There’s a new kid in town: RingCentral just announced a new product, RingCentral Office Enterprise Edition. The new version of RingCentral office is targeted towards – you guessed it – enterprises, and has lots of great features that make cross-global collaboration fast and easy. One of these is the new RingCentral Meetings, a video conferencing feature.
Why is this a big deal? After all, free web conferencing is easy to come by. Skype, Google Hangouts, and other popular applications have made gratis web conferencing accessible to anyone with internet access. And while these applications might be fine for long-distance couples, or even very small businesses, they are hardly adequate for businesses involving more than a few people. Here’s why RingCentral Meeting beats out the competition.
1. The More, The Merrier
Both Skype and Google Hangouts have a 10-person limit to their video conferences. With Skype, you need to pay to include that many users; Google’s services remain free. But if you have a large number of collaborators you want to include, sometime a 10-person limit can be debilitating.
Not so with RingCentral. RingCentral Meeting lets you include 25 people in your meeting – about as many as you would want to include in an in-person conference. So things don’t get confusing, the person who is presenting has a larger percentage of the screen, while everyone else stays smaller until it is their turn to talk. For a better idea of how this works, take a look at the demo video on RingCentral’s site.
2. High Definition
I personally have used both Hangouts and Skype, and can attest to the weird, choppy video and audio that often accompanies both. While sometimes this is due to bad internet connections, sometimes other factors are to blame. Even with the fastest internet connection possible, both of these systems will deliver only regular definition images.
With RingCentral Meetings, you get HD imaging, plus the crystal-clear technology that makes VoIP calling possible in the first place. It’s the closest thing to actually having a face-to-face meeting. For all you work-at-home types, that does mean you have to brush your hair and put on something other than your Garfield PJ’s before a RingCentral meeting.
3. File and Screen Sharing
RingCentral Meeting offers comparable, if not better, comprehensive sharing capabilities than most of its competitors. Its screen-sharing feature allows users to show each other PowerPoint presentations, websites, photos, and other material; this makes it easy to hold productive and informative meetings online. RIngCentral also allows easy sharing of files saved in DropBox and Box, applications that are both integrated with the system.
RingCentral allows users to send meeting invites via email or text message, so meetings can quickly be organized, even with people who don’t obsessively check their email. Google Hangouts allows email notifications, but not text messages; Skype offers no meeting planning features whatsoever, which is hardly ideal for business purposes.
5. Cross-Platform Compatibility
Although RingCentral Meeting is more sophisticated than its competitors, it is just as accessible. RIngCentral Meeting works on smartphones, tablets, and computers. Since it works over a VoIP network, internet access is a must to use the program.
RingCentral Meeting easily trumps similar free applications with its quality and business-grade features. Plus, unlike many other VoIP providers, RingCentral includes RingCentral Meeting for free with all of its Office enterprise plans. So bring on the video chats, with participants anywhere in the world (sorry, outer space still isn’t covered).
For more information on RingCentral and the RingCentral Office product line, you can read our full review.