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Live Demo: RingCentral Contact Center

Gone are the days when people only contacted customer service by making a phone call. Today’s savvy consumers expect to be able to communicate with your company however it’s most convenient for them, whether that’s voice, email, online chat, SMS, or social media apps. How can you make sure your call center is ready to handle this new customer service reality?

Learn how an integrated call center solution like cloud-based RingCentral Contact Center can bring multiple communications channels together to provide a better overall experience for both your customers and agents. Join one of our experienced Solutions Engineers for a live demo of RingCentral Contact Center.

Date:  Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Time:  11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PT

During this 30-minute session, you will:

  • Get a complete overview of Contact Center and its capabilities
  • Learn about the various types of agent/customer interactions, including voice calls, emails, and chats
  • Take a closer look at the dashboards, reports, and agent management systems available with Contact Center
  • Participate in a live Q&A session

Click to register, and save your seat for this live event today.

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/live-demo-ringcentral-contact-center/

Publish Date: May 31, 2016 5:00 AM


Why I Believe a Cloud Phone System Is the Best and Most Secure Communications Solution for Your Mobile Workforce

The battle between freedom and control has raged since the dawn of civilization. Individuals crave liberty, while organizations need to keep things orderly.

My own skirmish in this age-old fight broke out when I was a teenager. I wanted to hang out with my friends until the wee hours of the morning. My mother insisted I return home by 10 p.m.

My freedom was important to me, but my mom had different priorities, like my safety, my health, and her peace of mind. Each of us had a different perspective—and each of us had a legitimate point of view.

Footloose and landline free

A similar struggle now is playing out in enterprises all over the world. Employees increasingly want to use their mobile devices to untether themselves from their desks, freeing them to work any time and any place. However, IT leaders need to protect corporate data, ensure seamless connectivity, and deliver reliable customer communications.

Smart enterprises are striving to support the nomadic habits of their modern workforces. The problem is it’s impossible to deliver secure and professional-grade communications with today’s PBX systems.

Sense of security

PBX systems are designed to route calls within buildings via wires and connect those calls to public telephone system. They were never designed to accommodate mobile devices outside of the building network. This requires jury-rigged solutions, such as requiring mobile users to dial in to the PBX to access company voicemail.

These connectivity issues create a range of challenges for internal communications, customers, and enterprises as a whole.

For the enterprise as a whole, the PBX paradigm presents serious security concerns. Critical corporate data could be compromised if just one mobile device is lost, stolen, or hacked.

All of this represents a management nightmare for IT.

Cloud-based compromise

Luckily for my relationship with my mother, we were able to patch up our differences by coming to a compromise: If I was going to be a few minutes late, I would call to warn her—avoiding the most dreaded of teenage punishments: getting grounded. By keeping in touch, I was able to keep my freedom, while mom was able to maintain her sense of control and security.

Similarly, a solution has arrived that can bridge the gap between corporate communications and mobile workers: a cloud communications solution. With cloud communications, mobile connectivity is built in. Remote workers get direct access to the same services as on-site employees, from extension dialing to direct voicemail access to caller ID.

Cloud apps also can turn smartphones into full-featured business phones, providing messaging, fax, audio conferencing, and web meetings.

Is it safe?

Most importantly, the cloud approach dramatically improves data security.

In conventional PBX-based solutions, mobile users store critical data on their smartphones, including business contacts. With a cloud communications solution, and the increasing popularity of bring your own device (BYOD), the only thing that resides on a user’s mobile device is an app. Because of this, if a device is compromised, sensitive information won’t fall into the wrong hands.

Furthermore, this approach also protects important data if an employee leaves your company, potentially preventing your information from being accessed by a competitor.

Instead of being stored on a mobile device, the information is housed in a Tier 1 data center. Information stored in the center is protected by the latest security measures that are updated by experts using the newest regulatory compliance requirements. With your data safely salted away in a data center, your IT department and IT teams at each business location are freed from the burden of serving as security experts.

The cloud’s silver lining

Unlike the situation for my mom, grounding is not a solution for modern enterprises with mobile workforces.

I believe that cloud communications is the best solution to security and integrated communications challenges posed by the new mobile workforce.

To learn more about why a cloud solution is the best and most secure choice for your enterprise, read RingCentral’s white paper, “How a Cloud Phone System Uniquely Supports Your Mobile Workforce.”

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/why-i-believe-a-cloud-phone-system-is-the-best-and-most-secure-communications-solution-for-your-mobile-workforce/

Publish Date: May 27, 2016 5:00 AM


Best of Both Worlds: RingCentral Readies Microsoft Skype for Business and Outlook Integrations

Here at RingCentral, we’ve learned a lot about being a cloud player in a large application ecosystem.  We’ve architected RingCentral to be an open platform giving developers robust APIs, tools, and resources for them to customize their own use of RingCentral. We use our own APIs to develop off-the-shelf integrations with some of the most popular enterprise applications.  It’s a great way to fulfill customer demand while delivering greater productivity and flexibility to our customers who want RingCentral’s telephony capabilities embedded in software they like to use.

With our latest integrations, the new Microsoft Skype for Business and Outlook plugins, we are building on our previously announced integration with Office 365, and harnessing the power of RingCentral’s open platform and cloud communications solutions combined with other Microsoft productivity applications.

RingCentral for Microsoft Outlook lets businesses that rely on the Outlook PC client for email, calendar, and contacts list tap into RingCentral for phone calls, SMS messaging, faxes, phone conferences and online meetings. This makes it easier to schedule meetings for distributed teams, with the dial-in and online meeting information automatically recorded in the Outlook Calendar. In addition, employees get an integrated contact list, including both Outlook and RingCentral contacts. Phone numbers embedded in email messages become clickable, letting you dial them instantly through the RingCentral network. Or use the onscreen dialer to call any number, inside or outside the enterprise.

The RingCentral plugin to Skype for Business adds a RingCentral dialer widget, displayed as a “sidecar” adjacent to the Skype messaging window. This means our mutual customers can use Skype for instant messaging and RingCentral for calling, conference calling, and online meetings. The same contact list will work across all these modes of communication. Right click on any contact, and “Call with RingCentral” shows up on the list of options. Or start typing a name in the RingCentral widget, and matching contact names will appear for you to dial out to. You can launch a conference call or a RingCentral Meetings video call and invite people via Skype messaging.

I know some folks might wonder isn’t Skype for Business your competitor? Why do you need to release an integration for another telephony product? In today’s dynamic and interconnected world of technology, there is no such thing as one size fits all. There are plenty of folks out there who use Microsoft Office but choose not to use OneDrive.  Or those who want to use Salesforce, instead of Microsoft Dynamics, even though they use Microsoft Office.  The same rule applies in telephony.

We know there are some Skype for Business customers who are loyal to its instant messaging functionality, but might not be sure about its reliability or quality as an enterprise cloud phone service. And the same applies to Outlook, where we all know it’s a great enterprise email solution, but some of their customers are not convinced they want to plug Skype for Business functionality into Outlook.

It’s about choice and giving end-users the ability to use whatever they choose in the most seamless way possible. My mantra is, “Meet customer needs, and the rest will follow.”  That’s why today, we’re seeing the walled gardens of the past come down, platforms opening up, and tech’s biggest names collaborating together in ways where competition becomes ‘coopetition.’

RingCentral customers who also use Skype for Business will benefit from the latest generation of our software for making and answering calls from a PC, plus all the flexibility we give you to have the same number ring your desk phone and your mobile phone. The RingCentral for Skype for Business plug-in takes advantage of the same WebRTC technology we are using for many of our new integrations, such as those with Google for Work and Microsoft’s Office 365 web applications. Our plugin to the Skype for Business desktop software loads the WebRTC user interface inside an embedded browser – allowing us to deliver continual improvements to the user experience without the need to download new software. The same is true of the dialer and integrated contacts list featured in our Outlook plugin.

We want our customers to know we will always do what is right for them, including making our products work with those of our competitors. When customers tell us they “live” in an application the way many of them live in Outlook and Skype for Business messaging, we will do our part to make their lives easier and their businesses more productive.

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/best-of-both-worlds-ringcentral-readies-microsoft-skype-for-business-and-outlook-integrations/

Publish Date: May 26, 2016 5:00 AM


The Highest Contact Center Uptime Matters

The highest uptime possible is the core differentiator in the market

You see companies advertise their 99.993% uptime. Our uptime is 99.9994%. So, what does that mean? If you do some online digging you might find out the variations are minutes apart, but what’s a few minutes?

We come across this “uptime confusion” a lot which is why in this blog, we hope to shed a new light on why the highest uptime matters (even considering the difference between 5 and 8 minutes downtime a year). We will outline downtime costs, false advertising, downtime risks and the work that goes into a company having such a high uptime. Let’s start with cost.

Cost of Downtime

What is a few minutes more of downtime? To give you some perspective, a minute of infrastructure failure or downtime costs businesses $1500. Of course this estimated money loss is only the tip of the iceberg in regard to the real cost of downtime.

This $1500 is the measurable cost, but it’s not even the raw minutes or dollars wasted that matter, but the cumulative effect of downtime. To put it plainly – the difference between 5 and 10 minutes of downtime is not just 2x the money loss, but the effect upon your efficiency, productivity, reputation and demonstrated priorities.

New Uptime Standard Effects Your Reputation

You have to be online and available 24/7 every day of the year. This is a simple truth that businesses will have to accept and live with. Especially with the next-generation networks and services rollout. Modern customers will not accept anything less than that. Getting your systems, apps, hardware and basic power supply up and running within minutes of outage makes a world of difference to the business and, more importantly, to the customer.

Downtime Hurts Reputation and Efficiency and Productivity

Brand image is everything. Uptime plays such a crucial role in how your company or service is viewed by customers. It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative. To take it one step further, one can imagine a scenario when downtime shuts off businesses altogether. Your agent can’t make calls or access any software, customers who experience a service outage can’t even reach you over the phone or Internet and managers have little control over the immediate crisis.

How Much Better is Five 9s really?

Another metric which may sound minute, but actually means a whole lot is the Five 9s (99.999%) availability assurance. It usually applies to critical applications and is sometimes viewed as a marketing stunt that bears no real importance, as if marketers throw it in there to simply make an impression (especially if their uptime is not five 9s). However, Five 9s becomes the aspired benchmark for a reason. Imagine a customer conversation being dropped due to a fallout? Or a billing transaction being disrupted. This is exactly what the fifth “9” saves you from to a great degree. It means that the unscheduled downtime will be less than 5.26 minutes per year. And it’s as close as you can get to perfection right now. For companies with the highest industry standards of customer communication or service assurance – this is a must-have feature.

How to Get it Right

Companies who take pride in being customer-centric and ensuring the highest quality of services, uptime and data recovery is the cornerstone of the business and customer relations. Companies with the highest uptime work for that sacrificing internal resources, time and a whole lot more money for the customer’s sake. To contact centers that adhere to the same values, fastest uptime possible is the core differentiator in the market. And some of them really take it to the next level and show an unprecedented high level of uptime, ensuring customer retention rate that’s only a bit shy of 100%.

Source: http://www.connectfirst.com/highest-contact-center-uptime-matters/

Publish Date: May 26, 2016 5:00 AM


Introducing the Answering Rules API

Call routing and handling via RingCentral Answering Rules are important aspects of configuring business phone systems and today we are releasing our beta Answering Rule API capabilities. For an overview, some benefits of Answering Rules include the ability to do the following:

  • Give each employee and department their own business hours and create unique answering rules as needed.
  • Set after-hours rules to route calls to a home phone number, directly to voicemail, a mobile phone, or any other working number.
  • Routing schedule allows calls to your sales department to transfer to one agent on Mondays and Wednesdays, and to another agent the rest of the week.

By providing access to customize Answering Rules via the API, different user experiences can be created to update these rules and updates can also be automated. A popular use case for the latter is programmatic updating to synchronize users for on-call scheduling systems such as PagerDuty.

New API capabilities include:

  1. Updating the User Business Hours rule via the business-hours-rule endpoint
  2. Updating the After Hours rule via the after-hours-rule endpoint
  3. Updating forwarding numbers for each rule including order ring time
  4. Creating Ring Groups
  5. Setting forwarding numbers to ring sequentially or simultaneously
  6. This builds on the previously released capability to: Update forwarding number phone numbers

These are described in the this Quickstart Guide.

These capabilities match the Call Handling and Forwarding Rules on the This API is currently available under our beta program. If you would like to get additional information on or access this API for your account, please contact us at devsupport@ringcentral.com.

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/introducing-the-answering-rules-api/

Publish Date: May 26, 2016 5:00 AM


RingCentral Developer May 2016 Update

This month we are excited to release a number of new APIs that will extend programmatic capabilities of the RingCentral Connect Platform with both new and enhanced capabilities.

New capabilities include:

  1. WebRTC: We released our WebRTC API in beta back in March of this year at the time of the LAUNCH Festival Hackathon. We are happy to announce that this service is now out of beta and available for general use. The WebRTC SDK and demo app is available on GitHub. Thanks to all the customers that have worked with us on this service.
  2. Webhooks beta: We have heard your requests and are now broadening our notifications capabilities to include webhooks in addition to our existing pub/sub Subscription API. With webhooks, simply create a URL to our specifications and subscribe to events using the “WebHook” as the “transportType.” More information is available on the Quickstart Guide for webhooks.
  3. Answering Rules API beta: This API enables users to programmatically update their Call Handling and Forwarding Rules including configuring forwarding numbers (including order and ring times), configuring Ring Groups, and determine whether devices are called simultaneously or sequentially. For more information see our Quickstart Guide for Answering Rules.
  4. Call Queue API beta: The Call Queue API has been enhanced to support adding and removing users from the Call Queue. For more information, see our Quickstart Guide for Call Queues.

Enhanced capabilities include:

  1. Fax API: The fax API now supports multipart/form-data requests in addition to multipart/mixed to simplify fax submissions. See the Quickstart Guide for Fax for more information.

Please contact us at devsupport@ringcentral.com if you have any questions about using or getting access to these APIs.

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/ringcentral-developer-may-2016-update/

Publish Date: May 25, 2016 5:00 AM


Brightway Insurance Selects RingCentral Contact Center, Office, to Enable Greater Customer Engagement

Brightway Insurance set out to make the world a better place for insurance buyers and for businesses selling insurance. It’s fair to say they’ve succeeded; the company has held a spot on the Inc. 500’s fastest growing privately-held companies list eight years in a row, and last year was named the “No. 1 Franchise to Buy in the U.S.” by Forbes Magazine. Today we are happy to welcome them to the RingCentral family as the newest adopters of RingCentral Office and RingCentral Contact Center.

Rapid Growth Drives Search for More Efficient Business Communications Solutions

Founded in 2003, Brightway is now the nation’s seventh largest privately held Personal Lines insurance agency in the country. The company has grown from 38 locations in Florida and $36 million in annualized written premiums in 2008 to 118 locations in 11 states and more than $405 million today*. Given their scale and growth, Brightway needed a cloud-based business communications solution that would enable their call center teams to work in the most effective way possible from any location. We’re very proud they chose RingCentral.

Since introducing our groundbreaking Contact Center solution last year, we’ve differentiated from other offerings in the market by providing a direct integration with RingCentral Office. This means call center agents are empowered with a fully featured cloud contact center solution that supports multi-channel communications (e.g. voice, chat, SMS, email and fax) along with a full suite of advanced call center capabilities (e.g. advanced routing, queuing, CRM integration, analytics and reporting). When combined with RingCentral Office, RingCentral Contact Center provides a seamless end-to-end communications experience with direct extension dialing to stay connected with the rest of the organization. By selecting RingCentral, Brightway Insurance is seeing an increase in customer satisfaction, better communication within their organization, and faster response times.

The Future Looks Bright for this Business

Brightway’s selection of RingCentral is reflective of the massive shift we are seeing first-hand of larger enterprises moving their business communications to the cloud and streamlining their business processes along the way. For Brightway, based in Florida, a state that has weathered over 63 hurricanes since 2000, the cloud provides the added benefit of business continuity to effectively serve the nearly 300,000 policies its 120 Agency Owners have written for their customers.

At RingCentral, we are pleased to provide best-in-class infrastructure that enables Brightway to succeed through the use of smart, agile solutions that get the job done. As the company continues to expand, we are committed to helping them deliver the high levels of responsiveness their agency owners and clients demand.

[* https://www.morningstar.com/news/pr-news-wire/PRNews_20160311FL45097/brightway-insurance-named-a-best-overall-franchise-by-franchiserankingscom.html]

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/brightway-insurance-selects-ringcentral-contact-center-office-to-enable-greater-customer-engagement/

Publish Date: May 25, 2016 5:00 AM


Infographic: Evade the Cold-callers, Time-takers, and Priority-pinchers

The phone rings. Your attention is piqued. Is it new business? Your pulse quickens as you imagine the opportunity that awaits. You pick up the phone and introduce yourself in your most professional voice and…

…“You are due a large repayment for your PPI claim as well as compensation for that 5 car pile up, remember.”

Your shoulders drop and disappointment quickly turns to frustration; this is a business headache you wish you could avoid. Whilst cold calling can be a nuisance that ties up the line and wastes your time, it’s not the only villain when it comes to unwanted calls.

There are also the ‘talkers’; those particular individuals who unwittingly offer up more than the required information. Building strong business relationships with clients and suppliers is one thing, but getting caught by someone telling you what they had for breakfast last Wednesday can result in more important calls falling by the wayside.

Arranging to catch-up with a partner about a project is important, as is looking at projections with your accountant, but when the phone lines are flat-out with customers wanting your service, those sorts of calls can take a timely backseat, especially when priority calls you really need to take get stuck behind all these other less essential conversations. Keeping potential clients or existing customers stuck in a queue or on hold is frustrating for everyone involved and can lead to missed opportunities.

Thankfully, cloud communications technology can come to your rescue. Here are just some of the actions that can save you from reaching for the headache pills:

  • If a caller is not in your contacts or doesn’t have a Caller ID displayed, you can automatically screen the call and sift out the nuisance calls before any conversation begins.
  • Apply call handling rules so you can focus on conversations that matter the most whilst others take care of the rest.
  • Send priority calls to the front of a call queue to avoid important opportunities walking away.
  • If you are tied up, simply forward calls to another number, such as a main company number, a department call group, or send it straight to voicemail.

So the next time the phone rings, you know exactly when to be genuinely excited and when to be conveniently ‘in a meeting’.

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/infographic-evade-the-cold-callers-time-takers-and-priority-pinchers/

Publish Date: May 25, 2016 5:00 AM


Using RingCentral WebRTC

In case you are unfamiliar with WebRTC it allows developers to embed voice communications in web based business tools and services such as CRM, call centers, and web applications. You can use RingCentral WebRTC to create simplified experiences for your call operators and customers. RingCentral WebRTC empowers users to create and receive voice calls directly from within their primary web interface which supports the WebRTC protocol without the need of a multi-leg soft phone application.

What was the process to reach GA for RingCentral WebRTC and why is it so important to developers that we battle-tested this solution?

The RingCentral Cloud Communication Platform is no stranger to WebRTC protocol. The RingCentral for Google Chrome integration in our App Gallery which was published last November implements RingCentral WebRTC. Customers who have installed RingCentral for Google Chrome have loved it and really enjoy the streamlined experience WebRTC provides. Today we’re happy to have WebRTC as an officially available resource for RingCentral Developers to implement in their web applications.

Before making WebRTC generally available (GA) as part of the RingCentral Connect Platform, we needed to know:

  1. Developers could easily implement RingCentral WebRTC into their web applications
  2. Communications over RingCentral WebRTC adhere to the high QoS RingCentral expects for all of our business voice communication services

Kirill Konshin and Vyshakh Babji worked diligently to create the RingCentral WebPhone repository on Github, this repository is the official JavaScript library for working with the RingCentral WebRTC.

Screenshot of the RingCentral JavaScript WebPhone Demo

RingCentral WebPhone is developer’s best friend when working with WebRTC. It is a complete package which bundles together signaling, registration, call controls, DTMF, and even contains a demo application you can quickly operate to test using your RingCentral account.

The RingCentral JavaScript WebPhone addresses major enterprise concerns of security and reliability while implementing WebRTC into their web-based business applications and tools.

The last thing we had to do after making sure our internal engineers were able to use the WebPhone and we ironed out all the major kinks was to put RingCentral WebRTC and WebPhone into the hands of developers…

On February 26th — 28th, 2016 RingCentral was at Launch Hackathon in San Francisco. Launch Hackathon is one of the larger annually occurring hackathons in the Bay Area with anywhere from 800–1200 developers in attendance at any given point. We had fun working with developers to implement these technologies into their web applications and identified some issues to resolve. Spending the next few days getting ready to launch WebRTC as an invite only beta.

March 3rd we launched the WebRTC invite-only beta program. With nearly two months and over 129M SIP calls later, we have launched WebRTC GA as part of the RingCentral Platform’s resources for developers integrating cloud communications as part of their web applications.

Possible developer concern with RingCentral WebRTC

The first step to using WebRTC is to be aware of its’ limitations and to determine if all of your requirements can be addressed. WebRTC is still a relatively new technology, and developers build it in client-side code (web browsers). A good first place to look to determine browser support for WebRTC (which I use for this and other features before implementing) is CanIUse.

Currently, RingCentral WebRTC only has official support for Google Chrome, but looking at CanIUse it appears that Opera is the other browser with solid support (and just recently Apple added WebRTC support on the public list of WebKit for Safari, but it might be a while until it is released). While working with our WebRTC offering, you can try with these other browsers, but will not receive support until it is official by RingCentral.

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/using-ringcentral-webrtc/

Publish Date: May 24, 2016 5:00 AM


5 Business Goals to Champion with Unlimited Data Storage

Call Center Software with Unlimited Data Storage

In April, we at Connect First started offering all our customers unlimited data storage. To highlight all the goodness of such a perk, let’s go through 5 benefits unlimited data storage brings to your business goals.

1. Efficiency

Using unlimited cloud data storage is plainly easy. Just set it up and forget about it. All your data is available from a single point of truth – no disparate data centers, everything is efficient and quick.

2. Growth

Unlimited storage means that you can expand all you want. Seriously, you are covered for potential customer growth, natural expansion of the business or even M&A, due to Cloud’s solution infinite scalability. Customers and devices are only going to generate more and more data, unlimited storage keeps you in the safe zone, even with seasonal spikes of traffic or any unpredicted events.

3. Easy planning

Budget for next year allocating the proper amount for data storage. If the other option is to delete customer information and sensitive documentation, we bet on that you’ll rather simply outsource your data storage to professionals. And do it for the fixed price.

4. Long-term Cost Savings

This is actually an organic conclusion to the previous points. With unlimited data storage service, you will be able to have a relatively quick return on investment. You can use the data for business growth and compliance protection. The financial benefit of transition to the Cloud will be growing over the years and no need to invest in data storage infrastructure will become a huge differentiator for businesses to switch to the Cloud.

5. Backup & Disaster Recovery

This is one of the core elements to moving your data storage to the cloud. Companies around the world where risks are resorting to disaster recovery is very high, especially the likes of Japan, are adopting agile and flexible Cloud data storage solutions. No one is protected from a power outage, security corruption or physical damage to servers, even if you’re not prone to tsunamis and earthquakes. Data integrity is arguably the crucial element of any data center. Having it secured in the cloud with immediate uptime makes the transition to unlimited cloud storage a strategic business decision.

Source: http://www.connectfirst.com/5-business-goals-champion-unlimited-data-storage/

Publish Date: May 24, 2016 5:00 AM


The Evolution of Seamlessly Integrated Work Environments in the Cloud

For quite some time, certainly going back several decades, various key elements of information technology have been evolving on parallel tracks. Specifically, I’m thinking about applications, business communications and platforms. The evolution has been rapid, and at times, a bit confusing.

Now, though, we’re seeing these parallel tracks in the process of merging as the cloud has matured enough to become a focal point for what is increasingly viewed as the most efficient, cost-effective and reliable model for business computing in the broadest sense of that term. More than anytime in the past, we are seeing the seamless enablement of the anywhere, anytime, any device, always available work environment.

Call it the as a service convergence that has brought business applications, enterprise infrastructures and business communications solutions together in the cloud. This convergence is still frequently discussed in a fragmented, shorthand fashion using SaaS, IaaS, DBaaS, UCaaS and other as a service acronyms. Not every organization is migrating immediately, as some don’t yet feel comfortable discarding on-premise investments they’ve made over the past couple of decades. So, we’re in sort of a hybrid stage for the moment. But make no mistake, while the earlier stages of the trend involved the movement of separate IT parts, pieces and functionality to hosted environments, we’re now seeing an irreversible movement to the cloud, and more recently, a knitting together of those various enterprise computing elements within the cloud.

Taking a step back, it’s clear that while there was resistance initially in many organizations to divest themselves of their hardware, software and business communications acquisition and management businesses (regardless of what businesses they were really in), over time most have grown more comfortable with moving all or nearly all of their physical assets (and the associated management and maintenance headaches) off-premise to the cloud.

The cloud’s basic value proposition is compelling. It delivers dramatic hard and soft cost reductions, simplifies multi-location administration and maintenance, provides virtually unlimited scalability and ad hoc flexibility, delivers new features and functionality across enterprises immediately as they become available, efficiently connects mobile and remote workers, and unifies omni-channel business communications. Omni-channel support refers to a business’ ability to enable outstanding customer experiences by allowing employees, customers and suppliers to communicate using the modality of their choice including social media, web, desktop, mobile, messaging, video and business applications.

Even regarding the last point of resistance to offloading IT hardware and information – security – we are nearing universal consensus that not only is security in the cloud as solid as in on-premise deployments, but that in many cases it’s superior.

Drivers of such change stem from larger businesses seeing Cloud as not only a vital element of communication but also as the future source of business tools for its evolution.

Consequently, cloud IT infrastructure spend is predicted by IDC to reach $53.1 billion with a 15.1 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2019, accounting for over 46 percent of total enterprise IT spend driven by public cloud data-center expansions. Other forecasts predict that over the next four to five years SaaS business applications will amount to a $50.8 billion business, with upwards of 30 percent of enterprise applications being SaaS applications.

Unlike the fluffy clouds that float overhead on beautiful summer days, cloud computing is the next generation supersonic transport (SST), empowering warp speed business activity while delivering unprecedented positive customer experiences.

RingCentral has seen this coming since its founding. It has always been a cloud business communications company, established to break down the communication barriers created by complex on-premise hardware and to free people to work the way they want in today’s mobile, distributed and always-on work world.

While business applications still maintain a center stage position, we’re now seeing multi-modal cloud business communications solutions like RingCentral Office being infused into those business applications.

This is a welcome development to those employees who spend the majority of their time working in specific applications or application suites. The integration of comprehensive business communications functionality into their business applications, visible and usable on the same screens, literally puts all the information and functionality they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively right in front of them. No need to switch in and out of stand alone applications.

Integrating UCaaS directly into business applications has been made possible by the emergence and adoption of the Worldwide Web Consortium’s WebRTC protocol. It’s expected that this WebRTC-driven empowerment will impact some 19 billion devices by 2018. It’s also made possible by UCaaS providers like RingCentral opening up their communications APIs.

As WebRTC adoption continues, what will emerge are fully integrated cloud environments in which users will work from browser interfaces built in WebRTC and HTML5. Standalone business applications and downloaded mobile apps will fade away as business applications and omni-channel business communications will be delivered as inseparable parts of the same user interface, all accessible anywhere, anytime, from any internet connected device.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about this trend in the near future. For now, for information on this trend and the ways it can benefit your organization [call/visit/email info here].

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/the-evolution-of-seamlessly-integrated-work-environments-in-the-cloud/

Publish Date: May 24, 2016 5:00 AM


Lisa Del Real of RingCentral Named to CRN 2016 Women of the Channel List

We’re thrilled that Lisa Del Real, our senior director of Channel Programs & Sales Ops, has been recognized as one of CRN’s 2016 Women of the Channel. A top news source for IT professionals, CRN editors selected Women of the Channel honorees on the basis of their professional accomplishments, demonstrated expertise and ongoing dedication to the IT channel.

Lisa Del Real has consistently shown great aptitude and dedication to building RingCentral’s Channel Program. Recognized by CRN for the third year in a row, Lisa Del Real has increased the number of channel partners, introduced new program elements to help partners be more successful, and added new distributors to the program. Having completed a record sales year in 2015, Lisa spearheaded the launch of the ISV Partner Program, for partners to build integrations with RingCentral and earn commissions, and the Signature Program, which assists partners in scaling their customers’ business to meet demand and needs. Keeping pace with developments to the RingCentral product, she added another global dimension to the program with the addition of Westcon to the distributor portfolio, along with Tech Data, Jenne and ScanSource, to enable scalable support for businesses of all sizes around the world. To further assist partners in providing a great customer experience, she also launched the RingCentral Certified Sales Professional (RCSP) Certification. Lisa has brought tremendous value to our partners and improved the way they’re able to interact with and support their customers.

We’re so proud to celebrate Lisa’s achievements, as RingCentral’s Channel Program wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for her amazing work. Lisa has set a strong program foundation so our partners are best prepared to meet the increasing needs of enterprises. We applaud her diligent efforts and great commitment to helping our partners succeed.

The 2016 Women of the Channel List will be featured in the June issue of CRN Magazine and online.

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/lisa-del-real-of-ringcentral-named-to-crn-2016-women-of-the-channel-list/

Publish Date: May 23, 2016 5:00 AM


Infographic: Is Legacy Technology Stifling Your Communications Ambition?

Keeping up with technology is a constant business challenge. No sooner have you spent money on the latest ‘game-changing’ piece of equipment; you’ll have your eye on the next to keep up with the Joneses of the business world. It’s a row of spinning plates, and expensive plates at that.

Most technologies providers will have you set up to fixed prescribed features and functions for the length of your contract. But what happens when that technology improves whilst you’re under contract? There is no worse frustration than having your hands tied when you want to take advantage of the latest capabilities. Even if you are able to upgrade, there’s often a hefty price tag attached.

Many businesses end up settling with making the best use of their current hardware. Yes, it saves on the capital expense, but sticking with a legacy system can have some sizeable drawbacks when it comes to advancing the business.

Take your traditional phone system; it’s the way your business has managed its communications for years. However, like all hardware, sooner or later, maintenance and repairs are inevitable. When this happens, your system can remain unworkable until a specialist can be booked in to get you fully back up and running again.

What about adapting and scaling? Getting to grips with cumbersome hardware is not for the feint hearted. If it means you need to a call to technical support every time you need to add a new employee or amend system settings, you can hardly expect to stay on the pulse of change in your business.

Then there are integrations. If your core business software tools are not on the same page, manually inputting and updating records can quickly eat up minutes, hours and days that could be spent far more productively.

So what if your system was remotely controlled off-premises, with all updates configured centrally when they became available? And how about a solution that wraps a range of communications tools together as part of one package and So is this new technology costly? Not when you consolidate all your costs, time and energy, into one monthly bill.

No more spinning plates, just better customer service, ensure a smooth transition to a cloud phone system for your business.

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/infographic-is-legacy-technology-stifling-your-communications-ambition/

Publish Date: May 20, 2016 5:00 AM


Study shows why you can trust at home call center employees

Employees view working from home as a positive privilege

Recent data presented by the Flex+Strategy Group suggests that one-third of U.S. employees telecommute on a regular basis. And, according to a study conducted by the Ethisphere Institute and Jones Lang LaSalle a few years ago, it appears that there are some significant ways that companies can benefit from giving their workers this option.

The study revealed that only 11 percent of at-home workers had committed ethics violations in a two-year period, compared to 36 percent of in-office employees. There are a few theories as to why workers who telecommute have proven themselves to be more honest and trustworthy.

“Working from home is still viewed as a positive privilege because it’s still pretty new,” Alex Brigham, executive director at the Ethisphere Institute, explained in an interview with MarketWatch. “In terms of the privilege of working from home, they didn’t want to put it at risk because they didn’t want to get called back into the office.”

Brigham added that managers who allow their employees to work from home also tend to establish more trusting relationships with their team members, causing them to be more conscientious. “If they feel like they’re being treated well and trusted, that’s the treatment they give back to the company,” Brigham said.

With this data in mind, there has been a 10-year migration of contact center work to at home agents. You’ll be happy to hear that many call centers have policies in place to protect private information and are PCI and HIPPA compliant. This means that if you outsource customer service to the right domestic inbound call centers with at home agents, you can be rest assured knowing that there are trustworthy employees tending to the needs of your company and your valuable customers.

Source: http://www.connectfirst.com/study-shows-why-you-can-trust-at-home-call-center-employees/

Publish Date: May 19, 2016 5:00 AM


RingCentral Named To Forbes List of 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America for 2016

We’re excited to announce that RingCentral has been named to Forbes’ List of 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America for 2016.

The Forbes List of 100 Most Trustworthy Companies is assembled every year by MSCI ESG Research, an independent research firm that vets more than 5,500 publicly-traded North American companies to identify those that consistently display transparent accounting practices and concrete corporate governance.

Companies are ranked based on their Aggressive Accounting and Governance Risk (AGRs) and scored on a 1 to 100 point scale. Aspects considered include high-risk behaviors like regulatory actions, amended filings, revenue and expense recognition methods, and bankruptcy risk.

RingCentral is shown in the mid-market cap group (between $1 and $5 billion) and scored an 88 for its current AGR and an 83 average AGR for the last four quarters.

This recognition reinforces our core values and our position as a leader and trusted partner in the market. Enterprises want to work with the most reputable companies, and trust and dedication are paramount qualities. Our team is 100% committed to providing the best experience possible for customers and employees.

To see the full list of Forbes’ 100 Most Trustworthy Companies, click here.

Source: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2016/05/ringcentral-named-to-forbes-list-of-100-most-trustworthy-companies-in-america-for-2016/

Publish Date: May 19, 2016 5:00 AM

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