Connectivity and communication need to be reliable, especially for companies that have employees who are not all working from the same location. Because of this, many organizations are asking what is cloud PBX and how can it bolster business communications?. By 2023, the hosted PBX market has a forecasted growth of at least 14.9%. There will be an estimated revenue of up to 9.50 billion US dollars globally by 2023, which is quite an increase from the 4.73 billion that hosted PBX service providers were earning in 2018.
For small to mid-sized businesses, RingCentral and Dialpad are two of the best options to decouple from PBX hardware. They both offer VoIP-based business phone systems that have several key features including unified communications as a service (UCaaS) for keeping teams communicating as well as several call routing features like auto attendants and IVR systems for your customers. So, who wins the RingCentral vs Dialpad showdown? Which is best for your company?
What is RingCentral?
In late 2019, along with 8×8, Microsoft, and Cisco, RingCentral was announced as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for unified communications as a service (UCaaS). Brands in this grouping stand out for their ability to execute and completeness of vision in the UC realm. RingCentral is a major name in the industry that streamlines business communication, and they are looking to keep making gains by adding new products like their new Zoom competitor, RingCentral Video.
Our coverage of RingCentral pricing explained that Ringcentral Office is their primary UC offering, and it has several components that deliver teams cloud-based hosted PBX calling, messaging, internet fax, caller ID, video conferencing, customer support, and call center support technology.
With four plans that each grants unlimited phone calls and SMS for RingCentral customers, it’s not much of a surprise that the company is steadily making gains in the industry. These plans vary enough that each works for various business sizes – Essentials has the features for small businesses and Ultimate will suit organizations that are larger and need advanced features like call center management.
What is Dialpad?
Dialpad is a VoIP solution with UC features that’s more aligned exclusively for small to mid-sized businesses. Dialpad pricing and plans include a three-tiered structure that is slightly leaner than RingCentral but this provider is much cheaper when billed by the month or even by the year.
Like RingCentral, number porting is available with Dialpad, which means that you transfer your existing VoIP-based or PSTN numbers to the service. There’s support for desk phones, desktop software, and Android and iOS softphone apps. The company also provides access to thousands of local and toll-free numbers for your business. Inbound calls also will ring on all connected devices on your Dialpad account simultaneously, or you can program them to be run in a preset rotation.
Also, like RingCentral, Dialpad is a provider that’s on the Gartner Magic Quadrant under the “Visionaries” category. Dialpad is also growing steadily.
RingCentral vs Dialpad: Comparison at a Glance
Here’s a glimpse at some of the competitive features of both Dialpad and RingCentral. When comparing these two providers, it’s critical to note that they both have two plans called “Standard.” That being said, the Standard Plan for Dialpad is its base-level offering, but for RingCentral, this is the second-tier plan.
|Free Trial Duration||15-day||14-day|
|Support||Starts at Standard – chat and phone||Starts at Standard -web and chat. Phone service starts at Pro.|
|HD Video calling||Standard and above||Standard and above|
|Call recording||Standard and above||Pro and above|
RingCentral Plans and Pricing
RingCentral has four different plans that vary in price for businesses to choose from. These plans can be paid for monthly or annually, but opting to pay annually will save your company up to 33%. New subscribers qualify for a free trial period that is limited to five users. The trial period gives each user 15 days and 50 minutes of domestic calls to try out the VoIP phone service before committing.
The Essentials Plan is a system that is for dialing and messaging. It’s only $19.99 per month if paid annually. Paying monthly increases the billing rate to $29.99 per month. With this plan, the number of users that will be able to use the plan is limited to 20.
Local business phone or toll-free 800 numbers are provided for the Essentials plan. Additional toll-free numbers or local numbers cost a small fee of $4.99 to add, and if your business would like to have a vanity number, it will require a one-time fee of $30.Toll-free minutes are limited to 100 with the Essentials plan. Additional minutes cost 3.9 cents per minute.
Your business receives unlimited calls within the US and Canada with Essentials. SMS and MMS messaging has no upward limits of texts, but customers can only send messages to a maximum of 50 recipients at once. With voicemail transcription, RingCentral converts audio messages to text format to make it easier to review messages at-a-glance.
Documents can easily be shared with team members in messages as well thanks to RingCentral’s team chat features. Mobile apps are available for Apple or Android users to make and receive calls, texts, and join meetings.
The Standard plan is designed for messaging, dialing, and video chatting. This plan costs $34.99 per month, but if the bill is paid annually, the rate is lowered to $24.99 per month. With the standard plan, your business gets everything that is included in the Essentials plan, but there are a few changes and some additional features.
To start, there is no limit on the number of users, so it may be a better option for medium to large businesses. Business phone numbers are available in over 90 countries, and 1,000 toll-free minutes come with the plan. Faxing and audio conferencing are also unlimited with the Standard plan. Up to 100 participants are permitted in video conferences, and the duration meetings scale up to 24 hours.
A multi-level auto-attendant answers every call and directs the caller to the appropriate department. Calls can be manually recorded at any time, on any device. Also, 24-hour chat and phone support is offered at this tier and above. Integrations with Office 365, Slack, and G Suite are available to maximize productivity and efficiency.
The Premium plan offers the same calling, text, and video chatting options as the Standard plan, but it adds more integrations that could prove useful to larger companies and increases the number of video conferencing participants from 100 to 200. The Premium plan has a monthly fee of $44.99, but if the premium is paid annually, it is decreased to $34.99 per month.
Businesses that have this plan get 2,500 toll-free minutes, and call recording automatically takes place during all inbound and outbound calls. Users log in with a single sign-on across devices, so passwords will not need to be remembered. Also, shared phones have access to voicemails, messages, and other features as long as the user is logged in.
Advanced call management controls are enabled for monitoring conversations and coaching, which include call whispering, call barging, and more. Real-time analytics are available to gather data and report metrics to your team. Integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, Canvas, and more are available to enhance your business apps, and custom integration helps you gain insight from your data.
The Ultimate plan is the next level that is built for large businesses. The plan is $59.99 per month, but with an annual payment, the price drops to $49.99 per month. This plan has all of the features that are included in the Premium plan, but it includes device status reports and alerts as well.
Toll-free minutes are increased to 10,000, but video meetings still stay at 200 participants per meeting. Also, storage is unlimited for businesses that have this plan; this includes documents, contracts, images, and voice and video recordings.
Dialpad Plans and Pricing
All three Dialpad plans have monthly and annual payment options, but if you opt to be billed monthly, your payment will be about $5 more each month. There is a 14-day free trial that new customers use until they are ready to commit to a plan.
The Standard Plan, which is the base-level plan for Dialpad, is offered for $15 per month for customers who pay the bill annually. If you opt to pay monthly, this plan will cost you $20 per month. The plan includes unlimited calling, SMS, MMS, and group texting in the US and Canada. International call services are available in 50 countries. Basic call functions like call forwarding, call queuing, faxing from a phone, and voicemail greetings are also part of the Standard plan.
Businesses that choose to use the Standard plan will receive local and toll-free numbers. When routing calls, the hold music that the customer hears is customizable. UberConference is included for free with this plan, but it only supports up to 10 participants. Real-time call analytics are available for Standard plan users who need to monitor calls, but they will not be automatically recorded. Integrations with this plan include G Suite and Office 365.
Support for users is limited with this plan; only web and chat functionality is available on weekdays. Support teams are not available on the weekends for tier-1 users.
The Pro plan is $30 per month, with a discounted price of $25 per month if the bill is paid annually. It includes all of the features that come with the Standard plan, but additional features have been added as well. This plan is for use by multiple offices, so it works for more businesses with larger footprints. International numbers are also provided at this level.
With call routing, the Pro plan provides hold queues and holiday hour routing so that customer calls get through at more times. All calls will be automatically recorded with this plan, and the real-time call center analytics are more advanced. More integration is available with the Pro plan, which includes Slack, Zapier, HubSpot, Salesforce, and more. Phone support and 24/7 support coverage is also added at this level.
At the Pro plan level, customers are required to have at least three licenses. A license can be used to add users, phone rooms, or lines to your phone system.
The Enterprise Plan is the next level to consider, but pricing statistics are only available through direct contact with the company. The plan does require the company to have a minimum of 100 seats per license. Enterprise includes everything that comes with the Pro plan, but it also includes SCIM provisioning, which stands for System for Cross-Domain Identity Management. This allows you to delete or add accounts for external systems.
Real-time call analytics will be customizable at the Enterprise level. Also, additional integrations with Azure AD and Okta are made available.
Provider Showdown: The Head-to-Head Comparison
Now that we’ve had a look at the features of each plan as well as a look at pricing, how does each of these perform when directly compared? When comparing the two providers, we took a look at how some key business features faired against each other.
Direct Inward Dialing Numbers
Also known as virtual numbers, direct inward dialing numbers, or DID, allows businesses like yours to set up numbers that your customers use to reach your organization. DID numbers allow customers to reach your business via a toll-free number, a vanity number, or a local number.
Both RingCentral and Dialpad have all of these as well as DID numbers overseas, which are important if you’re expanding into new territories and want to help locals to reach your brand without long-distance fees.
When it comes to vanity numbers, which include easily identifiable numbers like 1-800-YOUR-BIZ and toll-free and local numbers, both service providers are pretty evenly matched. That being said, for international local numbers, RingCentral comes out ahead – they have coverage in 80+ countries compared to Dialpad’s 50. If you are a company trying to create a global presence without opening call centers and offices in those parts of the world, then you’ll have more options with RingCentral.
RingCentral vs Dialpad Video Chat
Both RingCentral and Dialpad offer video conferencing via RingCentral Video and Dialpad’s Uberconference. Of the two, RingCentral is by far the newest having only been announced recently during the COVID-19 pandemic as a means of facilitating work from anywhere requirements. Both Uberconference and RingCentral Video are available under each provider’s Standard plans, but it’s worth noting that this is tier-1 for Dialpad and tier-2 for RingCentral.
Both of these offer easy meeting scheduling, hosting, and joining, and both offer conference call analytics that displays important KPIs like call minutes, usage levels, and Quality of Service (QoS). Still, both platforms have a key weakness – neither supports video conferencing in Safari or Firefox, which are a significant portion of the global browser market share. Dialpad supports both Chrome and Edge browser and has video conferencing support at a cheaper price point, which causes it to pull ahead.
RingCentral vs Dialpad Integrations
Dialpad and RingCentral PBX systems both have multiple phone system integrations. Integration with popular software means that you and your team won’t have to switch applications when there’s a need to call and meet. Salesforce, which is a Customer Relationship Management solution, is probably the most important because it keeps track of all customer interactions from your business, but there are a few others that help manage processes. Here’s a breakdown of some of the integrations from both service providers:
|Kustomer||Microsoft Dynamics 365|
|Microsoft Office 365||Microsoft Office 365|
|ServiceNow||Amazon Web Services|
|Azure Active Directory||Theta Lake|
While this is an exhaustive list from Dialpad’s app marketplace, RingCentral has hundreds more on their own featured apps marketplace. If you want to integrate with several programs and systems, RingCentral comes out far ahead.
RingCentral vs Dialpad User Experience
A VoIP provider’s system and interface should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and should make information readily accessible. Both Dialpad and RingCentral are popular with their customers. Here are a few user reviews of their platforms that account for ease of use:
“For me, the Admin Portal is a little difficult and not so intuitive. It can be challenging to manage all the settings if you do not know what you are doing.” Andrew B.
“I have tried other virtual phone systems and my experience with Dialpad has been the best. It is simple to set up, administer, and run for an office of less than 10 people. I am not a tech/ phone person and it works great.” Tom M.
Many of the reviews of each platform state something similar: RingCentral’s UI tends to be a bit harder to get around than Dialpad’s more intuitive interface.
During our reviews of the platforms, the clear winner in the Dialpad vs RingCentral battle for user experience is Dialpad. First, Dialpad brings it home with its platform’s messaging functionality. The business messaging platform syncs all messages received to every device so that you have the same messaging information on your Android or iPhone as you would on your desktop app. With RingCentral, there are several places to find messages across the platform, so it’s lacking that “single source of truth” experience.
RingCentral vs Dialpad Conference Calling
Conference calling is critical for VoIP services, especially for providers that are focused on unified communications, and both RingCentral and Dialpad have video conferencing solutions that work on any device that’s connected to either network. For Dialpad, Uberconference integration grants web conferencing, and with RingCentral, audio and video conferencing is provided for those with the Standard Plan and above.
In the RingCentral vs Dialpad battle for conference calling, RingCentral wins. Dialpad’s conferencing is unfortunately limited to 10 users if you’re using the bundled Uberconference software, but with Uberconference Business, which is a separate plan, this is extendable up to 100 participants. RingCentral offers both audio and video web conferencing that are built-in to most pricing tiers. By default, RingCentral allows for 100 participants for video meetings, which is an add-on for Uberconference.
RingCentral vs Dialpad: RingCentral has Better Features
This was a close one, but RingCentral with its four tiers of plans that are packed with features edges out the competition. It also doesn’t hurt that RingCentral has so many app integrations compared to Dialpad. Both of the two business VoIP providers have tiers that are also dedicated to SMBs, but if you’re going to be going full enterprise, RingCentral’s Ultimate tier has firmly laid-out pricing and a bevy of features that will even allow you to open up your call center.
Dialpad just doesn’t compete in this regard, especially since they don’t have any form of call monitoring for call center agents outside of reviewing recordings once the call has completed.
While RingCentral may have taken the crown in our comparison, Dialpad still has features that some may prefer over the competition. For instance, Dialpad is much cheaper than RingCentral, which makes it a good go-to solution for smaller businesses that want features at a lower cost per user.
Not sure if either provider fits your business needs? We have a list of the top hosted PBX solutions that will help your business move calling and UC to the cloud.