This content is part of the Conference Coverage: Enterprise Connect 2017 conference coverage

RingCentral updates focus on team messaging, integrations, AI

Ahead of Enterprise Connect 2017, RingCentral unveils a slew of updates targeting collaborative communications, including a new user interface and chatbot technology.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Cloud communications provider RingCentral Inc. has revamped its main unified communications product, expanded real-time analytics capabilities and announced expansion into 13 European countries.

RingCentral Office, the company's cloud phone system, has a new user interface as well as team messaging, chatbots, artificial intelligence support and 40 new integrations with different business applications. The service unifies several collaboration tools, including team messaging, fax, audio, video and conferencing capabilities across mobile devices and desktops.

The vendor is also offering new open APIs and software development kits that allow developers to embed team messaging and task automation into their business workflows and applications. The new service also interfaces with chatbot frameworks, including Hubot and Botkit, to automate information-sharing processes.

Chatbots and AI-based technology have emerged in UC products in the past year to helpf automate certain collaboration workflows, like scheduling and meeting coordination.

RingCentral capitalizes on Glip acquisition

The new RingCentral Office user interface is centered around the company's 2015 acquisition of team collaboration tool Glip, according to Nemertes Research analyst Irwin Lazar. The new UI serves as an example of UC applications and team chat applications merging over time.

"I think this gives them a bit of a competitive advantage versus competitors who lack these kinds of capabilities, especially as they go into larger accounts," Lazar said. 

RingCentral has also unveiled 40 team messaging integrations with different business applications. The RingCentral portfolio now has more than 85 integrations, including Salesforce, ServiceNow and Confluence. These types of integrations with other vendors help enterprises customize their workflows.

For businesses requiring added compliance, RingCentral Office also offers message-logging options and meets HIPAA-compliant conduit requirements.

RingCentral, based in Belmont, Calif., is demonstrating its new product this week at Enterprise Connect 2017 in Orlando, Fla. The team messaging integrations, chatbots and APIs are available now. The new RingCentral Office will be available to customers in limited release next month.

Real-time analytics and European expansion

According to a recent survey commissioned by RingCentral, the average U.S. knowledge worker uses at least five tools to communicate at work. Of the 500 people surveyed, 73% said they are interested in having their communications and collaboration capabilities in a single service. This same group reported that using this type of single service could save 20% to 30% of their time, leading to greater productivity and efficiency.

Hawk Ridge Systems, a provider of 3D engineering services, said the integrated RingCentral system has helped improve productivity. As a result, the company has seen cross-functional project timelines shrink from three months to one month.

RingCentral also announced two new real-time analytics capabilities. RingCentral Quality of Service Analytics helps IT teams anticipate and diagnose voice quality of service issues affecting users globally before they escalate to critical problems.

The QoS analytics tools, currently available for beta customers, provide access to call-quality detail by providing mean opinion score information. It measures jitter, latency and packet loss, which can be used to troubleshoot network and internet service provider issues. IT teams can identify poor quality calls and patterns in problematic calls for isolation, troubleshooting and resolution.

In addition, RingCentral Live Reports analytics enables business department leaders to track customer interactions in real time. Customizable dashboards provide real-time insight into call volume, employee availability and customer hold time. Live Reports is currently available as an add-on for RingCentral Office customers.

Enterprise IT organizations are demanding real-time reporting capabilities, said Jose Pastor, vice president of product management at RingCentral.

RingCentral also announced last week expansion into 13 European countries and new channel partners in Europe. RingCentral Office now offers in-country purchasing capability and euro billing. The countries include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

RingCentral has 17 data centers worldwide and direct peering with more than 45 carriers and 200 ISPs around the world.

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