A Virtual Phone System for Your Business

Also sometimes called cloud phone systems, “virtual phone systems” are becoming a more and more popular communications solution for businesses—especially ones with distributed offices and remote or hybrid teams.

It helps that they’re easy to set up (and affordable), but why are both small businesses and larger organizations moving toward this kind of phone system?

Let’s look at what exactly these virtual phone systems are, how they work, and some creative ways that businesses are using them.

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Why Virtual Phone System

Use your existing device and work from anywhere.


With Dialpad we can go right online, provision the user through the UI in literally seconds, and get their phone up and running the same day.

Kat Sweet
Director of IT, Acquia

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We love how easy Dialpad is to deploy. All you need is a laptop or a smartphone.

Kyle Jackson
VP of IT, Percolate

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Our previous system was unreliable and a poor experience for our staff. Dialpad is the complete opposite of that.

Keith Jones
Global Ops Manager, Deputy

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  • What is a virtual phone system?

    With a traditional landline phone system, you’re pretty much limited to using that system at a singular, defined location—which means employees can generally only work from the office. Want to do work on your mobile phone? Forget it.

    Not so with a virtual phone system, which pretty much removes all those limitations and lets you make and receive phone calls from anywhere if you have a reliable Internet connection.

    Today, the best virtual phone systems go beyond phone calls too—many of them are full-fledged communication platforms that work across mobile devices (Including iOS and Android) and desktop apps.

    Virtual phone systems tend to be affordable too, with options for monthly or annual plans. You’d pay per team member, and can choose different tiers depending on what you need, which makes this much more budget-friendly than traditional business phone services.

  • How does a virtual phone system work?

    The unique thing about virtual phone systems is that they give you everything you need for business communications without any clunky hardware and outdated infrastructure.

    The system is cloud-based and hosted by your provider, which means you don’t need any IT equipment in a closet or room in your office.

    Virtual phone systems use VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, which is what makes it possible to have a phone call via the Internet—no landlines needed.

    This means you can quickly set up phone numbers, including international and local numbers, and even vanity numbers for your business.

    No more being tied to your desk. You can make outgoing calls and take inbound calls on your cell phone, at your home office, or even from a beach.

  • Why exactly are virtual phone systems good for businesses?

    Designed for a hybrid workforce

    Need to set up a new office or team in another country? It’s much easier with a virtual business phone system. You don’t need to ship out office phones or equipment or even have a physical office. You can set up their accounts remotely, and everyone can just download the app and get online in minutes.

    Multichannel communication

    Beyond voice calls, some virtual phone systems actually come with other communication channels included. For example, Dialpad comes with not only a phone system but also video conferencing, SMS text messages, instant messaging, and more (even on the least expensive plan!)—all of which only require an Internet connection.

    Lower expenses

    Let’s face it. Traditional phone systems can be expensive. You need to install costly hardware (and the process itself is often another extra charge), and you have to plan—and pay—for future capacity. A virtual phone system, on the other hand, needs no hardware and your provider will handle upgrades for free. Dialpad offers different tiers in its monthly plans, so you can grow your use of your phone system with your business (perfect for startups and new business owners).

    Accessibility across different devices

    One of the biggest benefits of using a virtual phone system is flexibility. They tend to come with softphone apps that you can download onto your computer, mobile device, and/or tablet. That means you can work from pretty much anywhere.

    Easily customizable call routing and transfers

    Need to set up call transfers to other teammates, other teams, or even to voicemail or auto attendants? With Dialpad, you can manage that whole workflow easily just by going into your online account. You can set up call routing for when you get business calls outside business hours, make changes, and more—all in one place in seconds:

    Business phone numbers on-demand

    With a virtual phone system, you’re not as restricted in terms of getting phone numbers compared with traditional telecom providers. For example, with Dialpad you can easily choose phone numbers with area codes that are convenient for you and your customers. (This is particularly great for sales teams that call prospects every day, since having a local number in the caller ID can help boost pick-up rates.)

    👉Did you know? Dialpad will help with porting your existing business numbers over from your current service provider with no disruption to your business phone service.

    Better call quality

    Depending on which provider you’re with and what phone system you’re moving on from, you can get better call quality with VoIP. For instance, Dialpad offers 100% uptime for enterprise customers and is built on a unique split cloud architecture that’s designed for clear, high-quality calls!

  • A checklist for choosing the right virtual phone system

    1. Does it cover your basic business needs?

    And by basics we mean things like call recordings, call routing, hold music, integrations with software you’re already using (like your CRM), and your choice of phone numbers including toll-free numbers and vanity numbers if you need them.

    2. Is it secure?

    Your business probably handles sensitive information. It may also handle payments. That means your virtual phone system should also be highly secure. For example, Dialpad is compliant with SOC2® Type II, GDPR (if you have customers in the EU, this is essential), PCI (if you’re dealing with payments, then you need to have a system that is PCI compliant), and HIPAA.

    3. What are the SLAs? (service level agreements)

    SLAs are basically a way of making sure you get reliable service from your business phone provider. You need a phone system that is reliable and has an absolute minimum of downtime because—well, you don’t need us to tell you what happens if you can’t communicate with your prospects and customers.

    4. How easy is it to set up or install?

    Some virtual phone systems take weeks—even months—to set up. No joke. Always check to make sure what the setup process is like. With Dialpad, for instance, setup can be almost instantaneous. As an admin, you can assign new users, give them phone numbers, sync them with tools, and have them up and running in a matter of minutes.

    5. What do the reviews say?

    Of course, you can just check out the website—which is what most people do—but if you really want to see the good, bad, and ugly of a phone system, look at the reviews.

    For example…

    For virtual phone systems specifically, the top review sites tend to be G2, Capterra, and Trustpilot. (And if a provider that you’re considering isn’t listed there, that’s a red flag and you should probably cross them off the list.)

    6. What does it (really) cost?

    When you’re looking at costs, don’t just look at the price tag. The pricing for virtual phone systems should cover a number of factors including both initial pricing and ongoing costs. Because these usually follow a SaaS pricing model (pay monthly or annually), it’s very startup friendly compared to traditional phone systems.

    However… Make sure you know what each pricing plan includes. Some phone system providers will say their plan is only a few dollars a month—but charge you by the minute for phone calls, call recordings, and other basic things. (Dialpad gives you unlimited calling in your local country, the US, and Canada even in the least expensive plan, along with a ton of other features.)

    So, make sure you check the price. It’ll make your CFO happy.

    7. What’s the customer support like?

    Many small businesses may not have a dedicated IT team beyond Chuck (who also doubles as your sales manager, your shipping supervisor, your….well, you get the idea).

    Even if you do have an IT team, their focus won’t just be on your virtual phone system. That means you want to choose a provider that offers great customer support—worldwide, not just in the US. Dialpad’s support team is always around to help, 24/7 for Pro and Enterprise customers (24/5 on the Standard plan), and there’s also a comprehensive Help Center online so that you can find answers to most questions anytime you want.

    Need to set up call transfers to other teammates, other teams, or even to voicemail or auto attendants? With Dialpad, you can manage that whole workflow easily just by going into your online account. You can set up call routing for when you get business calls outside business hours, make changes, and more—all in one place in seconds

  • What is the best virtual business phone system?

    Well, we’re biased, but Dialpad is one of the best business phone service providers—and comes standard with some of the most advanced features beyond your basic inbound and outbound calls. (Just to be fair though, check out our reviews online on review sites like G2 and Trustpilot.)

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Use your desk phone or an existing mobile device with Dialpad.

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Features that matter

  • Call analytics and summaries

    Get important insights like when customers are calling, how long they’re waiting on hold, and more. With Dialpad, you can make more data-driven decisions and coach your team more effectively.

  • Easy breezy deployment

    Have your virtual phone system up and running across multiple devices in much less time than with a traditional phone system (it can take just a few minutes). Do everything from changing business phone numbers, to adding and removing users—all in one your online account:

  • International calling

    Whether “going global” means you’re traveling for business or scaling your organization around the world, you can take your virtual phone system with you.

  • Easy, Breezy Deployment

    Have your virtual phone system up and running across multiple devices in just a few minutes. Add and delete users, change numbers, and create groups from an easy-to-use web portal, and see your changes go live immediately.

  • International Calling

    Whether “going global” means you’re traveling for business or scaling your organization around the world, you can take your virtual phone system with you.

  • Call recordings

    Record calls automatically, or if you’re in a highly regulated industry, toggle it on and off as you need. With Dialpad, you can easily record calls and access recordings in the app to make sure you’re complying with regulatory requirements, maintain call quality, train new staff, and more.

  • Voice Intelligence

    What does AI do, exactly? Well Dialpad’s AI (aka our Voice Intelligence technology) can transcribe your calls in real time, pick out keywords and terms so that you can track how frequently they come up (like competitor names!), and more. Ask us about it!

  • Easy call management

    Manage incoming calls efficiently with call routing options like IVR and an auto attendant. With Dialpad, your callers can route themselves to the best team or individual, and find the information they need without burdening your team.

  • The best voicemail ever

    Set up a custom greeting, listen to your voicemail messages, and even get voicemail transcriptions emailed to your inbox so that even if you’re stuck in meetings all day, you can still catch up by reading your voicemails. (And did we mention you can easily forward your messages too?)

  • Conference calling

    Need more than two people on a call? Dialpad lets you launch conference calls from any device, and with 50 international access numbers, you can take those calls global too. It’s easy to connect, easy to manage, and totally secure.

  • Business SMS

    Sometimes, people just prefer text messaging. Can’t blame them. Send SMS or MMS messages to team members, prospects, customers, and more—right from the Dialpad app! (Dialpad’s most basic plan comes with unlimited SMS/MMS in the US and Canada.)

  • Integrations with business tools

    Chances are, your business is using other software like CRMs, ticketing tools, and Google Workspace or Microsoft 365. If your phone system integrated with those tools, you’d be able to do things like make phone calls from inside your Salesforce dashboard and create a Google Calendar invite with a meeting link automatically populated in there!