The traditional telephone system has been a mainstay in business communication for many years. Since the birth of the internet, however, we’ve seen the advent of new communication systems that have knocked conventional telephony off its perch. Take the voice over internet protocol (VoIP) system, for example.
VoIP brings into the fast-paced business arena the practicality of the traditional telephony system, but with more futureproofing capabilities and benefits. The modern-day VoIP software waives most of the upfront hardware and reduces cost in terms of monthly recurring usage. Your business can reap these benefits (and many more), only if you use the best communication tools.
In this post, we’ll closely examine the top 3 VoIP software, namely RingCentral, Ooma Office, and Lifesize. We’ll look under the hood of these solutions to pinpoint their strengths and unearth their weaknesses (if any). Our scope of comparison will include call management, collaboration, support for virtual meetings, and more. The goal is to lay bare the information you need to pick the best VoIP solution for your business.
With business operations moving to the cloud, choosing to use VoIP is an astute decision for forward-thinking businesses. This is because VoIP is modern and it integrates seamlessly with most of the underlying communication tools for business. What’s more, VoIP improves productivity by up to 20% because it gives companies the ability to communicate anywhere. (Harbor Networks)
Most importantly, VoIP helps businesses achieve significant cost savings. For local businesses, installing VoIP can reduce call costs by nearly 40%. On the other hand, for companies with remote workers, partners, or clients overseas, this communication technology can help achieve international call savings of up to 90%. (TechCo)
These perks aside, VoIP also eliminates the expense of in-house servers, setup costs, and ongoing maintenance fees. Plus, when your business expands, VoIP allows you to scale up your systems without purchasing new equipment. Ultimately, reliable VoIP phone systems allow businesses to keep apace globally, increase efficiency, and maximize profits.
Plus, with internet connectivity becoming increasingly ubiquitous, businesses in industries where VoIP makes sense are jumping into the bandwagon. Consequently, competition amongst VoIP providers is fierce, and copycats are hurriedly replicating VoIP service innovations. As a result, its more difficult than ever for businesses to find the best VoIP solution for your business.
But fear not. With our comparison of the top 3 VoIP software, you’ll get all the information you need to pick a helpful solution.
Cloud-based VoIP system RingCentral is a robust platform that delivers a securely hosted phone functionality over the internet. Boasting robust features, the solution is designed to support every call, messaging, meeting, and collaboration needs for businesses of all sizes. The provider offers complete and scalable VoIP systems, which are great options for the modern workforce.
Small businesses looking for an easy-to-use phone system will find RingCentral’s standard VoIP capabilities to be ideally perfect. With support for cloud phone, messaging features, online meeting, and fax, the solution provides all the flexible features a startup needs to connect with today’s mobile workforce anywhere, anytime, and on any device. The HD-quality video, along with a one-click functionality streamlines communication and team collaboration.
You can check the solution closely when you sign up for RingCentral free trial here.
RingCentral also scales for larger, multinational businesses. The platform provides advanced communication tools, including an all-in-one phone, team messaging, online meeting, and video conferencing tools. Moreover, RingCentral offers an outbound customer contact center and social engagement platform for enterprises. These features work in unison, enabling large corporations to innovatively and securely connect with employees, share knowledge, boost workforce productivity, and foster customer relationships.
Most importantly, RingCentral allows you to use any device, including PC, tablet, smartphone, or dedicated hardware. This way, you don’t need to buy expensive and complex hardware to get started with the phone system. Better still, the smart system integrates seamlessly with popular business apps, including Salesforce, Netsuite, Zapier, Zoho CRM, Zendesk, Skype for Business, and MailChimp.
Cloud-based phone system Ooma Office is an enterprise-grade solution that is primarily designed to cater to the needs of small businesses and enterprises in a wide array of industries. Ooma’s communication system enables companies to manage their operations professionally to achieve optimal efficiency and productivity.
While it doesn’t provide all the bells and whistles of the high-end players, the solution offers all the vital features you’ll need out of a VoIP system. For example, the Linx remote phone jack leverages wireless technology to empower businesses to create VoIP extensions at different places in their office. The feature comes in handy for service providers like dry cleaners and coffee shops.
If you want to know more about the features you can easily sign up for Ooma Office free trial here.
On the other hand, Ooma Office has an auto-attendant functionality that can answer standard customer queries. Besides, the auto-attendant can be configured to route incoming calls to relevant departments. Moreover, Ooma Office provides virtual extensions and conferencing features that are perfect for businesses with remote workers.
Lastly, Ooma Office is a cost-effective solution tailored to the needs of small businesses. It’s inexpensive to set up as you only need to make a one-time investment in the Ooma base station. Once the system is up and running, you’ll use Ooma Office services and pay on a monthly subscription basis.
Web conferencing solution Lifesize is a reliable, cloud-based software designed to help businesses connect with workers, clients, and partners through video collaboration. The system allows businesses to connect to anyone, anywhere, making it a breeze to communicate and accomplish vital operations. Lifesize provides a unified meeting experience geared towards organizations in a wide range of industries.
Whether you want to conduct virtual meetings or make audio/video calls, the platform has the functionality to help you do so. The solution wraps wireless meeting room devices, conference room systems, video conferencing apps, and best-in-class cloud service experience into one powerful solution. This way, it delivers high video and audio quality to facilitate communication in a way that meets the demands of the modern enterprise.
The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for Lifesize free trial here.
Better still, with Lifesize, businesses can initiate both planned and on-demand video meetings with employees, global partners, or customers. It’s easy to start a meeting with Lifesize and share the meeting links to invite an unlimited number of participants. On the other hand, participants only need to click the link to join sessions from any device PC, tablet, or mobile.
Moreover, Lifesize integrates seamlessly with the most popular productivity and scheduling apps, including Slack, Skype, and Google Calendar. It also works just fine with third-party conference room equipment. These integrations extend Lifesize functionality, enabling users to streamline their daily meeting workflow.
Reliable cloud phone systems remove the dependency on telephone lines, alleviating IT overheads. They save resources, guarantee high security, and provide advanced features that enable businesses to stay competitive and relevant.
RingCentral, for example, provides over 200 area codes for businesses in the US. This way, you can create a virtual local presence so customers can reach you by dialing a local call. Besides, if you’ve offices in the US and Canada, it’s easy to unify communications by having one local number in both countries. RingCentral local number encompasses all communication channels, including call, text, and fax.
Even better, with the RingCentral’s call forwarding feature, it’s a breeze to route incoming calls to any device. You can even use the available answering rules or create custom rules to have calls routed based on a criterion that augments the way you work. Moreover, the platform provides other call management features like call screening, voicemail to email, extensions, and a virtual receptionist.
Ooma Office, on the other hand, provides all the standard call management tools a small business needs to manage business calls and voicemail anywhere, anytime, and on any device. It offers robust features, including virtual receptionist, call forwarding, virtual extensions, and voicemail to email. Also, Ooma Office supports unlimited calling in the US and Canada.
Lastly, in terms of cloud phone capabilities, Lifesize is not on the same level as RingCentral or Ooma Office. However, the platform has an audio-only calling option that allows users to access a local toll-free dial-in number in over sixty countries.
Verdict: RingCentral is the frontrunner in this category. The solution offers all the features you want in a cloud phone system. Some of RingCentral’s unique features include click-to-call, call queues, and toll-free, and vanity numbers.
Virtual meetings have become the most efficient and cost-effective method in achieving myriad goals, including corporate training and client interactions. But, to reach these goals, businesses need to ensure effective communication is enforced for bottom-line savings.
RingCentral provides the features you need to hold virtual meetings, trainings, and webinars. The meeting modules integrate with the phone system allowing you to easily set up and join meetings from any device. Besides, when meeting with a remote workforce, partners, or clients, video conferencing and screen sharing allow you to share information live in HD video.
With real-time collaboration, RingCentral eliminates the need for back and forth email communications, and ultimately expedites decision making. Besides, unlike other conferencing solutions, RingCentral one-tap phone number links in the invites.
Ooma Office’s video conferencing feature is available in the enterprise communication module. With on-demand conferencing, you can dial-in from anywhere and invite unlimited guests to meetings. Besides, Ooma Office offers a powerful video conferencing solution to help you deliver an immersive and visual experience.
On the other hand, Lifesize is designed primarily as a platform for video conferencing that comes with a 4K screen sharing capability. As such, it’s a great option for organizations that want remote participants to have a presence in corporate meetings. What makes Lifesize unique is that it allows you to invite an unlimited number of guests, broadcast live meetings, or record them from any device.
Verdict: Based on video conferencing capability alone, Lifesize is inarguably a mark ahead of the rest. However, when you factor in the influence of supportive tools, RingCentral has more to show than the others. This is because it integrates with the phone system and offers unique cloud telepresence and webinar features.
Team collaboration requires two ingredients to succeed — effective communication and teamwork.
RingCentral offers a complete suite of team collaboration features. The instant messaging platform Glip allows teams to communicate, share files, and create video meetings anytime, anywhere, and from any device. What’s more, facilitating the team’s projects on Glip is a walk in the park. Managing all projects and schedules from one place minimizes the team’s technology stack. Plus, it ensures everyone is in the loop, setting the team on its way to going over and above the collective objective.
Ooma Office, on the other hand, supports team collaboration through instant messaging. The messaging tool allows team members to chat with ease for faster collaboration and improved productivity. It makes it easy to seek quick answers from colleagues without interrupting other tasks. Most importantly, Ooma Office supports business texting, meaning you can send and receive text messages on the business phone number.
Lifesize, meanwhile, offers collaboration capabilities through third-party integrations. The platform is interoperable and works flawlessly with collaboration tools like Slack and HipChat. This, together with Lifesize’s powerful video conferencing capability, allows dispersed teams to connect and foster a deep sense of collaboration.
Verdict: RingCentral deservedly takes the top accolade in this category, thanks to the Glip collaboration and messaging platform. The tool supports real-time file sharing, video meeting, and manages projects in one place. These features put RingCentral a notch higher than Ooma Office and Lifesize. However, Ooma Office isn’t far behind in terms of collaboration abilities. Its instant messaging capabilities are perfect for businesses that think phone calls are killing employee productivity.
Information and data security take precedence in every communication, especially in the world where cybersecurity threats hover everywhere. Whether you are sharing personal tales with a colleague or exchanging critical information with a client, it’s essential to do so through a secure platform.
RingCentral is an enterprise-ready solution that facilitates encrypted communication between endpoints on your network, including desktop apps, desk phones, and mobile apps. Encryption safeguards communication against all interruption threats, such as malicious attacks and power outages. Besides, RingCentral offers a Single SignOn (SSO) functionality. It also allows you to set roles and permissions to stipulate how much of the system a specific user can access.
On the same scale, Ooma Office offers complete end-to-end encryption for audio call and video conference streams. Besides, the instant messaging platform is secured to ensure no chat is leaked. Moreover, Ooma Office offers access controls to ensure only rightfully invited guests take part in video and audio conferencing.
On the other hand, one of the strengths of Lifesize is encryption. The platform’s client software and room systems are designed to deliver end-to-end encrypted audio calls, video calls, media, and even call setup (signaling). In addition to built-in encryption, Lifesize ensures data management and live streaming are secure thanks to permissions, SSO, firewall traversal, and SAML technology. As a result, even when you have a call with your enterprise clients, you can rest assured that no information will be intercepted or leaked.
Verdict: The top 3 VoIP software value security to the core. For this reason, the solutions are ideally suited for organizations that want to share secure and encrypted communications. RingCentral and Lifesize exhibit robust security features, and thus, share the top spot.
The communication software you use spews out data that can be processed to help you understand how your team communicates. Consequently, you can tweak the way the team communicates to boost collaboration and improve productivity.
RingCentral collects vital communication data and analyzes it to deliver helpful insights through the analytics portal. It provides key reports like device status report, quality of service reports, and performance reports. These reports give insights that empower you to improve the quality of service and business performance.
Better still, the platform gives you a 360-degree overview of meeting usage in your business. What’s more, RingCentral provides live reports for call management so you can monitor agent performance and stay ahead in customer experience.
Ooma Office, meantime, has a powerful analytics feature that analyzes vital data to deliver helpful insights. The insights shed light on critical metrics that allow businesses to understand call volumes across different locations. Besides, it intelligently analyzes historical and real-time call data, helping businesses to improve agent performance and enhance compliance.
Lastly, Lifesize supports conference analytics. The solution enables you to track average meeting length, the number of calls made, and other critical metrics through the admin console. The usage reports provide valuable insights into service and system usage. You can use these insights to understand how your team communicates, allowing you to enhance your business and improve productivity.
Verdict: RingCentral’s analytics portal is built for more intuitive and powerful reporting. As such, it delivers comprehensive reports on devices, users, QoS, and even phone numbers. On this account, RingCentral proves to be a force to reckon with and is, without a doubt, the top product in this category.
The technology has rapidly evolved, and now it’s a breeze to talk over the internet as easily as we can talk on the phone. VoIP has revolutionized business telephony, making it more efficient, cheaper, and much easier. With the proliferation of mobile phones, providers weigh in on reliable apps for VoIP to broaden the horizons and enhance accessibility.
The RingCentral mobile app provides quick and easy access to all RingCentral VoIP services. The mobile app allows you to make calls, check voicemail, send and receive SMS, and conduct meetings while on the road. Even when you travel between countries, you can send messages and receive calls through the RingCentral mobile app to remain connected to your team. Interestingly, the RingCentral mobile app is available for Windows, Android, and iOS devices.
Ooma Office, meanwhile, provides a reliable Android and iOS devices app designed to help users make and receive calls while on the go. The app gives access to vital features like extension dialing, virtual receptionist, music-on-hold, and conferencing. Better still, with the Ooma mobile app, you can transfer calls and manage voicemail as if you’re in the office.
Meanwhile, Lifesize provides a great on-the-fly app that is available for Android and iOS devices. The app supports active communication, allowing teams to make calls, schedule meetings, and join meetings while on the road. Besides, it adds flexibility, enhancing collaboration throughout an organization.
Verdict: The top 3 VoIP systems provide powerful mobile apps that add convenience and flexibility to business communication. The apps are great and feature all the tools you need to avoid expensive roaming charges when traveling internationally. RingCentral’s mobile app holds an advantage over the others in that it supports Windows, Android, and iOS mobile devices.
Before you ink any deal with a VoIP provider, you need to inspect the initial setup charges, maintenance overheads, upgrade costs, and monthly service fees.
RingCentral offers four pricing plans namely Essentials ($29.99/month/user), Standard ($34.99/month/user), Premium ($44.99/month/user), and Ultimate ($59.99/month/user). Essential is the basic plan and is ideal for small businesses with less than 20 users. It offers all the basic VoIP features, one local number, one toll-free number, and 100 toll-free minutes per month. To get advanced features and more toll-free minutes, you must subscribe to higher plans.
On the other hand, Ooma Office offers two pricing plans Ooma Office ($19.95/month/user) and Ooma Office Pro ($24.95/month/user). With the basic plan, you get all the core VoIP features, including virtual receptionist, ring groups, voicemail, call transfer, call forwarding, and virtual extensions. With the Pro plan, you get all the basic features plus a suite of advanced tools like voicemail transcription, overhead paging, and call recording.
Lastly, Lifesize provides pricing bundles tailored to the needs of organizations and meeting rooms of different sizes. They include the mini Bundle ($16/user/month), the small bundle ($19/user/month), and the medium bundle ($23/user/month).
Verdict: Ooma is an affordable VoIP software and is undoubtedly the top product in this category. Lifesize is equally affordable and comes with a comprehensive suite of conferencing features. On the other hand, RingCentral is comparatively expensive, but it comes with a solid range of tools you want in a telephone system.
We’ve compared the top 3 VoIP software to abridge your decision making and help you pick the most suitable solution. Our comparison cut across all the key features, including call management, collaboration, support for virtual meetings, security, analytics, and mobile app support.
Based on our analysis, Ooma Office plays second fiddle to RingCentral in most of these categories. However, if you run a business with less than 20 users and do not need all the bells and whistles of premium phone systems, Ooma Office is probably the ideal platform for you. This is because the solution gives you a solid bare-bone tool with all the basic internet phone system features and its affordable.
On the other hand, Lifesize doesn’t offer much to outrightly outscore RingCentral or Ooma Office. However, if all you need is a video conferencing solution, look no further. Lifesize has all the robust tools you need to deliver visually engaging web conferencing.
Ringcentral, meanwhile, goes over and above the basic call management features, providing all the advanced business phone system features. It also offers Glip — an effective collaboration platform and facilitates secure and encrypted communication. You can read our guide to get more information about the pros and cons of RingCentral. The only downside is that RingCentral is expensive compared to Ooma Office and Lifesize. However, it negates the impact of its pricey nature with its unique features and benefits.
We recommend using RingCentral because it provides all the tools you need to run a business. Our experts have examined the tool’in-depth, and it’s our top VoIP solution by merit. You can try it firsthand when you sign up for RingCentral free trial here.
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