Nextiva vs. RingCentral Comparison–Which Is Right for You?

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In this comparison, there’s not really a “best for most”.

Nextiva’s a better choice for smaller businesses vs RingCentral. However, Nextiva’s also highly scalable and a great option for large teams needing a simple phone system or prioritizing ease of use without sacrificing functionality in a contact center solution.

On the other hand, RingCentral offers an advanced phone system packed full of features. It’s harder to use and tends to lock its customers into rigid, long-term contracts. But it offers more customization opportunities and a range of capabilities you won’t get with Nextiva. It’s contact center software includes many of the same features as Nextiva, but also offers more customization options at the expense of easy implementation and everyday use.

Nextiva vs RingCentral logos

Nextiva and RingCentral Compared to Their Closest Competitors

If you’re on a super tight budget, Dialpad offers one of the cheapest full collaboration suites we’ve seen. At just $15 per user per month, you’ll get voice, video, texting, and team chat.

It’s call center software comes with a ton of really cool AI applications you won’t find with Nextiva or RingCentral—scorecards, in-call coaching, digital assistants, and moments are a few of Dialpad’s unique AI-powered capabilities (see full review).

TalkDesk takes customization to a whole new level with a complete no and low-code platform for customizing the software. It’s only for call centers, but is one of the few solutions we’ve seen that give you full control over the look and feel of the interface for every type of user you have (see full review).

Zoom offers very affordable phone plans in the US and 48 countries around the world.

It also offers unlimited international calling in 19 countries, which is something none of the above offer. Zoom Contact Center is a newer product, but seems to be growing in a positive direction. Zoom also has a range of products similar to RingCentral—namely video conferencing, webinars, and event management. It’s really the gold standard for business video solutions (see full review).

If you’re a small or brand new call center, Aircall may be a good fit. It’s very affordable and specifically made for smaller teams. You won’t find the same level of customization or functionality, but it’s more than enough if you’re just getting started or small and plan to stay small (see full review).

Check out our favorite VoIP phone systems or contact center solutions to learn more about how they all stack up against each other.

Nextiva and RingCentral Are Alike in a Lot of Ways

Full UCaaS solutions: Both Nextiva and RingCentral offer a full suite of UCaaS features with their standard business phone systems. You’ll be able to get voice, video, texting, team chat, faxing, and file sharing with either provider.

Omnichannel contact center software: Nextiva and RingCentral offer lightweight options for smaller businesses and omnichannel contact center solutions for larger teams, too. Both providers have innovative platforms infused with various AI applications, advanced call routing options, workforce management, and quality monitoring tools.

Great for remote work: If you have a fully remote or hybrid work environment, your remote workers will get everything they need from either brand. Both include the full range of capabilities—softphone, video conferencing, team chat, faxing, file sharing, and more—via a browser, desktop app, or mobile app. No matter how or where your team works, users don’t have to be tied to their desks.

Wide array of compatible hardware: You’ll be able to use devices from numerous third-party brands, including Snom, Poly, Yeahlink, and Cisco. Nextiva also offers its own devices. Both have a long list of supported hardware so you can potentially continue using what you already own. Alternatively, you can purchase or rent directly for plug-and-play functionality.

Standalone video conferencing and faxing: If you only need a video meetings solution or online faxing capabilities, you can get both from either provider without purchasing a full phone system.

Nextiva’s video conferencing is better if you’re after simple and affordable—RingCentral is more expensive but offers the full gamut of video conferencing features. As for faxing, Nextiva’s cheaper and allows for up to 500 or 1,000 monthly faxes. RingCentral gives you up to 3,000, but costs two to three times more.

Customization: With both, you can put together custom plans to match the needs of every user in your business. Whether you only have hundreds of customer service agents or a mix of support, sales, and regular users, you’ll likely have no problem giving everyone the functionality they need. Both providers offer a wide range of services and products, so you’ll have plenty of options.

Nearly infinite scalability: Regardless of where you’re starting from, RingCentral and Nextiva can both handle your business as it grows. Both platforms are built to scale to upwards of 10,000 users or more.

Strong options to upgrade your on-premise PBX: Either provider can help you deploy a hybrid phone system with SIP trunking or upgrade your entire legacy system to the cloud.

Phone pricing is in the same ballpark: Pricing isn’t identical across the two providers’ phone systems, but it’s pretty close. Nextiva starts off more expensive per user than Nextiva for fewer than 19 users. But it becomes more affordable if you have more than 20 users because of Nextiva’s volume discount. This is true across all three phone system tiers.

Where Nextiva Outshines RingCentral

Great for all business sizes: Nextiva has a range of simpler, more approachable plans with entry-level price points, giving it the edge for smaller teams. It also offers unlimited scalability and advanced solutions for midsize and large businesses, so it covers just about every business size. RingCentral’s entry-level plans are far more advanced, harder to implement, and more challenging to use. It’s a good option for larger teams but won’t work as well for small businesses.

Hyper-focused on voice and contact center: With Nextiva’s recent acquisition of Thrio, it’s clear the company’s dedicated to improving its voice and contact center products.

RingCentral, on the other hand, has been acquiring and releasing new products. It always seems to be moving into different markets—events, webinars, and sales intelligence are all newer part of RingCentral’s ecosystem. To us, that’s a sign they’re focused on developing new products rather than improving their existing software.

Announcement on Nextiva's home page stating their acquisition of Thrio. Text says Amazing relationships start with a conversation. AI-driven platform for seamless, personalized customer interactions across all channels.

Easier to implement: Overall, Nextiva’s simpler and more streamlined than RingCentral. Because of that, it’s a lot easier to set up and onboard your team. Small phone systems or virtual call centers can be up and running in less than an hour. Complex contact center solutions can take as much as a few weeks, but most deployments don’t take any longer than a couple days. If you’re upgrading to a call center plan, it only takes a few minutes to configure settings and customize your new features.

The longest part of the process is porting existing numbers if you want to keep them. That can take two to four weeks but requires very little work on your part.

Simple and consistent user experience: No matter what products you use, Nextiva’s interface is clean, modern, and easy to use. Everything’s where you think it should be and you don’t really have to hunt around for anything.

NextOS brings everything together: If you have users across different Nextiva products, you can bring them all together and administer everything from a centralized interface. You’ll also be able to create company wide automations, see cohesive and comprehensive analytics, configure integrations, and manage your entire system. Overall, it’s a customizable and flexible admin interface that doesn’t sacrifice ease of use.

VoIP phone system: Nextiva’s phone plans are great for small businesses because they’re simple, straightforward, and affordable. As you grow, you’ll get volume discounts to help keep it cost-effective at scale. In comparison, RingCentral’s more expensive, more advanced, and likely overkill for new or small businesses. On top of that, Nextiva offers more toll-free minutes (15x as many on the entry-level plan), higher texting limits (more than 10x), and faxing in every plan (not available until RingCentral’s middle tier).

On higher tiers, you’ll enjoy multi-level auto attendant, ring groups, and call recording for lightweight call center functionality. If some (or all) of your team just needs to be able to make and take calls, Nextiva’s reliability and ease of use can’t be beat.

Nextiva's the VoIP phone service made for modern work.

Contact center solution: Nextiva offers customizable call and contact center solutions that can be as simple or advanced as you need. Some of its standout features compared to RingCentral include AI voice, chat, and text bots, outbound campaign management, and an advanced automation engine you can use to map out entire customer journeys from start to finish. It scales, it’s reliable, and it has plenty of innovative features for agents who handle a high volume of customer interactions.

Social media and reputation management: This is something RingCentral doesn’t offer at all. Nextiva acquired Simplify360, an AI and automation solution for omnichannel customer service, in 2023. It’s main focus is centralizing social media and online review management. The reputation module lets you automatically respond to reviews, gather customer feedback, bring social channels together, and drill deep into social analytics across every channel.

You’ll also be able to manage social media messages in a shared inbox, leverage custom interaction routing options, and even schedule content without leaving the platform.

Nextiva's social media and reputation management module empowers you to provide amazing customer experiences on social media, stop using multiple solutions to market, monitor, and support your customers.

Where Nextiva Falls Flat

Only works for US businesses: Nextiva doesn’t offer calling plans or phone numbers in countries outside the United States. There are also no unlimited or bundled international options for high volumes. In contrast, RingCentral offers PSTN support in 46 countries, BYOC (bring your own carrier) in 69 countries, and localized phone numbers in nearly 100 regions.

Limited out-of-the-box integrations: RingCentral offers more than 300 one-click integrations. Nextiva only offers 19. If you have a developer or know your way around APIs, this won’t be a problem. If not, you may find it difficult to connect all your systems together.

You can’t sign up for anything without talking to sales: Unlike RingCentral, you can’t buy anything right now. Every product requires a conversation with Nextiva’s sales team.

It can feel like an extra step (and it is), but it can also be a good way to make sure everyone on your team gets what they need. This conversation creates a more collaborative approach to choosing and configuring your new system so you don’t have to do it alone.

Simple business phone system: Nextiva’s phone system is far simpler than RingCentral’s—you won’t get IVR, call monitoring tools, call queues, or advanced analytics like you would with RingCentral. However, that also means Nextiva feels like a breath of fresh air and is the more cost-effective option if you just need something simple.

Aside from that, SMS isn’t available on Nextiva’s entry-level plan (it is with RingCentral) and video meetings are limited to 45 minutes across every plan (RingCentral allows for longer and larger meetings).

No webinar, event management, or workspace solutions: RingCentral offers all of these but Nextiva does not. Nextiva does offer some conference room devices to create your own setups but they don’t have comprehensive room solutions like you’ll find with RingCentral.

Check out our complete Nextiva review to learn more about it.

Where RingCentral Outshines Nextiva

Works best for midsize to large businesses: Nextiva works well for any business size, but RingCentral’s better for midsize or larger teams. It only offers complex, customizable, and advanced systems that are probably overkill for small or new businesses.

You can try the phone system for free: Nextiva will probably give you a free trial if you ask, but RingCentral promotes it front and center. You’ll get 14 days to try just about every feature, aside from SMS. You can use up to 20 phone lines with two trial devices to see if RingCentral is right for your team. As long as you send the hardware back within 21 days, you won’t be charged a penny.

RingCentral is AI meets trusted communications. Highlights the ability to try RingCentral for free

Offers vanity and international numbers: Nextiva doesn’t offer vanity or international phone numbers—you can get both from RingCentral.

Wide range of add-ons: Nextiva offers straightforward plans with the option to customize certain aspects if needed. However, RingCentral offers a very wide range of add-ons for all sorts of things. You’ll be able to add specialized modules for analytics, push-to-talk, webinars, and more. You can essentially add any module to any plan, regardless of the product you’re using, letting you create a truly custom solution based around what you need.

More than 300 integrations: Nextiva only offers a handful of integrations, but RingCentral offers more out of the box than most other communications systems we’ve seen. From ERP software and marketing automation to productivity, legal, and healthcare, there are tons of one-click integrations you can leverage even if you don’t have a developer.

Shows RingCentral's wide range of integrations--Zoho CRM, Zapier, Workato, YAPI, and more

Full developer platform: On top of pre-made integrations, RingCentral has a full-fledged developer platform with APIs and SDKs for building custom solutions. Nextiva has APIs as well but doesn’t have as established of a developer platform.

Advanced VoIP phone system: Compared to Nextiva, RingCentral’s standard phone system is far more advanced. RingCentral brings a range of lightweight call center features, like IVR, live call monitoring, and analytics to their phone system, even on the cheaper plans. You’ll also find far more AI features, like transcriptions, note taking, translation, grammar checking, and call summaries. Aside from that, RingCentral offers a few specialized capabilities, too—its push-to-talk, eight-digit extensions, and a receptionist console standout compared to Nextiva.

Overall, you get a lot more functionality with RingCentral but sacrifice ease of use and implementation. It may not be worth that tradeoff if you don’t need those extra features.

Webinars and event management: RingCentral offers full webinar and event management platforms with tons of features, often at more affordable pricing than other solutions. Both are relatively new, but the low price tag can be attractive if you’re on a tight budget. Nextiva doesn’t offer either of these tools.

Intelligent sales insights: RingSense for Sales is an add-on for the phone system or contact center solutions. You can also purchase it on its own. It offers advanced revenue analytics with a full suite of filtering, searching, scoring, sorting, and intelligent tools for money teams. Nextiva doesn’t have anything remotely similar, although it does offer standard analytics with its phone and call center plans.

Full conference room setups: Nextiva offers desk phones and conference room hardware but not nearly to the same extent as RingCentral. From video bars and other appliances to a specialized Room Connector add-on, you’ll get everything you need to equip your conference rooms for hybrid meetings.

RingCentral Rooms offers video meetings for any space. Seamlessly connect remote teams and on-site teams with RingCentral Rooms and let everyone be seen and heard from anywhere.

Where RingCentral Falls Short

Focused on adding new products: While RingCentral does make updates to its existing products, a lot of its focus lately has been on moving into new markets, including webinars and events. In contrast, Nextiva’s heavily focused on improving its voice and contact center products.

More challenging to implement: Because there are a lot more elements and ways to customize, RingCentral’s much harder to set up. Very simple systems may not take very long, but the more you customize and the more complex your system gets, the more challenging it’s going to be. This isn’t something unique to RingCentral, but it’s worth pointing out because RingCentral’s products are all around more complex than Nextiva’s.

May be overkill: If you don’t need all the extra bells and whistles RingCentral offers, it may not be worth sacrificing usability, price, and ease of implementation. Even it’s simplest plan comes with more than Nextiva’s enterprise phone plan, so you could end up paying more for stuff you don’t need.

Rigid, long-term contracts: Aside from more complex systems, there’s another big reason we usually only recommend it for larger teams—it’s notorious for rigid, long-term contracts. Larger businesses are likely able to absorb costs and work around this but smaller teams may face a lot of issues with flexibility and changing needs over time.

For example, you may not be able to remove seats from your system until your contract is over—even if no one’s using it, you’ll likely have to pay for it until it’s time to renew.

VoIP phone system: Despite the advanced functionality of RingCentral’s phone plans, you’ll get far lower SMS and toll-free minutes than you will with Nextiva. This is true across all three plans. On top of that, you have to be on the middle tier to get faxing (if you need it), which is included in every Nextiva plan.

Contact center solution: RingCentral and Nextiva offer similar levels of power, customization, and innovative functionality in their contact center platforms. However, Nextiva has an established automation engine you can use to map out and automate the entire customer journey. RingCentral’s automation builder is in beta, so you can expect it to be much further behind.

Check out our complete RingCentral review to learn more about it.

The Final Verdict

As with most software, one’s not really better than the other.

If you need a simple phone system that’s easy to use, go with Nextiva. If you need more power or have specialized needs, RingCentral’s probably better equipped to handle whatever you throw at it.

In terms of contact center software, Nextiva has a slight edge because of it’s well-established automation builder.

But RingCentral has far more integrations and a full developer platform for ultimate customization.

If you’re looking for webinars and event management or sales intelligence analytics, RingCentral’s your only option of the two. On the other hand, Nextiva’s the only one that offers reputation and social media management.

We can’t say what’s best for most people as it truly depends what you need. Once you know your requirements, you can use what you learned here to make the best choice for your team.

Cait is a banjo player, snowboarder, climber, cat mom, and (former) engineer who lives in Olympia, WA. She's been a professional writer for more than five years, specializing in B2B software with a technical yet empathetic approach that puts data and hands-on experience at the heart of every review.

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