It’s a great time to move your business communications to the cloud. There are lots of powerful platforms on the market right now for affordable prices, and Fuze is one of them. Fuze is a solid unified communications platform; just like RingCentral, they offer a 99.999% uptime and one central app for all of their capabilities, which makes your life easier. They’re also in the Top 3 of Gartner’s 2019 UCaaS Magic Quadrant (behind RingCentral, who has been an MQ leader for five years):
But the UCaaS game isn’t one-size-fits-all, and today cloud phones can do so much more than just take and make calls. Maybe you’re looking into Fuze and aren’t sure if it’s the right solution for your small business, or you currently have Fuze and want to see if there might be a better fit out there. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of Fuze’s competitors and broken down the pros and cons of each one, so you don’t have to.
Here are the criteria we used to compare each of these platforms to Fuze:
- Call quality
- Strength of features, especially video and team collaboration
- Overall value for the price
Based on these criteria, we’ve ranked Fuze’s top competitors from best to, well, least-best:
If your business has distributed teams—either in different office spaces, on the road, or working from home—Fuze might not be the right platform for you.
For around the same price per user per month, RingCentral offers a much more well-rounded cloud communications platform with powerful, high-capacity team messaging, video conferencing, and app integrations. You’ll get all of this plus a more reliable global reach in your phone calls.
According to customer reviews of Fuze, their main pitfalls are call quality, service reliability, and tech support. People complained about the app freezing and taking a long time to get started, the messaging feature crashing, and slow or unavailable phone service.
As a small business, these are three areas that could really cost your business valuable time and customers. RingCentral, on the other hand, won PCMag’s Editor’s Choice Award thanks to our reliable service and easy-to-use app interface:
In distributed work environments, team collaboration has become extra important. While they have a solid phone plan, Fuze’s internal messaging and video conferencing features are both somewhat limited.
RingCentral’s collaboration software keeps teams of all sizes and locations in the loop. This powerful tool allows you to annotate shared files, and it intuitively organizes files, links, and images into tabs for one-click finding. No more searching and scrolling! You can also create events, assign and track progress on tasks, and hop on a video chat with the click of the mouse:
When it comes to video collaboration, there’s a reason Gartner rated RingCentral #1 in the UCaaS Magic Quadrant. (Okay, there were lots of reasons, and our video quality is one of them!)
Fuze offers high-def audio for their video calls, but there’s no promise on the actual video quality. What good is one without the other? RingCentral guarantees high-definition voice for phone calls and both HD voice and video for face-to-face conferencing, along with screen sharing and recording capabilities. Plus, external guests can hop on a call without having to download a thing. The super-crisp video chat will open right in their browser: You’ll also get a reliably higher number of participants on video conferencing: up to 200, anytime. That means RingCentral is a product that scales up with your business, so you won’t have to look for new platforms as you grow.
RingCentral pairs better than Fuze with third-party business integrations: over 200 apps and counting. If you already have other apps you love (your CRM, for example), chances are RingCentral will sync with them to streamline your day even more.
Fuze’s limitations in collaboration and video could mean you’ll need additional apps to supplement Fuze’s capabilities: at least a solid team messaging app, task-management software, and maybe something stronger for video conferencing. This kind of app juggling leads to time lost toggling between screens all day, and could mean important tasks fall through the cracks. RingCentral puts all of these powerful tools in the same place, so your teams won’t miss a beat.
🕹️ Get a hands-on look at how RingCentral works by booking a product tour:
💰 You can also use this calculator to see roughly how much your business could save by using RingCentral to support your team’s communication with each other—and clients.
2. Vonage: small businesses welcome
Vonage is a big name in the communications game, and for good reason. Like RingCentral and Fuze, they offer an extensive set of features with several tiers of pricing and service, so you can choose the plan that makes the most sense for your small business, and the option to add on a customer engagement suite. They also have a good-sized base of customers who are small business owners, which means they know what they’re doing when it comes to your unique needs.
There are, of course, a few catches. You can’t sample the product with a free trial, as you can with RingCentral. So if you’re considering Vonage, be sure to ask lots of questions about functionality specific to your business needs before signing that contract.
Vonage also owns less of their tech than Fuze and RingCentral for some of their features. That means behind their app, Vonage is juggling several different platforms and vendors, which might lead to snags in seamlessness for you… and more overhead for them. That’s why Vonage is one of the more expensive offerings on this list.
8×8 is another solid choice for small businesses in need of VoIP services, especially if price is your be-all and end-all. Upfront, they’re cheaper than Fuze; they offer competitive quotes, shorter contracts, and deep discounts. But buyer beware: their pricing can be a real study in “you get what you pay for.”
We recently did a deep dive on 8×8, and here’s what we found. Compared with RingCentral, 8×8 falls short on live phone support availability (only certain products qualify) and number of app integrations (a couple dozen versus 200+). They still deliver good service and a user-friendly interface, and they rank well overall as a VoIP service provider. 8×8 might be the right choice if you need to get a basic VoIP service off the ground for your business at the lowest price. Just expect to pay more for additional features over time.
4. Dialpad: A low-cost option for small businesses
Dialpad offers an affordable product for small businesses. Customers appreciate the easy installation and ease of use, and Dialpad integrates with a few of the big-name apps: Salesforce, Zendesk, Office 365, and a handful of others. Their paid plans include some of the features RingCentral offers: cloud phone, video, and text messaging capabilities, as well as internal group chat in one app.
But just like the other cost-conscious options on this list, you might notice a difference in quality. While RingCentral guarantees just about the highest level of phone service in the industry, Dialpad customers have complained about spotty calls over Wi-Fi at times. Also, their video conferencing software isn’t proprietary; they use UberConference for this functionality within the app. As we’ve noted in other reviews above, this means Dialpad doesn’t have direct control over changes and updates made to this important piece of software. It also might take them longer to get video issues fixed for you as a result.
Star2Star is another top contender for small business VoIP, offering a 99.999% uptime SLA just like RingCentral. Customers seem happy with the ease of use and price, and Star2Star touts being affordable, but they don’t list their plan prices on the website.
Star2Star has also come out strong on their disaster recovery capabilities: the ability to keep your business up and running no matter what happens, thanks to the cloud and constant monitoring of service. It’s worth noting that these functions and the other few they list for disaster recovery all come standard in other UCaaS offerings, including RingCentral, so it’s not clear how exactly they’re doing disaster recovery better than their competitors.
Star2Star includes the ability for external collaboration through their messaging feature, but it’s limited to, at most, 20 outside contributors at their highest price point. This might not be the best product for your business if you’re any kind of consulting or creative team that collaborates heavily with your clients, sending drafts or other items back and forth for multiple projects at once via the messaging function. It’s also unclear what the video conferencing capacities are at each pricing tier, so be sure to ask about this if face-to-face remote meetings are important to your business.
Which alternatives to Fuze are right for your business?
RingCentral is the industry leader and offers some serious bang for your buck, thanks to hundreds of integrations and high-quality, reliable phone and video service. But we know every small business is different, and that’s why we pulled together this diverse set of tools for you to investigate as you weigh your options and priorities.
It’s always a good idea to take these products for a test drive with your team, so you can choose with confidence the option that makes their lives easier and increases productivity. Take advantage of free trials or demos from the tools on this list, or others that you’re researching, before you buy.