Many people have heard of Vonage even though they know nothing about VoIP. The Vonage commercials with catchy jingles push the world’s most well-known business VoIP service. Vonage is one of the biggest names that are pushing it into the mainstream. Vonage is known as a visionary which gives it a strong position to mainstream VoIP.
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Some may question Vonage’s right to be called a visionary when compared to a known leader. When compared to Vonage’s competitors, RingCentral and 3CX both make a strong case for being considered alongside Vonage.
RingCentral, 3CX and Vonage Business are all popular options for today’s companies. Ringcentral and Vonage have similar pricing points, so a head-to-head comparison is needed to determine the better company. 3CX’s pricing, on the other hand, is based on simultaneous calls and not extensions so a comparison between the 3 may be difficult. To provide a complete measuring, a person must explore the most common offerings and price points. These offerings include Vonage’s Essentials Plan, 3CX PRO Edition and RingCentral’s PRO Plus Plan.
Phone Plans For Vonage, 3CX and RingCentral
With some providers, it is easy to have a clear understanding of their offerings. However, it can be confusing when dealing with other providers. This confusion is caused by a lack of clarity and can require numerous sales calls that are tedious and time-consuming. This article will help make sense of it all.
RingCentral, 3CX and Vonage offer a variety of different plans with different levels of service. In this article, the focus will be on their most popular programs. Instead of comparing multiple services, comparing the most popular plan at a particular price point allows this article to compare the best apple to the other best apple.
An investigation of each provider’s plans, the plan options, and what else the customer pays for with each policy will happen in the following paragraphs.
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This company started as a cloud-based IP PBX solution. It was designed as a solution for businesses and has continued to grow in this market. The first noticeable item on RingCentral’s website is the availability of three levels of plans and pricing. Each of these plans is outlined on the site, also. RingCentral’s outlining of these plans makes it easier for business owners to understand the process, plan, and price.
Three plans are common with different companies, but this article wants to compare 3CX, RingCentral and Vonage. So, the focus will be on the Premium plan which is on the mid-tier. This plan is closest in price and features to one of Vonage’s and 3CX’s plans. It is also RingCentral’s most popular plan. This plan is also the one that most business owners will first consider.
The Premium plan allows for twenty-five people per meeting but has the capability of up to two hundred people per meeting. It also has integration with Salesforce, Zendesk, and Desk feature to help with these meetings. Another feature of this plan is that it offers 2,500 toll-free minutes. The current price starts at $34.99.
The entire platform and service are kept simple by the power of Cloud-hosted solutions. With everything hosted in the cloud, there is a little amount of worry for a company. The online portable is where features, lines, voicemail, etc. are configured with the use of the cloud. These platforms also allow growth as the business grows.
The Premium plan of RingCentral provides the standard features but also includes extra toll-free minutes, more users per conference meetings, and additional phone features which are listed in full below.
RingCentral Cloud PBX solution pairs great with the unique Glip app for collaboration and UC elements.
The RingCentral Premium Plan includes:
- Phone system administration
- Free Glip subscription
- Call management
- Support that is US based
- Paging, forwarding, transferring, and screening calls
- Call flip and logs
- 99.99% SLA
- Shared lines
- Optional phone rental
- Reports of call logs
- Unlimited conference calling, calling, fax, and SMS
- Video conferencing
- Caller ID
- HD voice
- Call recording
- Auto attendant
- One sign-on.
3CX started off as the only Windows-based PBX in the market and has a very loyal base of supporters. Since then 3CX has expanded its deployment options to include Linux and the cloud. And it doesn’t stop there…If you opt for the on-premise option you can choose whether to deploy on an existing Windows Server, virtualize with Hyper-V or VMware, on Linux on a $200 MiniPC or even on a $40 Raspberry Pi device.
If you opt for the cloud you can choose to host your PBX in your own cloud account on Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Lightsail, Microsoft Azure or OVH. So the options are endless, just depends on what you need really.
3CX is available in 3 editions; Standard, PRO and Enterprise. In this article we will focus on the PRO edition, which is the most popular and closer to Ringcentral Premium and Vonage Essentials plans.
In addition to the Standard features, the PRO also offers:
- Microsoft 365 synchronization
- CRM integration
- Call queues, reports, recording
- Voicemail transcription
- Switchboard, Wallboard, call back queue, SLA
- Hot Desking, Call Flows
- Scheduled Backup and Restore
- Remote office bridging
- Website Live Chat
- Facebook integration
- Business Text integration
- iOS, Android, Windows Apps
- Real-time statistics and monitoring
- See more features
As expected the origin and results associated with Vonage are entirely different than RingCentral and 3CX. Vonage started with a focus on the residential side of VoIP. As Vonage pushed VoIP into the mainstream, they were able to use their residential success to enter another market. Vonage’s first big step into the business market was the purchase of Vocalocity in 2013.
Unlike RingCentral and 3CX, Vonage has only two significant plans for customers. The company has two platforms: Vonage Business Cloud and Enterprise. Vonage Business Cloud (VBC) is the most popular plan for Vonage. VBC currently starts at $24.99 per line. However, with Vonage, if a company purchases more lines, the cost decreases.
Vonage strives to be unique, so they separate particular features from the standard package and make them add-on options. These add-on options give customers the choice of purchasing certain options and excluding others on an individual line basis. These options allow a company to acquire a specific feature per line to create a solution with the exact features needed by the team.
For example, one employee may need paperless faxing, but it is not required by every other team member. A company can add-on this feature to the one employee’s plan and save money by not adding it to the others.
Vonage has toll-free numbers and calling in separate solutions where RingCentral provides toll-free minutes. Both do provide unlimited calling each month. Vonage does not offer Glip but instead does give a free membership to Amazon Chime.
Vonage Business Cloud includes the following features, with starred features indicating an add-on or paid feature:
- Call Announce
- Caller ID Block
- Call Screening
- Do Not Disturb
- Set Caller ID
- * Spam Shield
- Busy Lamp Field
- Call Continuity
- Call Hold
- Call Logs
- Call Park
- * Call Queue
- * Call Recording: Company-Wide
- * Call Recording: On-Demand
- Call Waiting
- Click-To-Call Me
- Shared Line Appearance (SLA)
- Simultaneous Ring
- Admin Portal
- Caller ID
- Custom Call Tagging
- Dynamic Caller ID
- Follow Me
- * Local Or Geographic Number
- * Main Company Number
- Music On Hold
- * Toll Free Numbers
- User Portal
- * Virtual Mailbox
- Virtual Receptionist
- Call Blocking
- Call Conference
- Directory Assistance (411)
- * Vonage Support PLUS
- Powered By Soluto™
- * Business Inbox
- Call Forwarding
- Call Flip
- Cell Phone Integration
- Desktop App
- Mobile App
- Multiple Devices On One Extension
- “Never Miss A Call“
- * Paperless Fax
- Text Messaging
- Voicemail To Email
- * Vonage Visual Voicemail
- Work From Anywhere
- * Call Group
- * Call Monitoring
- * Conference Bridge
- File Sharing
- Online Meetings
- * Paging Group
- Video Conferencing
Phone Plans Verdict
When it comes to plans, 3CX is the best value for money. By not charging per extension but per simultaneous call you can have an unlimited number of extensions at a very affordable price. For example, for a 100 extension PBX, you would need a 32 Simultaneous Call license, which works out at just $1.08 per user, per month. And it doesn’t hold back on features either. The feature set offered is suitable for any large organization or call center.
The base price of Vonage’s plan is slightly higher than RingCentral’s but the money saved on the extra features quickly even that scales.
If a company needs more than six lines, Vonage’s price per line begins to lower. Vonage also has the advantage with their flexible add-ons that allow the customer the ability to customize the available features. If a customer requires toll-free minutes, the RingCentral plan would probably be a better option.
Solutions for Collaboration
For a team to reach its full potential, they must have a form of collaboration or messaging solution. This solution is a vital component of the entire UC solution being purchased.
RingCentral utilizes Glip which gives them an edge right away. Glip was created as a chat based communication platform. It comes with powerful collaboration tools that a successful team needs. Vonage utilizes Amazon Chime which also has powerful collaboration tools. The question becomes which one is better.
3CX has integrated collaboration tools within the phone system itself. This includes Android and iOS apps, status, click2call, web conferencing, chat – with the ability to send attachments and live website chat & talk.
The best part of RingCentral, when compared to other providers, is the free Glip subscription. Some would say Glip is more enjoyable than Slack. With RingCentral, a company can remove all other third-party applications. These applications would include Basecamp and Slack.
Glip is an excellent collaboration app which can almost do it all. Glip allows team members to edit and collaborate on documents. This feature is only one of the many offered with Glip. Some of the others include:
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited teams and projects
- Variety of Apps (Mobile, Web, Desktop)
- Calendars that sync (Outlook, iCal, Google)
- Notes and editing documents
- Bank-level security
- Email and send attachments
- Manage tasks in real time
- Sharing and link extraction
- Capable of video conferencing
- Unlimited posts and storage
- Unlimited integrations and guest users
Unlike RingCentral, Vonage does not offer a unique solution. However, it may be essential to mention Glip did not start as a RingCentral in-house solution. It is now and works great with RingCentral. Vonage may have provided an even better solution, however, by partnering with Amazon to provide Chime solution for Vonage’s customers.
This partnership is Vonage’s first push into UC and collaboration market. Amazon also offers Amazon Connect and Web services which makes this partnership a profitable one for Vonage. Amazon Chime works differently than Glip but still does a great job.
Chime does all of the work Glip does but does it differently. Chime focuses on simple video conferencing and adds other UC and collaboration features. Chime does have a higher level of security to be in a better position for the Enterprise market. The extra features offered by Chime are:
- Apps for mobile, desktop, web
- Meet online feature
- Video conferencing
- Chatrooms for team chats
- Indication for Smart Presence
- Screen and file sharing
- VoIP calling
- Integration for Microsoft meeting
- Control desktop remotely
- Record team
- Personalized URLs
- Video systems for conference room
- Standard phone-line can join meetings
- IT user management
With 3CX you do not need any third party collaboration tools. Even though 3CX might not offer their collaboration tools under a different brand name, however, it still has all the features that Vonage and Ringcentral do. Integrated in the phone system at no additional charge 3CX comes with all the Unified Communications features of the other two:
- Unlimited users
- Apps (smartphone, desktop, web)
- Web Conferencing
- Team Chats
- Website Live Chat
- Syncs with Microsoft 365 (users, contacts, calendar)
Solutions for Collaboration Verdict
Overall, it is a draw between 3CX, RingCentral and Vonage when it comes to collaboration solutions. A team decides the most important features needed. For example, if a team prioritizes messaging and document sharing and editing, Glip is probably the best choice.
However, if the priority is collaboration, 3CX is the best choice with its integrated collaboration tools which come free with all editions; Standard, PRO and Enterprise. Additionally, 3CX puts a big emphasis on security, integrations and encryption of chats and also includes web conferencing.
Amazon Chime with Enterprise functions, integration, security, etc. is also a good enough choice. Chime’s key focus is collaboration and video meetings so if you’re looking for a way to communicate which is faster than video, such as chat, Chime might not be ideal for you.
Support and Service Information
Customer service can be the most crucial feature in any company. Customers will leave one company for another to get adequate support and service. This fact is especially true when it comes to UC, VoIP, and cloud solutions.
The cloud requires the user to do absolutely nothing on his or her end except to use the platform. The provider installs, sets up, handles, and maintains everything on their end. This ease of use means that if the provider has an issue, so do all of the provider’s users. This fact means the user must rely on the provider to fix any issues quickly.
However, it is important to remember that an entire system or network failing is infrequent for any provider.
Most providers have a backup plan in case the system does go down where the system can shift to another and remain operating. Even with a backup plan, calls being dropped, phones not working properly, missing features, etc. can still happen.
This information is known, and it means a user will eventually have to contact a provider to figure out any issues. Considering all of the above information, support must be ranked high in importance when comparing service providers. User reviews and options for customer support is the information needed to decide customer support and service.
3CX is very easy to approach. Their staff are always on the forums offering support to all the community.
Additionally, 3CX has a customer service department which can assist with basic troubleshooting and licensing issues as well as a technical support department for more advanced troubleshooting. Both departments operate 5 days a week 24 hours a day to accommodate 3CX’s global customer base.
3CX sells via a global network of resellers so it’s usually the 3CX reseller who will offer the customer support. However, 3CX customers can contact 3CX directly via their website, email, social media or even buy a support ticket for just $75.
3CX Resellers, Silver and up, have access to 3CX support for free.
RingCentral’s primary goal is to provide a variety of channels of communication between themselves and the customer. It is easy to contact RingCentral’s support; however, many customers are not completely satisfied with the support they receive after contacting RingCentral’s support team. This team can be reached by standard phone support, a live chat feature, or using email.
RingCentral also has an Ask the Community feature which allows a customer to get answers from other customers and product experts. RingCentral also enables a customer to open a case if the customer does not get a clear answer or needs personalized assistance.
One of the most significant differences between Vonage and RingCentral is the options in communication. RingCentral offers a large variety of options, but this fact does not mean better. Vonage does not provide as many options for contacting customer service, but they do not lack the quality of service being offered.
Vonage can be contacted only by phone Monday-Friday between 8 am and 11 pm. They also offer 24-hour emergency support.
Calling in is the only way a customer can solve any issues. However, many Essential plan customers seem to be extremely satisfied with the service and support they receive. Vonage has a US-based customer service which is also a big bonus with consumers.
However, Vonage lacks in the number of available channels to contact this support team when compared with RingCentral. The difference between their options is similar to the differences between a call center and a contact center. Vonage offers only old fashion phone support while RingCentral provides a massive medley of possibilities.
Vonage also limits their 24-hour support to their Mid-Market and Enterprise customers.
Support and Service Information Verdict
RingCentral and 3CX have more channels of communication which will benefit customers who cannot or do not want to make a phone call. Vonage, on the other hand, focuses their efforts on one channel to ensure the best support which leaves customers satisfied. Depending on the customer’s preferences on customer service, Vonage’s more personalized approach may be better than RingCentral’s method. However, if the customer just needs a quick, instant answer, 3CX and RingCentral with more channels may be the better choice.
Options for Self-Help
Similar to other providers, RingCentral offers a vast customer care center besides their support channels. When a customer needs information, the first step he or she should take is to explore RingCentral’s website. It is an extensive database for customers to find answers before contacting customer service. Using this feature can sometimes be easier and quicker than long wait times or outsourced agents.
RingCentral’s website, offers a variety of information. The Learning Center offers classes that can help guide the customer through the process. It also has a community, knowledge base and guides and videos areas to help answer questions. The Community area is where the user can ask direct questions to other users. The Knowledgebase contains answers to common issues. The large frequently asked questions area can also provide quick solutions.
RingCentral also has weekly webinars to help customers learn to get the most out of their service. They also offer a professional services area where customers can learn new communication strategies. RingCentral includes a new user guide that contains an interactive contents page which allows the user to avoid downloading an actual PDF. These databases are important for answering common VoIP problems before wasting time calling or emailing.
3CX has a plethora of resources available on their website. User manual, Admin Manual, SIP Trunk guides, CRM guides, IP Phone Guides, Gateway guides – you name they have a guide for it. In addition to this there’s the 3CX Academy which offers you the chance to become 3CX Certified for free and watch the videos on how to configure, manage and use 3CX.
In the FAQ sections you will find answers to anything related to 3CX and VoIP in general.
3CX also organizes free training events around the world as well as regular free webinars for anyone to attend.
A simple navigation through the 3CX website can save you lots of time on hold.
RingCentral and 3CX have more channels for customer service than Vonage. Similar to the others, Vonage has an extensive online database available on its website. This database is also divided and organized into sections.
Each of the following sections offers articles, videos, and other helpful information to the customer:
- Getting started
- Manage account
- Features and settings
- Technical support
- Contact us
Vonage also provides a search bar at the top of this page so the customer can search directly for the answer or solution to an issue. At the bottom of this page, there is a place the customer can click to get system status information which will be discussed later.
As with 3CX and RingCentral, Vonage’s databases are critical in saving the customer time by allowing them to avoid long wait times for support agents. This database covers a variety of information about Vonage’s services including setting up a phone system, managing the account, configuring settings, different features, and technical support.
Vonage makes it easy to solve an issue or learn how to use a feature or the system, so the customer should never have to wait on hold forever. Vonage has a more helpful presentation that includes an extensive FAQs area and video tutorials. Another fantastic feature on this page is the system status link which allows the public to check the status of the Vonage system.
Options for Self-Help Verdict
Vonage provides an easy to navigate database of customer resources. Each section of this database can be utilized without extra assistance. RingCentral has an amazingly unique community forum that connects customers to other customers and experts. When a customer needs help immediately or has multiple questions, Vonage’s knowledge base and other areas outperform and offers the better experience for the client.
3CX, however, combines the two and offers the best self-help website. It is apparent that 3CX understands that user experience is the primary factor in adoption. If a customer needs to solve a problem or a potential customer wants more information, the last thing he or she wants is to waste time and effort finding the information. 3CX’s clean layout and fabulous organizational style allow the user to find his or her way around the database on their website without any problems.
The ability to integrate a variety of apps and other programs is a hot topic right now. To be able to compete in today’s market, integration is a must. A variety of trend lists have included integration in the last year due to this fact. It is apparent that the integration topic will be going away anytime soon. If a person is unclear about integrations, they allow customers to combine a multitude of tools together which saves time by making work simple. A great VoIP company allows the customer to integrate the new solution with tools the team is already using.
Before if the provider did not offer the integration, it was almost guaranteed not to happen. Today, integrations work a little differently. If the provider does not offer a needed solution right away, it does not mean the solution will not integrate. A company who has an in-house developer or has someone who can work closely with the provider’s developer, it is possible to build an integration between any tools the team needs.
Many VoIP providers that have the ability to integrate with CRM solutions make it possible to utilize a variety of third-party integration platform. However, if the user needs something immediately or out of the box, this feature can be the most important consideration for the client. Below is a table comparing Vonage’s integrations to RingCentral’s and 3CX’s integrations.
Integration RingCentral Vonage 3CX Bitbucket No No No Outlook Yes Yes Yes OneDrive Yes Yes No Box Yes No No Dropbox Yes No No Evernote No No No G Suite Yes Yes No Dynamics Yes Yes Yes Netsuite No Yes No SugarCRM No No No Salesforce Yes Yes Yes Oracle Yes Yes No Office 365 Yes Yes Yes Asana No No No Zendesk Yes Yes Yes Freshdesk No No Yes Freshsales No No Yes Zoho No No Yes Nutshell No No Yes ConnectWise No No Yes
Available Integration Verdict
In this section, a draw must be declared. Integrations are an integral aspect of all systems. Being one of the providers to encourage integrations, Vonage deserves recognition. They also deserve credit for giving common options out of the gate. Over time, 3CX and RingCentral has caught up with similar options to the ones offered by Vonage. This similar list makes it extremely difficult to choose the better provider.
A variety of factors will determine the most important options for a particular team. These factors include the type of business and how the team works. Some companies will need to work with a provider closely to create unique integrations to meet the team’s needs.
When discussing availability, different factors affect it. The greatest factor, however, is the provider’s network structure and reach. For example, a provider without servers in Great Britain cannot offer Great Britain based service. For most people who are reading this will not be affected by this fact. Most of these people are United States-based and operate in North America. Both of these providers can meet the needs of US-based customers. The problems arise with customers who operate outside of the United States and North America when using a smaller provider.
At first glance, it may seem that RingCentral simply demolishes Vonage and 3CX in this category, but this idea would be wrong. First, it is possible to complete international calls with all 3CX, Vonage and RingCentral. This competition includes receiving and dialing calls. Vonage has also been on a Top Six Providers for International Calling list. It is an awesome solution for the home phone. Vonage can confidently offer receiving calls from anywhere in the world.
The major difference between the three providers is the availability of telephone numbers around the world. RingCentral and 3CX provides its customers a list of the availability for the office platform for various countries around the globe. On the other hand, Vonage’s main and only focus is on the United States. When a company does need to make international calls, Vonage has a feature that the customer can turn on. Once this feature is activated, any calls made will be based on global rates.
Service Availability Verdict
The verdict for this section depends on the business’ priorities. If the business prioritizes obtaining an international phone number, RingCentral and 3CX are the clear winners. They have a wide coverage area around the world where they brag about having international availability. Vonage does not have the same list but tries to compete. They compete by providing inexpensive rates for international calling. This process would be most effective for companies who do not have or need an extensive overseas presence.
The information provided in this article was taken from each of the provider’s website. When it was compiled, the information was gathered using a business owner’s lens. When looking for this information, Vonage made it complicated to gather the information needed for the comparison.
Vonage would be the best choice if the business:
- Needs more than five lines
- Can utilize most of the powerful features offered by Vonage Business
- Wants to work well with a sales agent or grab a promotional offer
RingCentral would be the best choice if the business:
- Primary concern is price and not features
- Has a strong international base because RingCentral offers international numbers and data centers around the world.
- Needs more than VoIP which includes powerful collaboration and messaging platforms
3CX would be the best choice if the business:
- Primary concern is price but still wants all the features
- Has a strong global presence
- Wants collaboration tools that include both chat and video
- Likes being spoiled for choice
When writing this article, the key focus was to compare apples and apples. This focus geared the article towards the most popular service plans and offerings of each provider.
3CX beats both RingCentral and Vonage in many of the categories discussed here. This fact does not mean that 3CX is always the better choice. Vonage offers the many features in the basic plans and frequently runs promotions to decrease costs. If the company’s team needs an easy out of the box solution with great support, RingCentral is also a good choice. It always depends on the business needs.
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