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RingCentral Phone System a Must-Have for


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Patrick Houston Patrick Houston is a seasoned tech media veteran. He wrote for and served as a bureau chief at Businessweek before leading Yahoo’s tech channel – and later became the editor-in-chief of CNET, the nation’s most widely read tech news platform.

Now, Patrick is trying his hand at entrepreneurship with The site – an offshoot of Patrick’s many years communicating with tech experts and writing for the consumer – helps companies with their cloud-service purchase decisions.

“The site’s purpose is providing expert ratings and reviews, customer ratings, product and service rankings and service provider assets,” Patrick explained to us in a conversation late last year.

Why is Patrick leaning in now to He sees it as a chance to seize on the trend of companies getting smaller: since the 1990s, he told us, the average small company has declined in size from 7.9 to 4.7 employees. is itself a micro-enterprise – at the moment, Patrick is helming the site all alone. What he can’t do himself he purchases from third-party vendors and contractors. That’s how Patrick came to be using RingCentral.

RingCentral Office is itself a cloud service, so Patrick was quite familiar with what it could do. For his small but growing business, Office was just what Patrick needed. CB3

“Technology, particularly in the cloud, has allowed people like me to create a global corporation of one,” Patrick observed. “With a service like RingCentral, I can start out as one person and scale up to become a global corporation of hundreds.”

Patrick, who runs from his MacBook laptop, is a power user of the RingCentral softphone (available as a free download for both Mac and Windows computers).

“It integrates very nicely with my Mac contacts, with my iPhone and my iPad,” he said.

Plus, RingCentral features enterprise-grade features like an auto-receptionist, call handling rules, conferencing and more – items that were once available only with expensive corporate phone systems.

All these features are included in RingCentral Office at one low monthly price, Patrick pointed out – a huge advantage for a small business like his.

“RingCentral makes for such an easy and intuitive solution,” he said, “and it’s available at a price I can afford.”

Originally published Jun 17, 2013, updated Aug 22, 2021

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