The theme of the RingCentral conference is "Unite."

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

November 14, 2018

4 Min Read
Connect Central_Shmunis

RINGCENTRAL CONNECTCENTRAL — Cisco, Avaya and Mitel are wasting their time trying to compete with RingCentral because they can’t replace legacy systems with born-in-the-cloud solutions.

That’s what Vlad Shmunis, RingCentral’s founder, chairman and CEO, (at left in the photo above, with Jim Lundy, founder of Aragon Research, on the right) told attendees at the start of this week’s ConnectCentral 2018 conference in San Francisco. This is RingCentral’s third annual conference, and attendance has grown from 250 for the first conference to more than 1,000 at the ongoing conference.

The theme of the conference is “Unite.”

“We’re here to unite as an organization, to learn and inspire each other,” said Riadh Dridi, RingCentral’s chief marketing officer. “We can unite and unify all modes of communication into one experience for users. When we’re united, all ideas can be flowing freely, all voices are heard and innovation happens. Innovation not only is essential for competitiveness, but for survival.”

RingCentral has completed six straight quarters of revenue growth. The company’s growth and the “negative growth of legacy providers is perhaps not an accident,” Shmunis said.

The world is ready to move away from on-premises and “folks like Cisco and Avaya are in decline,” he said.

Cisco is a “fine company and obviously a world-class organization and well known in the communication space,” but their issue is their technology and the problems they’re trying to address are not of this century, but more like from the 1980s and 1990s when everyone sat behind a desk in the workplace, Shmunis said.

“The current reality is organizations are distributed, every enterprise is running multiple apps, is operating internationally and people are mobile and mobile from home,” he said. “Legacy systems are just not designed to do that. You need to reimagine the way that businesses communicate, not just ‘Here’s a different dial tone.’ That’s why Cisco is in decline and Avaya (was in) bankruptcy. Cloud is winning and RingCentral is winning in the cloud.”

RingCentral’s product strategy is to evolve with its customers’ needs: more distributed, more collaborative and more mobile, Shmunis said.

“The future of the industry is fairly clear and fairly non-controversial,” he said. “It will be legacy is dead, long live the cloud. Everything is going to go to cloud. There’s a few hundred million seats out there that are legacy and will eventually change to cloud. Major legacy providers, Cisco, Avaya, Mitel, do not have a born-in-the-cloud platform. They cannot replace that, we can.”

During the conference, RingCentral announced new voice analytics artificial intelligence (AI) partnerships with, ThetaLake and Velvetech to deliver real-time and post-call voice analytics services to global customers.

“The democratization of AI is quickly becoming a reality,” said David Lee, RingCentral’s vice president of platform products. “By partnering with a growing ecosystem of AI companies and enabling them…

…to leverage RingCentral open APIs to integrate with RingCentral cloud communications solutions, we are offering our customers access to broader AI services. This allows them to capture timely customer data and drive greater customer engagement and

RingCentral also announced the availability of the RingCentral mobile app, a reimagined collaboration-centric experience for enterprise communications, and RingCentral Engage, a digital customer engagement platform based on its recent acquisition of Dimelo.

Dave Sipes, RingCentral’s chief operating officer, said digital business transformation is being driven by changes in employee behaviors and customer behaviors, and “we’re enhancing that through modern communications.”

“Time is short, this is happening quickly and you don’t want to be a laggard toward it,” he said.

John Wernke, NICE inContact‘s vice president of channel marketing, said RingCentral’s strategy is similar to his company’s strategy. The company provides cloud contact center software.

“If you’re not born in the cloud, it’s really hard to get to the cloud, and that’s what we see with these companies that weren’t born in the cloud,” he said. “It’s a real struggle across not only product, but commission structures and payments, and how you manage your accounting and all sorts of things. It becomes very complicated. A lot of companies tried to make the shift 10 years ago and they hit the skids because that changeover from license revenue to subscription is a tough one to manage financially. So born in the cloud is the way to go.”

Eric Negherbon, SymbioSystems‘ national sales director, said RingCentral’s strategy is “full speed ahead and it makes sense.” The company provides managed services and offers virtual desktop interfaces.

“RingCentral offers not only the partners, but the customers an opportunity to migrate in the mainstream of the networking and the interplay communications versus the old Ciscos and Avayas, which tend to stick to what they know, but may not be as diverse or agile as a lot of customers and partners would like them to be,” he said. “RingCentral is a sound solution.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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