Choosing a telephone system for a micro business

This is actually my self-help note that may have value to other small businesses or self-employed people:

Facts underlying my decision about a small business telephone system:

  1. Small business phone systems today include a lot more today than manage calls. The market is highly fragmented. The complexity that I mostly do not need actually creates a barrier to my decision making now.
  2. My #1 unmet need is the ability to effortlessly manage TEXT MSSAGING across various devices and phone numbers and keep records/notes of text conversations in my CRM (Pipedrive in my case).
  3. Microsoft (Skype, Teams) lacks ability to port in existing U.S. telephone numbers and is therefore eliminated as a possible provider even tough Windows 11 promises to offer this integration that I seek in the near future.
  4. Google (Meet, Voice) lacks the integration that I seek.
  5. The phone company I recently left (Simplii) has fantastic customer service and all the integration that I seek but accomplished this through third party software, apps and browser extension that felt clunky to use.
  6. My CRM (Pipedrive) offers integrated call service as a low cost ($300 annual upgrade) to add calling but does not address the other integration.
  7. Other apps suggested for integration (like Twillio) have less than adequate reviews by small business users who appear to be overwhelmed by the complexity of getting the results they want.
  8. The #1 most popular small business telephone system in the U.S. is Ringcentral (with less than 3% market share indicating how scattered this market is) so I am considering going back to them.


My business/personal use includes 5 numbered lines:

personal cell

business 1 line

business 2 line

business 3 line


COST: My current cost is $2500 per year with 4 providers. Most of this cost is an out-of-date cellular service plan through Verizon Wireless that handles 2 of the lines for $1,900 per year.

The future cost is expected to be $1,240 with two providers.