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Mitel MiCloud Business

Mitel MiCloud Business (which begins at $19.99 per user per month) is a great choice for small to midsized business (SMB) customers with a need for mobile workers. This slightly expensive Voice-over-IP (VoIP) platform puts heavy emphasis on mobile teams and collaboration. Price aside, the company does a great job of putting its best features forward and easing deployment and integration headaches for customers. Mitel MiCloud Business’s strong core VoIP capabilities, combined with a powerful softphone and mobile app plus its unique built-in collaboration features, land it an Editors’ Choice nod alongside RingCentral Office (for Business) in this roundup.

Pricing and Plans

Mitel MiCloud Business begins at $19.99 per user per month for the Essentials plan, which gives you all of the basic VoIP and call control features, but without the MiTeam Collaboration component that really drives the value for the product. The Essentials plan gets you calling features, inbound phone lines, hold music, and voicemail-to-email forwarding, and one connected device per user.

The Premier plan, which costs $24.99 per user per month, adds internal MiTeam collaboration, parallel ringing, desktop and mobile softphone access, unlimited calling, and two connected devices. This tier is where the real value starts, at just $5 more than the entry-level plan. Finally there’s the 29.99 per user per month Elite plan, which allots four connected devices per user plus Microsoft Exchange and customer relationship management (CRM) integration, plus access to the Mitel unified inbox, deeper analytics, and collaboration not only with team members but outside the organization as well.

Most importantly, Mitel doesn’t tie you to one pricing tier for all of the users in your business. On the pricing page, you can choose how many users you want to add at each pricing tier and submit the total for an estimated cost. This kind of pricing breakdown allows a business to pay less for the users who only need calling and VoIP features, while making sure specific teams have collaboration capabilities and maybe shelling out a few Elite licenses for executives or salespeople who need multiple connected devices and CRM integration.

Setup and Interface

MiCloud Business setup differs based on licenses, connected devices, and organization size. Mitel is a business communications hardware and software provider, and has its own selection of business phones available, which come pre-configured for the MiCloud Business VoIP service. The selection of hardware includes IP desktop phones, SIP phones, analog, cordless, and Voice-over-Wi-Fi devices, conference phones, and VoIP adapters. There’s also a downloadable softphone client for desktop, and more importantly the MiCloud mobile apps for Android and iOS, which you can download from the app store but need an SMS activation text from your IT administrator before you can configure the app on your smartphone.

Mitel is working on scaling the product up for enterprises, but currently focuses on businesses of 500 employees or less with a “sweet spot” of 100 employees or less, according to the company. The MiCloud Business web interface is fairly basic. After logging into the home screen, you see a system status panel with green check marks or red x’s for a quick spot-check to make sure your admin page, SIP trunks (if applicable), analytics, billing portal, network services, and SMS service are up and running. Below that are any service notifications sent since you last logged in.

There are two views within the web dashboard: admin and user, depending on your permissions. Admins can toggle between the two on the top right of the screen. The admin view gives you six tabs across the top navigation bar: services, support, organization, user administration, function numbers, and devices. This is where IT can configure and manage everything from call monitoring and queues to the user directory, interactive voice response (IVR) numbers, schedules, and devices. It’s a simple, straightforward interface and I had no trouble finding various settings, such as configuring which user groups should pick up specific types of calls, and the workflow for placing callers in queues, setting on-hold music, and setting up call forwarding and voicemail rules.

The user view is similar to the clean, intentionally sparse layout of the Phone.com and web interface. Instead of the admin options, the top navigation bar included tabs for inbox, services, support, contacts, conferencing, and call log. On the left is another drop-down menu laid out the same way as in 1-VoIP Residential, with quick access to the most commonly used features: applications (where you can access the desktop softphone), working hours and extended working hours, Send SMS, helpdesk tickets, user profile, and the My Homepage screen where you can manage “presence,” meaning current role and status. The web dashboard I tested hadn’t yet been updated to the new, more modern interface available on mobile—which is where Mitel MiCloud Business really shines.

The Mitel MiCloud Business app was impressive in the level of functionality it reproduces on mobile. This is where I was able to test some of the newer features including MiTeam collaboration and Future Presence. When you open the app, it takes you to a modern-looking Contacts screen with user thumbnails and profile information. When you swipe to the left, it brings up the main navigation menu with a full array of mobile-optimized features. From here, you can access contacts, your profile, chats and SMS, the softphone dialer, call log, the MiTeam feed, call forwarding, settings, and Future Presence, which automatically sets your status to available or busy depending on whether you’re travelling. The next section will break down how the mobile features work, but by sheer amount of features available in a mobile-optimized experience, Mitel offered among the best mobile VoIP apps I tested, along with Phone.com and the revamped Vonage app.

Calling, Collaboration, and VoIP Features

After testing out both the web and mobile interfaces, I found there was a natural breakdown to Mitel MiCloud Business. You have to configure all of the settings, user preferences, and profile information on desktop, but when it comes to actually sending messages, making calls, and communicating with team members, I gravitated more toward the mobile experience.

In the Contacts list within the mobile app, MiCloud Business has baked in predictive search that allowed me to quickly find contacts without scrolling and star them to add to favorites, which is Mitel’s version of speed dial. There is click-to-call, text, or chat (in MiTeam) functionality from the contact’s profile to the softphone. In voice and video calls themselves, there’s a control panel at the bottom of the screen with basic mute and volume controls. Then on desktop, if you have agent permissions, you can switch to the attendant view, which mimics someone sitting at a reception desk and gives you the option to route calls into different groups and queues, similar to the Reception dashboard in VoIPstudio.

Call recording is not always on by default; you can click the record button to record specific calls, and Mitel will email you a WAV file with the recording. In terms of transcription, the company has a Contact Center add-on that does speech-to-text, but the capability isn’t offered within MiCloud Business. The platform does give you detailed call logs, fraud detection, and agent statistics for admins as part of call control management. The reception view gives you stats on how many calls are queued up, what agents are available and busy, and stats on average call duration, agent groups, etc.

For the moment there’s no drag-and-drop functionality in that aspect of MiCloud Business. Mitel said drag-and-drop call routing features are coming this year, but you can find more dynamic capabilities on that front in the interactive dial plan editor offered by Jive Hosted VoIP.

Another feature worth mentioning is activity forwarding, which allows you to set a custom phone number or forward calls to another desk phone. You can set custom actions based on a particular activity, and coordinate that with Future Presence if you know you’ll be out at a meeting or indisposed during a certain time period. VoIP and call management features aside, it’s the team collaboration and task management elements that make Mitel MiCloud Business unique.

In a way, MiTeam was reminiscent of the way Microsoft Teams works, but with some Asana-like workflow management tools thrown in. The idea is that employees working in MiCloud can simply tab over to MiTeam instead of opening another collaboration or messaging app for internal communication and work tracking. The collaboration features are embedded within the call control client.

When you click or tap into the MiTeam tab, the first thing you see is a “Stream,” which gives you a real-time feed of all of the actions and messages from other users on your team. You can create streams for different projects as well, and as in Microsoft Teams it also gives you a persistent environment with chat, pages, multimedia attachments, and to-do items associated with that team and accessible by tabbing over within a stream. You can also start an impromptu conference within your MiTeam Stream with one click, which can be voice-only, video with screen share, or a dial-in conference call.

Depending on your license (Premier or Elite) you’ll either see internal-only communication or both internal and external messages within MiTeam. Admins can manage all of the users added to a particular stream from their mobile devices, and from this single screen can also assign tasks and due dates to specific users. For a VoIP application, that’s some pretty powerful embedded project management.

An All-In-One Business Communication App

Mitel also offers an extensive collection of CRM integrations, a bonus on top of an already flush set of business capabilities. MiCloud Office integrates with 15 different CRM platforms, including Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional, SugarCRM, Oracle Sales Cloud, Infusionsoft, Zoho CRM. There’s also an integration with helpdesk provider Zendesk. In totality, only RingCentral and Skype offer a wider selection of pre-built business integrations.

Mitel MiCloud Business is a powerful mobile-optimized VoIP and unified communications tool for SMBs. It’s not lacking for any core calling, messaging, multimedia, or call configuration and management capabilities. MiCloud Office is not a perfect platform, and licensing costs can get expensive if you’ve got a growing number of employees, but its mobile functionality is unmatched in this roundup and the built-in MiTeam collaboration and project management is an extremely useful innovation for a business VoIP experience. As a comprehensive VoIP and communications platform that can handle the evolving way business users work, Mitel MiCloud Business is an Editors’ Choice.

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