The truth is Teams is a good platform that ticks a lot of boxes. It has a wide install base and the interface is simple and easy to use. However, look a little closer and it lacks some key functionality that deters the ‘enterprise’ from taking it seriously as anything more than a messaging app.
LAN3, like many SMB companies, appreciated what Microsoft was doing with Skype for Business and subsequently Teams and jumped onboard in 2017, only to find that critical functionality and applications were not present. We had 2 options:
Work with a 3rd party Contact Centre solution, which was expensive and complex
Wait for Microsoft to deliver the functionality in Teams
We chose option 2, but to date no contact centre functionality has emerged.
In 2019, LAN3 was introduced to RingCentral’s UCaaS platform and we were met by the realisation that Teams didn't offer us everything we needed and RingCentral had the familiar tools we liked in Teams, but also had the additional functionality we craved.
The purpose of this blog to explore the differences in the platforms and identify the appropriate customer demographic for both.
Any company who has an internal sales team or a support centre will no doubt want rich reporting tools, to ensure their customers and prospects are receiving the required levels of service. Companies can spend many tens of thousands a year on contact management systems that deliver rich reporting on all aspects of call activity. This functionality is key and any move to a cloud-hosted solution will be reliant on no degradation to to its reporting ability. This is one of the most compelling reasons for any company to look seriously at the RingCentral solution. RingCentral delivers rich real-time reporting, analytics, and alerts for calls across locations, devices, and networks. RingCentral has rich historical and live call queue analytics on calls, users and queues.
Teams has call analytics and call quality dashboards, but it lacks depth and does not come with pre-built KPIs. Dashboards are more basic and do not showcase ability to drill down for issue resolution.
Perhaps the biggest differentiator between Teams and RingCentral can be found in the tools available for sales and service teams. For contact centre functionality Teams requires a 3rd party solution, which can be expensive and complex to install.
RingCentral provides true omnichannel inbound and outbound routing. Scored highest on Gartner Critical Capabilities for organisations wanting integrated contact centre requirements. RingCentral has a partnership with NICE inContact for full-featured CCaaS. It also has an internal system for light call centre requirements.
Can RingCentral and Teams play nicely together?
Businesses with Microsoft 365 subscriptions, without call centres are well taken care of with Teams. However, there are still advantages to using RingCentral for external calling, most significantly voice plans being lower in price than Microsoft’s. Your IT team will also rest easier knowing they are benefitting from the additional security inherent in the RingCentral platform.
Improvement on TEAMs
RingCentral is a global carrier, present in 40+ countries, and the voice component is covered in over 100 countries
Microsoft native PSTN, on the other hand, is available in only 11 countries and has some direct routing limitations
Teams Telephony does not integrate to key business apps like Salesforce, ZOHO and Zendesk.
RingCentral Provides financially backed carrier-grade 99.999% availability; Teams offers 99.9%
RingCentral provides Persist in case of service interruption, with capabilities like emergency calling, call-back capability, outbound/inbound calls and extension-to-extension dialling. There have been recent examples where Teams went down for several hours in the past few months (link)
RingCentral’s time in the VoIP space shows; RingCentral is recognised as a worldwide leader in Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for UCaaS, beating all competitors in completeness of vision for five years running
Team’s voice functionality is not mature. It lacks native SMS, internet fax, automatic and on-demand call recording, overflow call queues, cost centre management, intercom and paging, local unlimited calling, monitoring (whisper, barge) etc.
Some analysts suggest that Teams is mostly leveraged by companies that require basic telephony and not a deep set of enterprise PBX features. (Click here to see the Gartner Critical Capabilities 2019 report)
These are the key reasons RingCentral announced Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams earlier this year, to provide that complementary telephony for companies who are absolutely wedded to Microsoft. RingCentral essentially adds enterprise PBX capabilities to the Teams environment to improve user productivity in the single interface. Readers can view how this looks in this blogpost.
“Microsoft is well-suited to organisations already subscribed to Office 365 with basic telephony requirements. Organisations with complex integration requirements (e.g. into CRM or contact centre), or ones that require a deep set of enterprise telephony features, may have to use a hybrid approach with another voice solution, or make functional compromises if relying entirely on Microsoft Teams.”