Image: magneticmcc/Adobe Stock Ooma and RingCentral offer useful voice-over-IP services that can replace your plain old telephone service with a modern voice system you may manage from your browser. These Continue Reading
Ooma and RingCentral offer useful voice-over-IP services that can replace your plain old telephone service with a modern voice system you may manage from your browser. These VoIP systems not only let you make and receive calls from a variety of devices, but Ooma and RingCentral also offer messaging and video conferencing features with the ability to support call center operations.
What is Ooma?
Ooma offers phone, video and messaging solutions aimed at small businesses and enterprises, as well as options for home phone and security needs.
Ooma segments its business solutions into four core offerings:
- Ooma Office Essentials, which is cloud-based VoIP for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Ooma Office Pro, which adds videoconferencing, call recording, voicemail transcription, and Google and Microsoft integrations, among other features.
- Ooma Office Pro Plus, which adds hot desking, call queuing and Salesforce integration.
- Ooma Enterprise, which is highly customizable and may serve as a call center solution.
Ooma also provides communications and security solutions for home customers. These include:
- Ooma Telo, with three distinct ways to connect: Ooma Telo, Ooma Telo Air or Ooma Telo LTE.
- Ooma Security, with three plan options – Monitor, Secure or Pro Secure – that support a wide range of sensors including motion, door/window and water.
Additionally, Ooma AirDial is intended to allow you to replace lines that have traditionally required a dedicated POTS line, such as a dedicated elevator, fax or security system line. The company states that AirDial delivers a wireless connection (provided in partnership with T-Mobile) in such a way as to ensure data does not travel over the public internet.
What is RingCentral?
RingCentral offers phone, video and messaging solutions aimed at small businesses, enterprises and startups in a variety of sectors and industries.
Three core products of RingCentral include:
- RingCentral MVP, which includes messaging, video and phone services, with an optional RingCentral Webinar add-on.
- RingCentral Contact Center, with inbound, outbound and digital engagement solutions.
- RingCentral Video for video meetings and team messaging.
RingCentral MVP plans offered include:
- Essentials, which is limited to up to 20 users.
- Standard, for an unlimited number of users, with support for internet fax, video meetings, and Google and Microsoft integrations, among other features.
- Premium, which adds call recording, single single-on, hot desking and Salesforce integration, among other options.
- Ultimate, which adds device status reports and alerts, along with unlimited storage.
Ooma and RingCentral: Feature comparison
Ooma and RingCentral offer the core capabilities you might expect from a VoIP phone system. Multi-ring lets incoming calls ring simultaneously on a desk phone and mobile app, or other designated phone, to support your ability to receive calls anywhere. Ring groups let calls ring through to multiple people, so whoever is available can pick up promptly. Routing features help callers reach the right person, with voice mailbox features that allow people to leave a message when no one is immediately available.
Ooma and RingCentral are much easier to manage than most traditional on-site phone systems. Add an employee? Assign a new number and configure their calling, messaging and conferencing options quickly. They can start to make and receive calls from their laptop, or, if you prefer, you can configure an IP phone to work over either a wired or wireless network.
Desk and conference devices
Ooma and RingCentral offer desk and conference phones. Ooma offers a range of Ooma branded phones as well as systems from Yealink. RingCentral offers phones from many vendors, including Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, Polycom, Unify and Yealink, along with devices from other vendors that may be manually configured.
Ooma and RingCentral offer mobile apps that work on Android and iPhone. The app allows customers to make and receive calls using the service’s phone number, rather than the phone number linked to the device’s SIM (or eSIM) phone number. Both vendors’ mobile apps seem relatively well maintained and rated. However, if you intend to use Ooma on Android, its 3.0 star rating suggests that you may want to test the app to make sure it meets your needs.
Ooma and RingCentral offer team messaging, audio conferencing and video conferencing capabilities. Ooma supports SMS messaging from your business number and also includes presence indicators so you may know whether people are available or not. RingCentral messaging enables file sharing along with a chat. RingCentral offers an edition of their video conferencing for free, with a paid upgrade option that supports more participants, phone participants and longer-term storage of recordings.
The systems differ significantly in the number of integrations available, but both systems integrate with Microsoft Teams. Ooma offers Ooma Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams, while RingCentral offers at least two options: RingCentral Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams and RingCentral for Microsoft Teams.
Additionally, the RingCentral App Gallery offers a huge list of partners, add-ins and app integrations that work with RingCentral. For example, the RingCentral App Gallery highlights how RingCentral integrates with several Google apps. Ooma Enterprise offers more than 50 application integrations.
Enterprise and call center capabilities
Ooma and RingCentral offer capabilities designed for call center operations. The Ooma Enterprise Call Center Platform offers intelligent routing, tools to help design call flows, automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, along with reporting and analytics capabilities. RingCentral Contact Center handles both inbound and outbound calling capabilities, routing based on capacity, availability and skill, as well as customizable rules, chatbots and virtual assistants, along with reporting and analytics capabilities.
Ooma and RingCentral differ in their suitability for U.S.-based healthcare providers. Ooma stated in their terms of service that “Ooma specifically makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee that your services, the account(s), or the equipment (or the use of any of the foregoing by any party) complies or will comply with HIPAA or any other law or will render any party compliant with HIPAA or any other law.”
In contrast, RingCentral offers a Vendor Business Associate Agreement for organizations that need to comply with HIPAA. This makes RingCentral a potential solution for healthcare providers or any organization that must comply with HIPAA regulations.
SEE: Feature comparison: Time tracking software and systems (TechRepublic Premium)
Choosing between Ooma and RingCentral
Small businesses that also seek a security solution might prefer Ooma, due to the company’s suite of sensors and security monitoring plans. Ooma AirDial offers an intriguing innovation that may be an attractive alternative in some locations previously served by a standard POTS line.
Businesses that place a priority on security or software integrations might prefer RingCentral. Healthcare providers that seek to comply with HIPAA should certainly consider RingCentral, and RingCentral’s significant number of available software integrations makes it likely the communications suite can work with tools you already use. The diversity of supported devices and robust video conferencing capabilities might also tilt your decision toward RingCentral.
Both Ooma and RingCentral offer the capable, browser-based management of modern VoIP phone systems you might expect, and either product is a welcome option when contrasted with conventional legacy business phone systems.