RingCentral Office Review
This virtual web-based PBX and IP phone system is very cost-effective
and simple to use, but is it the right solution for your company or office?
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RingCentral Office Review - Is This Virtual PBX System In Your Office's Future?
Take Me To The Cloud!
Written by Titus Hoskins+
If you read the company's literature or ad copy, RingCentral Office is being
toated as Phone Systems Reimagined. While this may be true, a much more
basic and accurate explanation would be - a cloud-based phone and fax
system which takes full advantage of the Internet and VOIP (voice over IP)
Instinctively, many company owners and office managers are thinking,
voice over Internet or IP based system - doesn't that sound a little
risky? Do I really want to trust my company's vital phone operations
to a web-based system?
While there will still be many traditionalists relying on their wired hardware
based office PBX systems, the new van guard will be looking to the
future for a more modern way to do business. Actually, truth be told
the modern workplace has dramatically changed within the last decade.
This is the era of smart phones, tablets, apps... and a gradual move towards
cloud or remote web-based services. These are completely location free
services, which are mobile and available anywhere, at any time.
RingCentral Office fits seamlessly into this brave new cloud-based world.
Trust barriers are also falling by the wayside as more and more companies
move to these more convenient and cheaper web-based services, such as
RingCentral Office. In these trying economic times, any cost savings must
be examined and considered if you want your company to remain competitive.
Besides the cheaper costs, perhaps the main selling point for these kinds
of services have to be the simple convenience. No wires or hardware to install,
set-up takes only minutes instead of weeks and your workers and clients are
reachable 24/7. Plus, these services are completely scalable, you can add or
delete users within seconds.
Now, lets look in more detail, at the actual benefits of using a service
like RingCentral Office. This is a virtual PBX system with no hardware to
install, a system which offers location independence, full-featured, access
via touch devices, pre-configured phones (if you decide to order them) which
are plug and ring ready, completely scalable services and all this comes with
one low all-inclusive monthly cost or price.
What is an IP Phone?
As mentioned above, RingCentral Office is a web-based system which uses
full-featured IP phones to get your business done. This can be over a public
IP network such as the Internet or over a more private IP network such as
with your company's PBX system.
But how does all this work?
What confuses some potential customers, RingCentral Office can work in many
ways... you can use your current smart phones and gadgets by simply downloading
an app - there are RingCentral apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Or you
can order pre-configured business phones which will arrive in 5 or 7 days. These
are fully functioning business phones like you would see in any office or company.
Once you sign up for an account your phone number is immediately activated and
ready for use. You can also PORT your current business numbers into this system,
but this may take up to two weeks. And yes, you can get Toll-free and vanity
Obviously, for your whole IP network to work, you must have a high speed Internet
connection and a router. Once you get your "Plug & Ring Ready" business phones
you just plug them into your router and you're in business. RingCentral does
require a minimum of 64kbps of bandwidth per call.
Keep in mind, you can set everything up through the web with your browser. Actually,
RingCentral is one of the few companies which has touch access, so you can even
control everything on the touch device or gadget of your choice.
Your RingCentral phone system will have countless features, which you would expect
on full-featured company phone system. Call recording, auto-receptionist, conferencing,
voice mail, unlimited extensions... even unlimited Internet fax.
Puts the total control in your hands.
Perhaps, besides the IP web-based calling, what is different about RingCentral is
the fact that you're in charge/control of your phone network. No costly hardware
to install, no expensive technicians to hire... you can simply add or delete users through
your online account.
Even your workers/users can create profiles with numerous options, such as assigning
extensions and creating direct dial numbers. You can have different departments with
their own messages or greetings.
You also have a free softphone, an interactive desktop tool which gives you "real-time
control" of all your incoming calls/faxes - with total access to your entire phone system.
This is great for screening calls, making adjustments and managing your whole system.
RingCentral Office is a very flexible system, which can be quickly adjusted as your
company expands or contracts. This flexibly will save your company money, especially
over the long term.
What happens if you lose your Internet connection or Power?
Will RingCental still work if your connection to the Internet is lost or disrupted by
a power outage? Yes, since this service is cloud-based, it is not totally dependent
on your company's web connection or your power - so you will continue to receive your
calls and faxes. RingCentral suggests you use one of your mobile phones as one of
your forwarding numbers so you can still access all calls and faxes during any outages.
What are the costs associated with RingCentral Office?
One of the biggest concerns for any company will be the costs associated with running
such an IP phone network. First, there are no "Set-Up or activation fees" with RingCentral
Office. However, if you buy their line of business phones configured to your number/account,
this will cost extra.
There is unlimited calling (minutes) within Canada and the US - this also includes Alaska
and Hawaii. International calls will cost extra, usually from 20 to 50 cents a minute
- depending on the country. If international calls are a vital part of your business,
you can view RingCentral's International Rates here
Monthly pricing with RingCentral Office is done via the number of users - usually for
2-19 users, the cost will be around $30 per user, for 20-99 users, it will be around
$22 per user and for those systems with over 100+ users, the cost will be around $20
Companies and potential customers will have to examine their current hardware-based
PBX systems to see if RingCentral is cheaper and can be more cost-effective, especially
if you factor in the flexibility factor and scalability of this wireless IP phone system.
New companies just starting up will definitely have to consider going with a cloud-based
system such as RingCentral Office.
What is RingCentral Professional and how is it different from the Office System?
Another slightly confusing issue is the difference between RingCentral Professional
and RingCentral Office. The company explains the difference in their FAQs section...
basically, their Professional virtual phone and fax service was designed for those
businesses/companies/individuals who want to use their existing phone service and
phones as their primary devices, which could include mobile smartphones.
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