RingCentral versus Vonage Business VoIP

You've decided that now is the time to buy in VoIP for your business. Good choice - it means that your business gets a brilliant new phone system. You're also future-proofing your communications.

There are so many good business VoIP providers for you to choose from. In this article, we're pitting two of America's heavyweights against each other. Who scores best for your business? Where should your company's hard-earned cash go?

It's Vonage Business VoIP versus RingCentral Business VoIP

How do we decide who's better? We look at four crucial factors common to all business VoIP - basic features, pricing, integration, and customer support.

Black voip phone ready to streamline your business

Basic Features

These are the things that we consider absolutely essential for any business VoIP. They are:

Virtual Receptionist- This feature means that your call is answered by an automatic switchboard. You get a greeting and are given options on which department you want to speak with. It saves time and money for your company, reducing the need for extra reception workers. Both Vonage Business and RingCentral provide this free with their services, so it’s a score draw on virtual receptionists. Additional cost $0-$0.

Time-Based Call Routing- This incredibly useful feature allows you to route inbound calls to wherever you are, based upon what day and time it is. You might want your calls routed to a particular member of staff on a particular night. With this, you can do that. The great news is that both companies provide this for free in their packages. Additional cost $0-$0.

Toll Free Numbers- An 800 number can add as much as 30% more volume to your inbound inquiries. For many businesses, they're indispensable inbound marketing tools, encouraging potential customers to get in contact without losing out on the call cost. Toll free numbers are offered by both Vonage and RingCentral, but they do charge a monthly fee for the number.  Additional cost $39.99-$30 (sources 1 and 2).

Call Transfer- You’ve got someone on the line, but you think your colleague can help them better. This is where call transfer is invaluable. It saves your customer time, and you don’t lose the customer by asking them to call back on another line. Both companies offer this free as part of their standard packages. Vonage and RingCentral are neck-and-neck on call transfer. Additional cost $0-$0.

Do Not Disturb- Is now not a good time to pick up? Are you on vacation? Want to screen calls? The DND function allows you to redirect calls directly to voicemail or the switchboard. You can even set rules for how internal and external calls are handled. A very useful service offered by both Vonage and RingCentral at no charge in their packages. One point each on this criteria. Additional cost $0-$0.

Call Queue- Flooded by calls? Worried too many callers hear the busy tone? You can set up a queue system to distribute incoming calls meaning all your customers are answered. You can even choose which calls are prioritized. RingCentral offer call queueing as part of their package. With Vonage, you'll be paying $14.99 a month. One point each here for both companies. Additional cost $14.99-$0 (source 3).

Incoming Fax to Email- Faxing may feel like part of the business culture from the previous century, but it's still very important for many businesses. Instead of getting your faxes on a traditional fax machine, both Vonage and RingCentral offer a service which converts inbound faxes into emails. It's $14.99 on Vonage and $7.99 on RingCentral. Both providers score with fax. Additional cost $14.99-$7.99 (sources 4 and 5).

FollowMe- An unbelievably useful service for individual staff members. If someone calls your VoIP phone number, your cell phone, office phone and home phone ring until you answer. If you don't, it goes to voicemail. Alternatively, your cell phone rings. No answer? Your office phone rings. No answer? Your home phone rings. No answer? Straight to voicemail. FollowMe can be programmed to match a co-worker's scheduled activities and locations. This is available on both Vonage and RingCentral. Additional cost $0-$0.

The Results- Eight out of eight for both Vonage and RingCentral for our criteria. However, if you take all these services, RingCentral is at least $31.98 a month cheaper. RingCentral takes the lead at 1-0.

Pricing and Packaging

So, RingCentral would cost your company $31.98 a month less at least in standard charges for these basic features. What about general pricing?

As you'd expect, from both of these business VoIP leaders, they're competitive.

Vonage offers lines at just $39.99 a month. They're well-known and respected for discounting for customers wanting multiple lines. Making it even better value, they're offering unlimited calling, free phones, waived set-up fees and a discount on monthly costs. (6)

RingCentral offer tiers of usage. Each tier is great value and packed with extras. The $24.99 a month package offers 1,000 toll-free minutes a month. The Enterprise package comes in at $44.99 with 10,000 minutes. The RingCentral proposition offers more free, inclusive features (including the basic options above). You can get handsets from them but you're looking at around $20 a month for each.

Vonage wins this round. They offer great discounts and the free handsets, together with unlimited toll-free minutes, makes it hard to ignore.

The score so far? It’s 1-1.

Integration

How do Vonage and RingCentral services’ connect with other office tools?

Making VoIP calls on the move is important. Therefore, having Apple and Android apps is crucial. You will find both options with RingCentral and Vonage.

Vonage also offer integration into Bullhorn, Clio, Connectwise, Google Apps, Microsoft Dynamics, Office 365 and Salesforce. This is available across all packages, as is its proprietary desktop app.

RingCentral integrates with Microsoft products, Google, Box and Dropbox on all packages. However, you have to pay for a higher package for Salesforce, Zendesk and Desk.com functionality.

A clear win for Vonage this round, putting Vonage in front at 2-1.

Customer Support

Knowing that your VoIP business provider has your back is important. Both companies’ customer services teams are based in the USA.

Customer service representative ready to help you with your VoIP questions

Vonage pride themselves on their customer service. Customers can get in touch with their team by phone, email or a ticketing system. Staff are trained on all areas of the customer experience from initial set up to helping when things go wrong. Vonage offer significant out-of-hours support too.

RingCentral's customer service is also very impressive. If you're just using one handset, customer support is available from 5am to 6pm Pacific Time only. For customers with more than one handset, live phone support is available 24/7. There's an online learning centre to help with all aspects of using RingCentral, from set-up to using different features. You can also sign up for a personalized demonstration of a product with a specialist.

There's not much to choose between the business VoIP providers on this, they both do a great job.

In Conclusion

Vonage and RingCentral are different providers in many ways but both are great, technology-driven, customer-focused companies.

For us, Vonage wins by a close margin, particularly if your company has 3 or more staff. Unlimited toll-free calls, more features, free handsets and enhanced integration push it out in front.

For very small businesses, RingCentral edges it for cost-of-entry and the fact that its features are superb for one- or two-person businesses.

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