Comparing Small Business Phone Systems – the devil is in the detail

Unless you have extremely basic requirements, purchasing a new business telephone system for your office is somewhat of a challenging task.

Generally, most people know very little about PBX technology (aka telephone system tech) and therefore many people ask me, ‘what’s the best way to compare the latest and greatest unified communications platforms out there?’

Here’s a list of small business phone systems that are available in 2018. Admittedly this is not a full list of vendors, so if you know of any others please mention them below in the comments section and i’ll add it in. Remember to share your personal experience.

Unified Communications Platforms for Small Business

(no particular order)

  • Avaya IP Office
  • Mitel MiVoice Office 250 / 400 / MiCloud Office
  • NEC SV9100 / SL2100
  • Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise OXO Connect
  • RingCentral Office
  • Unify OpenScape Business
  • Ericsson-LG iPECS UCP / eMG800 / eMG80 / ARIA SOHO
  • Microsoft Teams (formally Skype for Business)
  • Vonage Business

UC Platform Reviews

In addition to speaking to an expert to spec the appropriate package for your business, I recommend reading online reviews before purchasing. Genuine small business phone system reviews (as opposed to the ones that companies generate just to look good) are often insightful and can help narrow your search.

Unified Communications Buyer’s Guide

As the title of this article suggests, the devil is in the detail. Buying a phone system for your company is a major purchase and therefore one that you’ll want to take your time with. Comparing platforms is pretty straight forward once you know what features you need. Two suggestions for you:

Note: There’s a whole load more platform vendors out there, if you’d like to recommend one for small business customers please comment.

Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.


  1. Good initial list of small business phone systems, it’s a crowded market in the UK and I think there are a few other players you can add to the list including Panasonic, 3CX, IPCortex, Splicecom, Fuze, 8×8 (not exhaustive list) depending on how you classify small I think Cisco with their BE4k would also warrant inclusion. Then we have of course our old favourite BT and their various on premise and cloud offerings and of course the myriad of cloud players


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