RingCentral is a publicly traded company that has some pretty nifty feature in their web conferencing software. The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. They are based out of Belmont, CA and have offices all over the world, including Denver; Manila, Philippines; Xiamen, China; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Odessa in the Ukraine. They were founded in 1999. Their big investors include several big players in the finance industry, including Hermes Growth Partners and DAG Ventures. The company became publicly traded in 2013. RingCentral's awards and recognitions were big in getting company publicly founded. They were a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer in 2010. They also have won two Editor's Choice Awards from PC Magazine, were the 2009 Product of the Year in a major industry magazine, and have been recognized by CNET. With RingCentral, there are over 350,000 business customers that use their web conferencing services. You can easily manage the system from your smartphone or tablet. This company is very a Bring-Your-Own-Device culture, with iPhone, iPad, and Android capabilities. Finally, there are also cool features in the phone conferencing part of the service.
RingCentral is currently offering a price match. Find a better deal? RingCentral will match it.
- Free trial
- Plan options
We honestly felt that RingCentral was one of the leaders in the industry. They have a service feature called "Sophisticated Call Management," SCM, which lets you build your phone settings across the company, regardless of whether your users are in the office or surfing off a beach in Hawaii. There are custom features that make admin and user configurations easy. Here are all the cool features that come with the "SCM" component of the service:
- Answering Rules, Call Forwarding, and Call Transfer.
- Call Screening, Call Flips, and Call Logs.
- Figure out where your agents are if they are working remotely.
- Notifications, shared lines, call parking and holding.
Additionally, the call management feature can turn your agents' mobile devices into an intercom or feature...way cool!
The video conferencing features of RingCentral are also pretty nifty. You can hold HD conferences with up to 50 participants in the Enterprise edition. You can easily eliminate your capital overhead by not ever having to purchase a separate video service ever again. RingCentral Meetings® can be done, with video, at no additional charge when you purchase the service.
We want a web conferencing service to enable facilitators, and RingCentral does just that. With RingCentral, you can share your presentations right off your desktop or mobile device. This makes it easy to do training...wherever you or your agents are. There's not need to worry about bulky document storage either, since Box and Dropbox work awesome for storing your files for a meeting in RingCentral.
Let's say that you want to have some physical phones that integrate with your RingCentral system. In the Internet Telephony industry, you often have to purchase bulky equipment that can quickly become obsolete. RingCentral has a partnership that let's you rent your phones, already VoIP ready, that easily integrate with your monthly subscription.
In this industry, it is really important for you to take a service out for a test drive before committing. RingCentral has 30-day free trials for all of their different subscription levels, letting you try this product with no commitment.
Let's say that you want to expand your RingCentral system. We found that you can do the following:
- Add toll free numbers at $4.99 per month each.
- Additional fax numbers at $4.99 per month each.
- Get an additional vanity number for a $30 one-time fee.
- Additional international numbers and fax numbers at $5.99 per month and $14.99 per month.
For the VoIP component of this service, you can add to your system to go global.
When we reviewed this company, we also felt like they gave small businesses the ability to go global. Each of the different plans comes with a high number of international minutes per user:
If you go over your minutes, no worries. Each additional international minute will cost you about $.3 per minute. This is a much better rate than if your company uses Google Hangouts and Voice to call international numbers.
We didn't have too much bad to say about RingCentral. The platform does start to get a little bit expensive as you add more users. We were concerned that you might get "bumped up" in service levels as you added users, so this is something to look out for when you start using this product. Several users reported being charged the Enterprise subscription, which totals up to be around $900 a month.
Another problem that we had with RingCentral was the lack of automatic call recording for the Standard subscription. You should be able to record all your calls if you are paying for a service. Google Hangouts is free and you can record your calls and video conferences at no extra cost. This is a feature that should be included with the Standard subscription.
We didn't like the fact that RingCentral does try to get you a PBX (physical phone system) with your RingCentral subscription. There is a form on their website that prompts you for information on your physical phone system, getting you to purchase or rent physical phones. Why? If you regularly use your computer or smartphone/tablet for VoIP calls, you don't need the additional phones.
The Bottom Line
Overall, we recommend RingCentral wholeheartedly. Be wary of the subscription tiers. If you grow your business from 5 to 20 people, for example, you will be bumped up to the Enterprise-level subscription, which is really expensive. Additionally, we don't like the push to buy physical phones with these guys.
However, the system is great. It features US-based support. We also felt that the user interface with RingCentral beat out much of the competition's "Mickey Mouse" interfaces that look like they come from the 1990s. We would tell businesses to give RingCentral a try, you might be really surprised...and the high prices might not be that much of a problem.