Product: RingCentral Office
What is RingCentral Office?
RingCentral’s Office product has come a long way in the past couple of years by evolving from being predominantly a virtual IP PBX to a fully-fledged UCaaS (Unified Communication as a Service) application. What that means in terms of the customer is that RingCentral have added and tightly coupled other communication technologies, such as IM, video conferencing, desktop sharing for remote presentation and training, and business SMS into their product. These new features work seamlessly across IP phones, desktop Softphone and even on employee’s own mobile phones. This effectively means that employees can access online meetings, video conference calls and collaborate with team members and partners wherever they may be and all communications go through the company’s RingCentral Office application.
Another real benefit for having a web based Unified Communication application is that employees no longer have to download their own apps to provide the communication tools they require to do their work. Instead, all the employee’s communication requirements are provided through a centrally managed UCaaS application. This makes life easier for the employee but also greatly reduces the support burden for IT. No longer will IT have to support a myriad of downloaded apps and have to worry about administering and securing these unofficial channels, instead they can rely on RingCentral Office to secure all employee business communications (voice, video, chat …) regardless of the method used. This is especially important if your company does not have its own IT department.
Implementing the RingCentral Office
The concern may be that UCaaS seems terribly complex and is going to be a nightmare to implement, but nothing is further from the truth. Implementing RingCentral Office is simply a case of connecting your IP phones, Desktops – if using Softphone – to your broadband internet connection and you are ready to go. Implementation, from the customer’s perspective really is that simple. Additionally, RingCentral have experts at hand to help you through the deployment and can supply you with IP phones, headsets, Softphone and mobile apps.
Administering RingCentral Office
If implementation is easy then so is administering the system as this is all done through a web portal, so you can add, edit or delete extensions from any internet connects on a tablet, laptop or even your phone. The administration portal is user friendly and designed for web-se with simple drop-down menus, checkboxes, and text fields. There are also handy tips available with each option. Furthermore, you can enable employees to administer their own extension, which relieves the admin burden considerably. Another handy feature is that you can set up user templates so that you can administer groups of users at one time, saving on repetitive manual tasks.
For larger companies with regional or international offices you can simplify the management and costs associated with long distant calls by managing each office as part of a global phone service. This has the added benefit of saving on international calls as all extension-to-extension calls come at no added costs. This alone can greatly aid in collaboration between offices as employees can communicate with employees in distant locations as if they were in the same building.
As you would expect from RingCentral’s pedigree in the IP/PBX field, the Office product comes with a feature-rich set of functions for businesses of all sizes. There are amongst many features too many to list here, features for Auto-receptionist – which answers and greets the caller with your own customized message. Multi-tier IVR, which plays a voice recorded menu to the caller, which works alongside advanced call transfer for passing an incoming call to a pre-configured extension, or a group of extensions. This can be used to call blast a group of extensions – ring simultaneously – or to ring a group in a listed order. This is a handy feature is you have several phones configured, as for example you could have the primary extension as your desk-phone, a secondary extension you mobile phone and a third your home landline. Office will ring each phone until it finds you so that you never miss a call.
RingCentral Office has two mobile apps available for download one for the Apple iPhone/iPad and the other for Android phones and tablets. Both devices once registered with RingCentral Office work as phone extension with full capabilities. For instance, you can make and receive calls using the business number, send faxes and texts, even join conference calls and check voicemail.
In addition having your mobile register with the company’s Office cloud application means you will always have direct access to the company directory and extensions. What’s more, you can make Wi-Fi calls using VoIP and not use any of your carrier minutes.
Office has introduced Glip as their integrated team workspace application for collaboration. Glip is available in all versions of Office from Standard to Enterprise. Glip is effective as it provides a workspace for all team communications so that emails, notes, files tasks and calendars are stored in a single shared workspace. In addition, Glip provides a single source for task management so that project teams can collaborate and all are on the same page.
Other collaboration tools that come with Office are audio/video conferencing, desktop sharing and integration with other popular applications. By integrating with major business applications such as Salesforce.com, Oracle, Zen desk, Desk, Dropbox, Outlook, Microsoft 365 and Google, then Office can share contacts and customer details. In a contact center, this is hugely advantageous as Office could pull up a customer’s call history when the agent answers the incoming call thereby having the customers, name and details before them without flicking back and fore through different applications.
Pricing & Plans
Office comes in three editions:
- Standard – $24.99 per user/month (Sometimes they change it to $19.99)
- Premium – $34.99 per user/month
- Enterprise – $44.99 per user/month
The main differentiators between the editions are that multipoint mobile a desktop video conferencing is limited to 4, 25 and 50 people sharing respectively.
Only Premium and Enterprise have the following features:
- Inbound Caller ID name, HD Voice, Automatic call recording, Multi-level auto attendant, Integration with Salesfore.com and Desk.com
- Only Enterprise as the voicemail to text feature as standard.
Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
One of the main concerns those considering cloud based telephony of UCaaS solutions tend to have is with regards service continuity.
What would happen to our business should the data center go down?
This is a very good question and in the case of RingCentral they have designed, their platform to scale to support hundreds of thousands of users and to handle 2X capacity so can handle unexpected spikes in activity.
With regards disaster recovery RingCentral have datacenters located on each coast to mitigate any local or regional disaster.
RingCentral has evolved into a fully-fledged UCaaS application that provides all the stability and reliability of a cloud service. In addition, Office now provides advanced modern communication channels all tightly integrated and seamlessly provided through one application interface. These new collaboration and communication tool take Office from being an IP/PBX to a real world UCaaS product, whilst still providing a feature rich IP/PBX service, which is suitable by price and capability for any size of company.
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