

How to Buy Phone System Software?

Buying the best phone system for your business requires careful consideration, and you can reference the checklist before to ensure you’re considering all the vital factors needed to choose the best communication options for your company.

  • Conduct a business review of communication needs (internal and external)
  • Consider company size, growth plans, and budget 
  • Identify the must-have phone systems tools and features your business will benefit      from most
  • Research Phone Systems vendors, plans, and pricing
  • Make a list of top VoIP vendor choices and set up demos
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