With a customer base that varies from small start-ups to enterprise companies such as Twitter and the NBA Players Association, RingCentral is focused on “meeting the wide breadth of needs that all of our customers have,” says Marco Casalaina, vice president of contact center at RingCentral. The vendor provides a number of cloud communications services including calling and voicemail, but when customers began asking for contact center features, the company sought out opportunities to augment their offering.
“We wanted to continue moving upmarket and working with larger organizations,” Casalaina says, “and as we talked to these big companies, we realized most of them had call centers inside of them. RingCentral is great for business communications, but up to this point, it’s been less than perfect for the contact center because it wasn’t really made for the purpose, so we began looking for a cloud contact center partner,” he adds.
RingCentral chose to partner with inContact because the company has used inContact technology for their own contact center needs and was pleased with the functionality. Through the partnership, RingCentral will now offer real-time queue reporting to keep contact center managers informed about which agents are on the phone at any given time and how many callers are in the queue. Real-time dashboarding tools will offer insight on the various actions agents are taking and track how well support tickets are being handled. “Knowing what everyone is doing and at what time is a really big deal,” Casalaina says. “It’s the No. 1 thing our customers were asking for.”
To keep both contact center operations and standard communications running smoothly, RingCentral and inContact are bringing their clouds together through a fiber connection. A fiber connection between data centers in the United States and in Europe means that from the customer’s perspective, “this is all one cloud, one network, one bill, one name,” according to Casalaina. For example, if a support agent with access to contact center tools needs to escalate a trouble ticket to an engineer who has a regular RingCentral phone without contact center features, that call can be escalated “seamlessly” thanks to the high-speed fiber connection between the two clouds, Casalaina explains.
The joint solution from RingCentral and inContact will be available in three different packages—a bundle with basic voice, real-time reporting, and interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities; an advanced bundle with the same capabilities but for additional channels including email, Web chat, SMS, and fax; and an ultimate package, which also includes an automated outbound dialer function. “The ultimate tier is going to be particularly great for telesales organizations,” Casalaina says, “because the automatic dialers can do predictive dialing without that annoying delay between an automated dial and an agent connection.”
Together, RingCentral and inContact plan to leverage the flexibility of the cloud environment to take on a number of legacy on-premise players that dominate the market. And as for other cloud providers, Casalaina says that not many other cloud vendors have an integrated capability like the one that RingCentral and inContact have built. “Interactive Intelligence is sort of doing this,” he says, “but they’re hosted. They’re not really in the cloud.”
When the co-developed solution launches, it will be fully integrated with popular CRM systems including Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. RingCentral will also offer APIs to allow companies to build connections to homegrown CRM systems and will provide sample codes to clients that want to develop their own integrations. “I’m not shy about giving out our code,” says Casalaina, who is also in charge of product integration. “Just recently, I gave our code to Zoho, and they built their own integration based on the Salesforce Integration,” he says.
The solution will be officially launched in May, but is already available now upon request.