As companies of all sizes realize the benefits of remote working, employees are increasingly likely to be scattered across multiple locations. But this needn’t be a barrier to effective employee communication - in fact, quite the opposite.
The availability of smart communication tools and solutions across software categories means it’s easier than ever for remote workers with web apps and mobile access to keep in touch and collaborate on team projects. Good news for small and medium businesses: many of these team communication and collaboration software solutions are free!
Two popular team collaboration apps are RingCentral Video, and Flock. Both offer a free plan – but which one gives you the best overall experience? In this RingCentral Video vs Flock features comparison, we’ll show how the two communications software differ from each other, so you can decide which is best for you.
(Hint: we think we already know which one you’ll choose!)
What’s good about RingCentral Video?
As we mentioned earlier, RingCentral Video has a free plan – and it’s one of the most comprehensive in terms of productivity features and collaboration features. While many team chat apps reserve their smartest functions for paying customers, RingCentral gives its free users the good stuff, like in-app file annotation and a built-in task management tool.
Since it’s part of RingCentral’s award-winning telecommunications suite, RingCentral Video also provides HD-quality voice calls and video conferencing as standard – as well as team messaging, cloud recording and unlimited file storage, helping to make all aspects of content management a breeze. Its hundreds of third-party app integrations include Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Asana, Trello, Jira and Dropbox.
RingCentral Video Pro: Free
RingCentral Video Pro Plus: $11.99 per month
What’s good about Flock?
Flock also offers a free plan, with the basic functions of an instant messaging app and 1:1 video calls. It has unlimited third-party app integrations with the likes of Trello, Twitter, MailChimp, Zendesk, and Airbrake – plus 5GB of file storage, and handy features like polls, notes and reminders.
If you’re willing to upgrade to the paid tiers of this collaboration software, you can also access group video chat, screen sharing and audio calls, plus extra features like to-do lists for project management.
Flock Starter: Free
Flock Pro: $4.50 per month
Flock Enterprise: ask for a quote
RingCentral Video vs Flock: What’s the difference?
It’s true that there are certain similarities when you compare RingCentral Video vs Flock, as there would be with other team collaboration tools on the market. For example, both RingCentral Video and Flock are compatible with Windows, MAC, Linux, IOS, and Android – and they both integrate with a range of other third-party apps.
However, if you look a little deeper, you begin to notice some big differences between the team collaboration and chat applications. The first thing any business will want to know is how these apps handle these crucial aspects of internal communications and project collaboration within the company:
- Video and audio
- Tasks and projects
- Storage and file sharing
- Security and service
Let’s start by finding out what RingCentral Video has to offer.
Video and audio
As we mentioned above, RingCentral Video provides crystal-clear sound and vision for video conferencing and audio calls, so team members won’t miss (or mishear) important details. This kind of quality lends extra professionalism to external as well as internal communications.
With RingCentral Video, you’ll get 24-hour video meetings with up to 100 people even in the free plan, meaning that all team members can work together both within and outside business hours. The host maintains total control, with the ability to mute or unmute participants, disable video, and end the meeting for everyone – helping to keep conversations secure.
Another big advantage over Flock is that RingCentral Video’s free plan includes screen sharing. You can share files and screenshots, give presentations, and even add on-screen annotations in real time, making virtual meetings more engaging and keeping everyone on the same page.
Another handy function is the ability to switch between any of your devices with the desktop or mobile app, even while a meeting is taking place live online. Meetings can also be recorded and saved to the cloud for up to seven days, so they can be shared with people who couldn’t attend.
RingCentral Video’s built-in team messaging feature is a great way to enhance team communication, especially as it allows unlimited users and messages (Flock has a limit of 10,000 messages – #justsaying).
The ability to create dedicated discussion threads for different teams and topics is ideal for keeping everyone in the loop, while making sure that separate projects stay separate. If you decide during a chat that an impromptu meeting is required, you can start one straight from messaging in a single click.
Team chats can be set up as public or private (invitation-only), and the admin has control over access and permissions. There are no worries about losing track of multiple messages – the app has a “favorites” option in which you can flag certain messages and view them on your dashboard. Contact management is a cinch, too—you can create group chats with just one click or tap from a video call.
Customization options include bold formatting, bullet points, and emojis to make communication more effective., or use RingCentral’s APIs to enhance your real-time chat experience.
Tasks and projects
Here’s another area where RingCentral Video scores points: the strength of its built-in task management function, which enhances productivity and saves you having to pay extra for task management software.
The feature makes it easy to create and assign tasks and share them with the team – and with yourself! As well as attaching files and notes, sending and receiving messages, and setting deadlines for the projects, you can make a to-do list or turn any message into a task.
Keeping track of a project’s progress is simple, too, with time tracking and calendar management tools where you can view all ongoing tasks and sort them by date. You can also move tasks around with drag and drop, assign different colors to each team member, or filter them by various criteria.
RingCentral Video even uses automation to add recurring tasks to the calendar, so you don’t have to set up a new entry each time. It’s easy to start a video chat or message a colleague from the same team thread where you created the task.
Finally, if you’re already using other project management tools such as Pivotal Tracker, Asana, Jira or Trello, RingCentral Video will integrate with the third-party apps to merge updates and notifications across management systems.
Storage and file sharing
One of RingCentral Video’s standout features is the free unlimited file storage – it really is 100% free, with no hidden costs.
Whether you’re using the free version or a paid plan, you can store documents, images or videos of any size and format, and share them with all team members across the app. Anyone can add comments and notes to the file, without altering the original.
Files can be organized by project or team, making them easier to find – and you can even upload documents from other collaboration tools such as Dropbox or Google Drive, so that document management is done in one place.
Security and service
Being part of RingCentral means that RingCentral Video’s security is second to none. All meetings and conversations are encrypted with enterprise-level security, and you can password-protect any meeting and control who joins. It’s also SOC-2 compliant and uses TLS 1.2 data encryption.
The software also has a very low failure risk, with carrier-grade infrastructure offering 99.999% uptime. If you do experience a problem, customer service is delivered via chatbot support, video tutorials and a knowledge base (plus 24/7 live support in the paid plan).
Now let’s see how Flock measures up.
Video and audio
While users tend to be happy enough with the quality of Flock’s video, the main drawback is that the free plan only lets you have 1:1 calls. Even the paid tiers only allow a maximum of 20 participants in a meeting, which doesn’t seem great value for money if your business requires a large-group audio and video conferencing.
Like RingCentral Video, audio and video calls are available with a single click, but the free version doesn’t permit audio conferencing outside of India. It doesn’t offer screen sharing, either.
Flock offers a quality real-time chat tool for conversations with individuals or groups. Messages can be tagged, bookmarked or converted into a to-do list for team members.
It’s easy to search the data, but the message history limit is a disadvantage with only 10,000 messages retained – not ideal when you’re searching for important discussion threads from some time ago, especially in very active team chats. Only with the paid plans do you get unlimited messages and an unlimited searchable history.
Tasks and projects
Flock’s project management tool allows users to create a separate channel for every project, and it offers some useful collaboration features such as the ability to set up polls, to-do lists and instant reminders.
There’s also an @mention feature which enables you to address any issue or discussion with a specific member in the channel, while the process automation function is a useful productivity feature for handling workflow.
However, there are very few controls for the team administrator. Flock has plenty of third-party app integrations with other project management software, but RingCentral Video has more built-in functionality.
Storage and file sharing
Document management is relatively simple with Flock, which has a drag-and-drop function for file sharing. However, it falls down on the amount of storage available in the free plan.
This only gives you 5 GB total (per team), compared to RingCentral Video’s unlimited storage. If you upgrade to Pro, this increases to 10 GB, and 20 GB with the Enterprise plan.
There’s also a 100 MB limit on file size, which could present an issue when you need to share large images or videos.
Security and service
Flock is SOC-2 compliant and uses TLS 1.2 data encryption. The integration with G Suite means that Google OAuth can be activated to admit users under their existing Google credentials.
Single Sign On and 24/7 customer support are only available in the top Enterprise tier. Flock’s website doesn’t give a figure for uptime for either the Starter or Pro versions, though it promises 99.9% at Enterprise level.
So, who’s the winner in Flock vs RingCentral Video?
RingCentral Video and Flock are both great examples of communications software, offering a variety of collaboration features and productivity features to help your team function effectively. Both business software solutions have a free plan, but RingCentral Video’s version gives you far more to play with – whereas with Flock, you have to pay to access the more sophisticated features.
And while Flock’s lowest paid tier might seem affordable at first glance, it’s worth remembering that it still doesn’t offer as many features as you’d get for free with RingCentral Video.
This RingCentral Video vs Flock table shows you some of the areas where Flock comes up short:
|RingCentral Video (free)||Flock (free)|
|1:1 and groups up to 100, for 24 hours||1:1 only, for 20 minutes|
|Unlimited||5 GB per team|
|Built-in||Integrations with other apps|
We think it’s pretty clear that RingCentral Video is the victor in this battle of team communication and collaboration software solutions. It gives you one team collaboration app that does everything – and it’s hard to beat the bundle of goodies offered with the free plan. If your business is large enough to warrant upgrading, the paid tier still represents far more value for money than Flock and Flock alternatives.