The world is just starting to see why RingCentral was so excited to acquire Glip, back in June. Now we are beginning to make Glip team messaging and collaboration software part of a complete business communication and collaboration platform.
As RingCentral’s Executive Vice President of Innovation, I was one of the leading advocates of the acquisition because I believe we need to go beyond voice. Phone service is the essential backbone of any business, but traditional wired phones are not very exciting. Why is a smartphone sexier than the phone on your desk? Mobility is just part of it. Since the iPhone arrived, the mobile phone has turned into a multifunction device that just happens to include a phone. Meanwhile, desk phones remain stubbornly boring. I want RingCentral to be exciting.
Of course, our engineering and operations staff could tell you there is nothing boring about delivering reliable business phone service over the Internet. We jazz it up with software controls for reconfiguring phone networks, forwarding calls, and allowing employees mobile access to the corporate phone system from their personal phones. Still, if we think of voice as a communication and collaboration application, it is one of many. We have to go beyond that if we want to play a bigger part in the productivity and success of our customers.
What Glip gives us is a modern communication and collaboration framework that streamlines all the ways we work together in business. For any project or departmental activity, we can use team chat to keep everyone continually informed without the need to resort to annoying “reply to all” email threads. We can share files, assign tasks, track work, and maintain a team calendar. Contractors and consultants can be added to these teams as guests as needed and dropped from the team when their participation is no longer required.
When we need to connect in real-time, we can do that, too. With the latest update to the Glip platform, RingCentral Office customers can initiate a voice or video conference with the team as easily as they can send a chat message. Glip already offered video chat and screen sharing, which we now support under the banner of RingCentral Meetings.
Glip users with a RingCentral Office account can call a coworker by clicking on their photo. They can launch a conference call without the need to email dial-in details. Glip now lets users log in with their RingCentral Office password or corporate single sign-on. These are just the first steps in an experience we will continue to make more seamless as we weave Glip and RingCentral Office together at a deeper level.
While the calling features require RingCentral Office, Glip will continue to be available as an independent product – including a free version you can use with an unlimited number of coworkers, unlimited storage, and a free trial of RingCentral Meetings for video calls and screen sharing. At either $5 or $10 per user, per month, paid accounts include 24/7 support and thousands of minutes per month of video for each user (see glip.com/pricing for details).
Glip is already introducing us to new customers for RingCentral Office, and we expect that trend to accelerate as we prove the value of combining voice with other modes of communication. We are not the only ones who see the time is right for this: Gartner projects that by 2020 over 90 percent of enterprise voice calls in the digital workplace will originate from collaboration applications, up from less than 30 percent today.
Glip is our way of harnessing the innovation unleashed by cloud, mobile, and social technologies without the fragmentation. Workers can send a message, assign a task, schedule an event, share a file, and make a call, without the need to toggle between multiple single-purpose apps.
Our customers had been asking us for instant messaging as part of RingCentral Office. With Glip, we are giving them much more than that. Glip and RingCentral Office together empower businesses to keep their people connected, aligned, and on schedule to deliver great results. That is worth being excited about.