Top 9 unified communication platforms

How to make the right choice in choose a Unified Communications platform when there are so many good solutions on the market? We’ve done the hard part and evaluated the top 9 UC solutions based on the pricing strategy and the features essential for any business or organization. From Nextiva to TrueConf, here are just a few of our recommendations for the best communication experience.

Top 9 unified communication platforms

Nextiva

Best UC Platforms

Nextiva has entered the UCaaS market by releasing Nextiva Business Suite, CRM and business communication platform which integrates VoIP, CRM, SMS, and video calls. The company states that their offering is designed to deliver unified experience within one solution, without the need to use third-party services. Additionally, Nextiva features AI technologies to automate customer experience.

With Nextiva, customers can measure and track customer interactions, share data, trigger actions, configure helpdesk and telephony settings. Video conferencing over VoIP is supported in desktop and mobile apps with no time limits, with HD resolution and up to 200 participants.

Other Nextiva features:

  • Integrations with marketing tools
  • Call pop
  • Auto attendant
  • Online fax
  • Team messaging
  • Business analytics
  • Call recording

On the cons side, some users report that Nextiva misses important business communication features, such as conferencing bridge, poor analytics and reporting, and an uncustomizable GUI.

Nextiva pricing generally depends on the number of users you are going to connect, starting from $19.95/user per month to $28/user per month.

TrueConf

TrueConf - Best UC Platform

TrueConf is a unified communications platform that integrates meetings, instant messaging, recordings, advanced meeting management tools and reporting. TrueConf offers native compatibility with video conferencing endpoints, telephony and PBXes via built-in SIP/H.323 gateway. It also plays nicely with Zoom, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, Skype for Business and many other video conferencing providers.

What differentiates TrueConf from others is its advanced security. TrueConf is deployed on-prem, which means your communications always stay in your own control. Private and sensitive data is stored on your own servers, which minimizes the risks of leaks and hacking.

TrueConf is a great tool for important large-scale meetings for up to 1,000 participants. The platform is available on any device (even on your Smart TV) thanks to native apps, while the meetings can always be accessed from the browser in several clicks. 4K quality creates telepresence experience for meeting participants, while advanced meeting management allows you to control the meeting to ensure that everything goes as planned.

Other TrueConf features:

  • Work in LAN/VPN
  • AES-256 bit encryption
  • Team messaging
  • 4K video conferences for up to 1,000 participants
  • Address book with presence
  • SIP trunking
  • Integration with PBXes
  • Content sharing, slideshow, recording and remote desktop control
  • Live streaming
  • Single sign on & Active Directory integration
  • APIs and SDKs for creating your own business communications solutions

On the cons side, the solution might not be the right choice for those customers who are willing to use only cloud-based solutions and are not security-conscious enough. It also doesn’t provide native integration with CRM and marketing tools, although you can create your own integrations via TrueConf API & SDK.

TrueConf offers a free version with 12 hosts and 1 SIP/H.323 connection. The paid version is based on concurrent licensing, which means you pay for the users who are currently online. The pricing starts at $240 for annual license.

RingCentral

Best UC Platforms

RingCentral Office is an all-in-one UCaaS solution that integrates instant messaging, video conferencing and telephony. RingCentral has been recognized by Gartner and UCToday as one of the leaders on the UCaaS market. The company provides its phone services in more than 40 countries, while RingCentral’s infrastructure works on all devices: PC, desktops, smartphones, mobiles, and even phones and headsets. Speaking of disadvantages of this service, customers often mention absence of on-premises support, buggy software and complicated UI, late reports and inconsistency of RingCentral apps.

Other RingCentral features:

  • Video calls and meetings in HD with 100 participants or less in Standard plan and up to 200 participants in Premium plan, and a time limit of 24 hours
  • File sharing and group messaging
  • Unlimited number of users and audio conferencing
  • Integrations with popular CRM tools such as ZenDesk
  • Integrations with Microsoft 365, G Suite, etc.
  • Advanced analytics in Premium and Ultimate packages
  • Unlimited status reports and device alerts in Ultimate package only
  • Remote customer management features such as call queue, barge, etc.

  • Poor audio and video quality, app crashes
  • Unresponsive technical support team
  • Inconsistent UI

RingCentral offers four plans, from Essentials that only includes messaging and business phone features, to Ultimate which incorporates video conferencing, messaging, telephony and Open API. The pricing ranges from $19,99 per user per month up to $49,99 per user per month.

8×8

Best UC Platforms

8×8’s X series (formerly Virtual Office) provides services of audio and video calling, video meeting, team messaging and collaboration. Its cloud-based phone system features advanced call handling and management, analytics and easy administration. 8×8 Work Apps allow users to call, chat and meet in a single interface and be available from anywhere.

The company also provides unique features such as AI-driven speech analytics and virtual agents and is security-compliant.

Possible disadvantages include misleading UI, complicated adoption, multiple call drops, and inability to reach customer support.

Other 8×8 features:

  • Audio conferencing in 47 countries
  • CRM and business tools integrations
  • Presence statuses
  • Number porting and direct dial numbers
  • 3-way calling
  • Visual voicemail
  • Contact center analytics

8×8 offers three plans: 8×8 Express for small businesses, X2 for all-in one voice and video chat, and X4 for analytics and supervisors. Pricing options vary from $12 per user per month up to $44 per user per month, with both annual and monthly payments available.

Mitel

Best UC Platforms

Mitel’s MICloud Connect provides end-to-end center services, communications and collaboration. The solution is based on Google Cloud and offers all the services a business needs for effective collaboration and customer engagement.

Other Mitel features:

  • Team messaging and persistent chats
  • Audio and video conferencing for up to 100 participants
  • IP deskphones
  • Integrations with CRM and productivity tools
  • Built-in VPN
  • Call routing, forwarding and transferring
  • SIP trunking

On the cons side, Mitel is not supported on Linux, it provides inflexible and intransparent licensing, and lacks user customization, while its video conferencing and collaboration tools are not as advanced as those of Mitel’s competitors.

Mitel MICloud provides three plans: Essentials (starting at $20,99 per user per month), Premier and Elite (starting at 38,49 per user per month). The most expensive plan also provides archiving and operator features.

3CX

Best UC Platforms

3CX is one of the few vendors that can be deployed on-prem or in a private cloud, which is a big plus for security-conscious organizations. Their solution is mainly phone-based, although it also provides web conferencing, instant messaging, live chat and helpdesk, and CRM integrations. Easily scalable, it enables virtualization with VMware and Hypervisor. It can even run on Raspberry Pi!

Other 3CX features:

  • On-premises deployment with Windows, Linux and Raspberry Pi
  • Private cloud deployment in Amazon, Google or Azure
  • Auto attendant
  • Call queues, reports and recordings
  • Live chat and Facebook Messenger
  • Web conferencing with up to 250 participants (25 in Free version)
  • Screen sharing

3CX does not provide interoperability with all phones, so customers will need to purchase the supported models only, which is not really cost-efficient. The service provides little customization, outdated interface and unstable licensing.

Unlike other competitors, 3CX offers their service for free for one year. The free version does not provide advanced integrations with CRM/Microsoft 365 and advanced contact center features. Pro plan costs $0,985 per user per month, while Enterprise plan costs $1.22 per user per month, which is a much more affordable pricing strategy than that of 3CX’s competitors.

Vonage

Best UC Platforms

Vonage provides a number of features for almost any use case, with several pricing plans and support. Unlike others, Vonage allows advanced customization, which their customers particularly like. Apps are modern, easy-to-use and easy-to-adopt. The service is reliable and flexible.

Other Vonage features:

  • Unlimited calls and SMS
  • Team messaging
  • Video conferences for up to 100 participants
  • IP deskphones capabilities
  • Call recording up to 15 hours
  • Visual voicemail and auto attendant

One of the biggest disadvantages of Vonage is their pricing strategy: the service is much more expensive than the offerings of its competitors. Besides, it cannot be deployed on-prem, and relies heavily on the Internet connection. FInally, Vonage could have added some Call Management and Contact Center features to compete with the industry leaders, such as RingCentral or 8x8.

Vonage offers three pricing plans: Mobile ($19,99 per month/per line), Premium ($29.99 per month/per line) and Advanced ($39.99 per month per line). These prices do not include taxes and fees.

Dialpad

Best UC Platforms

Dialpad is an AI-powered cloud communications platform which delivers quality VoIP calls, video meetings and messages. The company has separate plans for business phone systems, video conferencing and contact center.

Dialpad offers AI tools, such as automatic call and voicemail transcription, which is a great feature for automating your services.

Other Dialpad features:

  • Unlimited SMS and MMS
  • Call controls (mute, Transfer, Block)
  • API
  • Salesforce integration
  • Video conferencing and screen sharing

Some customers report that Dialpad services are not really intuitive and it took them ages to adopt. Additionally, the reliability of the service is questionable: calls often drop, while connections are very slow.

The Business Phone System pricing ranges from $15 to $25 per user per month. Video conferencing is another plan which costs $15 per user per month (they also have a free version for up to 10 participants and a 45 minute time limit). The Contact Center license starts at $125.

GoToConnect

Best UC Platforms

GoToConnect offers a virtual contact center that doesn’t require hiring call agents that would work all day long. The service may be used to set up automatic greetings and can route calls to specific employees or extension numbers.

GoToConnect features easy administration, consistent experience on any device, and a number of collaboration tools for remote scenarios. It provides flexible and customizable call routing, low bandwidth usage and unlimited call queues.

Other GoToConnect features:

  • Video meetings with up to 250 participants, with 25 users on screen
  • International calling
  • Auto attendants
  • Wait time and pre-call announcements
  • Screen sharing
  • SOC 2 Type II and GDPR compliance

This solution, formerly known as Jive, is a part of GoTo ecosystem that provides all kinds of business services, but the company might have worked hard to incorporate in into other GoTo products. Right now integration might be considered clumsy at times and is not intuitive and user-friendly. Some users also complain and report that GoTOConnect apps might be better, and the service is really difficult to scale.

GoToConnect pricing strategy includes different plans and tiers to choose from. For example, if you need a license for 1-4 users, you will be billed $29.95/user/month. The price goes lower as you increase the number of users. Licenses for 50+ users will cost 19.95 per user per month.

Unified communications platforms: Which one is right for your business?

Your choice of the UCaaS platform for your business communications should depend mostly on the tools and features your company really needs. Are you running a contact center and looking to servicing customers and minimize the costs for hiring call agents? Are you in need of a space for interacting with your employees and partners? Here are some useful tips that might help you make the right decision.

Cloud or self-hosted?

Security is one the major factors that needs to be addressed when choosing a UCaaS platform. Communication with clients and customers implies some degree of sharing sensitive information. It is crucial therefore to make sure that private information is processed safely and will not be leaked to third parties due to cloud vulnerabilities. Moreover, you need to comply with local privacy regulations, such as GDPR, and make sure you provide the best level of security. That is why we recommend that you look at on-premises or self-hosted solutions where the UCaaS platform runs on your own servers.

Integration with your existing infrastructure

Before connecting a new tool to your communications ecosystem, check its compatibility with the solutions you are using, both hardware and software. Otherwise you may later find you are required to think of other workarounds or spend more to make them fit with the platform you’ve chosen.

Look for a robust solution that complies with other tools you use or supports all the features you need, so you don’t have to purchase additional software or services. Alternatively, you might want to try the UCaaS platforms that provide SDKs and APIs for creating your own integrations.

Video conferencing and collaboration

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has become a new normal, with video meetings and collaboration tools replacing face-to-face interactions. That is why you need to ensure your UCaaS solution provides all the features you need for effective collaboration. Think of your usual meetings and try to consider the number of people usually participating in your conferences, the number of video feeds you want to see on your screen, the devices you are using to join your meetings. the collaboration features your team wants to use. Don’t forget about the reliability of your meetings: your platform of choice must handle low bandwidth and be stable even in case of poor Internet connection.

Functionality

UCaaS platforms provide a number of great features, but do you really need them? Now it’s your task to make a list of your use cases and scenarios and single out the tools your business really needs. For example, do you really need AI-powered contact center tools to improve your customer experience, or are you just looking for an integrated platform with video conferencing and collaboration?

Tired of searching for the best UCaaS platform? Try TrueConf!

Best UC Platforms

TrueConf provides all the tools for efficient unified communications. It's an all-in-one platform for messages, meetings, and phone calls. With its self-hosted approach all your corporate communications are in your own control, while advanced reporting and meeting management ensures high-quality meetings.