Top 3 VOIP Solutions for Work-from-home Teams
What’s the best work-from-home VOIP provider for my team?
That’s a question many business leaders are asking right now. While you and companies around the world are wrestling with implementing a workable system to get things done, communications isn’t something that you should have to worry about. There are fantastic VOIP providers out there, ready to support your operations – and even growth – through 2020 and beyond.
Preparing your employees to work from home and providing them with the right tools is critical. But in our search for the right VOIP provider, we must take a moment to make note of what the New York Times calls the most crucial tool for work-from-home teams – kindness.
In this article, we’re going to explore the top 3 VOIP solutions for work-from-home teams along with key benefits and functionalities to look for in your search.
What Are the Top 3 VOIP Solutions for Work-from-home Teams?
Ring Central is based in Belmont, California, and has more than five thousand employees serving its clients every day.
GoToConnect is headquartered in Orem, Utah, and has been the recipient of awards for customer service.
Ooma’s headquarters are in Silicon Valley, California. The Silicon Valley Business review named Ooma one of the fastest-growing private businesses in 2015.
What Makes Ring Central, GoToConnect, and Ooma the Top 3 VOIP Solutions for Work-from-home Teams?
In selecting our top 3 VOIP solutions for work-from-home teams, we considered the following factors:
- Ease of Setup
- Ease of Use
These three outstanding companies made the cut not simply because they are using the best technologies, but because they have built platforms that are dead-simple for business owners and employees to use.
- You get to keep your phone number. – No need to print new business cards!
- Your clients will have the same branded professional phone experience as they call in.
- You can use your computer, your tablet, or your smartphone for your voice or video calls.
- You will be able to use extensions, transfers, call waiting, and more – all working in the same ways as your office system.
Most VOIP Benefits Are Common Across the Top 3 VOIP Solutions for Work-from-home Teams
As happens in most industries, the best rise to the top. In the effort to be the best similar products are offered that deliver similar benefits. There are many VOIP benefits standard across the board with our top 3 VOIP solutions.
We’ll talk about features in a moment, but for a moment, let’s discuss the business benefit side of using one of these VOIP providers for your employees working from home.
- Cost Savings – As business owners, few things get our attention as quickly as saving a dollar or two. VOIP systems allow you to distribute state-of-the art communications and collaboration platform to your work-from-home employees at a reasonable per-person monthly rate.
- Deliver Support and Services Globally – When partnering with our top 3 VOIP providers for work-from-home teams, a company like yours doesn’t have to worry about the challenges of serving clients across languages and time zones. You can hire people in those time zones, languages, regions, and cultures to provide a high level of customer service across the globe.
- Convenience – Although the challenges of working from home are just as real as those of working at the office, there is a convenience factor that can’t be denied. Provisioning your employees that are working remotely with a VOIP extension allows them control and convenience that may well translate into increased productivity.
- Time Savings – In business, time is money, right? Before 2020, how long did your employees spend traveling to the office…then home? Sure, you’re probably not going to get more time efficiency from hourly employees, but those salaried employees that are trying to get critical projects completed…they’re going to use that saved time effectively.
- Broader Hiring Pool – Before dependable VOIP systems, business leaders were confined to the talent pool within driving distance of their business. This is no longer the case. Today, you can hire the right person anywhere in the world and have them plugged into your business VOIP system – operating seamlessly as part of your team.
Many VOIP Functions for Work-from-home Teams are the Same, but the Differences Make a Difference
An exploration of VOIP phone systems for homebound employees will show you that the bulk of features are identical across the major players. It’s important to note here that there is always going to be a difference in feature set between the “consumer” version of a VOIP offering and the business-class VOIP system.
Although each of our top three VOIP systems work-from-home teams has an off-the-shelf consumer version of their VOIP offering, business teams must opt for the business-class packages offered by the VOIP provider.
Because the feature sets – especially in the areas of reporting, security, analytics, and compliance – are built for the needs of a business.
Here is a list of the most often utilized business VOIP phone features.
- Call Hunting/Find-Me/Follow-Me
- Call Recording
- Call Routing
- Distinctive Ring
- Do Not Disturb
- Online Portal
- Reporting and Monitoring
- Speed Dial
- Telemarketer Block
- Telephone Handset
- Unlimited Calling
- Virtual Phone Number
- Virtual Receptionist
- Voicemail to Email Transcription
So, what about the differences between feature sets?
In exploring the feature sets of the most prominent VOIP systems, several things came to our attention.
Not all VOIP companies have systems that support 911 calls.
Ooma is one of the companies that does offer 911 call support, although it’s important that you read their page on 911 calling with VOIP to understand the difference between using your cell phone or landline to call 911 and calling 911 with VOIP.
Not all VOIP companies offer simplified setup and user interfaces.
Depending on your workforce, you may need a VOIP system that can be set up with only a few clicks and operates nearly identical to the landline phones that your staff is used to using.
Because not all employees are tech wizards who want to break out a tech manual just to make a phone call.
Although some VOIP companies do better with their setup and user interfaces than others, your best bet is to have a tech do the install. Then, buy VOIP desk phones that operate the same as landlines for any employees that may struggle with the concept of a telephone on their computer or tablet.
Not all VOIP companies offer free – or even cheap – international calling.
Although most of the VOIP service providers you look at will offer unlimited calling throughout the USA and Canada, the fact that international calls are at an additional cost is something to be considered. If your company works outside of North America or has contractors/freelancers working in other parts of the world, long-distance call costs are still a factor that must be considered.
Why Consider RingCentral, GoToConnect, or Ooma for Your Work-From-Home Team?
When looking for the “perfect” VOIP provider, you’ve got to consider a few of the intangibles…things that don’t make the “most popular VOIP features” list such as company reputation, the underlying technology, reviews, longevity, and customer service ratings. In the end, these are the factors that we believe will sway your choice toward one of our top 3 work-from-home VOIP solutions.
We wish you and your team well as you get set up in working from home and learn to leverage VOIP systems to grow your business while giving your employees greater flexibility and freedom for a healthy home/work balance.