When you conduct business on the cloud, you can take advantage of lower overheads, convenience, security, and less equipment to take care of.
The cloud technology trend has moved traditional communication and IT systems, that used to work on-premises, to the cloud. This is what happened to traditional phone systems as well.
RingCentral is a Voice Over IP (VoIP) phone communication system that lives and operates entirely on the cloud.
It allows businesses to communicate wherever they are and gets rid of the bulky PBX systems that used to fill whole rooms with cables creating a real mess in offices.
Although RingCentral is one of the most popular cloud-based PBX and VoIP solutions, businesses and entrepreneurs seek to learn also about other options in the market so that they can get the best value for their money.
In this article I have researched and curated a list with the best alternatives to RingCentral. The following RingCentral Competitors offer similar features, comparable or lower pricing, and also flexible communication options.
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Nextiva Office is our top recommendation as an alternative to Ringcentral.
Featuring a 99.999% uptime and crystal-clear voice quality, Nextiva is trusted by thousands of businesses (100,000 in the US alone) and has also earned the “Best Business Phone System” in 2020 by U.S News.
The NextOS (Nextiva’s communication platform) allows all communication to be unified in one cloud-based location. Additionally, it allows for real-time tracking of customers and their experiences. This provides valuable information to any business.
When you choose Nextiva, you get everything you’d expect from a cloud-based communication application, including conference calls, texts, video chats, integrations with business systems etc.
It makes collaboration from anywhere easy. In this context, Nextiva is not just for company teams – it’s also built with customers in mind and their experience.
The Basic package doesn’t include most of the advanced features, such as SMS or recording greetings, but it’s only $20 per month/user. This would suit small businesses.
The Pro package is the most popular at $25 a month/user and offers a good mix of features at a great price point. SMS texting, free online Faxing, unlimited conference calls etc are all included.
The Enterprise package ($30/month/user) offers all the features and is mostly suited for bigger enterprises wanting all of the features available.
All of the above plans include free local or toll-free number, unlimited calling, auto-attendant, free online faxing etc.
Grasshopper is a great service for small businesses and entrepreneurs who can’t afford enterprise solutions and where it would be overkill for their needs. There is no charge on per-user basis. You can have unlimited users with the same price.
It is our top recommendation especially for entrepreneurs and small service-based businesses.
The Grasshopper application adds another line to your existing phone so your don’t need to buy any other phone hardware (such as IP phones etc).
This means that you can have a personal and a business number on your existing phone. It also adds a whole virtual phone system functionality on existing smartphones.
Lots of customers prefer to call toll-free numbers, and Grasshopper offers every small business the chance to offer this feature to their customers.
You can also get vanity numbers, local numbers, or keep your existing number. You also get a custom greeting, call handling features, and extensions.
You can try out Grasshopper for free (7-day trial) and then decide if you like it. If you do, plans start at $29 per month (Solo Plan), $49/month (Partner Plan) and $89/month (Small Business). You can even use your existing phone, so it’s an inexpensive solution for smaller operations.
All of the above plans include virtual Fax, unlimited call minutes (in USA), business texting, custom greetings, voice mail and much more.
Vonage offers businesses of different sizes the capacity to collaborate, make video calls, send texts, add helpful tags to numbers, monitor calls, and so on. It’s available both on mobile and desktop, so it’s possible to work from wherever the cloud can be accessed.
One of the best things is a bandwidth throttling feature. This means that if you’re on limited bandwidth somewhere, you can throttle the video call to preserve connections to your other cloud-based applications.
Vonage is also modular. You get the central application, but you can also add other applications to it in a modular fashion to suit your needs, such as Office 365 support.
Prices start as low as $19.99/month/line if you only have one-two employees in your organization and you only need mobile support (unlimited calling and SMS). This scales all the way up to an enterprise plan with more than a thousand employees. Here is the complete pricing here.
If you prefer using a hardware phone, 8×8 provides a plethora of desktop IP phone options that tap into their cloud application. But you can also stick to using your PC or Mac for calls or your mobile. You get both mobile and desktop applications with all 8×8 plans.
You’ll get call conferencing, call recording, paperless faxing, extensions, virtual receptionist, auto attendant, and more. It also integrates with a wide range of other platforms, including G Suite and Zendesk, making it easy to integrate into an existing system.
They have also some great analytics reporting (call records, summary per extension, unreturned calls etc) to help you make business decisions.
There are three service plans with a varying number of included features, but it’s best to get in touch with them for a quote for your specific needs.
Specifically they have:
- Virtual Office Plan
- Virtual Office Pro
- Virtual Office x8
Jive is a hosted VoIP application that is integrated into the cloud. When you invest in Jive, you get access to up to 80 features, including auto attendants, call logs, three-way call conferencing, extensions, fax to email, custom messages, and more.
If you are sensitive about securing and encrypting your VoIP conversations, you can opt in Jive Secure which allows encrypted VoIP traffic between the cloud and you local devices.
You should have in mind that as many other products in this article, Jive makes use also of hardware IP phones but you can also use the service on computers and smartphones.
One of the best things about Jive is that it doesn’t come with complex pricing that so often confuses customers. Monthly plans can go as low as $19.95/user/month for 50+ users, and scale to over 100 users with a custom price.
For a very small business (1-4 users) you will pay $29.95/user/month.
See pricing details below:
If you’re sick of bulky hardware PBX systems taking up room in your office, 3CX is a good open standards communication solution which works as software PBX.
It can be installed either on a server in your business premises or in the cloud. This means that everyone can access it with just an Internet connection.
There are also both iOS and Android applications as clients, as well as support for Linux. If you already have Amazon cloud or one of the other enterprise cloud solutions (Google, Azure), 3CX can also be installed there, saving you money.
The system as said before offers a software based PBX solution with amazing flexibility. This makes it however a little difficult to learn for non-IT people.
There is a limited free option, but you’ll need to pay for support calls at $75 per instance. The Pro and Enterprise tiers are charged per user, starting at $1.08 per user per month for the PRO and $1.31/user/month for the full Enterprise version. This makes it a very economical and scalable solution.
For example, for a business with 25 users, the Licensing is based on 8 simultaneous calls and will cost a total of $394 per year for all users (Enterprise Plan including everything). This is one of the best deals in the market but as I said, you will need to learn how to configure and manage the system.
This platform can be set up easily in minutes, making it one of the best communication solutions for many small to medium sized businesses.
With features such as call blocking, caller ID, local numbers, toll-free numbers, and many more just in the standard package, Phone.com offers good value for money and convenience.
Similar to Grasshopper, you don’t need extra hardware phones. You can use your own mobile phone or other type of physical phone or even your computer.
You can opt to pay per minute or choose from one of the unlimited plans. If you pay upfront for the year, it only costs $9.99 per month on the base tier of the pay per minute plan. With this plan, you’ll get 300 included minutes right away, 5000 SMS and unlimited user Extensions.
Here is the pricing page for all details.
Offering free 24/7 support, VirtualPBX is a compelling VoIP product. The whole package is customizable, meaning that you can include only the features you need for your business. Furthermore, a web based management system makes it very easy to get to grips with settings.
Their offering caters to both Small Businesses and Midsize to Large Enterprises with more advanced features if needed.
Every customer, no matter the size, gets features such as data storage with AWS, DnD (Do not Disturb), Call Recording, Real-time monitor, advanced reporting etc.
VirtualPBX scales up to thousands of employees, but still shines for small companies. Being cloud based also means that there are no hardware upgrades. You can either pay monthly or annually, and all plans include unlimited minutes for local calls.
The Unlimited Business Plan is divided into “Essentials“, “Advanced” and “Enterprise” with prices of $23.99/user/month, $27.99/user/month, $36.99/user/month respectively.
Here is the detailed pricing page.
If you have a small business, Ooma has been designed to fulfil your needs for a cloud-based communication application.
Starting at only $19.95 per user per month with unlimited USA calling, Ooma office makes it easy for small businesses to set up a communication hub without all the complexities of an enterprise solution.
It’s not lacking in features though. You get a virtual receptionist, call blocking, text messaging, call recording, and more. There is even a mobile application to make it easy for employees to take advantage of Ooma when they are away from the office.
Ooma is usually setup using the hardware Ooma Office Base Station which connects to the cloud and also offers local connections to hardware phones. Moreover, another option is to connect your Ooma IP phones directly to the cloud service for call control.
The pricing is pretty straight forward. There is Ooma Office Plan costing $19.95/user/month and also Ooma Office Pro costing $24.95/user/month. Here are more details about pricing and features offered per plan.
Offering scalable solutions from IP phones to on-site phone systems, MiCloud is a comprehensive system of cloud based connection solutions that is versatile enough to handle any business from the smallest to the largest.
If you need mass text features, MiCloud offers it. If you need simple call conferencing, MiCloud can easily service your needs. If you want desktop sharing for tech support, MiCloud offers that too. In fact, it makes collaboration and customer service an easy task. To get prices, just get in touch with Mitel.
If you want an easy and convenient solution for your small business, Mightycall is a slick and feature-rich offering. You can get a free demo to see if it’s right for you, or book a demo with them.
It’s easy to use and set up, includes both local and toll-free numbers, call history, call recording, voice message transcription, and more.
Like some other services in this article, no additional hardware phones are needed to run your phone system. You can use your smartphone or laptop computer for making calls or receiving calls etc.
The Basic package is $19.99 a month and includes everything you need to get started, including unlimited users. If you want more, including softphones for your much larger business, the Enterprise Ultimate package is $99.99 a month. The Standard Plan is in the middle costing $39.99/month. All trials run for seven days.
Here is the official pricing page for more info.
This product not only provides Virtual Telephony but also offers Workflow Automation as well for businesses.
CallHippo is scalable and can be set up in a few minutes. You can buy phone numbers in over 50 countries internationally, and you can even add more than one user on the same number to scale it the way you want.
CallHippo integrates out of the box with third-party services such as Zoho, Zendesk, Slack, Freshdesk, and more. This makes it easy if you already use one or more of these services in your business.
CallHippo is the service for you if you are a sole entrepreneur and need some extra power in your communications.
For up to two users, it’s free every month. Plans then progress from Bronze to a Custom solution that is more suited to corporations and enterprises.
Bronze adds a few extra features, such as call queuing, which is not in the Basic package, and is only $10 per month per user.
Higher plans go for $18 or $30 per user per month.
Here is the complete pricing page.
If you just want an app-based solution on your phone, then Line2 is for you. You can easily set up a second business line on your smartphone or other device. You can choose your own numbers or use an existing number.
Since Line2 is cloud based, it will work anywhere on any device that can access the internet. All you need to do is sign up, choose a number or transfer an existing one, and then download the app. It works on different devices and you can easily add more numbers to it when your business grows.
You can pay month-to-month or yearly (cheaper).
The month-to-month cost starts at $9.95 per month for the Standard package (one user only). There is also the Pro plan costing $14.95 /user/month where you get more features. The Elite package is a complete business solution with premium support costing $19.95 per user per month. Here is the detailed pricing page.