RingCentral Centralizes Voice, Video, Messaging In New App For New Remote Collaboration Needs

"There's historically been separate meeting, voice, and mobile apps, and while some can be interconnected, they still look and feel different … By bringing these collaboration tools all together in one single interface, it simplifies messaging," says a RingCentral partner.


Unified communications-as-a-service powerhouse RingCentral is making it easier for users to switch between different modes of communication with a brand-new unified desktop application.

The RingCentral desktop app provides tight integration between RingCentral's messaging, video, and phone services in one place. It will also let users switch from different devices while participating in video meetings, RingCentral said.

Liquid Networx, a Preferred RingCentral partner, also uses RingCentral for its internal communication and collaboration needs. Having voice, video, content-sharing and chat tools all in one place is more critical now than ever before thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic pushing nearly every business employee into a work-from-home scenario, said Robert Short, vice president of strategic services of San Antonio, Texas-based Liquid Networx.

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"By bringing these collaboration tools all together in one single interface, it simplifies messaging," Short said. "There's historically been separate meeting, voice, and mobile apps, and while some can be interconnected, they still look and feel different, and maybe operate differently."

[Related: Avaya Cloud Office By RingCentral Now Available To The Masses Working Remotely]

The new desktop application not only provides real-time switching between messaging, phone, and video, but it will also give users advanced search functionality so users can search for messages directed to an individual uses by using email addresses or team names, RingCentral said.

"It's intuitive and consistent. Little things like the fact that you can jump from Wi-Fi to cellular without losing a call, in my mind -- and I'm a user, too -- show how usable it is," Short said.

Many customers today are using multiple productivity tools, so the latest RingCentral application can integrate with third-party vendors, such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google.

The unified application will boost business efficiency and create a better end user experience, Short said. It also makes UC and collaboration integration work a lot easier for channel partners, he added. Integration with third-party products is also critical right now for business customers, who will be able to make a video or voice all now from right inside products like Microsoft Teams. "It's a differentiator," Short said.

The RingCentral unified desktop app will be available beginning May 7 to businesses and immediately though RingCentral partners. RingCentral's channel business reached $300 million in annual recurring revenue in Q4 2019, an increase of 63 percent year-over-year, according to the company.

RingCentral's channel partners are seeing demand for UCaaS solutions growing now more than ever due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Lisa Del Real, vice president of global partner programs for RingCentral.

"Making the shift to remote work hasn’t been easy for many businesses, and having right collaboration tools in place—tools that employees can quickly and intuitively adapt to—directly impacts productivity and the bottom line," Del Real said. "The RingCentral app provides a solution to a common problem: supporting effective collaboration across a highly mobile, dispersed workforce."

In addition to offering a more streamlined approach to collaboration, the desktop app will give businesses the reliability and consistency that users are looking for as they wrestle with the challenges of remote work, she added.

"There’s a growing sentiment that users have to compromise, choosing either greater product accessibility or a more secure, reliable experience. That doesn’t have to be the case. What we’ve done is combined RingCentral’s secure platform with an easy-to-use interface and real time switching between devices and modes of communication. We think this will be a real differentiator and competitive advantage for partners," Del Real said.

Belmont, Calif.-based RingCentral in April added a video product to its collaboration and contact center arsenal, RingCentral Video (RCV), a platform that combines voice and video, screen sharing, and team messaging on one platform, no extra downloads required. RCV, available right now in North America, also offers screen-sharing, noise reduction, and analytics so users and partners can track and measure adoption, usage, and Quality of Service (QoS).

The RingCentral Office platform, which includes cloud-based voice and video, collaboration, and contact center products, is available right now for free to K-12 education customers, healthcare providers and non-profit organizations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company told CRN last month.