Voice and Video Calling in the Workplace

One of the first big investments businesses make is a reliable phone system. Some will buy without thinking, but you should always weigh your options carefully. Before you shell out a ton of cash for a complicated and costly phone system, take a look at some other less expensive—and even free—software options for your voice and video calling. Skype for Business If you’ve used the Internet you’ve probably heard of Skype, you may have even used it for personal calls or video chats. But did you know there is a version specifically tailored for businesses?
  • Video chat
  • Free international calling
  • Voice, instant messaging, and video integration
  • Free voicemail
  • Free call blocking
  • Free Skype to Skype video and voice calls
  • Skype Manager, a web-based tool that keeps your Skype accounts organized
  • Skype Connect integrates Skype into a pre-existing phone system
Google Voice Everyone has heard of Google but maybe not Google Voice. It’s simple to use, and is available through your Google account. Remember that Voice can only be used for calls within the U.S.
  • Video chat
  • Unlimited domestic calls
  • Free SMS
  • Free voicemail
  • Free call forwarding
  • Free voicemail transcription
  • Free call recording
  • Free call blocking
  • Free individual number
  • Free group video chat 
Grasshopper Although Grasshopper is not free—several price points are available—the features it offers may be more suitable for your business than Voice or Skype. Unlimited extensions and toll free numbers may be more important to your business than free call blocking. Grasshopper utilizes cell phones rather than landlines.
  • 30-day, money back guarantee
  • 2,000 minutes per month for $49
  • 2 toll-free/local numbers
  • Unlimited extensions
  • Free activation
  • Receive voicemails via email
  • No required hardware
  • Call forwarding and screening
 What has your experience been with phone systems in the workplace? Have you tried any of these web services? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.