#Engage #Vonage #Business #Communication
Vonage activates conversations and offers a unified communication experience through voice, SMS, team messaging, fax, social, and meetings for small and midsize companies.
Small and medium-sized businesses spend a good portion of their time and resources trying to build their brands through messages tailored to their target markets.
Whether it’s internal communication to build rapport among employees, managers, and external teams or its strong, clear messages on branding, customer service, and strategy, the right tools to facilitate effective communication are necessary.
Besides being vital to a business’s reputation and profit margin, a good communication platform provides management and business productivity tools that can help a company operate more effectively.
If such communication involves making low-cost telephone calls anywhere in the world, internet-based tools are preferable to the outdated landline.
That’s where the voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) comes into play. This article explores what you can expect from Vonage Business Communications regarding call management features, costs, and software integrations. We’ll also compare Vonage with other popular VoIP solutions.
Vonage Business Communication (VBC) is a cloud-based phone service solution offering unified voice, video, and messaging functionalities. For businesses that are technical-savvy, Vonage facilitates customizable communications for their distinctive business needs.
The app also integrates features like caller ID, conference calling, numerous integrations, and routing functionalities like a multi-level auto attendant phone system.
In addition to offering users unlimited calling and SMS messaging, Vonage for business also is compatible with Microsoft and Mac desktop apps, Google, Android, and Apple iOS operating systems.
Vonage boasts work from anywhere feature that offers free mobile apps for Android and iOS, meaning a company’s employees can still have full access to the phone system whether they’re working from their desk, at home, or elsewhere.
Vonage is currently ranked among the leading VoIP services and integrates with software like Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams and customer relationship management (CRM) systems like Hubspot CRM and Salesforce.
Download Vonage: iOS | Android
As mentioned on the website, Vonage Business Communication’s website indicates 40+ customizable business features available for its different payment plans.
The firm’s flexible VoIP features that can easily integrate with other communication tools are designed to enable both internal and external communication. Some features that make it an excellent choice for anyone running a small or medium-sized business include the following:
#1. Unified Communication
VBC offers a unified communication (UC) platform that facilitates collaboration between team members to provide the best customer experience.
Its VoIP base makes it easier to deploy, customize, and use than the conventional phone line. Teams can easily access VBC’s features and services from anywhere as long as they have internet via a mobile app or desktop connection, thanks to its work-from-anywhere feature.
The Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a unique feature that offers bandwidth polarization, congestion prevention, firewall optimization, encryption, and performance statistics.
This vital tool facilitates SmartWAN, which guarantees optimal call and video quality while minimizing service disruptions.
The HD-WAN technology provides a flexible and affordable hybrid network ideal for small businesses that use cloud-based tools and services, while its SmartWAN feature identifies over 2,000 applications.
#3. Mobility and Omni Channel Features
VBC allows users to manage their team or customer communications across devices using VoIP-based mobile and desktop apps. A user can connect to three phones, e.g., an office desk phone, a softphone via a laptop or smartphone, and a desk phone at home.
This enables teams and customers to continue receiving information messages regardless of location.
#4. Call Flip
Vonage Business Communication offers a call management feature that allows customers to reach a business even on the go. The system is designed to send audio and visual voicemail recordings to a dedicated email inbox.
Additional features include call routing, call forwarding, or cell phone integration, ensuring your teams can receive messages, including faxes, voicemails, and texts.
#5. Team Collaboration and Productivity Tool
A good number of collaboration and productivity tools that enable the business to handle client conversations enable Vonage Business Communication to set up call groups that include multiple extensions for call forwarding.
Supervisors can use this tool to monitor calls, whisper to a team member, or even barge in when necessary.
VBC’s collaboration tools also allow users to message team members privately or create specific groups within teams and departments. The platform provides smart numbers that you can use to customize any cloud-based tool to match particular phone numbers related to workflow needs.
Other collaboration features include:
- Real-time transcription.
- Programmatic call routing.
- Voice and messaging workflows.
- Custom communication apps.
- Chabot enablement.
- Third-party integration.
Users can also enjoy smart features like call announcements, conference bridges, team messaging, paging groups, and Vonage meetings.
#6. Software Integration
The VBC platform connects to the leading third-party apps, including Google Workspace, Zoho, and Zendesk, that allow users to use their bundles across different networks.
The Vonage Business Communication app center boasts at least 20 third-party software integrations. In addition to the above-mentioned basic integrations, premium and advanced subscribers can access CRM apps like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and Bullhorn.
Vonage Business Communication offers various service plans based on users’ needs. Three service plans are priced using a per-user monthly rate, with the price becoming relatively lower when you have more users.
At the same time, all the service plans provide the essential tools that facilitate team connection and collaboration. Additional offerings like paperless faxing, toll-free numbers, etc., come with advanced plans.
Vonage Mobile Plan
- The cheapest plan begins at $19.99 per user per month
- Ideal for businesses with a maximum of 100 users
- Entry-level plan for remote teams
- Offers unlimited calling, text messaging, and team messaging
- Group chat enables teams to stay in touch from anywhere with any device
- Starts at $29.99 per user per month
- Best for teams that want to combine mobility with IP desk phones
- Ideal for a typical office setting for employees to stay in touch using desk phones and other devices
- Multi-level auto attendant enabling callers to be transferred automatically
- Offers access to select CRM software like Zendesk, Salesforce, Sugar CRM, Zoho, and many more
The Advance Plan
- It starts at $39.99 per month per user and can reduce to $34.99 per user per month for teams with 20 to 100 users
- All features of the Premium plan plus call or ring group that direct inbound calls to a group of numbers
- Visual voicemail transcriptions directed to the email address
- Dedicated support team to help with setup and onboarding
NB Teams with over 100 users must contact Vonage directly for an exact price quote.
Pros and Cons
Pros of Vonage 👍
Free Trials: Unlike other service providers that don’t allow users to try before buying, Vonage offers a 14-day test period to decide whether their chosen plan is suitable for their teams. Users who cancel the plan after a 14-day trial are promised a complete no-questions-asked refund if unsatisfied.
High-Definition Call Quality: Vonage HD voice optimizes the quality of calls across all devices using codecs to transfer data faster and better than ordinary VoIP standards. Vonage’s carrier-grade network connects to the leading U.S.-based carriers meaning there are no intermediaries who could tamper with voice quality.
Unlimited Calling and Texting: All three plans enjoy standard features like unlimited calling and text messaging meaning. Users are not tied to desk phones but can also make and receive calls using smartphones, laptops, desktops, and tablets. That makes it easy for the office to reach employees on the go.
Free Video Conferencing: The Vonage Meetings feature available for desktop, and mobile apps facilitate virtual meetings that all team members can avail themselves of through their browsers without downloading or installing anything. Participants can view the speaker besides sharing content with one click. The basic plan allows meetings for up to 16 participants, while higher-tier ones can accommodate up to 100 users.
Easy setup: Having a VoIP platform means no business setting up complicated equipment or hiring experts to get you started. Vonage provides plug-and-play IP phones that work anywhere as long as there’s high-speed internet for users interested in the old-fashioned way. Users only need to download the app and can immediately begin communicating with staff and customers.
User-friendly interface: The desktop app is designed in a simple, systematic, straightforward way meaning users don’t have to cut a sweat when looking for anything.
Responsive Customer Support: Vonage runs a highly-dependent customer support team that can offer a helping hand via phone, chat, or email. The firm provides Vonage Support Plus, complete IT support starting at $9.99 per user per month, which is much cheaper than employing a dedicated tech support team. Vonage also supports a community forum with a comprehensive knowledge base where users can get answers to almost any challenge they may face.
Integrations: The higher-tier Vonage plans enable users to integrate numerous third-party apps by visiting My Apps on the Vonage app. The leading apps include Slack, Oracle, Google G Suite, Clio, Bullhorn, ConnectWise, JobDiva, NetSuite, and Microsoft 365.
First-class Security: Vonage offers end-to-end encryption for all text communication, allowing admins to create rules to protect call recordings. There’s no room for spammers or scammers to infiltrate besides using two-factor authentication to eliminate fraudulent users and protect customers.
Total Uptime Guarantee: Vonage has set up numerous redundancies to buffer any chances of an outage or connectivity issues, guaranteeing almost 100% call continuity. The platform can automatically detect calls dropped by connectivity issues and reroute them immediately to specified backup numbers.
Cons of Vonage 👎
Unrefined Video Conferencing: The Vonage Meetings feature works well only for basic virtual meeting needs. Its lack of built-in video conferencing or HD for its video and other advanced features puts it on a lower pedestal than its competitors. Also, up to 100 participants for virtual meetings can limit businesses with bigger teams.
Extra Cost for Additional Features: Vonage is ideal for users who only need fundamental collaboration and communication tools since the advanced features will cost you a little more.
Basic Plan Offers Limited Features: The Mobile plan, whose price is similar to some competitors’ pricing, offers far fewer features than the competition. For example, RingCentral’s cheapest plan offers up to 100 toll-free minutes monthly in addition to unlimited call and text messaging. Nextiva’s equivalent plan, though more expensive, comes with unlimited voice and video calling in addition to over 1,500 toll-free minutes and unlimited paperless fax.
VBC offers the bare minimum required for businesses with teams interested in working anywhere from any device. It’s ideal for small and medium-sized businesses looking for a primary communication platform for collaboration without investing in additional expensive hardware.
Whereas Vonage Business Communication offers a cost-effective solution, it has a few limitations for users who want extras like toll-free numbers and voicemail to text, for which they must pay more. If your business needs a little more, check how VBC compares with a few competitors in the world of VoIP.
While it’s been around since the days of the original PBX machines, RingCentral offers a VoIP phone system for different types of businesses. Their platform enables users to make and receive calls and hold video conferencing, besides sending instant SMS and MMS messages similar to competing unified communication service providers.
- Easy to switch from audio to video call within the app
- A wide range of integrations
- Business SMS enables users to send texts using business numbers from computers or mobile devices.
- Video conferencing
While, for the most part, RingCentral offers the same functionality as other unified communication platforms and VoIP providers, it has added some premium features that make it a viable alternative to VBC.
RingCentral’s cheapest plan may not have features like video meetings, but its options like DialPad, call recording, and auto attendant more than makes for it.
Unified communications and VoIP business phone system provider Nextiva has been in the market for some time now.
Just like RingCentral, its line of solutions includes phone calls, messaging, and video conferencing functionality. However, note that Nextiva is a reseller for its two popular solutions, UCaaS4 and CCaaS. This often leads to needing more in-house support or consistent user experiences.
- VoIP-based international calling at affordable rates
- Team chat that connects teams working from anywhere
- One-on-one or team video conferencing
- Auto-attendant that answers and directs calls
At prices ranging from $17.95 per month to $52.95 per user per month for its premium plan, Nextiva compares well with VBC and its customer support base. Nextiva’s basic plan doesn’t provide SMS/MMS, auto attendant, video conference recording, or voicemail transcriptions.
Vonage Business Communication is an excellent entry-level platform for a cloud-based unified communication solution.
The platform offers excellent team collaboration tools, and its comprehensive mobile app works well for team members who are always on the move. It’s also ideal for users interested in affordable packages and accessibility.
VBC remains viable if your team needs a solution that offers flexibility over scalability. Users that require additional features like call groups and on-demand call recording can select the Premium or Advanced payment plans or even purchase extra add-on features to ensure that they get the functionalities that serve their needs.
Other providers like RingCentral and Nextiva, with more offerings in terms of features and integrations, may work well for teams whose businesses require more technical needs and additional features.
Next, you can check out work-from-home (WFH) tools for small to medium businesses.