Businesses of all kinds have gotten the memo—implementing a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system can cut expenses and make your business run more smoothly than ever before. Not only can VoIP systems cut your monthly expenses, they can also add new, more dynamic channels of communication for your employees, integrate with sophisticated software and social media, and allow you to make your company’s telecommunications completely mobile.
What’s our formula for ranking these industry leaders? We look at 4 crucial factors that any VoIP company worth its salt should put front and center—basic features, integration, customer support, and pricing—and see who performs better.
When shopping around for a VoIP system, make sure it has these features which are absolutely essential for any business VoIP package:
Even if you don’t have an actual, living receptionist answering your calls, with a VoIP system you can get the same—or better—results. The “Virtual Receptionist” feature is an automatic switchboard that handles your incoming phone calls, greeting callers and presenting them with ways to reach different departments in the company. It saves time and money, and can reduce or negate your need for a human receptionist. It also means that when things get busy you can stay on top of the calls, and even if you have a small company, you can operate like a bigger operation.
Both RingCentral and OnSIP include Virtual Receptionists with every package, though if you go with the per minute OnSIP plan, you will be limited to only 3 auto-attendants.
Time-Based Call Routing
It’s not always simply a matter of who is calling, but sometimes also when. Time-based call routing allows you to route inbound calls to the location you want—when you want. For example, you can route calls to a particular employee at a specific extension during only the hours that they will be working. This is a highly-advantageous feature, especially if your employees have widely divergent work hours.
Both RingCentral and OnSIP provide time-based call routing.
With a toll-free 800 number, customers can call you for free, and this typically means you can expect increased call volume when customers don’t need to worry about paying for the call.
Both RingCentral and OnSIP give you the option to have a toll free number.
With call transfer, you can instantly route a call to another employee at any moment during a phone call. You won’t lose the customer by asking them to hang up and call again, and you can ensure that your calls go to the right place. This can be helpful if an employee is on the line with a customer and doesn’t have the answers, ability, or time to handle their query. In an instant, the call goes to a destination where the customer can get the solution they need.
Both RingCentral and OnSIP provide this feature.
Do Not Disturb
It’s not always a good time to talk. With the Do Not Disturb feature you can screen calls and redirect them to the voicemail or switchboard with ease, and set rules for how internal and external calls are handled.
Both RingCentral and OnSIP have this feature.
When you're in the weeds and the calls are coming in fast and furious, call queue will distribute them efficiently so that you don’t miss any calls and the right ones get prioritized. The calls will be automatically “stacked” and prioritized, and answered in the order they were received.
Both RingCentral and OnSIP have this feature, but with OnSIP, you will be charged $14.95 per month for the “enhanced queue agent and dashboard” feature.
Incoming Fax to Email
In days of yore (ok, not quite) the humble fax machine was as state-of-the-art as you could get. That’s no longer the case, but fax machines are still in heavy use, and with incoming fax-to-Email you can have the messages routed to your inbox, making the whole process much easier.
RingCentral has this feature, but OnSIP actually recommends against using VoIP to fax.
With Follow Me, you can program your VoIP system to match a worker’s scheduled activities and locations, so their calls go to the right place at the right time. This can really help when your employees work a wide range of hours or are out of the office for a solid portion of the day.
Both RingCentral and OnSIP have this feature.
The Results: RingCentral met all of our criteria, though OnSIP performed almost as well. We give the edge to RingCentral for providing a more comprehensive tool kit.
RingCentral integrates with Microsoft products, Google, Box and Dropbox on all packages. However, you have to pay for a higher package for Salesforce, Zendesk and Desk.com functionality.
With OnSIP you can easily integrate with some of the most widely-used customer relations management tools in the industry, including Zendesk, Highrise, Slack and Microsoft. You’ll have simple integration buttons for both Slack and Zendesk. You can also integrate with Google Analytics, which can really give you a great birds-eye view of your company’s operations.
The Results: Both companies offer compelling integration options, but with RingCentral you’ll be required to pay more so we give the nod to OnSIP here.
Knowing that your VoIP business provider has your back is important. Both companies’ customer service teams are based in the US.
RingCentral's customer service is very impressive. If you're just using one handset, customer support is available from 5am to 6pm Pacific Time only. For customers with more than one handset, live phone support is available 24/7. There's an online learning center to help with all aspects of using RingCentral, from set-up to using different features. You can also sign up for a personalized demonstration of a product with a specialist.
With OnSIP, if you have any issues you can easily submit a written request online and receive a prompt response. You can also instacall through the website. In addition, there is a very extensive online knowledge base where you can find answers to your questions.
The Results: RingCentral simply has more extensive round-the-clock options for customer service.
Pricing and Packages
RingCentral offers a tiered pricing structure, ranging from the “essentials” plan at $19.99 per user per month to $49.99 per user per month for the “ultimate” plan. Each plan allows you to have a toll free or local number, and video conferencing. All plans besides the “essential” plan include unlimited users, and unlimited internet fax, while on “premium” and “ultimate” you can also have automatic call recording, voicemail-to-text, 100- and 200-people video conferencing, and far more toll-free minutes.
With OnSIP, the price for the per-person plan is $18.95 per month (per person), and the per-minute plan costs $49.95 per month, plus 2.9 cents a minute. The latter plan is significantly more limited and with the per-person plan, you’ll need to add a number of features a la carte, such as enhanced queue agent and dashboard, call parking, and voicemail-to-email.
The Results: Though the per-user price point on RingCentral is higher, there are more features included in that price, without the need to add anything a la carte. For a more comprehensive business VoIP solution, RingCentral has a better pricing structure.
Overall Winner: RingCentral
Both RingCentral and OnSIP offer a wide range of features and integrations, along with solid customer service that can make running your VoIP system painless and boost the efficiency of your overall business operations. And while OnSIP does do better when it comes to integrations, RingCentral simply has better customer service, as well as more features, especially in terms of the pricing structure.
We’re certain that you would do great with either VoIP platform, but if we had to decide, it’s got to be RingCentral.
See our extensive review section for more about OnSIP, RingCentral and all of the other leading business VoIP providers.