Nowadays, just about every provider offers users a digital doorway to their service. As such, users are typically able to utilize services and edit their account online, at will. While a number of providers offer this access, there are very few (if any) portals that are identical in functionality, serviceability, navigation, and ease-of-use. Instead, these digital entryways vary greatly on a provider-to-provider basis. While some offer extensive functionality and feature, others focus on workability and navigation (and vice versa). That being said, it can be hard for providers to balance offering and workability through their portal.

Despite this challenge, RingCentral manages to find itself at the top of the pile, offering advanced services and functionality within their portal without overcomplicating user layout. That being said, some may feel the provider’s to be a bit restrictive—i.e. there are only so many place users can go. While limitation is rarely a positive, it works well in RingCentral’s favor. Upon logging in, users will find a pretty standard homepage composed of a directory-type toolbar, a recent messages and a recent calls log, settings shortcuts (for both users and admins), general announcements, and resources. Additionally, users are also able to RingOut or FaxOut directly from the top of this and every page too. Though this may seem standard each option is expansive. For example, from the Toolbar, users can access Overview, Messages, Activity Log, Contacts, Settings (Phone System and My Settings), Billing, and Tools (Softphone, Mobile Apps, Directory Assistance, Tell A Friend, RingMe, Appearance, and Account Validation).

Additionally, the call logs display info according to category—i.e. Open, From, Name, Date, Time, and Length.

Though this level of functionality sounds pretty standard, RingCentral’s organization augments workability with ease-of-use, accessibility, and navigation. That being said, users are able to move around their system more easily, which results in them using the system and its features all the more effectively. The directory styled Toolbar breaks down functions specifically; therefore, it’s easy for users to find what they need. Once they have found it, they are redirected to a page where functionality is full. A good example of this is the Messages page. On the Overview homepage, users are provided a simple recent messages log. Under the Messages heading, users can access their full history, including Inbox, Outbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, and Recordings.

Furthermore, from here users can elect to broaden the scope of their log even further by selecting the Activity Log heading. Here, users can view their usage by time frame and type, as well as Phone Number, and Contacts. Users can even choose to delete specific entries or purge their entire log history.

In using this log, users can view the time frame to view by bulk—i.e. last 60, 30, 7 days, yesterday, and/or today—or by specific dates. Log entries are broken down by Type, Phone Number, Name, Date/Time, Recording, Action, Result, and Length. Additionally, users can choose viewing options, Simple or Detailed, simple being discussed above. Detailed includes all the same categories and more including Type, From, To, Extension, Forwarded To, Name, Date/Time, Recording, Action, Result, Length, Included, Purchased.

The rest of the tabs offer just as much information and feature/functionality with just as much precision. For example, Contacts are broken down into Personal and Company. Selecting either lets users browse alphabetically, sort by name (first or last), or search by name. Additionally, the Settings tab lets users access their System, where users can view/edit all their account information—i.e. Company Shortcuts, How Do I…, Change What Callers Hear, Company Info, Phones, Users, Auto Receptionist, etc.

Separate from Phone Systems is My Settings, which gives users an even more extensive breakdown of their individual system—i.e. name and extension, phones and numbers, screening/greeting/holding music, call handling and forwarding, messages and notification, outbound caller ID, outbound fax, change my voicemail settings, as well as the same Shortcuts and How Do I… sections.

As stated above, RingCentral deploys precise organization that allows for greater navigation for users. The provider has seemingly found a way to offer extensive functionality without complicating the layout or accessibility. The only tab that may be a little overwhelming for newer users is the Tools heading, which features a variety of different features (Softphone, Mobile Apps, Directory Assistance, Tell A Friend, RingMe, Appearance, and Account Validation).

Despite this minor hiccup, RingCentral’s back end is great. It’s a very simple design that is deceptively thorough—which is what makes it unique amongst other provider’s portals. Its overall included functionality is nothing new; however, the break down and organization of said functionality, as well as its accessibility, makes this portal stand out all the more.

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