Recent studies show that over 40% of companies have recently increased their reliance on unified communications, especially given the rise in the remote workforce.

UCaaS platforms offer cost savings, improved internal collaboration, and greater employee flexibility. They also prevent the kinds of miscommunications that negatively impact customer satisfaction and team productivity by combining communication channels into one interface.

With UCaaS, conversations can pick up right where they left off no matter where your team communicates.

Here, we’ve provided a brief summary of the features and user experiences of the top eight UcaaS providers in 2020.

 

What is UCaaS?

UCaaS, short for “Unified Communications as a Service,” streamlines all company communications and third-party software integrations within a single unified cloud-based platform.

These service providers centralize and synch top modes of communication, including:

  • Voice calling/conferencing
  • Business SMS text messaging
  • Video calling/conferencing
  • Live Chat messaging
  • Email
  • Social media messaging
  • Online faxing

In addition to simplifying communications management, unified communications provide valuable insight into customer journeys, customer support, employee presence/productivity, and more. Plus, the scalability of the cloud means you avoid paying for features you don’t need. Instead, you can create a communications solution that’s tailor-made for the specific current needs of your company.

The UCaaS provider handles the backend data center, cloud hosting, and setup, eliminating the need for companies to have an on-site IT team or purchase expensive and bulky hardware. Most users on these platforms integrate their contact center and CRM tools into the platform to further condense their communications systems.

 

UCaaS vs. VOIP: What’s the Difference?

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP for short, is not the same thing as unified communications.

Instead, Voice Over Internet Protocol is a part of your overall UCaaS platform.

While both tools allow for communication over the Internet from desk phones, smartphones, and other mobile devices, UCaaS provides more robust business communication capabilities.

Virtual telephony service is used primarily for telephony communication, whereas UCaaS systems include Internet voice calling, chat messaging, email, video conferencing, and more. VoIP systems have advanced routing, IVR, and voicemail features that can be integrated into the UCaaS platform.

» UCaaS vs VoIP: Everything You Need to Know

 

Top UCaaS Providers in 2020

Below, we’ve outlined the top UCaaS vendors in 2020.

They are:

  • Nextiva
  • GoToConnect
  • RingCentral
  • Dialpad
  • 8×8
  • Vonage
  • Mitel

 

NextivaNextiva Contact Center

Nextiva disrupted the UCaaS space with the creation of its Business Suite that combines online telephony, CRM, chat and SMS messaging, video conferencing, and online faxing into a single platform.

With the Nextiva Business Suite, users can take advantage of automation, improved customer feedback, stronger team collaboration tools, and better customer engagement.

Voice over Internet Protocol phone systems allow users to prioritize, anonymously block, route, and screen calls from any device thanks to its softphone app. Caller AI and CRM integration display a “screen pop” containing essential customer and case information whenever communicating with a customer. Video conferences can have up to 200 participants and include features like remote desktop control, screen sharing, dial-in access, and meeting recording.

Additional Nextiva features include:

  • Phone number porting
  • Multi-level auto attendant
  • 1-click video call access
  • 10,000 toll-free minutes per month
  • Voice transcription
  • Unlimited local calling
  • Salesforce, Slack, Dropbox, Outlook, G Suite, Zendesk, Hubspot integrations
  • Call history and call log reports
  • Unlimited virtual fax
  • Voicemail to text/email

Nextiva pricing for the Communication Suite offers three plans ranging from $19.95/user per month to $27.95/user per month and above.

The below table shows the top pros and cons compiled from real customer reviews.

Nextiva Pros Nextiva Cons
Robust native features, including CRM capabilities No MMS business texting
Superior user training  Integration capabilities lacking
Strong mobile app A steep learning curve and a lengthy transition period
Excellent and prompt customer service  High cost

 

Nextiva Is Best For:
Companies with a need for feature-rich UC software with a high level of daily internal and external omnichannel communication. Nextiva has bundled services options tailored to the needs of both enterprise-grade and small businesses. It’s also a good option for customer-centric businesses that rely primarily on customer feedback and data to inform key business decisions.

 

GoToConnectGoToConnect Interface

GoToConnect is a cloud PBX-based unified communications solution is designed especially for remote teams and includes online telephony, voice management features, SMS texting, one-click video calling, and chat capabilities.

GoToConnect pricing starts at $19.95 for 50+ users per month. If you have fewer than 50 users, the price ranges from $29.95 to $21.95.

Top features include:

  • Unlimited auto attendants
  • Automated routing
  • Virtual voicemail
  • Softphone app
  • Find-me follow-me
  • Unlimited extensions
  • Call and video recordings
  • Up to 250 video meeting participants
  • Virtual fax
  • Agent status/presence updates
  • Call monitoring
  • Screen sharing
  • Ring groups
  • Integration with Zendesk, Oracle, Salesforce, etc.

Below are the top pros and cons mentioned in user reviews of GoToConnect.

GoToConnect Pros GoToConnect Cons
Overall ease of use, especially regarding call flow management Consistent mentions of poor customer support
One of the most affordable UCaaS solutions  Lack of product training makes onboarding a challenge
High-quality HD video streaming and excellent video calling features  Porting numbers is a lengthy process
Less downtime than other providers, reliable and consistent service The mobile app needs serious improvement 

 

GoToConnect Is Best For:
Companies that rely primarily on business telephony as a form of communication. It’s also ideal for companies that prioritize an intuitive and clean interface that allows team members to manage their own schedules and workflow as much as possible. The software is designed specifically with remote teams in mind. So, companies that are transitioning to remote work or who have always had employees that work from home will benefit the most from this UCaaS system. However, GoToConnect also has product bundles/suites for enterprise-level companies, start-ups, and mid-sized businesses.

 

RingCentralRingCentral Interface

RingCentral Office is a cloud-based UcaaS provider with enterprise Intenet telephony capabilities. Gartner Inc. named RingCentral Office as a UcaaS leader 5 years in a row, and UCToday named it 2020’s Best Unified Communications Platform of the Year.

Its best-known clients include Del Monte, Canal+ France, the Detroit Pistons, and the Salvation Army.

The software includes telephone cloud communications, video/audio conferencing, SMS texting, instant messaging, analytics, and third-party integrations. There are four plans to choose from which range in price from $19.99/user per month to $49.99/user per month. Annual billing is available.

Top features include:

  • Unlimited number of users
  • Unlimited US/Canada calls
  • Up to 10,000 toll-free minutes per month
  • Unlimited business SMS text messages
  • Team messaging with document sharing
  • Voicemail to text and email, visual voicemail
  • RingCentral for Desktop
  • Unlimited online faxing and audio conferencing
  • Conference Calling for up to 200 participants per video meeting
  • Integrations with CRM tools like Salesforce and Zendesk
  • Integration with Slack, G Suite, Microsoft365, etc.
  • Automatic recording of calls
  • Multi-level auto attendant
  • Real-time analytics
  • Advanced call handling features like barge, whisper, call queue overflow, etc.

Below, we’ve outlined a table of the most common pros and cons mentioned in their user reviews.

RingCentral Office Pros RingCentral Office Cons
High voice calling/audio quality Meeting links can be unreliable 
Ease of use and intuitive interface Mobile softphone app needs improvement
Above and beyond team collaboration features High learning curve is time-consuming
Responsive customer service, receptive to user suggestions  Faxing feature often doesn’t send/receive complete documents 

 

RingCentral Is Best For:
RingCentral Office is best for medium to enterprise-level businesses with a high number of remote employees that frequently collaborate with one another. It’s also ideal for companies with an international presence. The software is especially popular within the healthcare, financial, and IT industries.

 

DialpadDialpad ucaas

Dialpad is a BYOD cloud communications solution with over 70,00 worldwide customers including Uber, HubSpot, and Motorola.

It connects teams via online meetings, voice calling, web conferencing, and chat messaging tools.

Diapad is best known for its Voice Intelligence features, which uses natural language processing and voice recognition to improve real-time customer service. VI allows for customer sentiment analysis, automated note-taking and call summary logging, and real-time coaching and assistance.

Dialpad pricing ranges from $25/user per month to $75/user per month and up. Contact Dialpad for a direct quote.

Additional features include:

  • Unlimited US and Canada calling
  • Unlimited SMS messaging
  • Integration with Slack, Zendesk, Zapier, Okta, G Suite, Office 365, Salesforce, and more
  • Number porting
  • Communication recording
  • Call analytics
  • Dialpad Everywhere softphone app
  • Team presence and status updates
  • Voicemail and virtual fax
  • Business SMS, MMS, and group text messaging
  • VoIP calling
  • UberConference video calling

Below are the most common pros and cons mentioned in Dialpad user reviews.

Dialpad Pros Dialpad Cons
Superior 24/7 omnichannel customer support Lack of desktop keyboard shortcuts
Strong international calling options SMS texting features need improvement
Ability to text pictures improves collaboration and communication No native chat tool, UberConference video calling tool add-on feature
Easy to transfer calls to other devices at any time Frequent updates are time-consuming, but the quality of service is compromised if admins delay running them

 

Dialpad Is Best For:
Though Dialpad has an enterprise-grade solution, it provides superior communications options to small businesses and startups. This is due in large part to its high-level web conferencing features, which allow users to quickly set up, record, and take notes in meetings. It also offers a robust set of features for a low price point, which is especially beneficial for newer businesses. Real estate professionals, retailers, and legal professionals are key Dialpad target markets.

 

8×88x8 UCaaS

8×8’s Office Communication tool is an all-in-one platform for voice and telephony, audio and video conferencing, SMS, and chat messaging.

An eight-time Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader, 8×8 UCaaS is trusted by Mcdonald’s, Regus, Farmers Insurance, and other top companies. Its cloud PBX business phone system offers free unlimited calls and SMS texting in the US and Canada, as well as unlimited global calling in up to 47 countries. It is HIPAA compliant, allows for call recording with cloud or Dropbox storage, and has advanced call routing and monitoring tools.

Unique features like anonymous meeting attendance and compatibility with more than 25 PSTN carriers quickly set it apart from the competition.

Additional features include:

  • G Suite, Outlook, Zendesk, Salesforce Slack, Microsoft Teams integrations
  • IVR customer self-service
  • Number porting
  • Multi-level auto attendant
  • Employee status/presence updates
  • “Meet Now” capabilities
  • Remote desktop control
  • Message thread following and user tagging
  • Native CRM features

8×8 pricing ranges from $15/user per month to $115/user per month, with three plans to choose from.

The below table represents the top pros and cons of 8×8, according to customer reviews.

8×8 Pros 8×8 Cons
Strong mobile application File sharing capabilities need improvement
Highly-responsive customer support Longer-term contracts
Frequent updates improve user experience without an overcomplicated installation process Screen sharing reduces video quality
Overall ease of use as compared to other systems High cost

 

8×8 Is Best For:
8×8 is best for high-level corporations requiring near-constant omnichannel communication throughout the business day and beyond. Common use cases include accounting, retailers, federal government agencies, and medical professionals. Though its high cost may make it prohibitive for some users, the plethora of capabilities it offers means that those who can afford to use it, should.

 

Vonage

The Vonage Business Communications platform is a cloud-based UC tool with over 50 communication features and productivity tools.

Users can communicate via chat messaging, business telephony, SMS, social media, video calling, and more.

Top features include:

  • Find me, follow me
  • Call flip, hold, park, recording, forwarding, and routing
  • Voicemail to email
  • Online fax
  • Integrations with Slack, Salesforce, G Suite, Office 365, Zendesk, and more
  • Virtual and visual voicemail
  • Automated SMS messaging
  • Softphone app
  • Call announce
  • Call monitoring
  • Audio conferencing for up to 30 participants
  • Vonage Meetings
  • Spam shield
  • Tool-free calling
  • Directory assistance
  • Virtual receptionist

Vonage pricing is based on the number of users, in addition to the specific features which you need. There are three plans ranging in price from $19.99/month per line to $34.99/month per line and up.

Vonage Pros Vonage Cons
An easy installation process, excellent customer training, and support Some issues with web browser compatibility 
Excellent video and audio quality  High early termination fees
99.999% uptime offers superior reliability  No images with SMS messaging 
Clean, sleek, intuitive interface  Some essential features are paid add-ons

 

Vonage Is Best For:
Vonage is best for companies of all sizes that prioritize a flexible, highly-customizable communications tool. It’s also ideal for businesses looking for a turnkey app that allows them to get started with UC as soon as possible. Common Vonage users include law firms, retailers, healthcare professionals, and insurance companies.

 

MitelMitel UCaaS

Mitel’s MICloud Connect is an all-in-one communications center built on the Google Cloud.

It offers hosted PBX phone service, instant chat messaging, audio and web conferencing, and video meetings, and SMS messaging.

Additional features include:

  • Unlimited monthly minutes
  • Up to 100 audio and video conference participants
  • Video conference screen sharing
  • Softphone app
  • Outlook, GSuite, Salesforce, and other CRM software integration
  • Call recording
  • One-click audio and video calling
  • Built-in VPN
  • Call routing by presence
  • Call parking, forwarding and transferring
  • SIP trunking capabilities available

Mitel MICloud offers three plans ranging in price from at $20.99/user per month to $38.49/user per month and above. Mitel’s contact center and CX tools can be easily integrated with MICloud Connect for an additional fee.

The below table outlines the common pros and cons of Mitel MICloud Connect.

Mitel MICloud Pros Mitel MICloud Cons
High level of customization for user preferences  Open customer support cases have long resolution times 
Supports Single Sign-On Updates require new software downloads and reconfiguration of previous downloads
Administrative controls easy and offer a high level of control Not especially feature-rich without contact center add-on
Ease of deployment Chat message notifications don’t always appear onscreen 

 

Mitel Is Best For:
Mitel’s MICloud is designed for mobile-first use and is best suited for smaller organizations with more basic, uncomplicated UC needs. Companies with 50 or fewer employees are likely to get the most out of the tool, as are those that rely heavily on business telephony for communication.

 

Additional Company Communications Tools

Looking for more in-depth reviews of the options we’ve mentioned here? Unsure if you need a UCaaS system or another communications platform like Cisco, Intermedia, Fuze, or Zoom?

Our interactive tables on call center software, enterprise voice over IP, and hosted PBX systems will help you learn more about all of your options for business communications.