At its inaugural analyst conference, RingCentral discussed its sales, product, and technology momentum, as we heard from not just RingCentral execs, but from customers and partners as well. RingCentral has been focusing on “collaborative communications,” which goes beyond basic unified communications to include the collaborative element, notably team collaboration or what some call workstream communications. I’ve been talking and writing about collaborative communications for a couple years (Collaborative Communications Revisited), and noted that RingCentral was one of the early players in this area based on its acquisition of Glip. RingCentral CEO, Founder and Chairman of the Board Vlad Shmunis told the analysts, “We’re the only provider (except maybe Microsoft) that is team oriented. We don’t talk about communications – we talk about collaborative communications. It’s about meetings and empowering teams.”
Shmunis also spent some time discussing why RingCentral has been succeeding in the UCaaS market, noting, “We never set out to replace the PBX and light up the desktop phone in a different way. Many other players took that tact – we started out with a person, not a device or box. RingCentral has always been about mobility, extendibility, covering multiple locations, going global, and most important, usability. We’ve been riding the cloud wave and outpacing it.” He added, “Our success depends on our ability to deploy products that are used by our customers – customer engagement is at the core of our business.”
Expanding on why RingCentral has been successful, Shmunis noted that the company focuses on ease of use – with a service that’s easy to buy, use, and manage. He also stated that the company focuses on both the end user and the administrator, and that they “Want both to be delighted.”
Kira Makagon, EVP Innovation, discussed RingCentral’s focus on innovation, noting that the company has an entrepreneurial culture, with development cycles based on Agile processes. Makagon stated, “We release continuously. We move in sprints and can combine creativity with measurable results to meet our long-term plans. We get customer input all the time, and the roadmap is adjusted based on our experience and customer interactions.”
Another area of pride for the company is its open platform, with over 100 apps in its app store, and 7,500 developers using the platform. Most recently, RingCentral announced that it enhanced its open API platform with new bot and AI integrations with Amazon, Slack, and Google to enable calls and texts from within the Gmail interface, voice activation of calls and texts with Amazon Alexa, and RingCentral conferencing and meetings integrated within Slack.
One issue that came up during the sessions and in various discussions was RingCentral’s integration with inContact for cloud contact center capabilities. While no one from the company stated this, I expect that some time in the near future, RingCentral will have its own contact center technology, most likely through an acquisition.
At the event I had a chance to meet with Jose Pastor, VP Product Management. In this video podcast, Jose discusses RingCentral’s momentum, Glip integration with other parts of the RingCentral portfolio, and RingCentral’s QoS analytics.
With its Glip platform, open APIs, global capabilities, and QoS analytics, RingCentral has been gaining market share and serving new segments of the market. The company still has challenges as it moves upmarket, and will face increased competition from Cisco service provider customers and partners based on Cisco’s acquisition of Broadsoft. Working the right channel partners is key, and RingCentral has increased its channel sales and is working with distributors and VARs such as Jenne, ScanSource, Ingram, Westcon, Carousel, Presideo, Planetone, CDW, Intelisys, Telarus, and others. While it’s an extremely competitive market, RingCentral is in a strong position as a pure UCaaS vendor, and I expect to see its growth and expansion continue.
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