Updated December 2020
As a small business owner, you know the importance of having a reliable means of communication with your customers and clients. You also probably know that, while things like email and chat are great and all, they can’t always replace the good ol’ telephone. You need a good mix of different communication channels.
(Okay, to be fair, voice over internet protocol, aka making calls over the internet, is nothing new, but there’s a reason why it hasn’t gone out of style all these years. It’s because, despite all the different communication platforms out there, talking to someone over the phone is still the #1 preferred means of communications for customers.)
But not all communication platforms are created equal. Obviously, you’ve heard of RingCentral (hey there!), but we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought that you’re not Googling all the other alternatives out there.
So, we decided to do a bit of that work for you—in this post, we’ve rounded up the top seven alternatives to RingCentral that always seem to pop up, and stacked them up against our own product, warts and all. Prices, pros, and cons, it’s all there.
And to be clear, yes, of course we’re just a tiny bit biased, but we understand that there may be a tool that could be a better fit for certain types of businesses and teams. We’ll tackle those points too, further below.
Let’s face it, it’s either us writing about these or our competitors writing about these (or paying someone to write about there), so here’s us, standing in front of you on the Internet, asking you to give us a shot at making our case.
Keep reading to learn:
- What (in our humble opinion) makes RingCentral better than almost any alternative out there
- The 7 best alternatives to RingCentral
- The verdict: What’s the best RingCentral alternative?
- Frequently asked questions
✅ Empower your business with messaging, video meetings, and calls from anywhere, on any device with RingCentral MVP™. Get the free RingCentral MVP datasheet.
RingCentral has been a leading provider in the VoIP industry for almost 20 years. That’s a lot of time spent honing our craft and technology, and creating solutions for small, medium, and enterprise businesses. We’ve got something for literally every budget.
And though RingCentral is based in the United States, we offer phone support for a long list of countries including Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and South Korea.
As far as pricing goes, packages range from $19.99 to $34.99 per user, per month on an annual plan. Is RingCentral the cheapest provider on the market on paper? Well, technically no… And yes, there’s a but.
But RingCentral’s feature-rich platform is so versatile that if the up-front price is an issue, we humbly offer this: it can easily replace three or four (or more!) of your existing apps, and could end up being less expensive in the long run.
In fact, as you’ll see later on while looking through RingCentral’s main competitors, this is one of the biggest advantages you get with RingCentral: everything you need to communicate with other folks on—and outside—your team, in one handy app. That not only helps streamline the amount of monthly subscription fees you’re paying every month, it also reduces the amount of time and resources that you’d need to manage a huge stack of tech tools.
Here’s just a taster of what RingCentral’s desktop and mobile app can do.
There’s team messaging…
Video conferencing—which you can flip to from a voice-only call, without interrupting the conversation…
And even task management…
… Just to name a few.
RingCentral is truly a fully fledged communication platform that lets you talk to customers, clients, prospects, partners, freelancers, and more—through any channel you prefer.
Oh, and it also integrates with tons of other apps like Salesforce, Slack, Zendesk, Google Docs, and more, making all your work apps and customer communications conveniently accessible from one place.
🤯 On top of all this, RingCentral could save you up to $400 an hour in IT costs.
Explore the RingCentral Advantage for small businesses:
💰 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, clients, freelancers, and more.
Anyway, enough about us. Let’s hop over to our honorable competitors.
The 7 best RingCentral alternatives out there
We want your business to be successful and grow. Obviously, we’d prefer that it’s with us, but let’s not kid ourselves. There are tons of other companies that might be courting you.
Here are some of the most common RingCentral alternatives you might’ve heard about.
One thing to think about as you’re looking through these is how you and your team prefer to communicate with each other. Do you use exclusively phone calls? Or messaging? Or video conferencing? Or a mix?
As you’ll see, many of these alternatives to RingCentral do certain things well, but if you’re looking for more diverse options, like the ability to do video conferencing and messaging and phone calls, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than RingCentral.
Let’s jump in, shall we?
1. Ooma Office
Aimed at budget-conscious small businesses looking for quality service at a flat rate
Ooma’s communications hub provides cloud-based telephone services marketed at small businesses. The platform offers helpful call management features, including high-definition voice, call recording, call holds, calls transfers, and number blocking. (All of which RingCentral has!)
Ooma is compatible with mobile devices as well to help you take calls, even while on the go. Calls can be transferred easily between devices like your laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
From $19.95 to $29.95 per user, per month.1
Pros and cons
Aimed at businesses looking for a customizable service letting them choose only the features most important to them
One of the more recognizable players in the VoIP industry, Vonage lets you make and receive phone calls, texts, and share files on virtually any device. Its desktop and mobile apps help tie these services together, letting you access all your business things in one place.
While Vonage doesn’t have its own video conferencing software, it uses Amazon Chime Pro Tier to provide this service as well as screen share and chat starting from their Premium plan. The thing with third parties, though, is that it can make customer and tech support a bit tricky since the company doesn’t own those parts and elements itself. If any bugs or issues come up, they’d have to rely on that third party to fix things in a timely manner.
You’ll need to reach out to their sales team for a quote as there’s no pricing information available on their website.
Pros and cons
For companies that just need the basics and want to be able to choose only the features they want with their plan.
Phone.com is a telecommunications platform with very basic starting features, like 300 minutes and 5,000 SMS messages monthly. Similar to Vonage, Phone.com lets you customize your plan to include only the features that are important to you.
It’s all in the name—if you just want a better phone, then Phone.com could be a good option. But if you don’t just make phone calls, and also use other methods of communication, then you might want to keep looking.
From $10.39 to $23.99 per month on an annual plan.2
Pros and cons
Aimed at solopreneurs or small businesses that are looking for a basic, no-frills phone service with the basic call management features.
Grasshopper is a virtual phone system that is lighter on features (compared to RingCentral and some of the other alternatives) and provides small businesses with just the basics: making and receiving calls, setting personalized greetings, and the ability to use your existing smartphone.
Grasshopper’s been around for around as long as RingCentral has and, also like RingCentral, covers a variety of different industries. The main difference between RingCentral and Grasshopper is that the latter is primarily focused on solopreneurs and small businesses whereas RingCentral services businesses of all sizes—and is highly scalable as a result.
Also, RingCentral’s plans are less expensive—with more features.
Thinking ahead and choosing scalable tools is important because it makes it much easier to grow your business in the near future. Scalable tools tend to let you add more users, more functionality, and keep your growing business running smoothly—even if your business itself has become more complicated in terms of day-to-day processes.
From $26 to $80 per month when billed annually.3
Pros and cons
Aimed at businesses that make a lot of international calls.
If you do a lot of international calling, you might be looking at 8×8 since it allows unlimited international calling for up to 47 countries in all of its plans.
For comparison, RingCentral only offers this feature for calls with the USA and Canada—and some of the other alternatives on this last don’t include international calling in their plans at all.
On the UCaaS side, RingCentral’s audio conferencing feature is unlimited, and video conferencing can host up to 200 participants, depending on the plan you choose. 8×8 caps both audio and video conferencing at 50 people.
The rest of 8×8’s features are pretty standard: unlimited texting, call recording, video conferencing, and it has a mobile and desktop app.
From $12 to $44 per user, per month when billed annually.4
Pros and cons
Aimed at businesses looking for a straightforward call solution that integrates with their email apps at a budget-friendly price.
Dialpad was built on the Google Cloud platform and offers AI and contact center solutions. Best known for their clear call quality, Dialpad offers voice calling, video conferencing, desk-to-desk calling, and more.
Like many of the other platforms on this list, these features are available from anywhere, on any device, making it possible to take work to go. It also integrates with commonly used tools like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.
Starting from $15 per user, per month when billed annually. For higher-tier plans, you’ll need to contact their sales team for a custom quote.5
Pros and cons
Aimed at companies looking for a tried-and-true phone system that checks all the right VoIP boxes.
Mitel is a Canadian company that’s been around for over 40 years. Fun fact: it actually started as a lawnmower company. Today, however, it’s entirely focused on the wonderful world of VoIP. Mitel offers years of experience over most of the other alternatives at a reasonable price.
The platform’s features include everything you would expect, including the ability to make voice calls, text, and start video conferences on virtually any device.
From $17 to $28 per user, per month.6
Pros and cons
Well, technically, the key question here is if you should be using an alternative to RingCentral at all—or is RingCentral itself really just a better overall option?
RingCentral is the clear industry leader and offers serious bang for your buck thanks to hundreds of integrations, team collaboration tools, and high-quality phone and video service—backed by Gartner and PCMag.
But we know every small business is different, so hopefully this diverse set of alternatives to RingCentral helped you in your investigation 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. Our biggest advice: take advantage of free trials or demos from the tools on this list, or others that you’re researching, before you buy.
What’s the cheapest alternative to RingCentral?
RingCentral might be a pricier option than these alternatives, but it was also designed to be an excellent all-in-one option, able to replace three or four of your existing apps as well as give you all the tools you need to scale.
We encourage you to look past the pricing charts and consider what’s going to be the most cost-effective option versus what’s cheapest.
And if you’re dead set on a free option, there’s Glip, which gives you free unlimited video meetings and messaging—in one app.
Do all of these platforms offer training to new customers?
Yes. All the platforms we covered in this post offer training and learning resources to customers, so you’re good there. Definitely check out the extent of customer support available after training, though, in case you get stuck later.
Do any of these platforms offer free trials or demos?
Most will! Just check out their websites for details.
Want to take RingCentral for a spin? Book yourself a product tour to get a feel for how it works:
Originally published Jan 14, 2021, updated Aug 16, 2021