RingCentral vs 8X8: Hosted PBX Wars

VoIP is quickly catching up to becoming the one of the most preferred form of business communication today. VoIP is an Internet-based phone system that is powered by digital technology and applications, without the need for dated, clunky equipment or an intricate phone system. In fact, there are more than 1 billion VoIP users today.

As more and more individuals begin to telecommute and more businesses board the VoIP train, finding a fast, reliable, and reputable VoIP service provider is about to get a lot more difficult. How do you know which system works best for you?

Let’s start by taking a look at two of the best VoIP service providers and hosted PBX providers, RingCentral and 8X8.

So which is the better provider? Which provider offers a better service and more features than the other? Which is the most cost-effective solution? Let’s look over the key differences and create a detailed comparison and analysis between these two top VoIP service providers.

RingCentral vs. 8X8: Game On

Regardless of popular belief, PBX providers do more than provide a phone number and voice calls, they offer a wealth of features and services, such as video calls, video chat, text chat and even the ability to make calls from any device, anywhere in the world. These two providers are no exception.

Services and Pricing

One of the reasons why VoIP is becoming more popular by the day is because businesses are finding that VoIP services are more cost-effective and convenient than traditional business phone systems. In fact, businesses see an average savings of approximately 50 to 75 percent by switching to VoIP services.

So regarding these two VoIP provider giants, who has the better pricing?

8X8 – 8X8 offers an easy-to-use platform that combines a phone number and texting capabilities all within one application. 8X8 also offers video chatting, video calls, and even the ability to host online meetings. At the time this article was written, up to 10 lines costs approximately $19.99 per month. Although 8X8 offers a PRO plan for an extra $5 per month, the standard plan is typically sufficient for meeting most business communication needs.

RingCentral – RingCentral offers three different service plans of various levels and features, and also with a number of available add-ons. Their standard plan is only $24.99 per user, per month. Although RingCentral offers more flexible options and add-ons, these are reserved for their more expensive plans, making 8X8 the most cost-effective solution and with the most value on the standard plan level. For example, automatic call recording, single sign-on and even third-party application integration are only available with RingCentral’s Premium or Enterprise plans.

Network and Reliability

Perhaps the second biggest factor when considering which VoIP provider to work with is network and reliability. After all, businesses want to ensure that the call quality, network stability, and overall reliability is topnotch.

8X8 – 8X8 guarantees a 99.997% up-time on their servers. They also have 9 different data centers, located through North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In addition, 8×8 has a bit of an edge over other providers with its Geo-Routing capabilities, which allows the network to determine a user’s location and then reroutes the call to the closest data center. This is something that sets 8×8 apart, other companies usually send the call to their central location, then out to the closest data center.

RingCentral – RingCentral doesn’t have a lot of information out there about their where their data is stored. They do discuss that the security around their data center is air tight, and they are sharing the space with other large companies, which means they’re probably renting space from a data center. They do claim a 99.999% up-time.

Online Admin Portals

In today’s day and age, where user experience reigns supreme, accessing and navigating an organized and interactive dashboard is important for businesses to get access to the information they need without spending a great deal of time hunting. Let’s compare the two account management dashboards from both RingCentral and 8×8.

RingCentral – RingCentral provides a dashboard or an account management page that requires a phone number, extension (if applicable), and a password to log in. A lot of people reported that they appreciate the overall look and design of this web page. The system’s tools, features, and functions are easy to find, and there are also a number of drop-down menus available when mousing over each section. Good design like this helps the user easily locate what they are looking for. There is also a handful of links to helpful “how-to” articles in case users require further assistance.

8X8 – Accessing the 8X8 user portal isn’t as straightforward as RingCentral. Many users claim the dashboard design is “dated” and “cluttered”. Although the home page provides “how to” tutorials and articles to help users navigate through the system and perform basic functions, many of the options aren’t as visible as RingCentral. It appears that 8X8 focused more on function rather than format.

Desktop Apps and Softphones

Both 8×8 and RingCentral provide users with mobile applications for their account management portals. These apps allow users to access their information and features while on-the-go.

RingCentral – You can definitely tell RingCentral’s website and app are connected. Design-wise, they’re a match. RingCentral’s app provides users with not only an aesthetically pleasing design but also clean, flat icons to easily identify different sections. Additionally, RingCentral also includes creative loading animations for each tab as well as other design details that are integrated nicely.

8X8 – Again, it appears that 8X8 focused more on trying to make an older design work. The application and interface still feels a bit cluttered, hindering the overall user experience. On the other hand, the application does include a number of labels, which helps users to easily find, locate, and access the functions they are looking for. Again, form over function.

Call Reports

Both companies provide users with detailed data and analytics to help them to better understand how businesses are using their VoIP phone systems. Call logs, call activity, time spent on each call as well as a range of visual graphs and reports are easily accessible in the online account management tools of each provider.

RingCentral – Similar to other applications and usability, RingCentral wins this category again. RingCentral’s call reporting functions and features are more intuitive providing the user with more visuals and graphs, and a more interactive and stronger user experience overall.

8X8 – Again, 8X8 defers to an older or dated style in collecting call reporting and tracking information in their reports, with less visuals and graphs.

RingCentral vs. 8X8: The Bottom Line

Overall, both providers have their advantages and disadvantages. To summarize, 8X8 offers more features with their “standard” plan, but their user experience and design is not very strong. On the other hand, RingCentral provides a better user experience with their dashboard and application, but they lack the access to data centers, which might help boost the quality of their network connections.

In the end, both providers offer a number of plans to best tailor to your needs, but various distinctions can be made depending on the individual needs and goals of each business.

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