How to Select an Office Based Virtual Phone System

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First a little information on what Flat Rate Virtual Phone System plans are, and who should be considering them.

Flat Rate Virtual Phone System Plans

What is a Flat Rate Virtual Phone System Plan?

All Flat Rate plans normally include the following:

  • two or more phone numbers
  • unlimited local and long distance calling/faxing
  • you normally get a specified number of toll free minutes per month (usually 1,000)
  • one or more Free VoIP business phones or the option to purchase them
  • rates normally broken down by number of users
  • most offer unlimited extensions

How do I know if I should be considering a Flat Rate Plan?

You should consider a flat rate plan if:

  • you generate more typical phone usage rather than using fewer minutes per month
  • you have employees in multiple offices
  • you have employees who work from home offices
  • your remote offices or home offices have broadband internet
  • you want to connect teams/employees around the globe via one phone system/one company phone number
  • unlimited local and long distance calling/faxing is important

What to consider in selecting a Flat Rate Plan

  1. How important are toll free minutes to your company?Typically plans include 1,000 toll free minutes. However some plans may offer unlimited toll free minutes (Phone.com), while other plans offer absolutely no included toll free minutes and are billed at a per minute rate  to 2.9¢ (Nextiva).
  2. How many phone numbers do you need? Do you need a local number for each remote office/employee?Most plans come with two phone numbers, but some will provide a local number for each user at no additional charge (RingCentral Office), while other plans can charge  up to $34.95/month (Nextiva).
  3. Watch out for activation and shipping fees on VoIP phones.Some plans don’t charge any activation fee or shipping charges for their VoIP business phones (Phone.com), while other plans will only charge a one time fee $12.99 (VirtualPBX) and others will charge based on the number of phones being shipped (RingCentral).
  4. Do you want or need a vanity number for your business? (example: 1-888-EAT-CAKE)If having a vanity number is important to your business, then you will not want to look at Nextiva. This provider does not offer Vanity numbers you can purchase directly through them. You could however purchase a vanity number via a vanity number provider and port it to Nextiva. This however, is more work, and in the case of Nextiva will cost you an additional $19.95.

All in all, flat rate virtual phone system plans are a great option for small to medium sized businesses that have multiple employees located in one office, or in home offices, or maybe in offices spread out across the globe. If you are looking to connect multiple teams in different offices, or home offices, but don’t want to spend the money on all the equipment and installation required by a traditional PBX system, then a flat rate virtual phone system plan is a great alternative.

You can get started with a flat rate plan for as little as $19 per user per month. That’s less than 64¢ a day per user. With this you can get unlimited local and long distance calling and faxing, a fully functional auto attendant, unlimited extensions, sophisticated call routing, call waiting, call recording, call screening, conference calling, and much more.

If you’d like more information on the flat rate virtual phone system plans available, you can find summary information in our quick comparison or more detailed information and links to each merchants review here.

 

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Christina Sterling

Editor at VirtualPhoneSystemReviews
Christina is the chief editor at VirtualPhoneSystemReviews.com. In her spare time she is also a web developer and a small business owner. She loves camping, traveling, and all things VoIP related.

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  1. says

    Sounds like something that’s very economical and affordable for business owners. Is the integration seamless from a service one already has to this virtual one?

    • says

      Hi Sonya,
      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, actually they are very easy to implement. You can even transfer any local or exiting toll free numbers to the new virtual pbx system. Most offer this service free of charge, but some may charge a one-time fee.

      If you order VoIP phones they arrive pre-configured and ready to plugin and go. If you use an ATA and non-VoIP phones(which I wouldn’t recomend from a business standpoint because the call quality is much lower), you will plug in the ATA to your router and then plug any phones into the ATA.

      There is configuration setup to be done with setting up your extensions, menus, call routing and such, but it is pretty straight forward and most services have tutorials, or very helpful support people to walk you through it.

      Hope this helps,
      Lynn

  2. says

    I’m glad I found your article. There are so many options & plans it can make your head spin. I don’t have the time to search them all out. Thank you for doing the work for me!