Full RingCentral vs Vonage Comparison

Company Information

RingCentral

RingCentral is a cloud based virtual PBX, based in Belmont CA, which is both feature rich and cost effective. RingCentral is targeted at all sectors of the virtual telephone market from Solo entrepreneurs to enterprise sized companies. As such RingCentral has a vast array of VoIP voice, collaboration, productivity and call center features to meet the requirements of even large enterprise organizations.

As RingCentral is a cloud based PBX it can make all its inherent VoIP features available to any size of business through a selection of price and service plans. Consequently, RingCentral bases its service model on the number of users but some of their advanced collaboration and productivity tools are only available on the more expensive plans. However, there is nothing stopping even a small business of around 1 to 5 users subscribing to an advanced enterprise service plan to gain access to the advanced feature set.

VirtualPBX.com

 VirtualPBX is one of the pioneers in VoIP and virtual telephone services. It began over two decades ago from a garage workshop to become a nation-wide company with offices throughout the USA. From those humble beginnings VirtualPBX has grown to be a major player in VoIP and more recently in cloud based PBX solutions. It has achieved this through a customer centric approach to feature design, customer support and product development.

VirtualPBX strives to produce virtual phone products that are both cost effective and easy to use. As a result they build the need for flexibility and user control into the design process. This means that VirtualPBX products work the way the customer wants them to as the user, administrators and managers have their own levels and  ability to control and tweak feature settings.

Moreover, VirtualPBX takes pride in its low cost, high-performance virtual PBX solutions via its hassle-free setup, web-based administration and no-system maintenance.

Comparing RingCentral vs. VirtualPBX.com

When it comes to comparing vendors’ products in the virtual telephone systems marketplace it is essential to make sure that we are comparing comparable systems. What this means is that we must select and compare service and price plans aimed at the same market sector, such as for small office-home office (SoHo) or small medium businesses (SMB), or small to medium enterprises (SME).

Comparing like-for-like services is especially valid when we consider making a comparison between an entrepreneurs, SoHo or SMB service such as Grasshopper’s virtual telephone system alongside an industry giant such as RingCentral’s cloud based virtual PBX.

As a result we have chosen to compare RingCentral’s Essentials and Standard service plans against VirtualPBX’s Essentials, Advanced and Enterprise plans.

Pricing Models

RingCentral

RingCentral takes a slightly different approach to pricing as it bases its plans on the number of users. Furthermore RingCentral offers both monthly and annual –in advance – payment models. As a result the entry-level Essential service plan is priced at:

Essentials – The cheapest entry price is from $29.99 per month per user paid annually in advance.

However, their service fee can be billed monthly or annually

  • Billed Annually the fees can be as low as $19.99 for 2-19 users

Standard Service Plans

The Standard plan starts at $19.99 per month per user based on an annual contract basis:

  • 1 user – $34.99 per month per user
  • 2-19 users – $24.99 per user per month
  • 20-99 users -$24.99 per user per month
  • 100-999 users – $22.99 per user per month

When Billed Monthly in Advance

  • Starts at $29.99 per month per user based on an monthly no contract basis
  • 1 user – $49.99 per month per user
  • 2-19 users – $34.99 per user per month
  • 20-99 users -$34.99 per user per month
  • 100-999 users – $32.99 per user per month

You will need to take the variance in the billing price into consideration when contemplating RingCentral as there can be considerable savings to be made if you are willing to pay annually.

VirtualPBX

VirtualPBX has three basic small business plans as well as an enterprise plan, which we will only touch briefly upon here as a possible upgrade path. Instead we will concentrate on a like-fo- like comparison with Grasshopper’s Solo, Partner and Small Business service plans.

The service plans that VirtualPBX offers targets the same entrepreneur and small business market-segment as Grasshopper but importantly the VirtualPBX plans come in two distinct flavors – 1) an Unlimited User plans and 2), an unlimited Minutes set of plans. Regardless of whether the plans are unlimited user, which is actually a pay for minutes plan or the Unlimited Minutes plans the feature sets are not the same as the plans are aimed at different types of customer .

Unlimited User Plans (Pay as you Go)

VirtualPBX has two billing option one is the Annual Subscription in Advance, the other is a monthly payments as you go. In either case there are no contracts or penalties for cancellation.

300 Plan – $9.99 /per month (annual subscription); $11.99 (monthly billing)

  • 300 Plan Minutes, 2 Local or Toll-Free Numbers, Free Web Phone & Call Forwarding, Enable VoIP Phones for $4.99/each  and Zapier Integration+ All Basic Features

500 Plan – $12.99 /per month (annual subscription); $17.99 (monthly billing)

  • 500 Plan Minutes, 2 Toll-Free or Local Numbers, Free Web Phone & Call Forwarding, Enable VoIP Phones for $4.99/each, ACD Queues (Standard)+ All Features Included on 300 Plan

1000 Plan – $24.99 /per month (annual subscription); $34.99 (monthly billing)

  • 1000 Plan Minutes, 5 Toll-Free or Local Numbers, Free Web Phone & Call Forwarding, Enable VoIP Phones for $4.99/each, Call Recording & Webhooks+ All Features Included on 500 Plan

Unlimited Minutes Service Plans

Essentials – $16.99 /user per month (annual subscription) or $21.99 (monthly billing)

  • Unlimited Local Minutes
  • 100 Toll-Free Minutes
  • Unlimited VoIP Minutes Between System Users
  • 5 Toll-Free or Local Numbers
  • 1 VoIP Device for Every User
  • ACD Queues (Standard)
  • Auto Attendant,
  •  Ring Groups,
  • Voicemail

Advanced – $20.99 /user per month (annual subscription) or $26.99 (monthly billing)

  • Unlimited Local Minutes
  • 1,000 Toll-Free Minutes
  • Unlimited VoIP Minutes Between System Users
  • 10 Toll-Free or Local Numbers
  • Advanced Reporting
  • ACD Queues Pro and
  • Call Recording
  • Plus All Features Included in the Essentials Plan

Enterprise – $24.99 /user per month (annual subscription) or $34.99 (monthly billing)

  • Unlimited Local Minutes
  • 2,500 Toll-Free Minutes
  • Unlimited VoIP Minutes Between System Users
  • 15 Toll-Free or Local Numbers
  • CRM Integration
  • API Access
  • Plus All Features Included in the Advanced Plan

RingCentral Features

RingCentral is a cloud based PBX and so has an extensive feature set that it delivers across 4 service plans that cater for all the marketplace from the smallest one person business to the largest of enterprises. Consequently, RingCentral is well placed within the market to fulfill not just all a business’s telephone requirements but also all its modern multichannel communication needs.

Businesses today have to handle many different types of customer communications and they need a unified platform that gives them the ability to handle these diverse channels. Where some competitors can handle voice and SMS texts and if you subscribe to the Connect service also some rudimentary contacts and email integration RingCentral provides the full gamut of multichannel support tools.

As we are comparing Phone.com with RingCentral’s Essentials and Standard service plan we will restrict the feature list to what is native to that plan – but be aware that RingCentral’s larger sibling service plans have considerably more Omni channel support tools.

The standard features found in Essentials are:

  • Unlimited video and audio meetings with screen sharing (4 people per meeting)
  • Unlimited phone calls
  • Toll-free numbers 100 free minutes       
  • Unlimited Business SMS
  • Call management & phone system administration
  • Phone rental options: desk and conference phones
  • Mobile apps for iOS® and Android™
  • High-definition (HD) voice
  • Visual voicemail and voicemail to email
  • Team collaboration
  • Integrations with Microsoft®, Google, Box, and Okta
  • 24/7 Customer support
  • Professional implementation

As can be seen from viewing the feature set from RingCentral’s entry—level service plan, Essentials is a far more comprehensive service than many of its competitors higher-level plans.

VirtualPBX Features

VirtualPBX takes a different approach to features and service plans as it tries to be flexible and groups features into functional categories such as voice, collaboration & productivity, and Contact Centre. This is to allow you to customize your feature set to match your requirements. For example the following Dash service plans have different combinations of features:

Dash Essentials

Auto Attendant, Ring Groups, Zapier Integration, Audio Conferencing, Paperless Fax, ACD Queues, and Webhooks

Dash Advanced

Auto Attendant, Ring Groups, Zapier Integration, Audio Conferencing, Paperless Fax, ACD Queues, ACD Queues Pro, Call Recording, API Access, Webhooks, External Storage, and advanced reporting

Dash Enterprise

Auto Attendant, Ring Groups, Zapier Integration, Audio Conferencing, Paperless Fax, ACD Queues, ACD Queues Pro, Call Recording, API Access, Webhooks, External Storage, CRM Integration, Priority Support Included, Advanced Reporting

As can be seen from the feature list for each plan VirtualPBX has some very advanced features voice features such as ring groups, ACD queuing and audio conferencing as standard features even with the entry level Essentials plan.

In addition there are many additional features that allow you to customize your plans for collaboration and productivity gains through such features as Data Storage with AWS, Salesforce CRM and Zapier Integration or manage large teams or small contact centers with ACD Queues with Whisper and Barge, Call Recording, Real-Time  Agent Monitor, Call Reports, and advanced reporting.

Mobile & Desktop Apps

RingCentral

The RingCentral mobile app and their computer softphone are designed to deliver the same full functionality as any other RingCentral extension. Hence running the RingCentral mobile app on a smartphone or the softphone will be pretty much indistinguishable from using the desk phone that is connected to RingCentral’s system. The main differential is that a desk phone or softphone cannot transition or fail-over to a carrier network like a smartphone.

Indeed with RingCentral mobile app you can choose which service to default to, whether it is network carrier or Wi-Fi using VoIP. As the RingCentral mobile app runs on Apple iOS as well as Google’s Android most phones will automatically handle the seamless transition from poor Wi-Fi (Internet) conditions to the mobile carrier’s data network.

VirtualPBX

The VirtualPBX softphone app differs slightly from many of its competitors’ mobile apps in so much as it is a generic softphone which turns any Computer, Device, or Cell Phone into a fully-featured VoIP Extension.  This allows you to harness the power of the VirtualPBX system from your own personal devices. The VirtualPBX Softphone App works with any iOS or ANdroid smartphone and is free to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play market.

The way that it works is that the VirtualPBX Softphone App can route calls intended for your deskphone directly to your smartphone. Anyone calling you will simply dial your direct line or company phone number and extension and be transparently forwarded to your smartphone. Also, it works well for outbound calling as it can use your business number as the Caller ID. Furthermore, with addition functions such as mobile call interruptions, mobile call management, Siri integration, call transfer and the savings made on mobile call roaming makes the VirtualPBX Softphone App a handy tool for those out and about a lot of the time.

The VirtualPBX Softphone app also works on desktops, laptops and tablets running Windows or Mac OS. The desktop softphone is just another virtual extension to handle all inbound and outbound voice traffic. This means it has all the same functionality such as Ring Groups, queues, Direct Inward Dialing (DID) numbers and even full Salesforce integration. This means you can manage your contacts sales leads and funnels even when you are away from the office.

Types of Numbers Available

An important consideration when choosing a virtual telephone service is whether the vendor can supply the type of business number that you need. There are several types of virtual telephone numbers available;

  • Local Number that matches your location or desired location or virtual business presence.
  • Toll-Free Numbers
  • Vanity Numbers
  • International Numbers
  • Existing Business Number

Almost all virtual telephone service vendors will support these types of numbers the difference is whether they charge for them or not.

RingCentral

RingCentral supports all categories of telephone numbers such as local, Toll-Free, Vanity, and International numbers as well as porting over an existing business number. Similar to other vendors the RingCentral features work on the virtual business number, such as business SMS, Confirmation Texts and outgoing caller ID amongst others.  The number of business numbers available for use – of any type – is determined by the service plan. Additional numbers are available at a charge of $4.99 per month per number. Additional Vanity numbers have in addition to the $4.99 fee a one off setup fee of $30.

Additional charges for add-on services are also applied for large meetings and webinars, such as :

  • RingCentral Webinar – 100 licenses – $40 each
  • RingCentral Large Meeting – 100 participants – $14 each
  • RingCentral Large Meeting – 300 participants – $140 each
  • Additional International local number – tier 1- $4.99
  • Additional International Local Number – tier 3 -$14.99

As you can see with both vendors there are some significant hidden charges, so make sure you read the service contracts carefully.

VirtualPBX

VirtualPBX supports Local, International, Toll-Free, Vanity numbers as well as allowing you to port over an existing business number. Indeed VirtualPBX offers as part of their service plans several virtual business numbers per plan, such as:

Essentials -5 Toll Free or local numbers

Advanced10 Toll Free or local numbers

Enterprise – 15 Toll Free or local numbers

International numbers also available in over 40 countries that work like local numbers and allow you to gain an international presence without the costs associated with new, international offices.

There is also the availability of multiple main business numbers, which allows you to operate several autonomous businesses from the same system profile and service.

Support

An important factor when comparing vendor virtual telephone solutions is Customer Service. Each vendor approaches this area differently with some more focused on online material such as FAQ, Podcasts, and Blogs as well as website training videos. Whereas others aim for the personal contact via telephone, email or web forms. Whichever channel you prefer should be available to you from the vendor.

Another important factor is where the Support service is based. Generally a few years ago vendors took advantage of offshoring contact centers to Asia and other places to take advantage of lower costs. Unfortunately this often backfired resulting in poor customer experience and so recently there has been a shift back to on shoring Contact Centers in the USA.

RingCentral

RingCentral support is also 24/7 and based in the USA.

RingCentral supports the following channels:

  • Telephone – 24/7
  • Live Support – Chat
  • Ticket System – Online Forms
  • Email
  • FAQ and online documentation
  • Training
  • Professional implementation
  • VIP support for higher plans

VirtualPBX

VirtualPBX support is 24/7 and based in the USA.

VirtualPBX supports the following channels:

  • Telephone – 24/7
  • Live Support – Chat
  • Ticket System – Online Forms
  • Live Training
  • Email
  • FAQ and online documentation

VirtualPBX prides itself on its customer support and boast of support staff being available 24 hours/day, 365 days/year to handle support issues.

Regional Availability

RingCentral

As you might expect from a company of RingCentral’s size and scope they cover over 30 countries. Indeed RingCentral’s Global Office feature allows you to connect offices and employees around the globe by using international local numbers so calls between geographically dispersed locations count as local calls.

 With a RingCentral Global Office account each location is given 1,000 minutes of in-region calling credits per month per user based on location that are pooled and shared with all users worldwide. On top of the 1,000 in-region calling credits per month, all users have unlimited extension-to-extension calling from anywhere in the world.

VirtualPBX

As VirtualPBX is a cloud based virtual PBX it can support diverse geographical locations thereby providing enhanced mobility by allowing companies to choose local phone numbers in over 40 countries. With Phone.com your virtual business number can be chosen or customized to specific geographical or regional preferences. VirtualPBX also offers international virtual business numbers that provide your business with a virtual in-country presence.

Cancelling the Service

A very important factor to consider is how you end the contract if things just don’t work out. After all no matter how affordable and well delivered a telephone service may be it just might not fit with your own business model or direction. Therefore you should be aware of any potential cancellation fees or contractual obligations before you subscribe to the vendor’s service.

RingCentral

The way to cancel with RingCentral is a bit more complex even if you are paying monthly on a non-contract basis. In this case so long as you do not have any RingCentral equipment i.e. phone headsets or VoIP phones, etc. you can simply call up the support number and cancel the service. If you do have RingCentral equipment then you must send back the hardware immediately and the cancellation only takes place upon RingCentral receiving it in good condition.

For annual subscriptions you can cancel the service by telephone and you will receive a rebate based on pro-rata months unused.

VirtualPBX

Cancelling the VirtualPBX service is very easy as you have a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service or any billable features. Any Approved Persons may request cancellation of the Service Agreement at any time by writing to VirtualPBX or by email to [email protected].

However be aware that if you are paying annually in advance that billing refunds will only apply to full months unused. No partial month unused is refunded. Also there is a minimum of 4 months charged within the first 12 months of service.

Summary

RingCentral is a behemoth in the virtual telephone industry and has developed a cloud PBX system packed with VoIP features that covers every aspect of voice, omnichannel, collaboration, productivity and contact center technologies.

VirtualPBX on the other hand is a well structured virtual phone system with a fine mix of features that set it aside from many of its competitors. However you are always likely to fall short when going head-to-head with RingCentral on features.

However, where VirtualPBX does excel is with Support as it is way ahead of its competitors in this regard. This is not a criticism of RngCentral’s support as such it is just recognition of VirtualPBX’s excellent service and product updates/roadmaps.

For small medium businesses RingCentral is very hard to beat but VirtualPBX is  sometimes going to be a better solution especially if you are technical and have a hands on mentality.

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