The Best UCaaS Providers for Small Business
When a small business doesn't have the resource to dedicate to UC, this quick guide will come in handy
The small business segment of the UCaaS market is often viewed as the best place to start when showcasing UCaaS success. Smaller businesses are thought of as willing to take higher risks and benefit through innovation as a result. Whereas the enterprise is full of processes and blockers, small businesses have the ability to make quick decisions and benefit from shorter sales to implementation cycles.
However, as a result of the continued success of the UCaaS market across the board, the amount of UCaaS vendors targetting small businesses has exploded. There is more choice than ever before. On some occasions, the vendors competing in a sales cycle or procurement may even be selling the same product. This quick guide should give you a steer as to the most suitable vendors in the market for small business, to save you time and resource dealing with players outside of your scope.
VoIPstudio position themselves as a scalable communication solution that’s inexpensive, easy-to-use, and offers a full suite of PBX features, and ready to integrate with a CRM. In a small business, that probably ticks off 90% of the requirements without even having a conversation. For the final 10% of the requirements, you can delve into VoIPstudio’s call centre services and business services to make the solution your own.
For users keen to get started or for those business owners dipping their toe into UCaaS for the first time, VoIPstudio offers an instantly downloadable softphone trial direct from their website. Small businesses in the financial, media, retail and tourism sectors fall into VoIPstudio’s sweet spot.
With prices starting as low as £3.99 per user, VoIPstudio is hard to ignore when considering UCaaS for your small business. VoIPstudio happily advertises they are low-cost but high-quality – something often viewed as a negative in medium to large businesses. However, cost is always king and it’s nice to know what you’re dealing with from day one.
Vonage may seem an interesting choice to include in the small business review, given their recent acquisitions of NewVoiceMedia and Nexmo. However. Vonage’s UCaaS roots lie in small business. By choosing Vonage as your UCaaS provider, you are safe in the knowledge that you have a cash-rich, acquisition heavy company backing your safe and secure UCaaS platform.
Vonage suggests they can roll all your robust communication applications and services into a single communication platform. This should be music to the ears of small businesses that have multiple communications applications across their estate but still end up working in silos. Through Vonage, you can utilise existing devices such as laptops and smartphones to power your Unified Comms as well as utilise existing applications to integrate your softphone into. When a heavily used application is the hub of your business, it makes sense to weave your communications into this too, rather than add on yet another application.
Vonage’s contact centre experience sees a raft of productivity and customer experience benefits fed down into the UCaaS offering, allowing small businesses to thrive off as-a-Service features like intelligent IVR and CRM integration.
RingCentral has been a hot topic both the UCaaS and CCaaS sectors recently. Having recently acquired Dimelo, a digital engagement provider, and now looks set to acquire Connect First, a customer engagement provider, you could be forgiven for thinking the focus was in the contact centre spence. However, RingCentral’s core is absolutely UCaaS. Their softphone first approach is welcome news to small businesses who may dread the potential CAPEX costs of moving to any new phone system. Gone are the days of “how many phones do you need”. RingCentral adopt the mentality of “Why do you need a phone when you can do X or Y?”
RingCentral’s pricing is tiered to differentiate between number of users and their website even has a handy slider to help you gauge which package will best suit your business. Packages range from Entry to Ultimate. As you move up the tiers, you are introduced to features like call monitoring, more analytics than you can shake a stick at and access to RingCentral’s API and developer platform. Great news for small businesses looking to do more with their UCaaS platform but also comforting that small business looking for a first-time cloud phone system are catered for too.
Gamma is widely, albeit not formally, recognised as the king of small business UCaaS. In my experience of losing a small business deal to another vendor, it was almost always Gamma. Gamma’s platform is based on a BroadSoft core built on mainly Gamma’s own infrastructure. Offering carrier grade availability and uptime give small businesses the enterprise feel when it comes to purchasing a reliable and robust solution.
Bolted onto the BroadSoft core – BroadSoft serves 25 of the top 30 providers worldwide – is a plethora of innovations like Mondago and Akixi to provide value add services, but at a level where small businesses can pick and choose what they need to add on. This is clearly more favourable at this end of the market – something that Gamma has cracked and seen repetitive success.
Gamma is another price savvy UCaaS provider that boldly claims:
“Gamma strives to always provide the highest levels of customer service and are committed to delivering high quality business telecom solutions to our customers at a fair price”.
Daisy is a UCaaS provider born out of connectivity. The first iteration of Daisy was Pipex and has undergone many acquisitions as well as being acquired themselves. Daisy’s latest acquisition was when purchasing Alternative Networks plc for £184m in December 2016. Each company that Daisy has acquired has had a reputation for winning small business accounts on a regular basis. That target audience remains true today and the UCaaS product offering reflects just that.
The Daisy small to medium business packages includes connectivity, networking, mobile and hardware ensuring Daisy position themselves as a one stop shop for the SMB market. Within the UCaaS portfolio itself, Daisy actively promotes helping small businesses transition from ISDN to SIP more so than jumping immediately to UCaaS. Once a small business has dipped their toe in the cloud voice world, Daisy partner with Cisco, Mitel and Vodafone to deliver telephony services.