RingCentral Adds VoIP to Virtual PBX

By Ted Stevenson | Posted October 17, 2007

RingCentral, Inc. recently launched its DigitalLine VoIP service as an enhancement to its virtual phone system for small businesses. DigitalLine is integrated directly into the full RingCentral system, allowing the company's customers to place and receive calls via landline, mobile and VoIP as needed—and to control those calls using RingCentral's suite of services.

"With DigitalLine, we've created the industry's first on-demand solution that seamlessly integrates VoIP with conventional voice and fax communications," said company CEO Vlad Shmunis. "Our DigitalLine VoIP option further empowers RingCentral users to improve their professional image while staying in touch with their customers and in control of their communications."

RingCentral's Offering
Company CFO Dinesh Lathi said RingCentral now has more than 40,000 paying customers, thanks largely to the fact that it's targeting an underserved market—very small companies with one to ten employees — with the type of high-end PBX services that have traditionally been available only to enterprise customers. For a subscription fee of between $10 and $80 a month plus a per-minute fee for both inbound and outbound calling (each package includes some free minutes), RingCentral gives them greatly increased control over their calls, along with the ability to project an enterprise-level image.

"No small business wants to look like a small business," Lathi said. "They all want to look large, well-established, the type of professional organizations that customers can trust with their business. And historically, it's been really hard to project that kind of image via your phone system — unless you were willing to invest the capital, people and time in purchasing and maintaining an expensive PBX-type box."

Upon signup, the service instantly provisions a local or toll-free number with a wide range of functionality, including auto-attendant and find-me/follow-me for any number of different end devices. "It's almost like having your own receptionist to handle inbound calls and keep a log of everything that's coming in," Lathi said.

Adding DigitalLine
The new DigitalLine VoIP service can then be accessed via the company's RingCentral Call Controller software on the customer's PC, via a preconfigured analog telephone adapter (ATA) for $70, or via an IP desk phone for $130. On top of the monthly fee for RingCentral, there's a subscription fee for DigitalLine — either $10 per month with a per-minute fee that's tied to your regular subscription; $20 per month with 500 free minutes and additional minutes at 3.9 cents each; or $50 per month with unlimited local and long distance calling in the U.S. and Canada. All plans are currently discounted by 50 percent for the first six months under an introductory promotion, and a 30-day free trial is available.

DigitaLine is fully integrated with the RingCentral service, which lets customers view missed calls, check voicemail, or send faxes over IP—managing those VoIP calls alongside mobile and landline calls. And, said Jay Blazensky, RingCentral's vice president of business development, one key strength of DigitalLine is that it allows a small company to try out VoIP using the included softphone application before they commit to implementing it for their entire business.

The addition of DigitalLine to RingCentral's suite of services, Lathi said, puts the company in a unique position in the marketplace. "We are the first virtual phone system — complete phone system — designed specifically for the very small business," he said.

Adapted from Voipplanet.com.

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