The Top 5 Small Business Phone Systems in Australia

Business phone systems

Our meticulous research has put the best phone systems for small businesses to the test, revealing that 8×8 and GoToConnect offer the best plans for Australian small businesses and startups. However, in a market ripe with choice, choosing a telephone system that suits your small business perfectly be a tough decision.

When you’re setting up the building blocks of your small business, you should look for a phone system that fits your budget, doesn't come with hidden and hefty costs, can integrate seamlessly into your existing software infrastructure, and can easily scale and upgrade alongside your ambitious growing business. These are the key factors we investigated while evaluating the best phone systems for Australian small businesses.

To help you navigate through all the options, we review the five best phone systems for small businesses, comparing them on these factors so you can be confident you’re investing in the right solution for you. For even more personalised help, why not try our free quote-finding tool to get tailored quotes from the phone systems best matched to your small businesses?

The top 5 small business phone systems

As a small business looking for a new office phone system, you’re really spoilt for choice. Here are our top picks for the small business phone systems on the market today:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

8×8

GoToConnect

Vonage

Dialpad

RingCentral

Small Business Plan

X2

Small Business Plan

Standard

Small Business Plan

Smart Plan

Small Business Plan

Pro

Small Business Plan

Premium

Expert Rating
4.7
Expert Rating
4.6
Expert Rating
4.6
Expert Rating
4.3
Expert Rating
4.0
Price

$49 – $63 per user, per month

Price

$44 per user, per month

Price

$30 per user, per month

Price

$35 – $45 per user, per month

Price

$45.99 – $55.99

Key Features for Small Businesses
  • Onboarding support
  • Call queue
  • Ring groups
  • Analytics
  • Customisable call routing
  • Call recording
Key Features for Small Businesses
  • Onboarding support
  • Ring group
  • Call queue
  • Analytics
  • Call recording
  • Customisable call routing
  • Wide range of integrations on limited platforms
Key Features for Small Businesses
  • Onboarding support
  • Call queue
  • Ring groups
  • Call recording
  • Call monitoring
  • Analytics
  • Web conferencing*
Key Features for Small Businesses
  • Onboarding support
  • Call queue
  • Ring groups
  • Call recording
  • Analytics
  • Call transcripts
Key Features for Small Businesses
  • Onboarding support
  • 90+ platforms to integrate with
  • Call queue
  • Ring groups
  • Web conferencing
  • Internal live chat

8×8 – X2 plan

Best phone system for small businesses

8x8 logo
8x8 – X2 plan
4.7
Pricing $49 – $63
Quick overview

Chosen by over 2.5 million users, 8x8 has a proven track record of success – according to Forrester Consulting, clients that opted for 8x8 reported a 158% ROI! Known for its customisable drag-and-drop dashboards and intelligent coaching and collaboration tools, 8x8 offers a wide menu of subscription options that will allow you to gradually – or rapidly – scale up your small business.

The scalable building blocks that 8x8 offers are robust and diverse. With features like ring groups and call queue offered at its X2 subscription plan, your small business will easily be able to deal with large volumes of callers. What’s more, with web conferencing and internal live chat integrations with a wide range of platforms including Telegram and Slack, your team will be able to work remotely, giving you more flexibility and reduced costs.

Strengths

Boasts some of the most generous customer support in the VoIP-verse

Unlimited inbound and outbound minutes to 14 countries

Offers real-time dashboards and wide range of seamless integrations

Weaknesses

Niftiest features not available for X2 subscribers

Unclear if Customer Success Managers (onboarding support) come at an extra cost

8x8 X2 plan pricing
PlanPaying annually Per user, per monthPaying monthly Per user, per month
X2 $49 $63

What kind of small business features does 8×8 X2 offer?

  • Software integrations: integrable with CRM, helpdesk, web conferencing, external and internal live chats, email, and more, starting at the X2 subscription. This makes 8×8 a powerful tool your team can leverage to personalise customer experience and work quickly by avoiding having to hop back and forth between different communication channels.
  • Onboarding support: provided through 8×8’s Customer Success Managers, although it’s unclear whether they come at an additional cost.
  • Scalability: 8×8's X2 plan allows you to sync your internal communications, as it’s compatible with platforms like Slack, Telegram, and Teams, so you and your team can work remotely. It’s also equipped with call queue, ring groups, analytics, customisable call routing, and call recording, all of which allows you to handle large numbers of callers, and gather data to optimise your small business mojo.

How does 8×8 X2 compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

Awarded a 4.7 rating by our independent researchers, who’ve put the X2 plan's features, pricing, and customer support to the test, we believe it stands out due to its flexibility of choice. Whether your small business needs a comprehensive, savvy system or you just want the essentials, 8×8 can tick off the boxes on your small business phone system checklist.

Although we’ve given 8×8 a score of 2.5 for its pricing, placing it far behind GoToConnect, Vonage, and Dialpad's top score of 4 in this category, you can consider the extra dollars you’re putting down on the table a worthy investment thanks to 8×8’s broad range of features. Nevertheless, we have awarded 8×8 a stellar rating of 5 out of 5 for its generous customer support and security features, which are unrivalled by all other providers featured here.

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GoToConnect – Standard plan

Best phone system for startups

GoTo logo
GoTo – Standard plan
4.6
Pricing $44
Quick overview

Promising a seamless onboarding process using which you can get your cloud phone system working within a day, GoToConnect is a great option if you’re looking to get lots of bang for your buck. Featuring a streamlined admin portal, you can easily configure call flows with a drag-and-drop dial plan editor, and comb through call analytics to identify which team or agent needs improvement.

On top of this, for just $44 per user, per month, you’ll be able to wield all the inbound communication features you might need as a small business, including call queue and ring groups – an offer that no other system provides at a more competitive price point.

Strengths

Access to all the inbound communication features your small business might need

Free international calling to 50+ countries and unlimited domestic minutes

Video conferencing and internal live chat included

Weaknesses

No ready-made integrations with analytics or workspace software

Limited number of compatible external platforms compared to other providers

Not the most comprehensive customer support

GoToConnect Standard plan pricing
PlanPrice Per user, per month
Standard $44

What kind of small business features does GoToConnect Standard offer?

  • Software integrations: on its Standard plan, GoToConnect is compatible with CRM, helpdesk, web conferencing, internal live chat, email, and SSO platforms, and has an open API. But the menu of the platforms you can sync GoToConnect with is less generous than other providers, missing Office 365, Hubspot, and Bullhorn.
  • Onboarding support: available on GoToConnect's Standard plan
  • Scalability: with an unlimited user limit, ring group, call queue, analytics, call recording, and customisable call routing, the Standard plan gives you the features that will help you piece together the bricks of your scaling startup. What’s more, GoToConnect also gives you access to internal live chat and web conferencing, which can help keep your business working remotely and cost-effectively.

How does GoToConnect Standard compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

After combing through all the information available on GoToConnect, our researchers have given it an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5. Although its customer support score of 3.4 lags a bit behind that of 8×8, RingCentral, and Dialpad, the features you can access for what you pay for your Standard subscription gives you far greater value for your money than those systems would. GoToConnect also gives you free international calling to 50+ countries, making it a great softphone option for businesses who need it.

Vonage – Smart Plan

Best phone system for value for money

Vonage logo
Vonage – Smart Plan
4.6
Pricing $30
Quick overview

Boasting a set of shiny features like dynamic call routing and post-call analysis, Vonage’s embrace of AI in its Smart Plan subscription gives your small business the flexibility it needs to keep customers happy. Its provision of tools, metrics, and data gives you a 360-degree view of the interactions between your customers and agents, enabling you to turn insights into actionable items that heighten your ROI. These features explain why over 700 customer centre customers have turned to Vonage internationally.

Vonage's Smart Plan offers a wide range of customer support features and low monthly costs, which is a recipe for scaling up your operation. Although these come at an additional cost, Vonage also lets you tap into its wide set of ready-made integrations, as it’s compatible with systems like Hubspot, Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack, and Office 365. This allows you to unify all your business communications in one spot, giving your agents all the necessary tools to provide the best customer service possible.

Strengths

Customisable dashboards and wallboards give you real-time visibility of KPI progress

Displays a local number when reaching out to customers, improving response rate

Solid customer support service

Weaknesses

Security is not as robust compared to other phone system providers

Some useful training and management features not available on the Smart Plan

Call recording costs an extra $5 per user, per month for Australian customers

Vonage Smart Plan pricing
PlanPrice Per user, per month
Smart Plan $30

What kind of small business features does Vonage Professional offer?

  • Software integrations: although it comes at an additional cost, you can integrate Vonage’s phone system with a wide range of software platforms, including Hubspot, Slack, Office 365, Salesforce, and Zendesk. If you want to access web conferencing, you’ll need to integrate with Unytalk, which also costs extra.
  • Onboarding support: only available at an additional cost
  • Scalability: through access to call queue, ring groups, an unlimited number of users, and analytics, Vonage's Smart Plan gives you the right foundations to scale up your business. It also integrates seamlessly with Slack, which allows you to set up a remote operation that slashes costs. However, it's worth being aware that helpful management features call recording and call monitoring come at an extra cost in Australia (call recording costs $5 per user, per month).

How does Vonage Professional compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

Backed by our thorough research, which considered software integrations, onboarding support, and the scalability of each small business phone system, we gave Vonage a 4.6 rating for small businesses. Along with GoToConnect and Dialpad, Vonage has earnt a top score of 4 out of 5 for price – like these other platforms, it offers fantastic value for money, but its prices are cheaper than theirs. All that said, we gave Vonage a rating of just 3 for security, as it’s missing multi-factor authentication and password rules – features provided by competitors like RingCentral and 8×8.

Dialpad – Pro plan

Best phone system for conversational AI

Dialpad logo
Dialpad – Pro plan
4.3
Pricing $35 – $45
Quick overview

With one foot in the present and another in the future, Dialpad is known for its innovative use of conversational AI. Known as Dialpad Ai, this function accurately transcribes your phone calls in real-time, flags whether or not the conversation features happy or frustrated customers, automates post-call summaries, and enables you to create notes with tips and advice that appear on screen when certain keywords or phrases are spoken on call. You can also choose to turn off this feature for more confidential conversations.

Strengths

Great customer support, including a user forum, knowledge base, and live chat

Superb reputation among customers, with an average review score of 4.4

Offers the best range of features, right after 8x8

Weaknesses

Not very easy to scale, scoring 3.3 in our scalability analysis

No uptime guarantee at the Pro subscription level

Dialpad Pro plan pricing
PlanPaying annually Per user, per monthPaying monthly Per user, per month
Pro $35 $45

What kind of small business features does Dialpad Pro offer?

  • Software integrations: Dialpad is readily syncable with CRM, helpdesk, web conferencing, email, workspace, internal live chat and SSO platforms, giving you access to systems like Salesforce, Zendesk, Hubspot, G Suite, and Slack. However, it does miss out on external live chat and analytics integrations, and its own API. Overall, it does have a pretty limited offer of integrable platforms, particularly on the CRM front, with only three possible CRM platforms.
  • Onboarding support: available to Dialpad Pro subscribers.
  • Scalability: with access to call queue, ring groups, and a variety of management features like call recording, analytics, and call transcripts, Dialpad Pro offers a good range of tools you can rely on to build up your business. You can also use internal live chat and web conferencing to slash costs, as you can keep your operation remote. However, its security measures do miss out on multi-factor authentication and password rules, making it less secure than other providers like 8×8.

How does Dialpad Pro compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

Our thorough research has looked closely at how suitable Dialpad is for small businesses, and has awarded it a rating of 4.3. This is mostly because it’s pricier than other options, and because it could have a more lush offering of external connections. Despite this, we do know that Dialpad's Pro plan is nifty and futuristic thanks to its conversational AI, which allows you to do a lot of things hands free and focus your attention on other tasks as you work on making your small business succeed. Despite its faults, we awarded Dialpad a great score of 4.5 for its customer support, ranking above other providers like GoToConnect and Vonage in this category.

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RingCentral – Premium plan

Best phone system for customer service teams

RingCentral logo
RingCentral – Premium plan
4
Pricing $45.99 – $55.99
Quick overview

If you’re a business that values compatibility with your software anatomy above all else, RingCentral is a great option thanks to all the external connections it can adapt to. Trusted by giants including Orange, BMJ, Ray White, and TechnologyOne, RingCentral has carved itself a reputable spot as a leading VoIP provider. With nearly 20 years in the cloud telephone services sector, RingCentral is a robust option for your small business thanks to its rich menu of management features, integrability, and onboarding support.

With personalised, data-backed routing, you’ll be able to deepen relationships with your customers. What’s more, with RingCentral’s reports and intuitive dashboards, you’ll gain valuable insights that will guide business-critical decisions.

Strengths

Tightly integrated IVR and automatic call distribution (ACD), allowing you to leverage customer data

Rich menu of management features

Weaknesses

Pricier than other providers

Needs RingCentral Engage to use power and auto dialer, predictive dialling, and custom call lists

RingCentral Premium plan pricing
PlanPaying annually Per user, per monthPaying monthly Per user, per month
Premium $45.99 $55.99

What kind of small business features does RingCentral Premium offer?

  • Software integrations: at the Premium subscription, you can sync your RingCentral phone system with over 90 CRM platforms, with key helpdesk integrations like Salesforce and Zendesk, analytics, and other platforms like Slack, WhatsApp, and Facebook. This makes your customer service muscle stronger, and allows you to instantly draw on customer-specific data to provide a frustration-free experience.
  • Onboarding support: available to RingCentral Premium subscribers.
  • Scalability: RingCentral has an impressive offer for scalability, equipping you with all the right tools – call queue, ring groups, web conferencing tools, internal live chat, and pretty much all the management features you could ever need as a small business! It also includes multi-factor authentication, compliance certifications and encryption, which will help shield your operation as you continue to scale up – but password rule settings are only available with the RingCentral Engage add-on.

How does RingCentral Premium compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

Factoring in price, integrability, features, and customer support, our in-depth research has awarded RingCentral a score of 4 out of 5 for its value as a system for small businesses. With access to key features like call queue and ring groups, you can easily take on a large number of callers and glam up your operation. Because of this, we’ve awarded RingCentral a score of 4 for features, putting it behind 8×8 and Dialpad.

What’s more impressive is that, compared to competitors like Vonage, GoToConnect, and Dialpad, RingCentral races ahead for customer service features in our research, scoring a rating of 5 out of 5 in this category. So, you can be confident you’ll have a whole dashboard of nifty features to power your small business.

How did we compare the best phone systems for small businesses?

Our team of independent researchers has conducted a deep dive into the most-used and best-rated phone system suppliers on the Australian market. Prioritising all the possible features that small businesses would need from a VoIP phone system, including price, software integrations, and scalability, we’ve narrowed it down to the top five VoIP providers and their best subscription plans for small businesses. They shine through because of their prices, their onboarding support, their management features, and their ready-made integrations that can help you strengthen your operation. We’ve also aggregated customer reviews from platforms like Trustpilot and Capterra to assure you that our knowledge is not only robust on paper, but also in practice.

Regardless of which choice you make to meet the demands of your small business, our research-backed recommendations will match you with the most suitable players in the VoIP market.

How to choose the right phone system for your small business

When making the crucial choice of which VoIP phone system to bring into your small business, there are a couple of key features that can help you make your decision less stressful and complicated. You can consider:

  • Money: as is the case for a lot of things in business, money can be an inevitable pain point. Therefore, it’s important to prioritise options that charge low up-front monthly fees, offer inclusive domestic minutes, provide multiple communication channels (so you don’t have to pay extra to get these from other providers), and provide solid customer support, so you can avoid losing money during a potential phone downtime.
  • Compatibility with your software infrastructure: when you’re entering the VoIP-verse, the last thing you want to do is spending aeons switching back and forth between all the software platforms you use to run your business. Therefore, choosing a provider that’s like a Swiss army knife when it comes to integrations is key. Look out for ready-made integrations with things like CRM, workspace, email, web conferencing, internal messaging, and external messaging platforms.
  • Scalability: as a business, you can be burdened by extra costs in the long-term if you outgrow an important software system, forcing you to upgrade to a different provider. Therefore, you’ll need a VoIP system that can grow as fast as your business can. Key indicators for this will be providers that let you onboard an unlimited number of users, and come with call queues, ring groups, a good array of management features, and things that allow you to run your operation remotely, like internal messaging and video conferencing. Security will also be key here as this shields your business from risks as you expand.
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Verdict

Even though you’re spoilt for choice with five great VoIP providers for small businesses, our top-rated recommendations are 8×8's X2 plan and GoToConnect's Standard plan. They're both affordable, they come with modern unified communications features, and they’re more flexible and easy to use both remotely and in the office – all points to consider if you’re a small business!

Do know, however, that you’re not alone in trying to decrypt all the options and jargon in the VoIP-verse. We want to help you cut through the noise, and find the right small business phone system for you easily and quickly.

Whether you’re feeling ready to make a choice or you’d still like to ask more questions to providers, you can fill in our quick and free quote-comparison tool to fast-forward you into adopting your new small business phone system. Simply answer a few questions about your team’s needs, and we’ll match you up with the phone system providers you should know about. They’ll be in touch with free, tailored, no-obligation quotes and answers to your questions.

FAQs

What is the best phone system for a small business?
Based on our in-depth research, we’ve found that the best options out there for small businesses are 8×8's X2 plan, and GoToConnect's Standard plan. They’re affordable, scalable, and come with ready-made integrations to fit into your existing software infrastructure – key points to consider if you’re a small business! If you want to learn more, scroll up to read our reviews of 8×8 X2 and GoToConnect Standard.
What is the best phone system for an office?
When choosing what type of phone system to adopt, you have a bunch of different providers to explore – but the first hurdle you need to clear is whether your phone system will be VoIP or PBX. We recommend hopping onboard a VoIP phone as it allows you to easily keep your operation remote, flexible, and adaptable, and most importantly, cheap. In fact, if you want to think about it in another way, VoIP systems provide your business with the key functionality offered by PBX systems anyway, so you wouldn’t be missing out on anything by making a transition to VoIP. Then, which provider you choose should depend on the size of your business and what your specific needs are! Read our reviews above for specific recommendations for small business, and visit our reviews of the best phones for offices and home offices if you'd like desk phones.
How much does a small business phone system cost?
A small business phone system doesn’t need to cost you a fortune! Depending on what you’re looking for and the anatomy of your team, a VoIP phone system can cost anywhere from $15 per user, per month all the way up to $200 per user, per month.

That said, the choices we look at closely in this review, which are tailored to small businesses specifically, range from $30 to $63 per user, per month.

How do I set up a small business phone system?
Setting up a small business phone system isn’t meant to be hard. Overall, there are four steps that you need to follow to have a fully operational VoIP phone system:

  1. Choose a provider that works for you and suits your small business needs, and activate your account based on the specific instructions you’re given.
  2. Set up IP phones: if you choose to use IP desk phones, you’ll next need to set these up. It’s as easy as attaching your handset to the base of your IP phone using the cord provided. Plug your ethernet cable into your phone’s WAN port, and the other end into your router. As a side note, keep in mind you don’t need a desk phone if you are installing a VoIP system – you can still access and use on devices including smartphones, tablets, and computers.
  3. Transfer your existing toll-free number: if you have an existing toll-free phone number, you can port this into your new business phone system.
  4. Customise your phone system: every business is different, so there’ll naturally be features that you’ll prioritise. above others. As an administrator, you can change and set up business phone system settings and assign users and extensions based on their job description.
Traditional PBX vs. VoIP: what’s the difference?
The long and the short of it is this: a traditional PBX system uses the landline to make and receive calls, while a VoIP system uses the internet.

Both phone systems allow you to receive multiple calls at the same time, but while a PBX uses a digital on-premise switchboard to branch calls off to different handsets, a VoIP system uses an online server. Let's take a closer look:

VoIP systemsVoIP phone systems

VoIP phone systems work by transmitting phone audio over the internet. They come in two varieties: on-premise VoIP, and hosted VoIP (also known as cloud-based VoIP).

With on-premise VoIP, the system is hosted on your own servers. You'll need all the right hardware for this, and you'll need to pay someone with the right expertise to build and maintain the system.

By contrast, a hosted VoIP system lives on your system supplier's servers, and is managed and maintained by your supplier, not you. Over and above all other kinds of phone system, we recommend hosted VoIP to small businesses. This is because it's affordable, it's easy to install, and it tends to come with sophisticated call and UC features for your team to benefit from. That's why most of the systems we review on this page are cloud-based VoIP systems.

Another benefit of a VoIP system is that it can be accessed from anywhere. Most come with an app that your team can download onto a device of their choice, and use to make calls and access the system features – meaning you don't even need to buy desk phones if you're on a budget. If you do choose to, though, you should look for IP phones: these are VoIP-compatible desk phones.

Traditional PBX systemsTraditional phone systems

If you're not ready to upgrade to VoIP, a traditional landline phone system may be suitable for very small businesses with a handful of employees. All you need is one line in and a couple of phones, so that more than one employee can pick up the phone if it rings.

If you tend to receive lots of calls, having one phone line could be holding you back. This is where a PBX system comes in.

A PBX phone system turns your traditional phone system into a multi-line system by giving you the option of adding extensions that lead to each phone. Once a call comes in, the PBX auto attendant directs the caller to the right extension number, freeing up the phone line for another call to come in.

The features of a landline PBX phone system are basic compared to those available with VoIP – which is one of the reasons why we recommend VoIP instead – but you'll still be able to coordinate incoming and outgoing calls, make call transfers, and manage voicemail.

Of course, PBX is flexible in the sense that it can be used with VoIP as well as the landline. In fact, many suppliers give you the option to create an IP PBX system. This uses SIP trunking to connect a traditional phone system to the internet, meaning you can make calls over the internet and benefit from VoIP functionality, in addition to making calls using the traditional landline.

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