RingCentral Expands Cloud Communications Portfolio

Whether customer experience, team messaging, video meetings, mobility, or voice analytics is your thing, cloud communications provider RingCentral has something new in store for you, as announced today at its annual user conference, ConnectCentral.

Engaging Experience

In the first of a trio of announcements, RingCentral is targeting an improved customer experience with the development of a digital customer engagement platform, called RingCentral Engage. For Engage, RingCentral said it is using technology gained from last month’s acquisition of Dimelo, a French company that had built a social interaction platform (see related No Jitter coverage).

Initially, Engage will allow contact center agents to manage customer interactions across the digital channels they support via a single interface, RingCentral said. It will rely on artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for routing the interactions.

In mid-2019, RingCentral said it intends to supplement Engage with integration of its team messaging and video meeting tools. The goal is to deliver a fully integrated and seamless communications experience between contact center agents and business experts, the company said. For example, agents will be able to escalate a customer chat or messaging conversation to video, with an eye on quicker time to resolution. In addition, RingCentral noted, contact center agents will be able to facilitate conversations among customers and business experts via its team messaging app, Glip.

Collaboration On the Go

In the second bit of product news, RingCentral is taking aim at improving employee engagement and productivity -- specifically, for on-the-go professionals and mobile workers. To better serve the modern workforce, it announced the release of a mobile app that provides voice calling, team messaging, and video meetings -- saving users from needing to switch from one app to another depending on how they want to communicate.

The mobile app encompasses three principles, RingCentral said. First, it’s collaboration-centric, offering a team messaging-based experience that lets users create teams around topics of their choice for persistent chat sessions in which they can also share files, calendar events, and other content. Second, it’s enterprise voice-ready, with a user’s business number identity associated with the app for placing and receiving calls, dialing by extension, sending SMS text messages, and clicking from chat to call. Lastly, RingCentral said, the mobile app lets users schedule, start, and join video and screen sharing meetings with one click.

In a prepared statement, Jason Kasch, CIO at Structural Group, a global engineering firm, touted the value of such mobile collaboration. RingCentral’s new mobile app lets the company “put people at the center of our business. It’s now easy and efficient for our entire workforce to communicate and collaborate all with a few clicks,” said Kasch, who earlier this year participated in our Enterprise Summit at Enterprise Connect 2018 (see related No Jitter article).

The mobile app will be available for download in 13 languages by the end of the month, RingCentral said.

Partnering for AI and More

In the final news coming out of ConnectCentral this morning, RingCentral is focusing on partnerships -- some aimed at bringing artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled voice analytics capabilities to its platform, and others to extend current capabilities. For the former, partners Gong.io, ThetaLake, and Velvetech are using RingCentral’s open APIs to deliver real-time and post-call voice analytics services, the company said.

“The democratization of AI is quickly becoming a reality,” and by allowing the growing AI ecosystem of companies to leverage its open APIs, RingCentral is broadening its customers’ access to AI services, said David Lee, vice president, product management, at RingCentral, in a prepared statement. Through the partnerships, businesses will be able to “capture timely customer data and drive greater customer engagement and value,” he added.

In particular, Velvetech, a software development platform provider, is building a real-time transcription solution with machine learning capabilities from AI startup XSELL Technologies. The goal is to provide real-time insights for coaching sales agents and driving improving sales performance, RingCentral said.

Meantime, RingCentral’s other new partners are developing post-call AI voice analytics services. Gong.io, which offers a conversation intelligence platform for sales teams, is using the open APIs to develop a machine learning solution aimed at driving best practices and effectiveness at scale. And ThetaLake, which provides compliance for audio and video communications, is enabling businesses in financial services, insurance, and other highly regulated industries to archive audio recordings for compliance purposes.

Beyond AI, RingCentral said it has upped the capabilities of its integrations with Box, with archiving features; and with Google, with a calendar add-on that lets users pick RingCentral for voice and video calling.