Cloud communications provider RingCentral is on a roll, today announcing its move into room video conferencing, a global expansion, and executive additions.
This trio of announcements reflects the company's commitment to and investment in the enterprise market segment, Praful Shah, SVP of strategy, told me in an interview on the news. For context, he noted that revenue for RingCentral Office, its cloud phone systems, is growing 45% year over year, to roughly $275 million, as reported in RingCentral's fourth-quarter 2015 financial results. Large customer deals, via indirect and direct sales, drove the growth, he added.
Room for Conferencing
RingCentral's new cloud-based room video conferencing solution, called RingCentral Rooms, parlays the partnership and integration the company forged with Zoom Video Communications when launching the Enterprise Edition of RingCentral Office some two plus years ago, Shah said. The Zoom technology already powers RingCentral Meetings, which enables enterprises to conduct online audio and video conferencing from their desktop or mobile devices.
RingCentral Rooms is the Zoom in-room technology hosted in the RingCentral infrastructure and delivered as a cloud conferencing service that integrates into RingCentral Meetings, Shah said. RingCentral Rooms works with off-the-shelf iPad, Mac, and camera hardware; integrates with Google and Microsoft Exchange calendars; supports a click-to-launch capability; and enables screen sharing via Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or a wired HDMI connection, among other features. A separate capability, Room Connector, ties legacy H.323/SIP room systems and endpoints from companies such as Cisco, Lifesize, and Polycom into RingCentral Meetings.
The goal is simplicity, giving RingCentral Meeting users the ability to launch collaborative video sessions in big conference rooms or small huddle rooms as easily as they can sitting at their desktops, Niel Levonius, RingCentral director of product marketing, said. They can click to launch from a stationary tablet within a room, or link their personal device to Rooms, he added.
Rooms is a logical move for RingCentral, Roopam Jain, industry director at Frost & Sulllivan's Conferencing and Collaboration Practice, indicated in a prepared statement. "The shift to software-centric cloud solutions is creating new opportunities for growth. The addition of RingCentral Rooms is the next step for the RingCentral portfolio and will help them extend their reach and impact beyond desktop and mobile users to conference rooms as well."
RingCentral Rooms, available as an add-on to the RingCentral Office subscription with RingCentral Meetings, costs $49 per month per license. Room Connector, also priced at $49 monthly per license, will be available in mid-July, Levonius said.
Shrinking the Globe
RingCentral has been offering its in-country Global Office cloud calling service since February, when it launched with support in 12 countries including Canada and the U.K. As of July, it will double that number to 24, offering in-country capability in various countries throughout Asia, Europe, and, of course, North America. Six -- Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, and Sweden -- come on board immediately, while another six -- Austria, Belgium, Italy, Norway, Portugal, and Taiwan -- will be available in July.
As an in-country service, Global Office supports local-number dialing and emergency services, plus meets regulatory compliance mandates, said Shah, noting that RingCentral is on track to reach 37 countries by year's end. In-country service, already in use at 170 multinationals, differs from the company's International Virtual Numbers offering for local inbound phone numbers. With that service, RingCentral supports 79 countries.
RingCentral supports Global Office on its Global Connect Network, which interconnects directly with service providers.
Expanding the Executive Suite
To boost its enterprise skill set, RingCentral has brought on two seasoned industry professionals. They are:
As these announcements show, Shah said, RingCentral is committed to investing in the enterprise, "whether in product, global footprint, or in bringing in enterprise-class veterans for sales, customer success, and professional services."