RingCentral review: How the VoIP provider delivers strong features for small businesses – Fortune

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Connecting 5 million users across the globe, RingCentral is arguably one of the largest voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) providers. There’s a reason for its success. Boasting over 300 integrations with third-party software solutions and a wide array of communications features, RingCentral provides small businesses with critical tools. Are you in need of multiple types of virtual numbers? Do you want a service that has top-tier app support? What about call handling features? RingCentral has you covered in all of these regards. 

Overall, RingCentral is an all-in-one solution that bolsters the communications stacks of multiple types of small businesses. While its claim to fame is cloud-based telephony, you’ll find that it covers a wide range of unified communications (UC) features as well. Video conferencing, team chat with presence, and fax are all available. RingCentral offers both volume and annual discounts, which makes it an affordable solution as well. All rates and fees are current as of May 29, 2024, and are subject to change. 

RingCentral

Price: Starting at $30 per user, per month (discounts available)
Features: VoIP calling, video conferencing, internet fax…
Best add-ons: Toll-free or local phone numbers, international phone numbers…
Noteworthy integrations: Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, Slack, Zoho, Zendesk, and Mailchimp
The RingCentral logo.

Pros

  • More than 300 third-party integrations
  • 99.999% service-level agreement (SLA)
  • Operates across multiple endpoints seamlessly
  • Deep-dive analytics tools with reporting

Cons

  • Expensive pricing plans before discounts
  • All features not available in first tier
  • Customer service slow to respond

RingCentral is an agile solution for most businesses that need a coordinated communications system. With its wide array of communication channels, most users find that the VoIP service offers enough tools to communicate with customers, partners, and colleagues. For example, with its native integrations with customer resource management solutions, managing customer data is simple and will help your agents have easy access to information about each caller.
Additionally, communicating with colleagues is simplified thanks to the UC features of the provider. Calling a colleague through the VoIP app allows you to upgrade the call to a video conference with a click. This bolsters collaboration, which is important for sales teams looking to strategize and close deals. For similar collaboration, team chat is also a useful feature available to subscribers.

RingCentral is far from the best solution for very small teams or solopreneurs. These types of businesses might feel that there’s a feature bloat that’s not compatible with small companies that only need a telephone system. While the telephony aspect of RingCentral’s overall service is excellent, having features, such as video conferencing, team chat, and numerous integrations might be overkill for those just starting.
From a pricing perspective, RingCentral gets expensive relatively quickly, even with the volume and annual discounts. Without discounts, the $30 price is expensive, especially when taking into consideration other telephony-specific solutions, such as Grasshopper and Google Voice. These providers have plans that are much more solopreneur-friendly.

RingCentral service plan overview

RingCentral has a three-plan system with available volume and annual discounts that cover a wide variety of business sizes. Base plans include interactive voice response (IVR) menus, visual voicemail, and basic integrations. The number of video conferencing attendees, integrations, and overall features increase as you scale up available plan tiers.

Plans Free trial or plan available? Features Pricing
Core Yes, 30 days Business or toll-free number included
100 toll-free minutes
On-demand call recording
Up to 100 video meeting participants
$30 per month, per user
Advanced Yes, 30 days [1,000 toll-free minutes
Advanced call routing
Automatic/on-demand call recording
Unlimited internet fax
$35 per month, per user
Ultra Yes, 30 days 10,000 toll fee minutes
Advanced call routing
Up to 200 video meeting participants
Unlimited file, message, and recording storage
$45 per month, per user
Core
Yes, 30 days
Business or toll-free number included
100 toll-free minutes
On-demand call recording
Up to 100 video meeting participants
$30 per month, per user
Advanced
Yes, 30 days
[1,000 toll-free minutes
Advanced call routing
Automatic/on-demand call recording
Unlimited internet fax
$35 per month, per user
Ultra
Yes, 30 days
10,000 toll fee minutes
Advanced call routing
Up to 200 video meeting participants
Unlimited file, message, and recording storage
$45 per month, per user

Best RingCentral VoIP plan for small businesses: Core

A small business that’s starting to grow and needs features to support its growth will be best served by selecting the Core plan. This plan costs $30 per user, per month and includes unlimited calling within the United States and Canada as well as SMS and MMS texting. As 97% of Americans own cell phones, having a means to communicate with them quickly is invaluable.

In addition to these tools, the Core plan has 100-attendee video conferencing and team chat. This reduces the need for external solutions, such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Slack. RingCentral is one of the few providers with IVR in its base plan. Unlike an auto attendant, which provides a menu system for call handling, IVR is more advanced and provides voice prompts and self-service options. This helps a small business appear more professional to its customers. 

Pros

  • 99.999% SLA
  • 24/7 customer support
  • High-definition (HD) voice and video conferencing
  • Visual voicemail/ voicemail transcriptions
  • Subscription includes a business or toll-free number

Cons

  • Only offers on-demand call recording
  • No advanced call monitoring features included
  • Storage for files, messages, and recordings is not unlimited at this tier
  • Not all industry-specific integrations available at this tier

Other services RingCentral offers 

Aside from its baseline cloud telephony abilities, RingCentral also offers multiple features for those looking to bolster their communications profile. These include:

  • Video conferencing: Its video conferencing solution is for up to 200 attendees. Meetings have chat, screen sharing, whiteboarding, and collaborative notes.
  • RingSense AI: RingSense is an artificial intelligence (AI) solution used to create summaries and transcripts for meetings. Keywords are also searchable in transcripts.
  • Internet faxing: With RingCentral, you can send communications using e-fax. Internet faxing doesn’t require a traditional fax machine since it uses the RingCentral app.
  • Contact center tools: RingCentral offers a dedicated contact center as a service (CCaaS) solution. With it, you’ll have call monitoring features and support for larger agent groups. 
  • RingCentral Rooms: This service uses a hardware partnership with Logitech, Poly, and Yealink to provide the optimal meeting environment. The supplied devices are easy to set up and manage.
  • RingCentral Webinars: RingCentral’s webinar platform is easy to use and has features that include polls, an AI writer, transcription, translated Q&As, and universal browser support. 

The RingCentral platform and customer support 

RingCentral’s system is fairly intuitive when it comes to user interface (UI) and design. We found traversal of the website and app to be easy, but getting set up and acclimated to using RingCentral does require some time. Thankfully, there is an implementation session for new subscribers to utilize that only takes an hour. RingCentral University also helps with the navigation of the platform.

Custom support is offered to subscribers of all tiers 24/7. Phone, chat, email, social media, and the community support page are all viable options for getting support for your phone system needs and answers to your inquiries.

Is RingCentral secure?

There are several methods in which RingCentral ensures that communication on the platform is secure. First, it  uses all of the standard encryption methodologies to protect data as it’s being sent on its platform and as it’s at rest. These include transport layer security (TLS) for data packets as they travel and AES-256 encryption for the data on the server and local systems.

In addition to these, RingCentral also uses end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for video conferences. With E2EE, both sender and receiver generate automatic encryption keys so that any data packets transferred are highly secure. As a result, video conferences using E2EE are protected from modification and eavesdropping, resulting in heightened confidentiality. 

RingCentral user reviews

Overall, the user experience with RingCentral has been positive, giving praise to the quality of calls. On Software Advice, this provider was given a rating of 4.2 out of 5. Users liked how intuitive the interface is and how easy it is to set up. Many also liked that the phone system is reliable with an SLA of 99.999%. Most of the drawbacks found in user reviews have to do with the price of the plans before discounts and the occasional slowness of receiving a customer service response.

Compare RingCentral alternatives

The RingCentral logo.RingCentral The Nextiva logo.Nextiva The Grasshopper logo.Grasshopper
Starting pricing Starting pricing Starting pricing
$30 $25.95 $18
Unlimited domestic calling and texting? Unlimited domestic calling and texting? Unlimited domestic calling and texting?
Yes Yes Yes
International calling supported? International calling supported? International calling supported?
Yes Yes Yes
Read our Grasshopper review

Is RingCentral right for you?

For a well-rounded and feature-rich VoIP solution, RingCentral is a very competitive choice. With multiple channels in which to communicate, extensive business integrations, and great scalability, there are very few small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that couldn’t benefit from a RingCentral subscription. 

While it’s not the best solution for solopreneurs without high call volumes, it’s good for those planning for growth. It’s also one of the few providers offering all virtual number types, which helps businesses expand and maintain in new and existing markets. RingCentral has a 30-day free trial to help you explore the features of the platform ranging from calling features to in-depth analytics.

Frequently asked questions

What type of business is RingCentral best for?

RingCentral is best for customer-facing businesses looking to make the experience more efficient. By default, even the base tier of RingCentral includes an IVR system. This means that a company can employ self-service menus for their customers easily, which saves time and frustration for the customer and frees agents up to tackle more difficult queries.

Is RingCentral the same as Zoom?

No, RingCentral isn’t the same as Zoom, but both have similarities since Zoom also has its own VoIP/UC-as-a-service (UCaaS) platform. Still, despite the presence of Zoom Phone, Zoom is more focused on video conferencing for customers and RingCentral is more focused on being an agile communication platform. Similar to Zoom, it has a built-in video conference solution but also has features, such as e-fax, which is available only through Zoom’s partners.

Is there a free version of RingCentral?

No, at this time, there is no free version of RingCentral, though RingCentral Video does have a free tier called Video Pro. 

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