What is RingCentral?
RingCentral was founded in 2003 and for about 20 years it has remained one of the best business VoIP services for companies of various sizes. This platform provides robust functionality and offers perfect feature sets for small, medium, and large enterprises. RingCentral MVP (Message, Video, Phone app) can’t be called a budget solution. Its pricing ranges from $29.99 to $59.99 user/month if paid monthly. This can be a grave drawback for small businesses because user-based subscriptions are usually more expensive than monthly payments - with the growing number of employees their cost also gets higher.
Still, RingCentral retains a large number of clients that name it the #1 service for online meetings and collaboration. Why so?
- It’s an all-in-one platform that combines all necessary features for productive remote work - audio and video conferences, instant messaging, a call center solution, and team collaboration tools.
- It’s a multi-platform service available on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
- The app can be used as a remote business phone system that includes many useful tools for call management and customer service.
These are great but we can’t but mention several drawbacks you may face while using RingCentral:
- Some users complain about the ineffective support they receive from the company. Its customer service works slowly and it often takes days to resolve clients’ issues.
- Several features can be hard to use and set up (online fax or multi-level IVR).
- There may be glitches with texting and user interface inconsistencies between the app versions for various devices.
Although RingCentral may become a suitable option for your business, many other services for business communications offer similar functionality but at a lower price. And some of them can boast unique features that you won’t find on other platforms.
6 fantastic RingCentral alternatives
Before we start, it’s important to note that the market offers a huge number of apps for business calls, virtual conferencing, and remote communication. So it was really hard to decide which of them are better than the others. Our team has tested all promising candidates for a month and now we are delighted to share the results we got. Let’s start!
Whoosh is a brand-new name among apps for business conference calls. But this doesn’t mean it’s less professional than its competitors. The app boasts of an innovative approach to video calls, aimed at making them comfortable for everyone and bringing as close to face-to-face meetings as possible. To achieve this goal, the Whoosh team has developed software with artificial intelligence, which is capable of improving the way the camera shows meeting participants by applying touch-up tools, virtual backgrounds, and other smart features. As for its price, the app includes a free plan with all necessary tools for productive online communication. The paid plans are available at an affordable price ($14.99 user/month) and offer additional features, such as advanced support, business analytics, and custom integrations.
Other key features include:
- Unlimited calling to any corner of the globe
- AI-driven meetings with up to 500 participants
- Full-HD video and supreme sound quality with background noise reduction and separate audio streams
- AR content: masks, touch up your look, 3D backgrounds, photorealistic avatars
- AI-powered tools: gesture and pulse recognition, smart scheduling assistant, Mementos (short video mashups)
- Cloud recordings with transcriptions
- Cross-platform support: macOS, Windows, iPhone, Android
- Integrations with popular services: CRMs, cloud storage, marketing, and business platforms
Why is it better?
Whoosh can boast of several unique features aimed at an outstanding online experience during every video call. Moreover, it offers a user-friendly interface, AI and AR tools, high-quality business calls, and features for hosting interactive presentations and webinars - screen sharing, virtual whiteboard, mini-games, quizzes, and weatherman layout - everything to make any online event engaging and memorable.
If you look for companies like RingCentral, Nextiva is its closest competitor. They both are VoIP providers with four subscription plans. And both have a large audience.
Nextiva was founded in 2006 and since then it has helped over 150,000 different companies all across the U.S. It’s a perfect option for a business of any size, from a small startup to a global enterprise, providing features that perfectly suit all team’s demands.
What it offers:
- VoIP phone service: cloud-based software with helpdesk and sales CRM, 24/7 customer support, TLS & SRTP encryption, free toll-free numbers, virtual voicemail, and auto-attendant
- AI-powered contact center: SMS, email, voice, video, and live chat texting
- HD video and audio conferencing: screen and file sharing, live streams, scheduling
- Call Pop: this feature allows agents to receive information about the caller before or during the conversation
- Integrations: Microsoft and Google apps, Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zendesk
Why is it better?
The major difference between Nextiva and RingCentral can be found in their subscription plans. Nextiva offers volume discounts that can be highly convenient for a developing company. For example, for teams with 1-4 active users, the subscription to the Essential plan starts from $30.95 user/month, while with 100+ members this cost decreases to $24.95. What is more, Nextiva allows an unlimited number of participants in its Enterprise plan.
Grasshopper is widely known as an optimal solution for entrepreneurs and small business owners. It’s a convenient service for remote work and collaboration within a team and with customers. This platform offers multiple tiers billed monthly or annually, and the price doesn’t depend on the number of active users. Its pricing ranges from $29 (Solo plan) to $89 (Small Business plan).
Unlike RingCentral, which combines the features of a calling system with UC, Grasshopper focuses primarily on phone-based business communication.
It offers the following features:
- Separate business and private phone numbers
- Smart Ruby Receptionist: either a live human or an auto-attendant capable of handling your incoming calls.
- Messaging: SMS, virtual fax, instant responses
- Calling tools: forwarding, voicemail transcription, simultaneous call handling, call transfer
- VoIP and WiFi local, domestic, and international calling
- Mobile and desktop app
Why is it better?
Grasshopper has a clear intuitive design and onboarding that helps you quickly get your bearings and find all necessary tools in a matter of seconds. Moreover, its pricing is a bit budget-friendly, in comparison to RingCentral. Ruby Receptionist, unlimited text, domestic calls, and voicemail transcriptions - this all scores additional points to Grasshopper.
8x8 is the oldest company on our list, being founded in 1987. However, they transformed into a VoIP provider only at the beginning of ‘00. This service has more than one million users all across the globe thanks to the possibility of making international calls for no additional cost to 48 countries and 200+ destinations at low rates. The service prices start at $15 per user/month, while the most expensive option comes in at $140. It may sound too heavy in comparison with RingCentral, but here you’re allowed to set up unlimited international calls all across the US and Canada, talk via live chat and SMS, use video conferencing, auto-attendant, business hours, and more at its cheapest plan.
What else does it offer:
- HD audio and video conference calls with up to 500 participants
- Conference call-in, call-out from 50+ countries
- 11 toll-free numbers
- Virtual backgrounds (including custom)
- Cloud recordings: video, audio, desktop screen
- Mobile browser support
- Integrations with other services: calendars, CRMs, YouTube Live streaming, Microsoft Teams, and others
- High-end web security: end-to-end encryption, advanced moderation controls
Why is it better?
8x8 offers a prolonged free trial for a full month, in comparison with the 15 days granted by RingCentral. Also, this app offers more advanced features at a lower price - auto-attendant, real-time analytics, and built-in reporting. And, of course, its unlimited international calls at an affordable price is another good reason to choose 8x8 over RingCentral.
Vonage is truly rich in VoIP features, offering more than 50 tools, including group messaging, upscale phone calling, video conferencing, and file sharing. This service is trusted by more than 100,000 businesses worldwide, including Domino’s, DHL, Zipcar, and MedXM.
Vonage provides an unusual structure of paid plans: subscribing to the first tier, you are given access to virtual phone service, while subsequent plans offer more advanced features, providing unified communications. This is highly convenient for developing businesses: when a company grows, the service can smartly adapt to these changes.
Its main features include:
- 50+ unified communications tools available on desktop and mobile apps
- Calling features: recordings, waiting, forwarding, call flip, routing, cell phone integration, monitoring, screening, Do Not Disturb mode, call announce, and more
- Video and audio conference calls
- AI virtual assistant capable of answering incoming calls
- Messaging: business SMS, voicemails with transcripts, team messaging
- Vonage Support PLUS: integrations, hardware installation, technical issues fixing
Why is it better?
Having more than 50 VoIP and UC features, Vonage is a robust solution for any business. If we don’t take into account extra charges for tech support and additional toll-free numbers, Vonage outperforms RingCentral in video and audio quality, the number of available tools, and calling capabilities. Moreover, Vonage offers more integrations at its basic plan, while RingCentral takes an additional charge for the access to integrations.
And the last option on our list (but not on the market) is Dialpad. It’s another robust alternative to RingCentral with its unique features and benefits. This app is famous for its high-quality sound and clear interface, which enticed its largest clients: Stripe, Wework, HubSpot, and Uber.
During the last several years, this service has been adopting artificial intelligence and has become one of the leading VoIP providers. Their main achievement got the name Voice Intelligence. It’s capable of engaging with customers by using machine learning and natural language processing.
Dialpad is cloud-based and cooperates with the Google Cloud Platform, allowing its users to store all the data on the web.
What else does it offer:
- HD video and audio conferencing with up to 100 participants
- Integrations with a large number of popular services: Slack, Salesforce, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Kustomer, Zoom, and more
- Call controls: forwarding, transfer, mute, hold
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, voicemails with transcriptions, virtual fax
- Voice Intelligence: for agents to improve their productivity, sales, provide more effective customer service, and reduce call time by analyzing past interactions
- Seamless work across devices
- Call recording
- 24/7 support (better at higher-tier plans)
Why is it better?
Dialpad offers cheaper plans than RingCentral, starting from $15 per user/month. Moreover, its starter plans include more advanced features, including many integrations, unlimited calls, messages, and call controls. Thanks to its modern interface, professional web security, and leading-edge AI tools (Voice Intelligence), this platform can be an excellent substitute for RingCentral.
You can find many similar lists on the web - alternatives to Zoom, alternatives to Skype, or alternatives to Webex. It doesn’t matter which option you’re looking for without a clear understanding of what you and your business team want an ideal platform to look like, which features to contain, and which purpose to serve.
That’s why we recommend compiling a list of necessary features your work and daily tasks require. After that, you can take our solutions for a test drive and decide which one perfectly suits your demands.
And the last thing: don’t forget about free trials. It’s always better to try basic features before paying money for a service that may appear far from perfect.