RingCentral Touts Open & Pervasive Communications

Open, integrated, and pervasive -- these are the watchwords RingCentral has for the future of business communications, and the guiding principles by which it intends to play in the digital workplace of tomorrow.

Such is the message RingCentral executives delivered today at the company's second-annual user and partner conference, ConnectCentral 2017, around their vision of "collaborative communications." Beyond the talk, RingCentral brought to the event a number of announcements centered on extending its open platform integrations, expanding its global presence, and enabling more intelligent insight on voice calls.

Connecting with APIs

RingCentral's latest integration roster reads like a who's who among the tech elite, including Amazon, Google, Salesforce, and Slack. The integration lineup for RingCentral Connect Platform, the company's development platform, features the following "RingCentral for ..." offerings:

  • Alexa Skills -- an integration with Alexa-powered devices from Amazon. As demonstrated at the conference, users will be able to ask Alexa to play back and respond to voicemails; send and check SMS messages; and place outbound calls and send SMS messages through the RingCentral app. The integration is slated for availability later this year in the RingCentral App Gallery and Alexa Skills, RingCentral said.
  • Gmail -- tightening an existing integration with Google G Suite, this add-on capability lets Gmail desktop and mobile users promote email conversations to phone calls or text messages; view recent call history, voicemail, and SMS messages; and see online/offline status of their RingCentral contacts.
  • Slack -- this integration lets Slack users access RingCentral via slash commands, and start RingCentral video meetings and audio conferences from within Slack. RingCentral for Slack, which is available in the RingCentral App Gallery, requires a RingCentral Office subscription and a Slack account.

Empowering Teams

For its team collaboration platform, Glip, the latest integrations center on AI and chatbots. The overall aim is to streamline automated processes and make workflows more seamless for end users, RingCentral said.

The first set of bots come from RingCentral chatbot platform partner Kore.ai, which has enabled Salesforce, Twitter, Asana, and Trello bots within Glip. For sales teams, RingCentral now offers an integration with Gong.io, a conversation intelligence platform specifically for these business users. This integration brings call transcription and analytics to Glip, "so teams can replicate best sales practices and drive effectiveness at scale," RingCentral said.

Lastly for Glip, RingCentral now supports the Salesforce Alert Bot for capturing Salesforce events and sending notifications to Glip teams. With this feature, sales managers gain access to immediate updates on opportunities from within Glip, rather than have to jump into Salesforce. The Salesforce Alert Bot will be available in early 2018, RingCentral said.

Global Ambitions

For multinational companies, RingCentral continues to expand its global footprint, now offering localized presence in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. Additionally, RingCentral has strengthened its go-to-market presence in France, naming industry veteran Guillaume Widmer as head of channels for the country, adding local channel partners, and making RingCentral Office more friendly for businesses operating in France. On that end, it's adding support for the French language, local billing in euros, direct peering with Tier One local operators, and application delivery from European data centers, RingCentral said.

Lastly, RingCentral is providing real-time quality-of-service (QoS) analytics capabilities for RingCentral Office. Companies will be able to measure the quality of every leg of a call on a global basis, get comprehensive reporting from a dashboard that lets administrators diagnose voice QoS issues in real time and head off escalation to critical states, and identify patterns in problematic calls.

As RingCentral continues to develop its product roadmap to deliver on its collaborative communications vision, it has an Apple-like end state in mind, David Lee, VP or platform products at RingCentral, said in prepared statement. "RingCentral's ambition is to do for business communications what the iPhone has done for personal communications -- make it open, integrated, and pervasive."

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