The rise of smart communications software has made remote working so much simpler, connecting co-workers in locations around the world.
It’s also made it possible for organizations to reduce their reliance on email, as instant messaging apps and video conferencing enable team collaboration in real time.
There’s a whole bunch of messaging and collaboration apps to choose from, some offering more features than others. Two popular options are RingCentral Video, and Workplace from Facebook – but which is better? Our team has done the research for you, to find out how the apps measure up on the things that matter.
Firstly, let’s take a quick look at what they both do.
What does RingCentral Video do?
RingCentral Video by RingCentral is a unified communications system, incorporating collaboration tools, team messaging, and a phone system. It’s parent company, RingCentral, is a leading cloud communications platform, meaning users can be sure they’ll get high-quality performance.
Plenty of communication software promises to deliver the functionalities of different software categories in one single app, but the truth is that many of them will charge you for premium features.
Luckily, RingCentral Video offers a free plan (RingCentral Video Pro) with a raft of functions including built-in task management, unlimited file storage, and HD-quality voice and video calls. Not to mention that it benefits from multiple CRM integrations and link ups with other handy tools, too. There’s also a more advanced plan (RingCentral Video Pro+) available for $11.99 a month, providing analytics, an increased participant limit in video chats, and more.
What does Workplace do?
Workplace is part of social networking giant Facebook, which means many employees will already be familiar with the look and feel of the interface. It also shares some functionality with Facebook, such as sharing data, joining groups, live video streaming, and setting up events. Of course, this familiarity with Facebook might be off-putting to those who like to keep their work and social lives separate.
This digital workplace used to offer a free plan, but a recent overhaul means there are now just two paid tiers available (unless you’re an educational or non-profit organization). The Advanced plan is $4/month, while the Enterprise plan is $8/month. Workplace does offer a 30-day trial of its Advanced level.
With these overviews in mind, let’s see how the apps can help your team communicate and collaborate effectively on the following core points:
- Team messaging
- Calls and conferencing
- Managing projects
- Storing files
- Keeping you secure
- Integrating with other tools
Key features of RingCentral Video
- Tagging colleagues
- Favoriting important messages
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Emojis and GIFs
Calls and conferencing
Keeping you secure
Integrating with other tools
Key features of Workplace
Workplace’s Chat feature is a bit like Facebook Messenger, but for business messaging. It lets you direct message up to 250 co-workers at once, although you have to be a member of a group to start a conversation, making contact management a little less intuitive.
In Chat, you can:
- Tag people with @mentions
- Use emojis, stickers and GIFs
- Send voice clips
- Run polls.
Chat is also presented as a separate app which you’ll need to download, in the same way that Messenger and Facebook are separate. While it’s easily available on Android, iOS, Windows PC and Mac, it can be inconvenient to have your real-time messaging in a separate location to everything else.
Calls and conferencing
If you’ve downloaded Workplace Chat, you’ll be able to make voice calls with one person or a group from the same app. Video calls are also available (but not everywhere, so double-check when you select your country), and it’s necessary to download a Google Chrome extension in order to share your screen.
Those wishing to host video meetings with up to 50 people can use Workplace Rooms, in which it’s possible to do screen shares and lock the room. However, this entails downloading another app and is currently in beta, so not available on all Workplace communities.
Workplace does allow you to stream live videos to a group or the whole company, broadcast with multiple hosts, and create premium events straight from your computer.
Here’s where RingCentral Video really takes the win over Workplace, and one thing that means it gets a greater overall rating as a collaboration tool. Whereas RingCentral Video is great on collaboration and productivity as well as internal communication, Workplace is best used solely as a communication tool.
Even though you’re paying for the app, it only gives you limited workflow management options – for example, there’s no built-in team calendar, and not much in the way of task assigning or tracking. This means you’ll have to integrate (and probably pay for) another project management tool.
Workplace is strong on integration, and this includes third-party file storage providers. You’ll get almost-unlimited storage and access to files created elsewhere, but the downside is that there’s no search functionality for documents uploaded in this way.
While RingCentral Video lets you store files of any size, Workplace has a maximum size of 50 MB – which could hinder companies who need to keep large images on file, for instance. File sharing via Workplace Chat is capped at 75 MB. It also has a knowledge base option, best suited for static, unchanging content like holiday policies or software guides. Not ideal, then, for dynamic, ever-changing content that you might generate through ongoing projects or partner programs.
Keeping you secure
Facebook hasn’t always had the best reputation for taking care of customer data – and although there’s no overlap between Workplace accounts and personal Facebook accounts, some businesses might think twice about being associated with what is primarily a social media company.
However, Workplace offers security features such as single sign-on, two-factor authentication, and SOC-2 compliance.
Integrating with other tools
Workplace has a comprehensive directory of integrations, including Microsoft Office, BlueJeans, G Suite, Salesforce, OneDrive, and Quip, and there are APIs for custom integrations.
Which team collaboration software comes out on top?
If your primary concern is pricing, then RingCentral Video is ideal – the free plan includes so many neat features that small businesses should find it meets all their needs. And large organizations still have the option of upgrading to the paid tier. If your company uses RingCentral MVP, RingCentral Video is already part of the deal. It’s a great way to improve user satisfaction and employee experience without having to spend much.
Workplace by Facebook, on the other hand, wants you to pay for even the most basic functions. But it doesn’t offer some of the things you’d expect to see, such as integrated task management – and having to download separate apps and plug-ins makes the experience less smooth.
Here are some areas where Workplace lags behind RingCentral Video:
|RingCentral Video (free)||Workplace (cheapest tier $4)|
|Video calls||100 people (built-in)||50 people (separate Rooms app)|
|Team messaging||Built-in||Separate Chat app|
|Screen sharing||Yes||Yes, with extension|
|File storage||Unlimited||1 TB|
|File annotation||Yes||Yes, but only on desktop|
|Task management||Built-in||Third-party integrations|
As far as collaboration tools go, Workplace just doesn’t seem like value for money. Our advice is to do your research and check out all the RingCentral Video alternatives, and we think you’ll agree that RingCentral Video is the cream of the crop.