RingCentral and Nextiva are two of the biggest names in VoIP. Both business VoIP providers rack up awards year after year, and have some of the biggest customers bases around. (RingCentral claims to have 200,000 customers, Nextiva boasts 60,000) Both RingCentral and Nextiva are US-based companies, headquartered in San Mateo, CA, and Scottsdale, AZ, respectively. Let’s look at the tale of the tape to see who comes out ahead in this battle of the business VoIP service provider heavyweights.
RingCentral and Nextiva shared features: Standard Call Features, Advanced Call Hunting, Auto Attendant, BLF/presence, Call Rules, Call Logs, Click to call out/in, Dial-By Name Directory, DND, E-911, Enhanced Voice Mail, Holiday Greetings, Free virtual fax/V-Fax, Appearance, Web Portal, Unified Messaging,
RingCentral Office Exclusive Features: RingCentral Call Controller Desktop Integration, Call Flip/Call Handoff, Missed Call Notification, Voice Recording (without premium), Virtual Calling Card,
Nextiva NextOS 3.0 Exclusive Features: 15-way conference calling without Conference Bridge, Dashboard ($29.95/agent, $69.95/Supervisor), Nextiva Toolbar Desktop Integration, Voice Recording (with upgrade to virtual PBX plans), Call Hoteling
Here’s the blow-by-blow comparison: Both Nextiva and RingCentral have a dizzying number of plans, add-ons, and tiers. Both RingCentral and Nextiva offer paper fax plans and BlackBerry support, indicating that they are a great choice for any established company looking to leave their old PBX system and make the switch to VoIP.
Both RingCentral and Nextiva tout their customer service, so that’s a great place to start. Nextiva is proud of their “Amazing Service.” 95% of their calls are answered within the second ring; they put customers on hold as little as possible; they fix as many problems as they can on the first call. Nextiva’s US-based support is open 12 hours a day, and Nextiva workers are proud to be there. I’ve had firsthand experience with RingCentral’s tech support, and I can say for sure that they know their stuff, and they are easy to work with. RingCentral has phone support 24 hours a day from both US and offshore locations.
Nextiva and RingCentral offer different cloud integration functions. Nextiva is designed to work with Microsoft applications, such as Outlook and Word; RingCentral is designed to work with Google Docs, BOX and Dropbox, which are cloud services from different companies. So, if you are looking to send a virtual fax, you can fax directly from BOX on RingCentral, or from Outlook on Nextiva. The difference is more preference than practical.
RingCentral offers what they call “Call Flip,” which is the ability to take a call on one phone, then pick up another phone and hand the call off. So, for example, you can take a call on your drive home, and then “flip” it to your home phone.
Nextiva offers “Hoteling,” which is the ability for different users within a company to use their profiles temporarily on another person’s device. RingCentral offers a “virtual calling card,” in which RingCentral customers can log in by phone to their RingCentral account, then make cheap international calls using their own phone number. These two services are in the same area of remote access, but they are not that similar. I prefer RingCentral’s feature.
Both RingCentral and Nextiva offer “Ringback,” which is on-hold or connect music. On-hold music is nothing new, but connect music instead of ringing is a feature that sets VoIP apart from traditional phone services. RingCentral and Nextiva support session initiation protocol (SIP) for trunking and softphones.
RingCentral’s Call Controller is a softphone with some Microsoft integration, but mainly it stands on its own as a phone and virtual fax portal. Nextiva’s Toolbar is a desktop integration application without a softphone. Remember that any softphone desktop or mobile app that supports SIP will work with Nextiva.
If you are looking for an inexpensive plan just to get you started, Nextiva has a 100 minute plan for $8.95. RingCentral has only unlimited plans, and both Nextiva have the same prices for unlimited plans if you are comparing up to 19 users.
Finally, RingCentral and Nextiva both promise 99.9% uptime.
The Final Round:
Both RingCentral and Nextiva are top names in this business for a reason. After all, 260,000 (combined) customers can’t be wrong. RingCentral has the numbers, whereas Nextiva has the big names. Nextiva, in this case, is the better choice for a very limited budget. Nextiva, as I noted, has inexpensive metered plans, making them competitive with the smaller budget VoIP providers like CallCentric, Phonebooth, and eVoice; RingCentral doesn’t offer metered plans, putting them in most direct competition with 8×8, Fonality, and similar big names.
I’d also give the nod to Nextiva when it comes to their call center plans. For enterprise customers with the budget for it, Nextiva’s Enterprise Call Center, with the Dashboard licenses, offer call control and call analytics that are difficult to beat.
But for everyone in the middle, which VoIP provider is the best choice? If you have a clear personal preference for Google or Microsoft, that makes it an easy choice. In this writer’s opinion, if you are looking for a large-scale upgrade, but feel the enterprise feature set is too much, then I believe RingCentral is a good place to start. If it’s more important for you to tailor your business telephone solution, especially if your business is very large or very small, then I think Nextiva is the right choice for your business.