6 business phone solutions to support hybrid working
In 2022, telephony continues to be central to the work experience. Avaya research found that email was the top choice among employees when communicating socially, followed by phone calls (15%). The phone has always been a fast, convenient and accessible way to reach colleagues (and clients) who are in a different location. Now, as employees face increasing video meeting fatigue, our reliance on work phones could increase even further.
Business phone systems can lead to two use cases in the age of hybrid working:
- Employees will rely on telephony to get in touch with remote colleagues. Phone systems are essential for impromptu discussions, quick resolution of queries and peer support
- Business phones are essential for remote/hybrid contact centers. Cloud-based telephony and purpose-built contact center solutions enable remote agents to manage call queues, meet service level agreements and provide prompt support
If you’re looking to boost your business phone capabilities for 2022, there are six solutions to consider. These include:
Aircall is a French company that offers cloud-based business phone systems for contact centers. It promises a quick and easy setup experience that can be set up in less than a day. It has both inbound and outbound tools including unlimited inbound calls, power dialer, real-time sales coaching, and more. Aircall also integrates with your favorite business apps through its marketplace of over 100 apps. This covers all major CRMs as well as productivity tools.
Choose Aircall for its simplicity and ease of use. Pricing starts at $30 per user per month.
Business communications with numeric keypad
Dialpad is a US-based cloud communications company that offers two business phone solutions: internal communications (chat, message, and video meeting) and external or customer-facing communications.
DIALPAD Business Communications is an all-in-one phone system that combines audio, text, voicemail and video calls in one platform. It is designed for hybrid working, with excellent feature parity between its desktop, mobile, and web interfaces. It also has built-in AI for call transcription and sentiment analysis.
In addition to business communications, Dialpad Customer Engagement provides you with a phone system for hybrid support teams. It allows you to easily manage live calls, voicemail and contact center KPIs. AI is also driving sales.
Choose Dialpad for its versatility and powerful AI. Pricing starts at $15 per user per month.
GoToConnect is a cloud-based business phone system that supports flexibility. It addresses both internal and external use cases in a single solution. Its cloud PBX Architecture is compatible with existing phone hardware – or you can partner with goto to buy new phones or use the web interface.
Gotoconnect is designed to be a complete business phone system for small to medium sized businesses that have transitioned to hybrid work. It brings all the features of an enterprise level solution such as call routing, international calling, wait time announcement, etc. at a competitive cost of $30 per user per month.
Choose GoToConnect for its holistic feature set.
Microsoft Teams Phone
Calling Teams is done in two ways: VoIP and PSTN. If you choose PSTN, Microsoft offers you cloud-based Teams Calling Plans or a Direct Routing alternative, where you can connect Teams to your existing PSTN provider. It’s ideal for large enterprises that are moving to hybrid working and need a telephony interface that works from any device.
Importantly, Microsoft also offers a dedicated line of desk phones and displays designed for Microsoft Teams. This gives you access to the full Teams experience from the convenient and familiar form factor of a desktop phone system. Choose the Microsoft Teams phone for its enterprise features and commands. Pricing starts at $15 per user per month.
RingCentral Cloud Phone System
Like Dialpad, RingCentral offers separate business phone solutions for internal and customer-facing use cases. We particularly liked the Ringcentral MVP Essentials plan which gives you a compelling phone experience at an affordable price. It includes a dedicated phone number for each user (with toll-free options), 100 toll-free minutes, unlimited US and Canada calling, advanced voicemail, messaging, and document sharing.
It has iOS and Android apps for hybrid use. Choose RingCentral for its hassle-free feature set. Pricing starts at $19.99 per user per month.
Best known for its video calling capabilities, Zoom also has a business phone system, similar to RingCentral. It supports incoming and outgoing calls, with the ability to add unlimited calls to 18 countries or territories around the world. Zoom Phone is perfect for fast-growing businesses that want to orchestrate hybrid work in distributed locations. Its advanced plans also include unlimited domestic calls to any of Zoom’s 40 supported countries.
Choose Zoom for its global reach. Pricing starts at $120 per year per user.
The future of hybrid working will largely depend on business phone systems. Even if chat-based collaboration platforms and visual collaboration tools maintain their growth momentum, telephony will make a resurgence for internal use. Long, pre-scheduled video calls involve high cognitive load and increase employee workload. They have to prepare agendas, block out calendar time and mind, follow up after video meetings, and present their best selves over the entire experience. Telephony, on the other hand, is more convenient – better suited to quick conversations, without disrupting the workday.
These six business phone systems we talked about are ideal for use in a hybrid work environment. They are compatible with multiple devices and interfaces, ranging from branded phone hardware to the web. They can help you communicate with as small an audience or as large an audience as you want, with even affordable international telephony. They’re priced transparently so businesses don’t rack up operational costs while maintaining lines of communication, and some are using the cloud to further optimize costs.
These are some of the key parameters to consider when selecting a business phone system in 2022. Let us know your thoughts on social media.