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News briefs: RingCentral provides calling in Salesforce

RingCentral makes it possible for customers to make calls from Salesforce, Lifesize appoints a new CEO and Fuze receives a patent for a connectivity problem detector.

RingCentral has made it possible for customers to schedule and make calls and retrieve contact information within Salesforce.

The Salesforce integration, announced this week, eliminates the need to download a separate RingCentral app. Instead, customers can now access RingCentral services from their account, contact and lead tabs in Salesforce. 

The services include in-app calling and SMS messaging. Customers will also be able to retrieve contact information with on-screen pop-ups and schedule calls.

RingCentral has focused for a long time on getting its cloud-based calling and SMS messaging features into customer relationship management software like Salesforce. RingCentral has APIs for that purpose. In 2019, it introduced prebuilt widgets to make it easier for customers to embed RingCentral in business applications.

"With RingCentral's focus on being an API-first platform, they were able to create deep and effective integrations within the Salesforce workspace that reduce friction and improve data flow for workers," said IDC analyst Wayne Kurtzman.

RingCentral has been expanding the capabilities within its UC and collaboration platform. In December, the company acquired AI speech analytics company DeepAffects. The technology analyzes speech in phone and video calls to gauge the productivity of meetings and how people felt about them, analysts said. 

Salesforce encourages others to integrate with its platform to become a one-stop shop for managing sales and customer service operations. In December, Salesforce took a step toward overhauling its collaboration services by announcing plans to acquire Slack. It expects to complete the transaction by the end of July.

RingCentral's services (bottom left) can now be accessed from within the Salesforce dashboard.

Lifesize names Kim Niederman as new CEO

Lifesize has named Kim Niederman, former president of 8x8, as the video company's CEO.

Lifesize announced this week that it will replace former CEO Craig Malloy with the 30-year veteran of the communications technology industry. Niederman served as an executive at Cisco and Polycom.

Lifesize said Niederman will lead "the next phase by the company to build an end-to-end enterprise communication offering." That will include Lifesize's recently acquired contact-center-as-a-service business.

In 2020, Lifesize entered the market with the acquisition of Serenova. This month, it hired a general manager for its contact center products.

Lifesize has said it wants to build a complete unified-communications-as-a-service suite. Currently, the company's product portfolio lacks an IP telephony system and messaging platform.

Fuze receives tech patent

Cloud communications company Fuze has received a patent for a technology that detects network connectivity problems based on customer data.

Fuze announced this week that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the patent on Jan. 26.

After detecting a connectivity problem, the patented technology uses AI and information about customer location and hardware to improve audio and video quality.

Fuze has taken a proactive approach to network connectivity. The company wants to spot and address conditions that could lead to problems before they occur, officials said.

"We know that the enterprise can't afford downtime due to connectivity," said Rob Scudiere, president and chief operating officer at Fuze, in a statement.

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