Voice Over the Internet Protocol technology, or in short, VoIP, is slowly but surely replacing regular telephony, both for business purposes and home use. There are many reasons for that: VoIP services are more affordable, more versatile and require less maintenance.
VoIP consists in making or receiving calls via the internet instead of using the landlines. The signal is first converted from analog to digital packets of data and then encrypted for security reasons. VoIP allows users to make more than simple phone calls. The packets of data can be audio, video, images or text.
The benefits of VoIP services
The biggest advantage VoIP has over conventional telephony is the financial one. VoIP services help you reduce your costs significantly, because they are more affordable. The PSTN (public switched telephone network) is a costly and high-maintenance once, starting with the complex and expensive infrastructure and ending with the huge phone bills, especially if you make a lot of long-distance calls. VoIP eliminates a lot of those costs because everything happens online so all you need is a fast, reliable internet connection. You can make phone calls from your smartphone or computer, so you don’t have to invest in additional equipment.
Then there’s the difficulty of setting up a landline system, versus a VoIP system, which can be done without the help of a professional. Setting up a VoIP system takes just a few minutes and it is easy enough for almost anyone to do it.
The fact that you can also send video, images, text and is another advantage.
Portability is also a benefit of the VoIP technology. You can basically use your VoIP service anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to the internet.
RingCentral for Small Business – Is it a good VoIP service to consider?
RingCentral is a very renowned and experienced company that offers cloud-based communication solutions for business use. The company was founded in 1999 and it is based in California, but also has offices in other parts of the world, such as China, Russia, Singapore, Philippines and more.
While RingCentral is mostly known for its VoIP services, it also offers online fax services.
In terms of VoIP services, RingCentral has offers for Small Businesses and for Enterprises.
Users can either buy or rent hardware IP phones from the company or they can install a softphone on their device.
What is the pricing for Small Business VoIP?
RogCentral Office is the company’s VoIP solution for small businesses. There are 4 plans to choose from: Essentials, Standard, Premium and Ultimate.
Essentials is their most basic VoIP plan and it is billed at $19.99/user/month. It includes up to 10 users, a toll-free or local number, 100 toll-free minutes per month and 4 people video conferencing.
The next available plan is the Standard one. It is billed at $24.99/user/month and it comes with unlimited users. You also get 1000 toll-free minutes per month and unlimited internet fax.
Premium is priced at $34.99/user/month and it includes 2500 toll-free minutes per month, 100 people video conferencing, automatic call recording and voicemail to text.
The most expensive plan is the Ultimate plan, which is billed at $49.99/user/month. This plan includes 10,000 toll-free minutes per month, 200 people video conferencing and all the benefits included in the other plans.
For each plan you also get a free 15-day trial in minutes to test the service.
In addition to the benefits included with these plans, you can also add additional numbers (local or toll-free) for an additional $4.99/month. You can also opt for vanity numbers for a $30 one-time fee. Additional international numbers are also available for $5.99/month/user and additional international toll-free numbers are $14.99 per month plus a one-time fee of $25.
Features included with RingCentral Small Business
In addition to the features mentioned above, you also get:
- Unlimited business SMS with all plans
- The option to rent desk and conference phones
- A mobile app that is compatible with iOS and Android
- Visual voicemail and voicemail to email
- 24/7 customer support
- Plenty of integrations: Box, Okta, Google, Microsoft, Zendesk, Desk.com, Salesforce (the last 3 are only available with the Premium and Ultimate plans)
- Call log reports with all the plans except the Essentials
- Custom app development and deployment (also just for Premium and Ultimate)
- Call delegation, call screening, call forwarding, call flip (move an ongoing call between your desk, mobile phone or softphone), call park (hold calls in a virtual location and retrieve them from any desk phone)
- Voicemail transcription to text (Premium, Ultimate)
You can customize things such as voicemail greeting recordings, device preference (whether it will ring on the desktop, hardware desk phone or mobile), how long the inbound caller would wait before redirecting to voicemail, you can configure extensions and more.
All in all, RingCentral is a complex VoIP solution for small businesses and enterprises alike. It is flexible, highly customizable, easy to use and offers a top-notch customer support. You can reach them on a 24/7 basis, via phone or live chat. There’s also a comprehensive Support section on their website.