This content is part of the Conference Coverage: News and trends from Enterprise Connect 2019

New widget for RingCentral integrations targets enterprises

RingCentral released several new tools for enterprises ahead of Enterprise Connect 2019, including a widget for adding RingCentral integrations to CRM and help desk apps.

RingCentral has made it easier for enterprises and developers to embed cloud calling features into customer relationship management and help desk software. The move underscores the vendor's growing footprint in the enterprise market.

RingCentral Embeddable is a prebuilt widget that lets customers add RingCentral-powered cloud calling and SMS messaging into third-party business apps. Previously, customers had to build that link themselves using RingCentral's APIs.

The new features should reduce the time it takes to create RingCentral integrations for other apps from months to weeks, said David Lee, vice president of platform products at RingCentral, based in Belmont, Calif. A proof of concept can be up and running within minutes, he said.

Such integrations let sales reps or customer service agents, for example, place a phone call by clicking on a name or number in a third-party app. The integrations also automatically display a customer's customer relationship management profile for incoming calls and log those calls in the CRM system.

Prebuilt RingCentral integrations already exist for most leading CRM and help desk vendors, such as Salesforce, Zoho and Zendesk. RingCentral Embeddable is targeted at enterprises that use homemade CRM or help desk systems, as well as at developers who want to build RingCentral integrations for lesser-used CRM platforms.

Enterprises are RingCentral's fastest-growing market segment. Annual recurring revenue from those businesses was up 99% year over year in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Enterprises comprise nearly a quarter of all recurring revenue, according to the company's earnings release last month.

In fact, enterprises adopted unified communications as a service at a faster rate than midsize and small businesses in 2018, according to Synergy Research Group, based in Reno, Nev. Fuze, RingCentral, 8x8 and Mitel led in the enterprise segment, the firm said.

"They are definitely trying to move upmarket," said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill. "I think they have their sights set on the big three: Cisco, Avaya [and] Microsoft."

RingCentral expands APIs for e-discovery

RingCentral also released this week an API that will make it easier for enterprises to connect RingCentral's platform to e-discovery systems. RingCentral made the announcements in anticipation of the annual Enterprise Connect conference next week in Orlando, Fla.

The API is about making it simpler for enterprises to port all of their calling and messaging data into e-discovery software. Previously, doing that required writing significantly more code and importing data piecemeal across users and channels.  

Another new API gives enterprises more flexibility in managing retention policies for the data stored in their RingCentral apps. Essentially, it makes it easier for customers to set different policies for different users and types of data and to apply those rules across an entire organization. 

Next month, RingCentral will launch another feature targeted at enterprises, RingCentral Persist. The product, which will become available in the second quarter, supports emergency calling, extension-to-extension dialing, and inbound and outbound calling via the PSTN in the event of an internet outage.

While small businesses are typically content with employee cellphones as a backup during internet outages, larger organizations are more likely to ask vendors to provide backup coverage, Lazar said.

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