We’ve reviewed phone system providers in Canada to find the best choice for small businesses like yours
They help people contact you, and you to contact other people - that’s a given. But modern phone systems have a whole other bunch of benefits, and you don’t need to be a large business to get them.
But with so many providers clamoring for your attention, each with a long list of features you might never have heard of, it can be hard to cut through the noise and find out who’s offering the best deal.
We’ve reviewed lots of the top phone system providers in Canada to find out who’s offering the best phone systems for small businesses. We’ve compared prices, customer reviews and features to find the best models and packages.
Let’s take a look at which came out on top:
What’s on this page?
- 01 | Best-rated by customers: Versature
- 02 | Best for remote workers: Grasshopper
- 03 | Best for very small offices: Ooma
- 04 | Best for small-medium sized businesses: 8x8
Best small business telephone systems:
The best small business phone systems are: Versature, Grasshopper, Ooma and 8x8.
|Versature (Cloud-based)||Best-rated by customers||Read Review|
|Grasshopper (On premise/cloud-based)||Best for remote workers||Read Review|
|Ooma (On-premise)||Best for very small offices||Read Review|
|8x8 (Cloud-based)||Best for small-medium sized businesses||Read Review|
Best-rated by customers
Versature is an Ottawa-based small business that’s changing the landscape of business phone systems. Modern dashboards, cutting-edge technology and a friendly customer service department are just some of the perks on offer – and its all provided for a really affordable price. With heaps of positive reviews on the web, investing in a Versature phone system isn't something you're likely to regret. Plans start at $29.99/month.
- One of the best-rated phone providers around
- Unlimited calling to 30+ countries in Asia, Central America, Europe, and South America on all plans
- A Canada-based, small business - who better to understand the needs of your Canada-based small business!
- Excellent customer support
- Very affordable plans
- Not the most cost-effective option for businesses making lots of long-distance calls
Best for remote workers
Grasshopper is an innovative technology that turns your smartphone or computer into a business line. Work from home? Always out and about? Benefit from the credibility of a business line, without any of the equipment. Plans start at $38/month.
- No need for any equipment - Grasshopper works from your mobile or desktop
- Automated greeting and call direction to maintain professionalism
- Easy to set up - just choose your number, download the app and go
- Reduced functionality - Grasshopper is fine for businesses that don’t accept or make many calls, but you might find you outgrow it quickly
- Pricing information on the website is limited - you can’t see how many toll-free minutes you get with each plan, or what the cost is thereafter
Best for very small offices
Ooma’s on-premise phone system is a win-win choice for the smallest businesses or offices. Why? Well for starters, Ooma don’t do contracts - that’s always a bonus. Second, their ‘plug and play’ system means you can get up and running in no time at all, without compromising on features. They charge a flat rate of $26/month per user.
- Flat rate fee, and no contracts
- Simple to set up and use
- Free 30 day trial
- Some additional costs, including around $13/month for your phone number
Best for small-medium sized businesses
8x8 are a large, well-respected phone systems provider with a broad range of plans available. That’s why they’re a great choice for businesses that might be small now, but anticipate growing in the near future. Easily upgrade your cloud-based phone system as you grow, and benefit from lots of training and setup advice. Plans start at $33/month.
- Good deals for businesses making long-distance calls
- Easy to upgrade as you need
- Great onboarding process - you and your team don’t need to know anything about VoIP to get started
- Some reviews complain of patchy customer support
Each of the phone systems featured in this review provides a great service in their chosen niche. The reviews prove that Versature is a great all-rounder, but Grasshopper could be just what you need if you’re out of the office a lot. And if you make a lot of long-distance calls, the 8x8 system could be just what you’re looking for.
Basically, the fact of the matter is that it’s much easier to find the best phone system for your small business when you compare quotes using the details of your business. That way you can easily spot which one will work best for you.
Simply fill in our short webform to receive quotes from leading phone system providers. We’ll do all the hard work, leaving you to sit back and choose the option that’s right for you.
How will a good telephone system help my small business?
1. Integrate with your CRM software
Combining a tech savvy telephone network with a CRM – Customer Relationship Management system can have big benefits for small companies. A good CRM will ensure incoming and outgoing sales leads are managed and followed up, and excellent customer service thrives. Combining with a phone system makes dialling, logging calls and responding to orders, amongst other factors including the management of the sales process, much easier.
2. Ensure every call is answered quickly and well
Efficient customer service is where small businesses can get the upper hand. A good telephony system will allow management of extension numbers to quickly direct calls to the right person or department. It will enable calls to be diverted to mobile and either picked up or managed with caller display and voicemail.
This is absolutely essential for a smaller business where some or all employees could be out of the office, in meetings, or making sales in the field when the phone is still ringing at base. If nobody’s available to pick up the call, your telephone should direct the call to the appropriate queue.
3. Save you time and space
With today’s technology there is no longer the need for large and costly cabinets of equipment. A desktop phone is compact and low cost, and much of the software and connectivity can be managed in the cloud. Training and support can be in the form of tutorials, email and chat support, negating the costs of site visits and lengthy set up calls.
What types of small business phone systems are there?
Here’s a quick overview of the three different types of phone system you can choose for your small business:
A KSU or Key System Unit is popular for small businesses as it’s a basic system with a limit to how many phones can be connected. It has the basic features a small business requires and will have a base unit. Wireless KSU systems are also available.
PBX or Private Bench Exchange systems are more advanced than KSU’s and automatically route calls. They have an uninterruptible power supply which can be of benefit where downtime due to power outages would have serious consequences. They work well for services and facilities companies for this reason. PBX systems are available as hosted systems or with a physical base unit.
VoIP or IP technology is the most advanced, transmitting calls over an IP network rather than the traditional PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) that KSU and PBX systems use. VoIP units can be software based phones and are more flexible, integrated and controllable. VoIP phone units are more advanced can display and transmit data digitally.
How much does a small business phone system cost?
You can expect your small business phone system to cost between around $25/month per user, to upwards of $50/month per user depending on your plan. You’ll then also need to factor in any additional set-up costs, and the cost ($0 to $200) and of the telephones themselves ($50 - $200+ each).
Here’s a complete list of possible costs to consider:
- Base system
- Phone units
- Training and support
- Network and call charges
- Monthly maintenance and contracts