Top 5 Best Cloud-Based Phone Systems for Small Businesses Compared

In the ever-evolving digital era, reliable communication is the linchpin of success for small businesses. But finding the best cloud-based phone system to manage communications with clients, vendors, and team members can be a daunting task for many; vendor options are abundant, each with their unique offerings and prices. This is where we, here at ETTE, come to your rescue. Our expert Lawrence Guyot with his vast experience in technology and communication systems can help not only identify the best cloud-based phone systems but also guide you to choose the one that suits your specific needs.

The technological shift to cloud-based systems, contrary to traditional premise-based phones systems, presents many advantages. It offers remarkable capabilities such as scalability, flexibility, improved reliability, and significant cost savings. A reliable cloud-based phone system can liberate you from limitations of geography, expensive hardware, poor signal strength, and pave the way for seamless communication, even with international teams and global clients.

Let’s quickly assess the top contenders when it comes to cloud-based phone systems for small businesses:

  1. KrispCall: Known for its all-in-one cloud telephony system with sophisticated tools like advanced call analytics.
  2. Edify: Renowned for its impressive5 9’s reliability and unified communications across all applications.
  3. Ooma: Noted for its specialized solutions scaled to business needs, from small businesses to enterprises.
  4. RingCentral: Ideal for businesses that want an all-encompassing telecom solution with solid uptime.
  5. Nextiva: Offers an exceptional mix of communication and customer relationship management tools.

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This guide aims to break down your options, providing an understanding of the benefits different systems offer. As we delve further, we’ll decode what a cloud-based phone system means, how it operates, and compare the top five systems to help you make an informed choice.

Understanding Cloud-Based Phone Systems

As we delve into the world of phone systems for small businesses, it’s crucial to understand the basics. Let’s begin with the basics of what cloud-based phone systems are, how they work, and how they differ from VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems.

What is a Cloud-Based Phone System?

A cloud-based phone system, as the name suggests, operates in the cloud. It is a phone service that your business can purchase on the internet. Rather than maintaining phone system software on a server in your office (a.k.a. an on-premises solution), you buy your phone service from a provider and access it over the internet (cloud).

Our expert at ETTE, Lawrence Guyot, emphasizes that these systems require no physical hardware other than the phones themselves, making them a cost-effective and flexible solution for small businesses.

How Does a Cloud-Based Phone System Work?

Cloud-based phone systems work by transmitting your voice and data over the internet. This data is then hosted in the cloud, where users can access it using various devices.

This system allows for a higher level of convenience and flexibility, as it enables team members to stay connected from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. Whether in the office, on a business trip, or working from home, you have access to the same communication tools and features.

The Difference Between VoIP and Cloud-Based Phone Systems

While both VoIP and cloud-based systems transmit your voice over the internet, their main difference lies in their hardware requirements. A VoIP phone system requires hardware installation on the office premises, while a cloud-based phone system requires only the phones the system is running on.

As Lawrence Guyot explains, “VoIP leverages your existing internet connection, offering cost-efficiency and scalability. It’s a valuable asset for businesses of all sizes, not just a phone system, but a catalyst for business growth.”

The Cost of a Small Business Phone System

The cost of a small business phone system varies depending on the types of phones you use and the functions needed to run your business. On average, a basic business phone system costs around $15 per month, while more comprehensive enterprise solutions can cost around $35 per month.

Many cloud phone providers offer solutions based on business scale. For instance, Ooma Office is tailored for small businesses, providing unlimited domestic calling and low-cost international rates.

Choosing the best cloud-based phone system for your small business means considering your budget, needs, and future growth plans. ETTE’s team, led by Lawrence Guyot, can assist you in making this critical decision, ensuring you select the system that best supports your business.

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Key Features to Look for in a Cloud-Based Phone System

When selecting the best cloud-based phone system for your small business, it’s essential to consider a range of features. These should include reliability and security, scalability, integration with other business tools, and customer support.

Reliability and Security

The first feature to consider is reliability. Your business needs a phone system that operates without glitches or downtime. A reliable system like RingCentral boasts a 99.999% uptime and robust security measures, which is crucial for businesses operating in today’s digital environment.

Security is another essential feature. A secure cloud-based phone system safeguards your valuable company data and communications, protecting them against potential cyber threats. As Lawrence Guyot, our expert at ETTE explains, robust security measures and compliance protocols are key when embracing cloud computing while also preserving the trust and regulatory compliance of your organization.


Scalability is a critical factor in choosing the best cloud-based phone system for your small business. As your business grows, so too should your phone system. RingCentral, for instance, allows you to easily purchase, activate, and assign business phone numbers and virtual extensions to new users or departments. This scalability ensures your phone system can adapt and grow in line with your business needs.

Integration with Other Business Tools

Having a system that integrates seamlessly with other business tools is an essential feature to look for. This integration can streamline your workflows, improving productivity and enhancing communications. RingCentral, for instance, allows you to integrate phone, SMS, and faxing capabilities into your favorite business apps like Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce.

Customer Support

Lastly, responsive customer support is a must-have feature. When you encounter issues or need assistance, having a dedicated team to provide immediate support is invaluable. According to Lawrence Guyot from ETTE, investing in responsive IT support can prevent costly IT issues from escalating into major problems, save on potential repair or replacement costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Choosing the best cloud-based phone system for small businesses is a strategic decision that can significantly impact your organization’s communication effectiveness. By considering these key features and aligning them with your specific needs, you can ensure that your selection will be a valuable asset for your business.

Top 5 Cloud-Based Phone Systems for Small Businesses

Searching for the best cloud-based phone system for small businesses can be daunting. However, as IT experts, we’ve done the research and compiled the top five systems that you should consider based on ease of use, scalability, integration, team size, and affordability.

Ooma: Best for Small Businesses

Ooma, a top-rated provider, offers more than 35 user-friendly communication and calling features, making it a perfect choice for small businesses. Its simplicity and ease of use, coupled with its cloud-based services, make it a top pick. The virtual receptionist feature and Caller Info Match tool, which quickly imports data from other platforms such as LinkedIn and CRM databases, further enhances its appeal for non-technical users. To learn more, you can read the full Ooma review on our website.

RingCentral: Best for Scalability

RingCentral is a top choice for businesses that anticipate growth. With its MVP (messaging, video, and phone) communications offering 99.999% uptime, it allows for seamless collaboration and scalability. This system can host unlimited audio conferences with up to 1,000 people and up to 200 people for video conferences. Moreover, RingCentral’s digital workspace and integration with various platforms like CRM tools and analytics suites make it stand out. For more details, see our full RingCentral review.

Dialpad: Best for Integration with Business Tools

Dialpad shines in the area of voice intelligence and integration with business tools. Its voice intelligence feature can transcribe and analyze your conversations, providing detailed call notes and summaries. Additionally, Dialpad offers numerous graphical views of key metrics, such as call answer times, volume patterns, and call origin. Its ability to coach team members on better communication and ensure customer calls are always answered during business hours makes it a top pick for businesses prioritizing customer service. Read our full Dialpad review to learn more.

Nextiva: Best for Large Teams

Nextiva is a robust solution best suited for larger teams. Its cloud-based phone system allows for easy handling of communication channels, making it a highly recommended choice for managing larger teams. To gain further insights, you can check our review of Nextiva.

KrispCall: Best for Affordability and Customer Support

If you’re looking for an affordable solution without sacrificing quality, KrispCall is the best choice. It offers an all-in-one cloud telephony system with a unified call box, making it easy to handle all communication channels in one window. KrispCall also stands out with its advanced call analytics, integration with software like Hubspot and Salesforce, and sales dialer tools. You can learn more about KrispCall and its affordable subscription plans on our KrispCall review page.

Choosing the best cloud-based phone system for your small business depends on your specific needs. Whether you value ease of use, scalability, integration, team size, or affordability, these top five systems provide excellent options to consider. With the right system, your business can improve internal and external communication, leading to better customer relations and operational efficiency.

How to Choose the Best Cloud-Based Phone System for Your Business

To find the best cloud-based phone system for your small business, it is crucial to consider several factors beyond the list of top providers. It’s about finding the perfect cloud solution for your unique business. Here are some essential steps to guide your selection process:

Assess Your Business Needs

Before you start exploring options, take a deep breath and assess your business needs. Are you a startup in need of basic storage, or a growing enterprise requiring complex data analytics? Pinpointing your needs helps you choose the right cloud flavor – be it public, private, or hybrid.

For instance, do you need a simple and straightforward phone system, or do you require advanced features such as call analytics, click-to-call widgets, or integration with business software like Hubspot and Salesforce? Understanding your business needs will help you narrow down the list of potential cloud phone systems.

Consider Your Budget

As a small business, budget considerations are paramount. While cloud solutions can save you money, they can also drain your pockets if you’re not careful. Look for a pricing model that aligns with your usage patterns – pay-as-you-go, subscription-based, or spot pricing.

For example, KrispCall offers various plans starting from USD 15 per user/month, which might fit into a tight budget. Always ensure you are getting value for your money.

Test the System: Free Trials and Recommendations

Lastly, remember the importance of testing the system before making a final decision. Many providers offer free trials, which can be an excellent opportunity to assess whether the system meets your needs.

Take note of the system’s performance, ease of use, and whether it integrates well with your existing tools and operations. Also, consider seeking recommendations from other businesses similar to yours. Their experiences could provide valuable insights.

At ETTE, we understand the unique challenges small businesses face when selecting and implementing a cloud-based phone system. Our team of experts, including Lawrence Guyot, is ready to guide you through the process and ensure you select the system that best fits your needs.

Remember, choosing the right cloud-based phone system is a critical step in improving your business communication and ultimately driving your success.

The Role of IT Support in Implementing a Cloud-Based Phone System

While choosing the best cloud-based phone system for small business is a crucial step, implementing it effectively is another significant challenge. This is where IT support comes into play.

How ETTE Can Help Small Businesses Implement a Cloud-Based Phone System

At ETTE, we understand the intricacies involved in setting up and managing a cloud-based phone system. Our expertise lies in providing comprehensive IT technical support and consulting services to small businesses and non-profits in the Washington, DC area.

Our team of experts, led by Lawrence Guyot, offers guidance and assistance right from the initial stages of choosing the most suitable cloud-based phone system, to its seamless implementation and maintenance. We aim to ensure your transition to a cloud-based system is smooth and hassle-free.

We are a Microsoft Silver Small Business and Cloud Accelerate partner, providing innovative cloud-based solutions to businesses. In 2017, we achieved CSP Tier 1 status from Microsoft, a testament to our commitment and proficiency in delivering top-notch cloud solutions.

Our services also extend to VoIP services, where we partner with top-rated cloud-based VoIP providers, to offer high-quality phone services at a fraction of the cost of standard phone providers.

At ETTE, we not only equip your business with the best cloud-based phone system but also ensure its effective use in driving your business communication and productivity. We stand ready to support your journey into the digital age, helping you leverage technology to its fullest potential.

In the ever-evolving world of technology, we believe in staying ahead of the curve, and we are dedicated to helping you do the same. Whether you’re a small business or a non-profit, ETTE is your trusted partner in navigating the complexities of implementing a cloud-based phone system.

Remember, the future of small business communication is in the cloud, and ETTE is here to help you reach for the skies.

Conclusion: The Future of Small Business Communication is in the Cloud

The shift towards digitalization and the adoption of advanced technologies like cloud-based phone systems is no longer a luxury but a necessity for small businesses. These systems provide a platform for seamless communication, enhanced flexibility, and substantial cost savings, positioning businesses at the forefront of their industry.

As we have seen, the best cloud-based phone system for small businesses varies depending on your specific needs, budget, and team size. However, all the options we have discussed – Ooma, RingCentral, Dialpad, Nextiva, and KrispCall – offer robust features, reliability, and security.

As Lawrence Guyot, our in-house expert at ETTE, emphasizes, “The ability to scale efficiently, integrate seamlessly with other business tools, and provide robust customer support are vital elements in choosing the right cloud-based phone system.”

Regardless of the system you choose, remember that the transformation is not just about technology, but also about change management. Implementing a new phone system involves a shift in how your team communicates and operates. That’s where we at ETTE come in. We offer comprehensive IT support and consulting services to ensure that the transition is smooth and the benefits of the new system are maximized.

The future of small business communication is in the cloud. And as the digital landscape continues to evolve, cloud-based phone systems will continue to offer more advanced features and integrations, further enhancing business communications.

As we head into this future, remember that you don’t have to navigate it alone. At ETTE, we are committed to helping small businesses and non-profits in Washington, DC, leverage the power of advanced technologies to improve operational efficiency and gain a competitive edge.

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In closing, whether you’re looking to implement a cloud-based phone system or seeking advice on other IT solutions, feel free to contact us. We’re ready to help you harness the power of technology and unlock your small business’s potential.

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