Unified Communications

RingCentral: For Team Messaging, Video Conferencing, and Calling

RingCentral, in Unified Communications since 1999, offers VoIP and UC solutions for effective team communication. Features include messaging, video conferencing, and VoIP calling for remote collaboration.

No matter the size of your organization, easy communications is critical. For this reason, businesses are using Unified Communications solutions like RingCentral to keep their teams in touch. 

Statistics have indicated that remote work has increased by 400% between 2010 and 2020, and solutions like RingCentral make it easier for team members to stay in the loop with their colleagues.

What is RingCentral?

RingCentral is a VoIP and Unified Communications provider that specializes in creating effective communications channels for teams. 

RingCentral is one of the business communications game veterans that has been in the business since 1999.

In fact, RingCentral is an established leader on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) alongside providers like 8x8, Cisco, and Microsoft.

Remote work is a necessity, so how well does it work for team messaging, video conferencing, and general VoIP-powered calling?

In this post, we look at the following:

  1. Messaging
  2. Calling
  3. Video and Meetings

RingCentral Overview

When it comes to team communication, RingCentral is one of those providers that’s everywhere – they have a four-tiered plan and a massive subscriber base

To understand how well the provider performs for teams, it’s a good idea to look at how its Unified Communications offerings perform.

Who is RingCentral owned by?

RingCentral started as a project shared between Vlad Shmunis and Vlad Vendrow – the founder and director of engineering at RingZero.

Today, Shmunis and Vendrow are CEO and CTO of RingCentral.

RingCentral Messaging

RingCentral messaging

One of the first things to note is that RingCentral has free team messaging across all four of its subscription tiers. 

Within its dedicated RingCentral desktop app, users can bookmark documents as well as create favorites, and there’s social functionality that allows colleagues to tag specific team members. 

During chats, users can drag and drop files into the messaging pane to share.

You can also pin important documents and share files from storage providers like Google Drive.

This software benefits companies trying to manage a large remote workforce and is convenient for one-on-one or team-wide communications. 

In fact, RingCentral also incorporates task management features so that there’s less app switching as your team communicates. 

From within the desktop app, stakeholders and team leaders assign tasks, comment on deliverables, and team members deliver updates about the status of ongoing projects.

Here’s a breakdown of RingCentral messaging features:

  • Unlimited guest users
  • Priority support at paid tiers
  • Built-in online meetings
  • Task management
  • Drag and drop file sharing
  • Important document pinning
  • Real-time file editing
  • Calendar integration
  • Search and keyword filtering

RingCentral Calling

RingCentral calling

RingCentral is also a VoIP provider that businesses use to shed their traditional analog phone systems. 

The app grants access to their cloud-based business phone system so that users chat and make calls to the public switched phone network (PSTN) from the same application that they chat from. 

Virtual phone numbers are available that allow you to customize the number to your needs. 

For example, if you need a local presence, RingCentral will provide your business with access to numbers in up to 200 local area codes. If you need to appear more national, the company provides usable numbers with an 800 prefix.

There’s a wide variety of calling features available for those businesses that select RingCentral as a calling provider. Here are a few to consider:

  • Remote call forwarding
  • Call flip
  • Call parking
  • One-touch calling
  • Voicemail to email
  • Visual voicemail
  • Automatic call recording (in Premium and Ultimate plans)
  • Hold music
  • Internet faxing
  • Paging and intercom
  • Dial-by-name directories
  • Multi-level interactive voice response (IVR)

What phones work with RingCentral?

RingCentral has a sizable list of compatible cordless and wired desktop phones and conference devices. 

Each of the phones listed below can be purchased or rented from the provider and come pre-configured for service. 

Unify CP600Yealink WP0PPolycom VVX 601Polycom Trio 8800
Polycom VVX 601Polycom VVX 450Polycom Trio 8500
Unify CP400Polycom VVX 501Polycom IP 6000
Cisco 8861Cisco 8851Polycom IP 5000
Polycom VVX 501Yealink T48S
Unify CP205Yealink T46S
Cisco 8851
Polycom VVX 450
Yealink T48S
Yealink T46S
Polycom VVX 350
Cisco 7841
Polycom VVX 250
Yealink T42S
Cisco 6821
Polycom VVX 150

In addition to these, RingCentral also supports customers that already have phone models from Cisco, Poly Desk, and Yealink.

When a business has these, they provide assisted provisioning to connect these phones to the service. 

RingCentral Video and Meetings

Starting at the Standard level, RingCentral Video is the flagship video conferencing solution.

Tiers start at 100 maximum users for the Standard plan and expand to 200 participants for both Premium and Ultimate. 

Video conference quality for both audio and video are high-definition, and stability is strong thanks to RingCentral’s 99.999% uptime service level agreement (SLA).

Video meeting features include several Quality of Service (QoS) features that include insights into usage levels, call quality analytics, and adoption. 

Video calls initiated through RingCentral Video are accessed via your browser, the RingCentral Desktop app, or the RingCentral smartphone application. 

In-call features like screen-sharing, device switching, and call recording all come standard with the service.

Here’s what RingCentral Video has to offer:

  • HD voice and video
  • Browser functionality
  • Usable on any device
  • QoS analytics
  • Adoption tracking
  • Screen sharing and annotation
  • In-meeting chat
  • Initiate video meetings from chats
  • Call recording (automatic and on-demand)
  • Device switching

Can RingCentral Record Calls?

Yes, RingCentral has cloud-based and on-premises call recording options.

There's also an automatic call recording feature that records all meetings and inbound and outbound calls.

This is available in the Premium and Ultimate RingCentral Office pricing tiers.

What is RingCentral used for?

RingCentral is used as a Unified Communications platform that enables teams to communicate with each other. 

Since the service is cloud-based, even geographically disparate teams communicate via voice, chat, or video so that business flows as if they were in the same office. 

According to RingCentral, it handles approximately 1 billion minutes of voice traffic in a year, and connecting customers via voice is one of their most popular services.

RingCentral Pricing

RingCentral stands out because it provides many options for businesses to find the communications plan that fits their needs. 

For example, there are freemium options as well as options that add enterprise-grade features for larger businesses. 

Is RingCentral free? 

RingCentral Meetings is a free solution that RingCentral offers.

It has a 40-minute meeting limit for meetings but has features like whiteboarding in it's base tier, team messaging, and built-in integrations for solutions like Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and Slack.

Meeting recording is also included in the free tier.

How much is RingCentral monthly?

Like most providers, RingCentral charges per user, per month.

Unlike many other providers, the company has four plan options so that you have a wider pool of choices to fit your business size.

Plan NameEssentialsStandardPremiumUltimate
Pricing (per month/per user)$19.99$24.99$34.99$49.99
User countUp to 20 usersNo limitNo limitNo limit
Included functionsMessaging, phoneMessaging, video, phoneMessaging, video, phone, open platformMessaging, video, phone, open platform
Toll-free minutes100 minutes per month1,000 minutes per month2,500 minutes per month10,000 minutes per month
Video conferencingNot available100 participants200 participants200 participants

RingCentral Integrations

RingCentral has important integrations with various third-party applications that handle customer relationship management (CRM), customer service, and productivity workflows.

RingCentral Salesforce integration

Here are a few of the most important integrations that you can expect from the provider:

  • Salesforce
  • Google Workspace
  • Zoho
  • AWS
  • ServiceNow
  • Box
  • Canvas
  • Gong.io
  • Genesis
  • Chorus
  • Netsuite
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Microsoft 365
  • Zoho
  • Okta
  • Zapier
  • Slack
  • Theta Lake
  • Zendesk

In fact, RingCentral has hundreds of integrations with apps and third-party solutions to consider.

Here’s its Featured Apps page so that you can better understand what’s available.

RingCentral Security

This provider has seven-layers of security measures to protect its customer’s data. 

These include layers that protect at the enterprise organizational, application, network, data, host, physical, and business process levels. 

Additionally, the provider has 24/7 platform monitoring that helps detect breaches or data theft and encryption using transport layer security (TLS) and secure real-time transport protocols (SRTP) to protect data as it travels between endpoints. 

Is RingCentral HIPAA-compliant?

HIPAA compliance is needed for any company that deals with electronically-protected health information (ePHI). 

This includes encryption for patient data while it’s in-transit or at-rest and keeping recordings secure. 

By default, RingCentral requires that any customer dealing with this type of information request a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) that outlines the obligations of RingCentral and the customer as they pertain to protecting patient information.

RingCentral also offers RingCentral for Healthcare, which is designed for healthcare providers that need more robust features for ePHI. 

For example, RingCentral for Healthcare provides collaboration tools that include voice, and video meetings.

In addition, there’s also fully encrypted messaging features as well. This allows patients to connect with their providers on any device that they choose without exposing their information to theft.

Where are RingCentral recordings stored?

All recordings are stored in the cloud by default, and once recorded, will be stored for 90 days. 

Since RingCentral uses geo-redundancy, all recorded data is sent to one of their diverse data centers.

RingCentral also allows customers to save up to 100,000 recordings per account. Local recording is done in both MP4 and M4A formats. 

This feature must be enabled, and the recorded file will be saved on the device.

Is RingCentral right for your organization?

While it’s not as well-known as solutions like Slack or Microsoft Teams, RingCentral is software that streamlines the way your teams communicate. 

In fact, it’s dedication to VoIP calling adds a feature that many businesses looking to shed their analog systems may be seeking.

RingCentral Video is something added in April 2020, and since, it’s started to truly compete with industry leaders like Zoom.

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