BT Business VoIP UK Review

Reviewed by:  Derek Cromwell

Author: Sarah Pritzker

​Overview

BT Business offers 5 different VoIP solutions, which cover the needs of every business, from small companies to enormous enterprises and corporations. You can choose between 3 cloud-hosted packages, which include iOS or Android apps for online call management and offer a range of features for unified communications. There are also 2 on-premises VoIP PBX and SIP solutions that are available for lease or purchase. These solutions are suitable for enterprises that run to thousands of users. BT Business brings all of your calls, texts, faxes, voice messages, and conference calls together into one place so that your business can stay on top of all communications.

Pros

  • Automatic upgrades and comprehensive maintenance

  • Easy-to-install or comprehensive installation packages, depending on the plan

  • Flexible pricing so that you only pay for the features and users you need

  • Easy to scale up as your business grows

Cons

  • Social media channels aren’t included in the unified communications system

  • You’ll need to contact BT directly to find out prices for certain plans

Standout Features

BT Business’s VoIP solutions are worthy of notice thanks to the huge range of options available. With 3 different cloud-hosted packages and 2 different on-premises solutions, there is something to suit businesses of every size.

While every BT Business VoIP package includes a slightly different selection of features, they all include audio, and sometimes also video, conferencing so that you can keep in touch with remote workers; an easy to use app so that you can handle calls and messages on the go; virtual numbers that enable customers to reach you through a local number no matter where you are at the time; a CRM integration that connects your contacts with the VoIP system; fax and voicemail transcription to email so that all of your communication is in one place; hunt groups for paging multiple employees at once, and more.

  • Easy to use online management portal

  • OnePhone Office makes it easy to add more users

  • Audio and video conferencing

  • Virtual numbers for any geographic region

  • Call recording

  • CLI that makes it appear as though you called from your work phone

  • Fax and voicemail to email

  • Hunt groups

  • CRM integration

  • Virtual receptionists

  • Simple to set up, plug-and-play systems

  • Automatic upgrades and full maintenance to keep everything running smoothly

Integration

BT Business’s VoIP solutions come with different integrations depending on your choice of product. The on-premises solutions are a complete system, which also integrates with your business’s Windows or Mac desktops and connects with Outlook CRM. You can also connect your mobile and desk phone to a single unified system and access your business phone system from anywhere you are in the world via an IP phone.

The cloud-based BT business solutions Cloud Phone and One Phone Office offer fully integrated apps for both Android and iOS. Through the apps, you can integrate your smartphone into all of the calls, messages, conference calls and faxes that are received over the VoIP network. The online portal lets you manage the entire system from your smartphone, tablet, or desktop. The Cloud Voice solution includes CRM integration and voicemail- and faxes-to-email integration as well as mobile and desktop apps. With all 3 solutions, you can redirect calls to any employee or to whichever device you prefer. None of the BT business solutions include integration with social media channels.

Value for Money

 

Thanks to the many VoIP solutions on offer, BT business presents good value for money as long as you choose the solution that is right for your business. BT One Phone Office, Cloud Phone, and Cloud Voice all offer very flexible pricing packages, which allow you to choose how many minutes, texts, or features to make available to each individual user.

There are no prices shown for BT OnePhone Office. Instead, you need to contact BT directly for custom pricing. BT Cloud Phone and Cloud Voice solutions both have variable pricing which you can explore on the website. Cloud Voice begins at £6.40 per user per month for the basic feature pack, and you can choose whether to add up to 5,000 additional UK voice call minutes per month or up to 500 international voice call minutes per month per user for an extra fee. Your final price also depends on whether or not you include broadband internet through BT and the length of the contract you choose.

Cloud Phone pricing includes fewer variables. Prices begin at £13 per user per month for the Basic package and go up to £23 per user per month for the top Collaborate package. There's also a one-off set up charge, and you can add handsets to your purchase, beginning at £90.

 
 

Basic

Connect

Collaborate

Cloud Phone price per month for 36 months

£13

£18

£23

Cloud Voice price per month for 36 months

£6.40

£8.80

£13.60

*Prices last updated April 2018

For pricing for the on-premises Avaya IP or MiVoice solutions, you’ll need to contact the company for custom prices.

Mobility

Understandably enough, the cloud-hosted solutions are far more mobile friendly than the on-premises options. However, because both the Avaya and the MiVoice systems work over the internet, employees can answer calls and keep in touch with the office from anywhere in the world as long as they have a broadband internet connection. With either solution, you can receive voicemail messages and faxes to your email inbox wherever you are, and direct calls to colleagues’ smartphones.

BT Business’s cloud-hosted solutions include top of the range mobile solutions. BT One Phone Office replaces your mobile and desk phones with a single solution that switches calls seamlessly between your devices without any interruption so that you can continue the same conversation as you leave your workplace to go home. The mobile management portal means that you can change the settings and adjust call direction preferences on the go.

Scalability

BT Business makes it easy to scale up as your business expands, depending on which solution you choose. Cloud Phone is designed for small businesses with up to 9 employees. If you expect that you’ll expand beyond that, you can choose the very similar Cloud Voice package, which lets you scale up to 250 or more users. Because all BT Business’ VoIP solutions come with automatic updates, you can rely on your business call solution to remain suitable indefinitely.

BT Business’s 2 on-premises solutions, Avaya IP and MiVoice, offer similar feature sets with the option to upgrade within or between systems without any hassle. Avaya IP is designed to grow with your business, up to 2,000 users, while MiVoice is an enterprise-grade communications solution that can handle up to 20,000 users for truly large corporations. BT Business makes it easy to install new extensions and upgrade within the system as your business grows.

Ease of Setup and Management

BT Business offers extremely simple plug-and-play solutions, all the way to engineer installed complex systems. The Cloud Phone and OnePhone Office options for small businesses are simple to get up and running since there is no physical hardware to install and all maintenance is included in the price. All of the cloud-hosted options include automatic upgrades so that maintenance is easy. For OnePhone Office, you can choose between installing it yourself and having a BT engineer do it for you, and Cloud Voice is engineer install only.

The built-in online portals make management easy for all 3 solutions. You can change routing settings, adjust call management preferences, and easily add or remove users yourself. Once the system is up and running, adding new users just requires the addition of a new SIM card or for the new user to download the app onto their device.

As on-premises systems, Avaya IP and MiVoice both need to be installed by a BT engineer and maintenance and upgrades are part of the service.

The fully-hosted Cloud Phone and Cloud Voice options are easy to move with you if you change your physical location and include fully-featured mobile apps so that you can manage calls, texts, and voice messages and access all of your office features wherever you are. With both solutions, you can answer work phone calls from your mobile and make calls that show your work number, even if you’re calling from your smartphone on the beach.

BT Business Equipment

Different BT Business VoIP systems have different equipment requirements.

BT Cloud Phone doesn’t require any equipment apart from BT configured IP phones. The system doesn't work with any other type of internet phone, only devices configured and sold by BT, so if you have existing hardware from a previous system, you won't be able to transfer it to your new Cloud Phone.

BT OnePhone Office can be used with any mobile phone, but you’ll need to have a ‘Pico cell’ installed in your business to use the system. This is a small mobile phone base station, which creates a dedicated on-site mobile network for your business. There’s no other hardware needed for the system.

Like Cloud Phone, BT Cloud Voice requires you to buy only pre-configured BT IP phones. Although you’ll need an engineer to come configure your system correctly, there’s no other equipment needed to run this VoIP solution.

As on-premises solutions, Avaya IP and MiVoice come with more equipment than the cloud-hosted options. BT provides all of the cabling, phones, headsets, and other hard equipment that you need to improve your communications experience.

BT Business Customer Service

All of the VoIP solutions offered by BT Business come with an impressive level of customer service. The opening hours and speed of response depend upon which solution you've bought. There's an extensive knowledge base to help with basic troubleshooting for all VoIP solutions. The higher tier plans, such as Cloud Voice, Avaya IP, and MiVoice, include a dedicated care representative to discuss the options with you and make sure that you get the right solution for your business.

If you’re paying for a Connect or Collaborate package, you’ll be able to access 24/7 support, and customer service representatives are available from 8am to 6pm for Basic plan customers. Avaya IP offers 2 levels of customer care packages and MiVoice promises to fix any issues by the next working day (excluding public holidays). BT Business prefers to handle customer support issues over the telephone.

International VoIP Calls

You can receive international calls with all of the BT Business VoIP plans. For outgoing calls, BT Business offers both national and international calling minutes as a separate package for all of its VoIP solutions. With BT Cloud Phone, you'll pay a fixed price per minute for international calls, and there's no option to include them in your VoIP package. BT OnePhone Office allows you to receive calls wherever you go in the EU as part of the basic package, or you can pay extra to use your phone system in 9 Business Zones or 44 World Zone countries. It’s not clear how much international calls cost on this plan.

When you set up your BT Cloud Voice package, you’ll be able to choose 100, 200, or 500 international call minutes per month, which can be shared across all of your users.

Avaya IP and MiVoice both include VoIP calls using SIP protocols for national and international calls.

Unified Communications/Multi-Channel

BT Business offers varying levels of unified communications depending on which solution you choose. All of the cloud-hosted packages bring together faxes, emails, voice calls, voice messages, and instant messages into one central portal. Faxes and voicemail messages can be converted into email transcriptions and made accessible on your phone or the management app. You can carry out video and audio conference calls using Cloud Voice or OnePhone Office so that all of your business communications are united in one place.

Avaya IP and MiVoice provide full unified and multi-channel communications by linking your call history with a central CRM. They also deliver voicemail, voice messages, and faxes through email so that everything is in one place. With Avaya and MiVoice, you can carry out video and audio conferences for over 100 people as well.

About BT Business

BT is the UK’s leading provider of communications and phone systems. As well as providing home and business telephone solutions, broadband and wireless internet, and TV services, BT provides a wide range of business solutions to small, medium, and public sector companies across the UK and Ireland. BT Business is the business arm of the telecommunications corporation that delivers phone, IT, mobile, and internet packages to the business world. BT Business was renamed in 2016.

Bottom Line

Overall, BT Business VoIP provides a fully comprehensive range of unified communications plans using a VoIP platform. Flexible pricing that varies according to the number of users, the range of features, and the number of call minutes means that small businesses can keep costs down by only paying for what they need. Dedicated customer service, automatic upgrades, and comprehensive maintenance packages help companies to keep their systems running all the time.

Although BT Business doesn’t include social media channels in the unified communications package, valuable features, such as conferencing, CRM integration, virtual receptionists, and call history analytics, mean that it remains a powerful option for businesses of every size.

Physical Address

BT Business Direct.

Enterprise Park

Bolton, BL6 6PE

England

Contact Details

There are many different phone numbers to use to contact BT Business, depending on which product you’re using and what your issue is.

Customer service is available via live chat or by opening a web support ticket.

You can also get in touch with BT Business via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google Plus.

 
 

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