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RingCentral vs. Twilio: Two Great Toolsets, Two Very Different Approaches

RingCentral and Twilio are two of the top VoIP providers on the market. Which one is right for your business? We compare their features, pricing, support options, and more, so you can make an informed decision.

If your company is looking for a VoIP provider (Voice Over Internet Protocol), then you have likely heard of RingCentral and Twilio. 

As two of the top VoIP vendors on the market, both RingCentral and Twilio provide access to tools and features that can improve your customer communication capabilities significantly.

That said, RingCentral and Twilio take very different approaches to the services they offer. This means identifying which one is right for you is challenging because there is no apples-to-apples comparison.     

We are here to help. In this article, we will examine RingCentral and Twilio, compare their features and pricing, and detail the other considerations that can help you make the right choice for your business.

What is RingCentral?

RingCentral is a cloud-based communication system that helps teams manage all of their business telephony needs right out-of-the-box. 

Whether you are looking for an all-in-one, cloud-based phone system with team messaging and video conferencing, or you need a complete contact center with next-gen analytics and reporting capabilities, RingCentral can help.

As the #1 cloud communications provider worldwide, RingCentral allows people, teams, and businesses to connect anytime, from anywhere, on any device.

What is Twilio?

Twilio is a Communications-as-a-Service vendor that provides businesses with the tools they need to build their own telephony communication systems. 

Through access to Twilio’s APIs, a business can create scalable and customized communication networks that connect to the various tools and applications of their marketing, sales, and customer support teams.

RingCentral vs. Twilio
SendGrid vs. Twilio

RingCentral vs. Twilio: Side-by-side

RingCentral and Twilio take very different approaches to the development of their tools. 

Both offer top-of-field tools for managing business communications. Where they differ is in the implementation of those tools.

RingCentral’s toolset comes ready-to-use and is designed to fit nicely on top of your existing tech stack.

Twilio, on the other hand, provides the tools a business needs to build its own communication system. This allows a business to integrate Twilio into it’s tech stack in a number of unique and specialized ways.

Think of it like buying a house. RingCentral will sell you a house fully furnished and ready to move in. Twilio will sell you the materials to build your own house however you like.

Neither of these approaches is superior on the face of it. The needs of your business will determine what’s right for you.

To help you come to a conclusion, we will compare the features, pricing, and support options of both RingCentral and Twilio to see if any differentiators might make your choice easier.

RingCentral vs. Twilio: Feature comparison

When it comes to feature selection, both of these VoIP vendors provide everything a business could need to manage its telephone communications, including:    

  • Call Logging, Recording, Monitoring, Routing, and Scripting
  • Computer Telephony Integration
  • IVR / Voice Recognition
  • Automatic Call Distribution
  • Manual Dialer
  • Campaign Management
  • Queue Management
  • Alert / Escalation

Aside from such a broad selection of features, the following considerations set RingCentral and Twilio apart from the competition (including each other).

  • RingCentral is cloud-based- This means you can manage all of your telephone communications within a single system, regardless of location or device. All you need is a high-speed internet connection and you’re good to go.

  • Twilio offers developers a powerful API- This makes it possible for developers to integrate different communication methods, tools, and programs into their software.

Winner- This is a tough one to call because both offer everything a company could need and more. We will give this one to RingCentral because its features are ready to use as-is and it offers a few more nice-to-have tools like the Predictive Dialer.

RingCentral vs. Twilio: Pricing comparison

When evaluating the cost of any software tool, you have to look beyond the price tag. ROI comes down to getting the most out of the features available, so payment structures that are scaleable and flexible are a must. 

The most popular plan is the Essentials tier, and as the name suggests, you get the base level of tools that are essential to managing your telephone communications.  

Of note here is that the Essentials tier supports up to 20 users, which is quite good for the entry-level tier of a software tool. 

RingCentral claims that the Premium tier is the best value and looking at the features list, we would certainly agree. 

The only caveat to add would be that this tier is also the minimum most businesses would require as it is the first plan to offer CRM (customer relationship management) and other industry-specific integrations (as well as custom integrations). 

  • Twilio- Twilio’s pricing plan is usage-based, which can make it tough to calculate without defining your specific needs.

In saying that, this model fits well with their service structure which offers a variety of tools and features that you can mix and match to create a personalized solution.

Winner- When it comes to pricing, Twilio has the edge. The ability to pick features individually rather than by tier is a big boon. Twilio does require more work to implement, however, and those costs should be factored into your estimates.

RingCentral vs. Twilio
RingCentral vs. Twilio

RingCentral vs. Twilio: Customer support comparison

Customer support is an often overlooked component when shopping for software tools. Yet, when issues arise it quickly moves to the top of the priority list. 

The challenge is that assessing the quality of a vendors customer support can be difficult before the purchase because you won’t get many opportunities to use it.

To get an idea of the level of customer service you can expect, begin by looking at what support channels exist.

  • Is it all over email or is there a phone/chat option? 
  • Are the options available 24/7 or are you restricted to business hours? If so, what time zone? 
  • Is the support provided by the vendor or a 3rd party support team?

After exploring the support options available, take a look at the knowledge base provided (if there is one). 

  • Is the information current? When was the last update?
  • Is the information organized and easy to find?  
  • Is the information comprehensive?
  • Is the information accurate?

You may not be able to evaluate all of these things before you buy so take the time read some customer satisfaction reviews. Just keep in mind that customers tend to leave reviews when they are either very happy, or very upset, and as such, the claims can be a little skewed towards the extremes.

Now, let’s see how RingCentral and Twilio compare when evaluating their customer support options.

    • Live chat support
    • Phone support (up to 24/7 depending on your plan) 
    • Email support (for more complex issues that are not time sensitive)
    • A community support network (great for getting tips from actual users) 
    • Social media channels

RingCentral’s knowledge base is comprehensive and up to date, if a little hard to navigate. 

  • Twilio- Twilio offers a tiered support structure that provides more options as you advance. The price of each tier is based on your monthly spend.

    • Email support is available at every tier
    • Live chat support is available in the Production tier (4% of monthly spend)
    • Phone support is available in the Business tier (6% of monthly spend)
    • A technical account manager and support escalation line are available in the Personalized tier (8% of monthly spend)

Twilio’s knowledge base is robust, accurate, and well organized, exactly what you would expect from a company with a focus on user-empowerment.

Winner- We have to call this one a tie. While RingCentral offers more support channels in the lower tiers, Twilio’s knowledge base makes the need for such options less likely.

RingCentral vs. Twilio: Which is right for your business?

The prevailing theory is that RingCentral is for business users and Twilio is for developers. The truth is, both are good options for either.   

  • RingCentral is right for- RingCentral is an ideal solution for businesses looking for a VoIp provider with all the top features that is ready to go with little setup required. 
    • Ease of Use- RingCentral is not only easy to setup, it easy to use. The user-interface is modern and intuitive, and the experience is consistent across the desktop platform and the mobile app.
    • Expansive feature list- Few VoIP vendors can match the feature list that RingCentral offers and it is growing all the time.   
  • Twilio is right for- Twilio is a great VoIP solution for companies with the technical know-how to take advantages of it’s highly flexible toolset.
    • Highly customizable- With access to Twilio’s APIs you can build a complete communication system that integrates into your tech stack in whatever way makes the most sense for your business

In fact, Twilio’s tools can help you get more out of the other communication tools you may already be using, adding ROI to everything it touches.   

  • RingCentral and Twilio together- Because these VoIP solutions are so different in scope and approach, they can actually work really well together. 

Twilio can integrate with RingCentral, providing you access to RingCentral’s robust feature list while at the same time connecting all of your other communication channels together for total optimization.

For additional resources that can help you find a VoIP provider that is right for you, check out our comparison of:

Whether it’s RingCentral or Twilio, FreeAgent has you covered

FreeAgent CRM integrates with the industry’s top tools to offer a complete work management solution for your business. That means whichever VoIP solution is right for you, FreeAgent has you covered. Plus, FreeAgent is:

  • Easy to use- FreeAgent’s modern user interface is quick to learn and easy to use, encouraging teams to work within the platform, driving up adoption and aligning your work processes. 
  • User-configurable- With FreeAgent, the power is in your hands. You can customize and personalize FreeAgent to fit the specific needs of your business and teams without external support. 
  • Flexible and adaptable- FreeAgent’s robust toolset and extensive integration library supports teams and businesses of all types and structures. Whatever challenge you face, FreeAgent can help.

Try FreeAgent today, for free, and start having workdays full of impact.

RingCentral vs. Twilio

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