Sheila McGee-Smith
Sheila McGee-Smith, who founded McGee-Smith Analytics in 2001, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the...
Read Full Bio >>

Sheila McGee-Smith | April 27, 2015 |


RingCentral Contact Center… Powered by inContact

RingCentral Contact Center… Powered by inContact RingCentral taps inContact as contact center partner, enables seamless on-net calling from one cloud to the other.

RingCentral taps inContact as contact center partner, enables seamless on-net calling from one cloud to the other.

In an October 2014 No Jitter post, Blair Pleasant, founder of UCStrategies, wrote, "I'd like to see RingCentral acquire a hosted contact center vendor to enhance its offerings." In March 2015 --highlighting the growth that cloud UC providers like RingCentral are having versus premises-based vendors -- Zeus Kerravala, founder of ZK Research, wrote, "It's time for cloud providers to interoperate." An announcement today from RingCentral has elements of both.

Instead of acquiring a cloud contact center vendor, RingCentral has teamed with inContact in a partnership that goes far beyond a simple resale agreement to include interoperability of cloud applications.

portable Like other cloud communications companies that started by targeting small office/home office and small and medium-sized businesses, RingCentral has set its sights on moving upmarket. It's succeeding: As reported in December 2014, the number of RingCentral customers with 50-plus subscribers has grown more than 100% year over year, with customers of that size representing about 20% of total bookings. Some customers are significantly larger than that, too -- for example, Baierl Automotive has 550 users in 11 locations, and Dycom Industries has more than 1,500 users in 400 some locations.

As RingCentral's Matt McGinnis, senior director for product marketing, told analysts on a briefing call, these larger customers have been asking RingCentral for a contact center solution. The company's ability to continue winning bigger deals increasingly is contingent on availability of a contact center offering, as typically the larger the firm the more likely it expects as much.

Instead of acquiring a contact center firm, RingCentral brought together "two best-of-breed cloud players." RingCentral and inContact are extending each other's networks, running fiber between data centers and creating one, seamless solution. This means all calls will be on-net -- e.g., transfers from the contact center to business extensions will incur no network charge.

The joint solution is scheduled for May availability; beta testing is not required, RingCentral said. Why not? Because it is already up and running. RingCentral has been an inContact customer for more than four years, expanding its implementation over time to 500 agents. "We knew the product really well before choosing inContact as a partner. We looked around, but didn't see any other solution that was better," McGinnis said.

RingCentral will offer contact center in three bundles:

  • Basic, from $100 per named agent per month -- includes the routing and reporting of inbound voice calls
  • Advanced, from $120 per month -- includes inbound voice, email, chat, and SMS interactions
  • Ultimate, from $180 per month -- includes all advanced channels plus outbound dialing, advanced interactive voice response and campaign management

Note that while inContact offers Discovery, an integrated workforce optimization (WFO) suite based on its 2014 acquisition of Uptivity, WFO is not included in the current packages. Those capabilities will be available a la carte.

InContact is obviously pleased to have added this path to market for its solution, which is already sold by Verizon, BlackBox, and CDW, among others. Talking about the announcement, inContact CMO Mariann McDonagh said, "RingCentral is strong in the mid-market and moving up to small enterprise. We see this partnership as another growth engine for us this year."

Follow Sheila McGee-Smith on Twitter and Google+!
Sheila McGee-Smith on Google+


April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.