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RingCentral Office Review: Cloud UC for the ‘Do It Now’ World

RingCentral Office Cloud Phone System

RingCentral Office Review: Cloud UC for the ‘Do It Now’ World

There was a time when, for a team of people to get things done, everyone needed to be in a certain place at a certain time.

Slowly but surely, those restrictions of space and time are being removed. First came mobile telephony, then mobile internet. But the biggest game changer of all has been the Cloud.

RingCentral Office brands itself as a communications solution for the ‘Do it now, Need it now’ world’. The cloud based software platform is offered as a service which subscribers can log on to and use anytime, any place, on whatever device they choose. Whether you need to get in touch with someone from your desk at work,  on your mobile whilst commuting or using your own devices from home, RingCentral Office will work in exactly the same way.

It provides a full cloud based PBX telephone system, but that is not all. With a full suite of other communications and collaboration functions, RingCentral Office sits firmly in the UCaaS category.

So, just how flexible is RingCentral Office? Do the claims for anytime, anyplace communication stand up, and is it reliable enough to support a work from anywhere culture? As we dig further, please remember that UC Today does not endorse, market or have any role in the sale of any product. We are completely independent and share our opinions on UC products solely to keep our readers informed about what is available on the market.

How Does It Look?

The RingCentral Office software interface changes in appearance depending what device you access it on. In general, all of the platforms are coloured in different shades of blue and grey on white backgrounds, with some orange highlighting as per RingCentral’s branding. Layouts are generally clear, there is good use of icons and navigation is very user friendly.

On desktop, the interface makes use of a top ribbon menu containing all of the main functions in text. These vary slightly between PC and Mac but include options like Phone System, Billing, Call Log, Reports, Tools etc. Each tab accesses its own window with further navigation options.

On mobile, the ribbon menu is replaced by a sidebar containing standard icons for key functions – phone, email, IM, calendar etc. This same layout is used for RingCentral plug-ins when linked to Office 365, Google etc. If anything, the mobile and plug-in navigations are more intuitive for general communications functions, although the desktop makes management and reporting options more prominent.

What Can RingCentral Office Do?

The purpose behind UCaaS platforms is that you can connect any communications device you like and they will all operate on the same system – same phone numbers, same contacts, same storage. And because they are hosted in the cloud, you can do that anywhere there is internet access.

RingCentral Office does this pretty comprehensively. As a cloud PBX system, there is no management software to install on your data centre, no dedicated server – just link your phones to the internet, log in to your account and get everything you would expect from a business class PBX system, plus some special extras.

As a cloud service, you have more flexibility about choosing phone numbers. You can set up local numbers even if your contact centre is based in a different country, use non-geographic numbers or opt for a freephone subscription. The hosted service offers an auto-receptionist function, role-based access control, automatic call recording, voicemail-to-email and much, much more.

You can connect your standard VOIP desk phones, conference phones, there’s an analogue adapter for landlines and you can also use your desktop PC or laptop as a phone using the softphone app.

And that is just the telephony functions… moving swiftly on, as RingCentral Office does plenty more besides. There is unlimited audio conferencing and two video conferencing solutions, including HD video meetings for up to 50 attendees worldwide. There is team collaboration support through the Glip software, and web conferencing support for sharing desktops and files in real time between teams.

Living up to the anywhere, anytime tag, RingCentral Office also offers all of these functions via mobile. The RingCentral iOS and RingCentral Android Apps essentially allow you to plug your mobile directly into the Cloud PBX and UC network. You can IM your colleagues at work when out and about with a dedicated business messaging service, use your mobile with your office phone number or video conference from your tablet – if you can do it on RingCentral, you can do it on your mobile device.

What do we like about RingCentral?

The breadth of features offered by RingCentral Office is impressive, especially considering they can

all be accessed on mobile as well as desktop. Compatibility with enterprise software platforms like Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook, Google, Dropbox, Oracle Sales Cloud, Salesforce and Zendesk is also a bonus. As a plug in, RingCentral allow calls to be made and received directly from within the enterprise platform, while the likes of Office 365, Outlook and Google allow full integration of all RingCentral features with contacts lists, calendars, file storage and so on.

Who is it for?

RingCentral Office is for the agile modern company which embraces flexible working patterns and business on the go. With a three tier subscription pricing plan, it is flexible enough to offer value to businesses of all sizes. With its ease of deployment and the benefits offered by a hosted service, it is likely to appeal most to SMEs, especially those with a wide geographic reach.

What is it compatible with?

As mentioned above, RingCentral Office is designed to integrate fully with an impressive range of enterprise applications, including Desk.com, Office 365, Outlook, Skype for Business, Google, Dropbox, Okta, Oracle, Salesforce, ServiceNow and Zendesk.

How much does it cost?

RingCentral Office is a subscription based hosted service with a three tier pricing plan. The Entry subscription is currently £7.99 a month per user for up to 100 users, while Standard starts at £12.99 a month per user and Premium £17.99 a month per user, with discounts on the latter two the more users you register.

UC Today Opinion

It is very difficult to find any fault with what RingCentral Office offers. On flexibility, ease of deployment, range of features and value, it ticks all of the right boxes. It is marketed as a product for the Do it Now, Need it Now modern business, and you can’t really argue with that. Its great strengths are the availability of a full suite of UC functions on any device, and the fact that it is directly compatible with so many popular enterprise platforms. For the sake of a log in, you have access to a complete office communications system any time you want it, all hosted and managed so you never have to worry about the technical side. Great value, and a great option for businesses looking to kickstart their communications in the cloud.

Do you agree with our assessment of RingCentral Office? What have your experiences been of using it? Let us know in the comments section below, and if you know someone who is a fan or otherwise, share this article with them as well.

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