A broad offering but one that could provide more pricing information for potential customers
Wide range of services available
Businesses have to contact AT&T for pricing plans
Higher international calling rates when compared with competitors
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AT&T can draw on almost 150 years of experience in the business world. In that time, the company has clearly learned a lot regarding the diversity of needs driving each customer decision. That really comes across when examining the company’s VoIP service offerings, as there are more than a few for businesses to consider.
This is our all-in-one roundup looking at the AT&T Business VoIP phone service. On this page, after our brief intro, you’ll find
(a) an overview of the many different VoIP services offered as part of AT&T Business
(b) a detailed breakdown of the company's hosted voice service, AT&T Phone for Business
(c) a review of AT&T's cloud voice service, AT&T Office@Hand
(d) a look at the service designed to integrate with legacy phone systems: Webex Calling with AT&T
(e) a rundown of any other services that fall under the AT&T Business service
(f) and an analysis of the voice transformation consulting service and the support it offers
You can jump to the review section that interests you most by clicking on the links in the bar at the top of this page, but bear in mind that this article is really designed to be read all the way through, as businesses will benefit from assessing the service in its entirety before deciding if it meets their needs.
Although the sheer breadth of different services available can be a little intimidating at first, the range is likely to be appreciated by most businesses, as they are likely to find a package - and a price plan to suit them. In particular, businesses that already use AT&T for either an existing phone or internet package will find that it is easy to add a VoIP service to their current deal. It is worth noting, however, that some customers have complained that this means the company's VoIP services can work out slightly more expensive if organizations do not want to sign up for a whole host of AT&T solutions.
Nevertheless, looking just at the company’s VoIP services, all the usual features are accounted for - including multiple lines and advanced collaboration features. Plus, the company’s security credentials and levels of customer service have both been highly praised.
As well as trusting AT&T’s reputation, larger organizations are likely to find the sheer breadth of VoIP services on offer appealing. Altogether, the company lists eight business VoIP services on its website, including: AT&T Phone for Business, AT&T Office@Hand; Webex Calling with AT&T, SIP Trunking, AT&T IP Toll-Free, Local and Long Distance, Voice Transformation Consulting, and Mobile Rate Plans. Each offering has its own list of features and pricing plans, so it’s recommended that businesses take their time before committing to any one particular solution.
Organizations that already have a relationship with AT&T may find that deciding which VoIP service to adopt is a little more straightforward (and cost-effective). In general, set-up costs are low but existing AT&T customers may find that it is significantly cheaper to bolt on a VoIP service rather than go with one of AT&T’s competitors.
In terms of the different services on offer, AT&T’s services run the gambit from a fully-fledged hosted VoIP service to a more basic analog phone service that comes with unlimited calling and a large selection of conventional calling features.
As with many other VoIP solutions, subscribers to AT&T Business VoIP won’t have to worry about maintenance or upgrades, as this is all provided by AT&T and takes place in the cloud. Changing services is straightforward and also takes place remotely.
AT&T Phone for Business
The first business VoIP offering from AT&T is titled: “AT&T Phone for Business” and offers a VoIP service for up to 6 lines using existing analog phones. As with all AT&T’s VoIP services, there are no advertised pricing plans for the company’s Phone for Business solutions. Organizations have to contact an AT&T representative to come up with a bespoke quote.
If businesses choose to go with AT&T Phone for Business, they will receive a secure service backed by a built-in firewall and virtual private network termination. Set-up is straightforward and the option of using pre-bought handsets is bound to appeal to smaller companies that want to keep costs to a minimum.
That brings us neatly to one particular drawback that has been noticed by some users of AT&T’s VoIP service. Some users have complained that international calling rates to some locations are more expensive when compared to other VoIP providers, so that’s something that businesses that have a lot of international clients or branches may want to evaluate.
Nevertheless, users of AT&T Phone for Business have praised the call quality and the level of support on offer, so the solution represents a good choice for businesses large and small, particularly if they are already using AT&T for another telecoms service.
Actually built upon RingCentral’s office VoIP solution, AT&T Office@Hand combines voice communication, fax, and text messaging through one phone number. By enabling employees to work anywhere, whether they prefer using a smartphone, tablet, softphone or desktop IP, they can remain productive even while on the move.
Office@Hand is available in three packages: Standard, Premium, and Enterprise. The Standard package starts from $25.40 per user, per month, and comes with unlimited user numbers, unlimited internet fax, 1000 toll-free minutes a month, and 100 HD video seats. The Premium package is priced at $36.25 per user, per month, and comes with additional toll-free minutes and more HD video seats, as well as automatic call recording and Salesforce integration. The Enterprise edition includes all this and more but is priced according to the specific terms of the contract.
In terms of features, Office@Hand users benefit from up to three company numbers (a local main number, a toll-free number, and a local number for faxes), unique extensions for each employee, conference bridges to enable team members to hold an unlimited number of conferences whenever they want, and app integration with the likes of Google, Zendesk and Microsoft Office 365.
Webex Calling with AT&T
Catering for the modern enterprise, which needs VoIP services to double as fully-fledged remote collaboration tools, Webex Calling with AT&T is another communications solution offered by the US telecoms giant. It is a global, cloud-based voice solution that can be integrated with legacy phone hardware as well as Cisco-based conferencing and collaboration solutions. Working together, AT&T and Cisco deliver an enterprise-ready cloud PBX, integrated with Cisco Webex Teams for business calling, meetings, and team collaboration.
The service offers VoIP phone functionality but with the option of integrating with AT&T’s portfolio of unified communications (UC) tools. A “per seat” consumption pricing model provides businesses with the flexibility to grow without facing exorbitant fees.
Webex Calling with AT&T comes with all the standard features that businesses might expect, including call forwarding, call parking, conferencing directories, single number reach, an IP desk phone and more. It also offers local, in-country phone numbers for 150+ countries and territories, along with 24/7 support, so the service makes a great choice for businesses with global reach.
In addition, Webex Calling with AT&T offers a flexible UC deployment approach that supports on-premises, cloud, and hybrid solutions and, of course, offers robust integration with Webex Teams. Organizations will find that having AT&T as a single point of contact for the design, implementation, upgrading, and ongoing support makes the maintenance of these services a lot more straightforward than having to communicate with different vendors.
Looking at some of the other VoIP services offered by AT&T, let’s start with SIP trunking. This allows firms to consolidate their voice and data with a SIP trunking solution that delivers outbound, inbound, local and long-distance calling. Advanced calling features for businesses utilizing existing on-premise telephony equipment are also provided and a web-based portal supplies performance reporting, call detail reporting, and facilitates e-ordering.
Moreover, the AT&T IP Toll-Free solution is a fantastic solution for businesses that want their customers to reach to be able to reach them without incurring usage charges. This in-bound toll free service is great for businesses undergoing digital transformation. With AT&T IP Toll-Free, calls originate in the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and travel over the AT&T MPLS network before being delivered to a router at your site. In addition, a number of mobility rate plans offer 5G connectivity to keep businesses up-to-speed with the latest connectivity solutions.
Altogether, these services add up to a huge range of options for businesses to consider. With information, particularly regarding pricing, not always clear online, businesses may find it easier to contact an AT&T representative in order to determine which solution is right for them.
Voice transformation consulting
One of the main reasons why businesses persist with traditional desk phones is that they are not entirely sure how to manage the transition to VoIP services. For larger organizations in particular, the process of migrating their many communication tools to a new VoIP system can be a little overwhelming. Fortunately, AT&T’s voice transformation consulting service helps ease migration and reduce complexity.
Some of the other benefits promised by AT&T’s consultancy service include a faster return on investment, optimized costs, and lower risk levels. Furthermore, AT&T supports users to integrate multi-vendor and interoperable services to provide added flexibility. The company is also on-hand to support a reduction in the amount of equipment being used and provide advice on how to scale VoIP services up and down to meet changing levels of demand.
Although VoIP solutions are relatively straightforward once set up, this doesn’t mean that businesses should rush into making a decision that could have a profound impact on the effectiveness of their communication. With AT&T voice transformation consulting, the planning, design, integration, deployment, and optimization of your VoIP solution is handled step-by-step. What’s more, AT&T manages the migration strategy, technology impact, financial justification, load testing, and service management.
Adopting a VoIP solution means moving away from traditional TDM and ISDN services to SIP trunking. In order to achieve this, AT&T’s consulting team provides a programmatic approach to SIP transformation, including full life cycle support from readiness to day-two service support. The first part of this involves a SIP readiness assessment, which identifies aspects of your architecture that may be impacted by SIP adoption. Other important aspects, including testing, piloting, and transformation planning are also taken care of - taking the stress out of VoIP adoption.
Our overall verdict
Overall, AT&T’s business VoIP offerings are well worth a look. Companies will find all the core features included, although it might take them a while to determining which service is the right one for them - other VoIP providers have adopted the less-is-more approach and that has certainly helped provide clarity of message.
Close integration with Webex is likely to be a major draw, particularly given the amount of remote collaboration that is currently taking place in offices around the world. And, the fact that organizations can receive a favorable price on their VoIP solutions if they are already using AT&T for other communications services is a nice bonus. Plus, whichever VoIP service that businesses ultimately decide on, they receive the kind of reliable offering that you’d expect to be delivered by as trustworthy a brand as AT&T.
- Want to compare AT&T Business to its rivals? Check out our guide to the best VoIP services available
Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services. After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.