Starting a business has been made far easier because of software support that would have been impossible 20 years ago. While software used to be made in-house, now a lot of applications that an SME uses are sourced from third parties. One such platform is communications software.
In this article, we present an in-depth RingCentral Phone vs. Zoom comparison. This is so you can have a more thorough understanding of how they work and what you can gain from using either. We hope that by perusing their list of features, you can come up with an informed decision. You can also compare communications software reviews to find one that’s more in line with your business needs.
RingCentral offers a cloud-based business phone system. It can help any size of business, but it’s especially great for small ones and startups. SMEs can use it to manage mobile, fax, and emails.
The cloud-based functionality of RingCentral means you can enjoy the freedom to connect devices and users across locations with your business phone system. It also allows you to manage individuals, departments, and rules for each call. You only need reliable internet, and RingCentral can offer you a lightning-fast business phone anytime, anywhere. Also, it doesn’t require additional PBX hardware to work.
It’s not just a fancy alternative to a phone, however. RingCentral is versatile enough so you can host meetings with other people with whatever device they’re using to connect to your network. They can use a desktop, their smartphone, or even an old-fashioned telephone line. It also has annotation features, which are relatively new additions to its core functionalities, and a screen-sharing utility that allows remote users to troubleshoot a problem or share a presentation.
RingCentral is designed to help companies maintain a business phone even when they’re on the go, whatever the size or scale of the business. This is why many organizations categorize it as one of the top call center software available.
Zoom’s user-friendly interface also offers a one-touch system to participate in calls, meetings, or rooms. With support for HD audio and video, Zoom also enhances group collaboration with screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, send multimedia files to members of groups or rooms, and even record video and audio.
Zoom’s target customers are startups, SMEs, and large businesses. With their basic plan, it can even appeal to freelancers, making it more versatile than RingCentral in terms of target market usage.
Comparing RingCentral vs. Zoom
For this RingCentral Phone vs. Zoom comparison, we will have four categories: features, pros and cons, pricing, and integrations. We will first lay out a general comparison of their features, followed by the advantages and disadvantages of each solution’s real-world use. Third, we’ll look at their pricing and other associated costs, if any, and lastly, how well they integrate with other apps or software solutions most businesses employ for B2B or B2C purposes.
1. Feature Set
Like any business software, it’s important to consider each one’s features and functionalities. One solution may have the most features, but if your business has no use for it, they probably won’t give you any return on investment. The software you choose should support the processes and workflows that matter to you and your team.
To help you assess what you really need, we’re laying out some of the major tools RingCentral and Zoom have with regard to their communication capabilities. Find some of them below:
- Cloud-based PBX
- 3-Way calling
- Call forwarding
- Call blocking
- Call recording
- Call return
- Call reports and monitoring
- Caller ID
- Call waiting
- Video and audio conferencing
- Internet fax
- Visual voicemail
- Multi-level IVR
- Toll-free and local numbers
- Collaboration tools
- Unlimited business SMS
- Permission and access control
- User templates
- Hot desking support
- Secure VoIP
- Third-party integrations
- Native mobile app
- Zoom Rooms
- Instant messaging
- Email integration
- Call conferencing
- Call recording
- Remote screen control
- Screen sharing (desktop and application)
- Cloud and local recording
- Integrated scheduling
- HD audio and video
- Dynamic voice detection
- 323/SIP connector
- Developer platform with API
- Native app for iOS and Android
2. Pros and Cons
Each application has several advantages and disadvantages. Because RingCentral and Zoom are different enough to warrant their inclusion in a separate subcategory (but under a general communications solutions platform), what works for one business may not work for another. In addition, you may find that you need both applications in your business ecosystem, as they are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
That said, you should look at how they differ and where their strengths lie if you think you just need one for your purposes. We break down their pros and cons below:
- You can use RingCentral on your personal phone without it interfering with your private affairs.
- Highly flexible, allowing you to connect to RingCentral servers through desktop, mobile, or landline.
- Helpful tech support.
- 99% (or more) uptime.
- Easy setup with your existing business phone system.
Host-only functions, such as muting individual users or controlling screen annotations.
Simple invitation feature.
- Regular updates.
- Modest customization options.
- Firewall may wreak havoc with the connection.
- Limited screen sharing functionality.
- Screen takeover is limited to desktops.
- Its interface needs an advanced learning curve.
- Integration with other RingCentral products does not work as seamlessly as other applications.
- HD audio and video give Zoom one of the best video and audio quality in the business.
- Audio and video transmission is optimized for your network performance.
- Native integration with third-party apps, extensible via Zapier.
- Email alerts as last line of notification “defense.”
- Dynamic network performance by detecting your current bandwidth and optimizes your experience.
- User-friendly UI and clean interface.
- Other features like touching up the appearance of the caller or host.
- Group collaboration, like full-featured screen sharing, screen takeover, and annotation.
- No direct sharing to YouTube or other video streaming platforms.
- Limited call center functions.
- No 911 calling.
- Clunky integration with specific hardware, like Cisco and Advocor, although these are likely to be patched in the coming updates.
3. Pricing Comparison
Most software these days are not priced in a one-time, upfront payment. Like many SaaS applications, the “true” cost of these solutions includes not only the upfront one (if any; some don’t even have one and also offer a free trial for a limited time), but the license and subscription fees. Other costs, which are far harder to track, sometimes don’t even have a direct monetary cost, including the cost of training, customizing your existing technology stack (or procuring additional ones to support your new software), and the cost of maintenance and support.
This is why it’s important for any business owner or manager to look at all of the costs, not just the price when deciding to commit to a single solution.
RingCentral has a tiered plan, with four tiers in total: Phone, Standard, Premium, and Ultimate, in ascending order of price. All plans have toll-free minutes, auto-attendant, unlimited calling and SMS, mobile apps, and voicemail-to-text capabilities.
The Phone plan starts at $19.99 per user monthly, while Standard is at $24.99. Meanwhile, Premium starts at $34.99, with Ultimate at $49.99. The latter includes all features, including multi-level auto-attendant, internet fax, and call recording.
Like RingCentral, Zoom also has four paid plans: Basic, Pro, Business, and Enterprise, in ascending order of price. All plans can host webinars or conferences, support, and group collaboration.
Basic is Zoom’s free-forever plan, but with a lot of limitations. For example, meetings only last for up to 40 minutes, and you can only call 1-on-1. Webinars are also limited to only a hundred people. By contrast, the starter paid plan, Pro, starts at $14.99 monthly per host. Business and Enterprise, meanwhile, are both priced at $19.99, but the former has a minimum of 10 hosts. The latter, meanwhile, has a minimum of 50.
Integrations, or how many third-party apps the solution connects and communicates with, is the hallmark of great software. This means the solution is an all-in-one platform and improves how you move from solution to solution so you don’t need to restart a workflow again and again or create a profile over and over.
This section is concerned over which apps RingCentral and Zoom are connected to.
RingCentral integrates with:
- Oracle Sales Cloud
Zoom integrates with:
- Microsoft Outlook
- Google (Calendar, Chrome)
- Microsoft One Drive
- Google Drive
- LTI Moodle
- Acuity Scheduling
- LTI Desire2Learn
- LTI Canvas
- Microsoft Active Directory
- LTI Backboard
- Facebook Centrify
- Intel Unite
The Final Verdict
After putting the two applications under a stringent review, it now becomes clearer that they are different animals. RingCentral is designed for established companies with a significant need for business phones. These are establishments that need to stay in contact with customers or with each other wherever they are. Meanwhile, Zoom’s easy-to-set-up platform and usefulness to whatever size of organization can make a difference when you want to teach an online course, train using a webinar, or stay updated with your remote team.
As communication software, Zoom is still the better option. While it doesn’t have the full-fledged business phone capabilities of RingCentral, Zoom can still function as a phone system and communications tool on top of its video conferencing functions. And in terms of UI, simplicity, and price, Zoom has RingCentral beat.
To learn more about Zoom and its capabilities, you can also check out our Zoom vs GoToMeeting comparison.