Small businesses have their hands full. They don’t have big marketing budgets, HR departments or IT staff. A handful of people need to wear many hats, and as a result efficiency is greatly prized.
Ooma thinks it can help. The VoIP phone system company has released a small business version of its popular home-based VoIP offering. Businesses can roll out a full-features business phone system cheap and easily—and without needing an IT department.
Ooma Office includes a virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) that can support multiple phone lines, five extensions and 15 virtual extensions at a reasonably light price point.
The system is geared for small businesses of up to five employees, so it is somewhere between home telephone service and larger packaged intended for larger businesses and enterprise clients, however.
Ooma Office includes a central Ooma base station, two Linx modules, one phone number (existing numbers can be ported for free), an online fax, and three physical extensions, one for the base station and one for each Linx module.
The Linx modules talk to the base station through DECT 6.0, so it doesn’t require Wi-Fi (although you do need broadband, obviously, since VoIP travels over the Internet).
The price for the system is $250 for hardware, plus a subscription fee of $10 per month per user and $10 per month per phone number. The system can support two additional Linx modules at a cost of $50 each.
Calls to the U.S. and Canada are free, and International calls are billed against a prepaid account in prepayment increments of $25.
Incoming calls can be routed to a virtual receptionist or directly to user extensions. You set up a menu system, and record your own voice if you would rather not use the automated assistant. You also can upload your own hold music.
Business hours can be set up with Ooma, meaning calls can be routed different places or go straight to voicemail at certain hours of the day.
Ooma Office supports three-way conference calls, placing calls on hold and call waiting. It also supports conference bridging, so small businesses can set up a conference call of up to five participants.
While not intended for larger firms, Ooma presents a relatively easy business phone system that is both light on the budget and reasonably full-featured. For firms that want to cut their phone costs and use the latest technology, Ooma offers a compelling solution.