Small businesses need to portray a professional appearance at all times. This is where a good telephone system comes in. VoIP systems are paving the way for affordable sophisticated business communications solutions for small companies. For a fraction of the cost of a traditional system, small businesses can enjoy features like ring groups, auto attendants, virtual extensions and voicemail. Ooma Office is especially designed for businesses that have few employees. Their tools and features are a great option for small business, at an extremely low cost.
Ooma office is simple to use. It can be up and running in just 20 minutes. You don’t need to connect complicated wires. It works with all phone types, even analog ones. Take note that other providers require IP phones and they cost anywhere from $100 to $300. This is why Ooma Office is very appealing to small businesses.
The system is composed of a base unit and Linx devices which are used to wirelessly connect phones to the system. You can connect up to 4 Linx devices to each base.
First step is activation. Log into the Ooma website. You will find a 7-digit activation code at the bottom of the base unit. Enter this into the system. Enter your contact information, create a login and password. Finally, enter an address for 911 calls.
Next, choose a new main business phone number or temporary number if you have plans of transferring over a current phone number, from a variety of provided options. You can select from local or toll-free numbers.
Click ‘activate’ after choosing your main phone number. Connect the base unit to a high-speed Internet modem in front of the router, plug in the AC adapter to a power outlet and then plug a phone into the unit. When the base unit turns blue, you are good to go.
You can personalize the system according to your workstyle by logging into Ooma’s user-friendly online portal. You don’t need any extensive training. It can be updated and maintained by anyone. The website is divided into five main sections – home, account, manage, add-ons and support. You can easily find what you are looking for.
The virtual receptionist is automatically created when you activate your system. You can personalize it to include your own greeting with a text-to-speech tool or upload a sound file that you create on your own.
As mentioned, Ooma Office is very affordable. The cost is broken into two parts – one-time hardware cost and the monthly service fee.
The amount of hardware needed depends on the number of users. The starter package that includes a base station and 2 Linx wireless devices costs $250. Each additional Linx device costs $50. Aside from that, Ooma regularly runs promotions so you can get a really good price if you’re lucky.
The pricing structure of the monthly service fee is very easy to understand. Cost starts at $19.98/month for 1 phone number and 1 user. Each additional user costs $9.99/month. Each additional phone number costs $9.99/month. You can choose to have 1 main business number which is already included in the cost and just have extensions for each user. You can also have up to 15 virtual extensions for work-at-home employees.
Nearly all features are included in the price. The only features that cost extra are conference calling and Internet fax which costs $9.99 each per month.
If you are using a local number, the monthly fee includes unlimited minutes to US and Canada. For toll-free numbers, 500 minutes of inbound calling is included in the monthly fee. Each additional minute costs 3.4 cents.
Ooma offers a 30-day free trial. You can try the system for a month and get all your money back if you decide that it’s not a good fit for your business.
Ooma does not have all the features that other providers offer but they do have everything that a small office would need. It includes a virtual receptionist and that already makes a small business sound professional. The auto attendant works off of text-to-speech technology. Just type in what you want it to say and it automatically converts your message to a recording to be played when someone calls your office. You can choose between a male or female voice and between a US or British accent. You can also record your own greetings and upload them into the system. You can also provide important information such as business hours, website, etc. You can set up the system to play one set of greetings when your business opens and another when it’s closed.
The ring group option allows you to group employees by departments. You can use this option to transfer calls to employees in a specific sequence or simultaneously.
If you have mobile employees, you will find the mobility features very useful. Aside from the virtual extensions, there are several call-forwarding options employees can use to have calls transferred to them wherever they are. Voicemails can also be sent to them as emails.
You can set up conference calls for as many as 10 users. You can play music or a company message while callers are on hold.
If you call the Ooma hotline, a representative will first make sure that your business is a good fit for their system. When they are sure that your office is a perfect fit, the representative will walk you through all the calling features and price structure. You will know exactly how much your system will cost unlike with other providers that want you to sign up first before divulging the pricing structure.
After this initial conversation, the representative will follow up via email and inform you of any promotions that they have. They will also be happy to answer your additional questions. You can be sure to have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
As for the live-chat feature of their service, you can expect to get a quick response and accurate answers.
You can find a ton of support on the website that includes videos and tutorials as well as FAQs. You can also find ways on how to troubleshoot any problems you may experience.
Email and live chat are available 24/7. Phone support is available Monday to Friday 5 am to 5 pm. During weekends, it is available between 8 am and 5 pm.
Apps are available for iOS 7 and up and Android 4 and up. The Ooma Office app lets you make and receive calls using your Ooma service over Wifi or mobile connection. You can also listen and manage your voicemail. No need for a separate app. The administrator needs to enable app use from the Web console by adding it as a device for the user.
The app has access to notifications, contacts and mic. Log in with the same number, extension and password as you use on the Web console. You can enable inbound, outbound and both way calling. You need to approve a Terms of Service agreement and a 911 disclaimer.
Speed dials for company lines pop up automatically. Voicemail and dialing interfaces are clear. You can also setup call forwarding.
It is important to take note, however, that Ooma Office is only for small offices with 5 or fewer people. The Linx wireless device only works when it is within 150 feet of the base unit. It won’t work if you have a large office.
If you are a small office on a budget, this package is perfect for you. It gives you top notch call quality and features to make your office sound more professional.