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Among the heavy-hitters of hosted PBX providers and integrated VoIP services for small businesses, 8×8 inc. ranks high. Indeed, their tagline once claimed they are “The World’s First Communications Cloud”. Endorsement from brands like Allstate, McDonald’s, and Shutterstock lends weight to that claim. What sets both RingCentral and 8×8 apart in a competitive landscape, is their excellent third-party integration support with standard cross-platform business tools like Zendesk, MS Outlook suite, Salesforce etc. With their Virtual Office platforms and flexibility to choose from several plans with bundled feature-sets, 8×8 could be a worthy alternative for RingCentral. But first, let’s look at what it each one offers.
8×8 vs RingCentral
Ring Central Inc is a US based VOIP Service provider with an extensive range of products designed to meet needs of its clients looking for an affordable VoIP business line. Ring Central is a pioneer in the field of cloud communications and business VoIP while boasting a subscriber base of over 300,000 and a highly rated 24/7 dedicated customer service center. Their focus is on ensuring the satisfaction of their customers through top notch customer support.
Being one of the leading Cloud based communication companies their products are tailored to the needs of the small businesses and have the flexibility to grow with the needs of their clients with the features such as a virtual conference room, faxing, softphone, mobile intergration and international calling facilities. These features make them an ideal candidate for the needs of both large and small business along with growing businesses that are cost conscious at inception.
Being one of the main competitors of RingCentral, 8×8 has a very similar range of high end features which enable them to compete well with RingCentral. Compared to RingCentral, 8×8 is fairly new in the Business VoIP market but this is actually a good thing because for customers because they are intensely focused in on providing quality services and features to attract newer and retain current business users.
- 8×8 Virtual Office – their signature cloud platform which connects phone, text, SMS, and VM suite in a comprehensive desktop app. Pro plan adds further goodies to elevate the experience beyond basic calling features like call recording, online conferences, video chatting, internet faxing, smartphone integration, and hosting for remote collaboration. You can add unlimited extensions for $19.99 per line. Virtual Office Pro upgrade only costs you an additional $5.00 per month, per line.
- Paid extension options – Metered option as low cost solutions for teams which don’t have as much outbound traffic. Unlimited option (with unlimited minutes) for a fixed monthly fee to make calls to the US, Canada and 8 other countries internationally. Global extension for unlimited calls to 40 international countries, allowing for greater flexibility with international calling.
- Analytics and call reporting for your business phone services, with a full-feature admin portal to record, log, and extract data.
Basic Plan Comparison
Perhaps the most important factor for any business is to ascertain the price and value added services offered to them. This along with the consideration of future plans of growth and the product’s ability to support their growth potential is important for each and every business to consider.
RingCentral offers 4 different VoIP packages (Essentials, Standard, Premium and Enterprise) which are similar to the pricing we see from Nextiva. Businesses can choose a package based on their needs. RingCentral also offers a 30-day free trial period where clients can experience the quality and features of RingCentral at no cost.
- Essentials Package Details: $19.99 per month, 100 toll free minutes, up to four people on any conference call, free mobile apps and integration with outlook, Google box and Dropbox
Standard Package Details – $24.99 per month, 1,000 toll free minutes, up to four people on any conference call, free Mobile apps and integration with outlook, Google box and Dropbox.
Premium Package Details – $34.99 per month, 2,500 toll free minutes, up to twenty-five people on any conference call, HD Voice, Multi-Level attendant + all standard package features of RingCentral.
Enterprise Package Details – $49.99 per month, 10,000 toll free minutes, up to fifty people on any conference call + all standard and premium package features of RingCentral.
Extensions – $34.99 per month for the first user, 2-19 users for $29.00 per month for each added user.
RingCentral also offers several add-ons if you need any extra phone numbers for faxing and calling needs per your particular businesses needs. These prices vary from client-to-client based on what package you have and how many extra numbers you may need.
8×8 is a fine alternative to RingCentral and provides its clients with two broad plan options including “Virtual Office” and “Virtual Office Pro”. Both of these products are packed with value added services meant to make the experience of the user hassle free and unique. These packages come with many features such as conference calling, the ability to store custom greetings, virtual assistant and free installation. 8×8 has very competitive prices which are ideal for any new business that is in need of a quality VoIP Business Service Provider while keeping costs low.
- Virtual Office Package Details – $19.99 per month with free mobile integration, great call quality and unlimited people on any conference call.
- Virtual Office Pro Package Details – $49.99 per month with Fax, Chat, HD voice and unlimited people on any conference call
- Extensions – $19.99 per month per user
Both companies pack a ton of features which are essential for any business to stay up to date and ensure quality service and communication with their clientele. Both have a very similar set of features which put each of these products on par and makes the two companies direct business VoIP competitors, competing in the exact same niche. Their prices plus awesome features, top notch customer service, and high quality phone service establishes each them as two of leading names in the small business VoIP providers industry.
Both RingCentral and 8×8 have mobile integration features with iOS and Android support by simply doing a quick download of their respective apps but RingCentral takes the cake here as it also supports blackberry phones, thus increasing the options available to their customers.
RingCentral provides its users with four different fax plans which allows users to choose per their faxing volumes. The faxing rates are as follows for total fax pages per month and each Internet faxing plan is ala carte – 500 fax pages per month for $7.99, 1,000 fax pages per month for $12.99, 2,500 fax pages per month for $49.99 or unlimited fax pages per month for $39.99. 8×8 offers unlimited Internet faxing but only with the Virtual Office Pro plan. RingCentral is clearly better for low volume faxing needs because they offer cost savings with super cheap A la carte options but 8×8 is clearly the winner for high volume business faxers since theirs is included with the $49.99 per month plan.
Both companies have great conference calling systems with 8×8 providing unlimited callers per account where as RingCentral limits the number of callers in on a conference call based on the users package. 8×8 clearly is ahead on this one while also sticking to their trend of simplicity.
To keep your callers entertained and engaged both companies provide music while on hold with their music facility features. Both also offer a choice of professional voice actor services as well as an option where businesses can select or even upload their own customized messages.
When it comes to international calling RingCentral is certainly the better option providing an unlimited international calling option for a price of just $39.99 per month while 8×8 offers international calling only to limited countries. If you are a high volume international caller you will save money by going with a flat rate plan and have more options of countries to call. If your international calling needs are to a minimum you can likely get by with 8×8’s international calling options.
Both companies provide softphones and virtual live assistant functions making them a perfect companion for any business environment
Call Quality and Customer Service
With both companies being advertised as business VoIP cloud communicating services it is of utmost importance to compare the call quality on both products. Luckily, both RingCentral and 8×8 provide HD voice seamless calls with very few if any disruptions or problems but when it comes to call quality. When it comes to customer service RingCentral, with its 24/7 dedicated customer services, certainly would be far more pleasing to customers as compared to 8×8’s US based Customer service which is operational from 8 am-9 pm ET, Monday-Saturday. They do however offer emergency support 24/7 but it was unclear what this includes.
8×8 or RingCentral Comparison Chart
|Plans & Pricing||Free Trial – 30 days|
$39.99 activation fee
$24.99/mo/user (250 outbound minutes) – USA, Canada. $0.029/minute thereafter.
$0.034/minute for international calls.
$39.99/mo/user (unlimited minutes) – USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam.
France, Italy, Ireland, Spain, UK (landlines only)
$79.99/mo/user (unlimited minutes) – 40 countries.Quote-based contract for annual payment. Monthly, or multi-year options not available for payment
|Free Trial – 15 days, 5 users, 50 mins each|
No Activation fee
Essential – $19.99/mo (1,00 minutes)
Standard – $24.99/mo (1,000 minutes)
Premium – $34.99/mo (2,500 minutes)
Enterprise – $44.99/mo (10,000 minutes)
Headsets are an additional $20/month.
$0.039/minute for international calls.The add-ons for each tier are available as all-or-nothing bundles. Despite some additional hardware costs, RingCentral nets out cheaper, and offers flexible payment plan options.
|Features (free)||Auto Attendant|
Call routing and transfer features
Music on Hold
Softphone/ Mobile App
Call routing with time-based autoredirect
Call transfer with Do Not Disturb option
Programmed alternate phone and VM
Call announce, Call screening, Call hold, Click-to-call, and Call blocking
|Features (paid)||Call queuing, Internet faxing, and Toll-free numbers are included in upgrade to Virtual Office Pro (additional min $15/mo/user)||Call queuing ($7.99/mo)|
Internet fax ($7.99/mo)
Toll free number ($29.99 /mo)
|Integration||Android, iOS, and Linux|
Advanced integration for Google Apps, Office 365, Gmail, SugarCRM, and Salesforce. Plus, free proprietary desktop app.
|Android, iOS, and Linux|
Free Microsoft products, Google, Box and Dropbox integration for all devices. Paid integration for Salesforce, Desk.com and Zendesk.
|Customer support||USA based team, limited hours|
5 a.m. to 6 p.m (M-F)
5 a.m. to 2 p.m (Sat)
24/7/365 support for emergencies, Phone, and email options, including set-up help and troubleshooting. Live web-support chat. Online Q&A resource. No ticketing option.
|USA based team, larger global footprint|
8 am to 9 pm support for single-line user
24/7/365 support for multi-line customers, Ticketing, phone, and email options. Also equipped with comprehensive support center with FAQs, user-guides, and personalized demonstration.
Verdict of 8×8 vs RingCentral
8×8 puts up a sturdy fight, and arguably wins the battle for small businesses needing more international talk-time. Their international plans and minutes are robust. Additionally, they compare favorably for keeping their plans in a simple two-tier upgrade, offering a lot of features in the basic plan and keeping less features hidden behind a paywall. Despite higher fee per user, they may turn out more cost effective than RingCentral for really small teams, or those making calls abroad – purely for the wider range of options and lesser operational costs. They are also compliant with strict data collection standards like HIPAA, PCI, and FISMA, making them a good choice for regulated industries like eCommerce and healthcare.
RingCentral however, emerges a leader on other fronts. The tiered plans are less expensive, and certainly offer more value per user, as well as for multi-line teams. For US based small businesses – RingCentral offers some features in every tier which are attractive: unlimited video meetings, wider range of third-party app integrations, and unlimited calling within North America. RingCentral also aces the field in the crucial aspect – customer service. More available hours, more resources (both in-person, and online), and a much more intuitive admin portal. While 8×8 has a pretty good customer service themselves, limited hours sets them back. Plus their admin portal looks dated – making information hard to locate, and integrations not that smooth. 8×8 set-up needs a intro session which can be side-stepped for RingCentral, courtesy their excellent demo resources and intuitive set-up instructions. This massively reduces the stress and time-loss of location, or asking for relevant information. 8×8 however, have one unique approach – of crowd sourcing rewards for customer support help among their paid customers, which makes for an interesting dynamic and often handy feedback from community of real users instead of cookie-cutter responses.
If your business can be content with a good set of free/ low-cost features available with a basic plan and invests in high international presence, 8×8 is your choice. However, for wide-ambit solutions which pay for themselves in long run, wider spectrum of features, and better support for small businesses, RingCentral finishes top of the podium.