While browsing through loads of reviews from PCMag.com, I stumbled upon its Internet Telephony & VoIP section and saw a recent review penned by Fahmida Rashid regarding a certain phone service which instantly caught my fancy. While part of it is because I’m currently looking for a business phone system for the bakeshop my mom is opening up in a month, I read the review primarily because the product had the PCMag Editor’s Choice branding, meaning that it has the stamp of approval of the people over at PCMag who, day in and day out, pick and test products out of thousands and thousands of choices in various technology categories.
The one I’m talking about is RingCentral Office, a simple, user-friendly cloud-based PBX for small business that breaks out from the traditional on-premise phone systems most small businesses are familiar with. The thing about Web-based telephone services is that they tend to get complicated at times, especially when there are a lot of users under one system. Thankfully, one doesn’t have to deal with those issues when a RingCentral system is in place.
As with any software-as-a-service vendors, RingCentral offers different pricing levels depending on the number of users for each subscription. For companies with two to 19 users, RingCentral Office costs $29.99 a month per user; however it can go to as low as $19.99 per month for huge organizations with over 100 users. Each user will get to enjoy the essentials of a PBX phone like local or toll free numbers, fax numbers, voicemail numbers, and the like.
RingCentral also offers a mobile-focused package called RingCentral Professional, which allows routing of business calls to mobile devices; and a fax-only service called RingCentral Fax, which is fit for those with existing phones but need an online fax feature, at cheaper rates than the full Office suite.
Registration and Setup
I have yet to find out how this goes, but according to Rashid, the registration process was quick. After going through the easy signup process, a user will receive his phone number via email. Using the phone number provided, the user can log into the web portal or dashboard and start configuring the phone system whose basic features include:
- Creating extensions
- Defining call queues
- Setting up the auto-attendant (automated messages)
- Creating rules for call forwarding, voicemail, call routing, and more
As a first-time administrator, Rashid claims that she was a little confused with the process, but right after configuring her fourth user, she got the hang of it and found the succeeding processes easier.
Packed with Features
While many other similar products offer the same registration and configuration processes, RingCentral stood out among all the author’s options because of the "smorgasbord of features the company has crammed into the service." Features such as music on hold, push notifications on mobile phones (using the RingCentral app), presence information (in office, away, DND), call queues or call escalation, and conference calls make it even more enticing.
Ideal for SMBs
If there’s one VoIP platform that has never faltered in projecting itself as a business phone, RingCentral is it. It’s meant to be used by multiple users because it can be scaled up and down effortlessly based on the number of users you have. Rashid’s review was quite convincing; I won’t think twice about getting a subscription or recommending it to friends and relatives who are dying to find a non-complex professional phone service.