GoToConnect – Unified Communications Solutions – Full Review

Jive is now GoToConnect!

Jive, was recently purchased by LogMeIn, the maker of GoTo range of video and chat apps. As a result the merged product of Jive with GoToMeeting is now the re-branded platform to provide the high quality voice of Jive with GoTo’s excellent video conferencing platform. In addition GoToConnect Desktop and Mobile will replace the existing Jive Desktop and Mobile apps.

As a consequence of the merger of the platforms, the new product is to be rebranded as “GoToConnect”. The Jive name is dropped but its cloud-based PBX voice software will continue to be the underlying voice engine for the new UCaaS platform; it’s just that the merged platform’s name is changed to GoToConnect.

GoToConnect

The merger of Jive with LogMeIn to produce the GoToConnect platform makes good sense as it gets around that fact that Jive had no video support and very limited conferencing or messaging. That issue is now resolved as they have merged with LogMeIn’s advanced video applications such as GoToMeeting’s web, audio and video conferencing into one simple, reliable and flexible solution – GoToConnect. The Jive voice platform will still power the voice and VoIP features so nothing has changed regards the voice quality and features but now the advanced video conferencing and meeting features of GoTo’s stable of video and chat applications will complement the Jive cloud VoIP phone system .

This means that you can now meet, talk, chat, text, and collaborate seamlessly through a single application on your desktop or even on your mobile. This greatly extends the usability of GoToConnect as it provides all the missing omnichannel support to create a truly Unified Communications UCaaS platform.

GoToConnect Cloud Platform

GoToConnect is designed specifically to be a cloud hosted UCaaS platform in order to provide the scalability and flexibility that small, medium and large businesses require in their communication networks. Furthermore, GoToConnect is configured to support government and academic institutions through specialized customizations of their cloud platform software. However, in this review we will consider only their SMB business product.

The GoToConnect SMB cloud-hosted system also provides a solution for easing the burden of system maintenance and software upgrades, as there is only one software application to manage for all customers regardless of their choice of service plan.

Service Plans

GoToConnect has arranged their UCaaS platform into five business plans determined by the number of users or seats. For example, the service plans currently on offer for the small business edition include:

Tier 1 – $29.95 for support for 1-4 users with unlimited domestic minutes

Tier 2 – $25.95 for support for 5-9 users with unlimited domestic minutes

Tier 3 – $23.95 for support for 10-24 users with unlimited domestic minutes

Tier 4 – $21.95 for support for 25-49 users with unlimited domestic minutes

Tier 5 -$19.95 for support for 50-100 users with unlimited domestic minutes

(100 + users are supported via a quote)

  • All prices will also require local taxes to be added, an example being a Tier 1 for a single user would be $29.95 + tax and surcharges $11.50 = $41.55 per user

With regards, the unlimited free domestic minutes, this really needs to be clarified as these calls relate to the continental US states of America. However when we consider what are unlimited free minutes, we discover that GoToConnect have a reasonable usage policy where the number of calls placed inbound or outbound via the PSTN, for example calls made too or received from mobile phones or land lines will be restricted by their determination of what is a reasonable use policy. GoToConnect are not clear as to what the cap is for PSTN calls saying only in the small print of the T&Cs that they are calculated against the average usage for all customers and that is not very reassuring as rumors suggest a cap of 2500 minutes a month with additional minutes at 4c per minute. That may sound a lot of minutes but remember that counts both inbound and outbound calls and 2500 is not a lot of minutes in a month for a business’s telephone use. Additionally 4c a minute is about mid-priced for additional minute’s usage and it could mount up over a month and provide a nasty shock especially if you think it’s all free. Notably GoToConnect does not offer unlimited use for call centers, or other telephone centric businesses that would utilize heavy PSTN usage for inbound calls.)

As we have already seen, there is only one version of the software so all five tiers share the same feature-sets and functions only the price per seat or user differs. 

GoToConnect Functions and Features

GoToConnect is primarily a virtual telephone system that utilizes a virtual attendant to manage inbound calls; however, it does have some remarkable features that allow for flexibility of service, such as time of day-based rules that determine when GoToConnect auto attendant will answer the call. An example of this is that a live receptionist may answer the calls during the day and the auto attendant only take over at break times or in the evenings and at weekends.

GoToConnect also has some unique configuration and customization features that allow an administrator to visualize, and then drag and drop items in order to create extensions, queues and dial plans. This is very important as GoToConnect has unlimited auto-attendants, queues and extensions as well as personal dial plans so the system can become complex without this handy visualization and easy configuration tool.

Additional functionality built into GoToConnect in addition to unlimited queues, auto-attendants and extensions are unlimited free domestic minutes, as well as ten-party conference calling, virtual faxing, and voicemail to email – through there is no email transcription.

The most notable changes to GoToConnect from the former Jive platform is the introduction of many video conferencing, meetings and chat features that were noticeably missing in Jive. GoToConnect now boast video conferencing to up to 250 concurrent users. There is also support for 25 concurrent video feeds and even a private chat or meeting room. These features alone have greatly enhanced the platform.

Other notable features which GoToConnect considers premium  is call recording where the recording is deemed to be free but you are charged for separate storage.

Furthermore, the small business edition does support basic contact center features such as advanced queuing and ring strategies as well as call spy, barge and whisper, which are handy tools for staff training and mentoring.

Voice & Call Management

Meetings and Videos

Mobile APP and Softphone

Using the GoToConnect Voice mobile app you can take your business communications with you on your mobile device. GoToConnect Mobile, boasts secure HD quality with battery life optimized, as well as reliable service to call and text/SMS anytime you are away from the office.

The smartphone Mobile 3.0 edition now runs on Apple iOS and Android but also now uses both Wi-Fi and LTE/4G over local carrier data services. This is a great improvement as previously it only ran over Wi-Fi by default. Furthermore with GoToConnect mobile all voice calls and texts messages are decrypted by default so they are both secure and reliable.

There is also the option to configure geo-fencing whereby you can establish rules based upon location that automatically kick in and out such as do not disturb or pass to voicemail.

Furthermore GoToConnect mobile 3.0 works with the underlying mobile OS either iOS or Android to provide features such as WI-Fi hand-over to ensure that calls do not fail if the WI-Fi service deteriorates. GoToConnect Mobile 3.0 works well but is now considered to be legacy as it has been superseded by GoToCollect Mobile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any video features at all or is it just voice and SMS?

Whereas Jive Voice platform was simply voice orientated GoToConnect now has highly advanced voice and video conference features available in GoToConnect platform.

How much is GoToConnect?

GoToConnect is a direct replacement for Jive so follows the same pricing structure based on tiers and number of users, starting at $19.95/user up to $29.95/user.

How do I get started with GoToConnect?

If you already are a Jive customer you need an active account and the profile must match your GoToConnect Voice business email. New customer will get the downloaded product seamlessly.

How do I access GoToConnect?

You can also access a version of GoToConnect online by going to http://my.GoToConnect.com or you can download and install the package yourself but either way you will need a user profile setup by support.

How do I get GoToCollect Mobile for my smartphone?

You will need to download and install GoToConnect for your phone’s operating system: There are downloads for Android and iOS

Do I get all 80+ voice and video features even if I just have 1-4 users?

Yes GoToConnect doesn’t charger per feature it charges based upon user tiers so regardless of the number of users you get the same features.

Can I send and receive faxes?

You can receive faxes and also send faxes you can also receive faxes via GoToCollect but you need support to redirect a line.

What business apps can I integrate with out of the box?

There are standard connectors (API) for Outlook, Chrome, Salesforce, Zoho, and Redtail.

Are there chat connectors I can integrate with?

Yes there are standard connectors that let you integrate with Microsoft Teams, and Slack.

Conclusion

GoToConnect is considered to be a mid-priced, rich-featured cloud based virtual telephone system. It has extensive voice features, over 80, and even manages to provide you with some call center IP PBX features. It has a simple price structure at first glance as it is based upon a per user basis determined by one of five tiers. However, due to the ambiguous usage of the terms unlimited free domestic minutes and no clear statement as to what the cap is determined to be on fair usage – this appears in practice to be anything but unlimited or free. In addition the price of overuse minutes – those above the fair usage policy – are charged at 4.0c which is quite steep.

On the plus side GoToConnect is simple to setup and get going if using GoToConnect supplied devices and handsets, and the voice quality and reliability are very high for a service in this price range. Additionally, GoToConnect has developed a great administration tools that allows service supervisors to visualize, drag, and drop objects to create menus, queues and dial plans.

GoToConnect overall is a good mid feature system but where Jive used to fail in that it lacked the video functionality, features and quality of some of its top competitors, GoToConnect how more than matches the competition .which are also marginally cheaper such as RingCentral. GoToConnect has improved their collaboration and mobility capabilities as well as increased the range of third party integration apps and APIs.

GoToConnect however addresses many of these failings by the introduction of its video meeting, calling and chat features. This is a great addition to GoToConnect as it instantly converts the platform from what was a highly capable voice system (Jive) into an advanced true Unified Communication as a service platform. In addition GoToConnect also runs on the desktop and on mobiles which truly revolutionizes GoToConnect’s unified communication capabilities.

Click to visit GoToConnect.

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