Ooma Office is a cloud-based business VoIP service with an extensive local hardware support. Ooma Office is based on a Linux computer specially built to support phone traffic. The advantages of having an actual computer instead of just an adapter are numerous: from a high customizability to improved call quality, especially within the network. The Linux-based computer consists of a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of NAND flash memory. The whole hardware configuration is designed to support instant changes in network size and services supported. Additionally, there is a USB port which can handle any larger amount of data such as recorded voicemail, large phonebooks or other information.
Ooma includes plenty of features already included in its basic plan of $20/Mo. per user. Along with it, you can buy custom hardware depending on the size of your business and its telephony needs. The main hardware package is $200 bundle for one base station computer and two Linx smart adapters. Linx are smart ATAs that can dock any corded or cordless analog phone, including even rotary dial ones. This adapter connects with the base station wirelessly, so you can place it anywhere within your premises.
If you want to use IP phones, you will need to choose among the three models offered directly from the provider (two from Cisco and one from Yealink) as well as a Yealink conference phone. A Linx adapter can support one telephone or fax machine, and one base station supports up to 4 Linx adapters. The option to bring your own devices doesn't exist.
The provider has a simple pricing and just one plan which includes all standard features. There are four addons charged as extras, but those are cheaper than with most of their competitors.
You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Ooma Office and Ooma Office for Mobile to see if the service suits your business needs. This includes any kind of hardware offered through Ooma’s online store.
All the features small businesses rely on are already there, plus a few extras you can pay additionally on a monthly basis.
The service offers free unlimited calls within the US and Canada, free number porting, caller ID and support for affordable toll-free numbers for every user. Core business features span from a virtual receptionist, auto attendant, after hours attendant, free hold music, virtual fax, ring group and call transferring. Conference bridge also comes free, though the call conferencing feature requires an additional fee.
There are device-specific features for mobile and IP phone devices.
Mobility features: Call and voicemail forwarding, multiring and virtual extension features.
One touch IP phone features: Three-way conferencing, call waiting and call holding, call transferring, extension dialing, do-not-disturb.
Unfortunately, Ooma does not include some advanced options such as call supervision, whispering, barge-in and incognito/spy mode for admins. Neither there are call recording options. Owing to that, and the dependence on hardware, this service is not really suitable for large businesses. Ooma is strictly geared towards small businesses or medium businesses where a large proportion of communication with most external stakeholders goes through a dedicated department with several lines and extensions.
The Web interface of this provider offers adjustments such as adding or removing users, extensions and ring groups, certain call management possibilities such as auto attendant which uses text-to-speech conversion to make custom greetings for callers. This simple interface does not require much computer skills nor training.
Ooma Office station is a screenless computer which doesn't have any direct interface beyond a couple of necessary buttons and ports. Instead, its options and settings are accessed through the Web portal.
Quality and Reception
Ooma Office’s infrastructure caters mainly for small businesses, so their website doesn’t include any notable references nor success stories with Fortune 500 or other corporate clients. Small businesses mainly praise the service and support, though many complain that their communication with Ooma largely depends on the quality of their Internet connection. However, with a 30-day free trial you can see if your infrastructure is good enough for Ooma.
There is only one plan distributed under the Ooma Office nameplate which goes or $20 for the first line and extension within an organization. Any additional phone line costs $10. Dedicated hardware is a must for desktop communication, and the gear which supports two lines via analog phones costs $200 on promotion ($250 is the regular price, though promotions are quite frequent). Prices of IP-enabled hardware are relatively low, so an entry-level Yealik IP phone goes for $70. Unfortunately, there is no option to lease hardware from Ooma. All devices are delivered as pre-configured and setup is a breeze.
The mobile suite is not dependant on any additional hardware, all you need is a connected Android or iOS smartphone.
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Every Ooma subscriber can count on 24/7 phone support, live chat on the Web and email tickets. What makes Ooma distinctive is a discussion board where users can help each other and also get answers from the provider's staff, request and propose some new features, bundles, and solutions.
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