RingCentral Pursues Legacy Cisco, Avaya Resellers for UCaaS Sales in ‘National Partner’ Strategy

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Channel Partners' Edward Gately

Edward Gately

RingCentral capped off 2017 with fourth-quarter revenue and profit that topped analysts’ expectations.

Software-subscriptions revenue grew 32 percent year over year to nearly $130 million. Annual recurring revenue for RingCentral Office, its UCaaS offering, grew 36 percent year over year to more than $466 million.

“The fourth quarter was an outstanding finish to a great year,” said Vlad Shmunis, RingCentral’s chairman and CEO. “This was led by our midmarket and enterprise business and further supported by continuing momentum from our channel partners. We further extended our leadership position in the UCaaS market driven by our relentless focus on innovation and commitment to customer success. We believe we are well positioned heading into 2018 and look forward to an exciting year ahead.”

Recent business highlights include: an Amazon Alexa for Business integration that allows the use of voice commands to join meetings, send text messages, listen to voicemails and make calls; and the addition of Latin America support – including Brazil, Peru and Argentina – to RingCentral Global Office, which is now available in 37 countries.

RingCentral's Zane Long

RingCentral’s Zane Long

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Zane Long, RingCentral’s vice president of global channel sales, talks about the channel’s contributions to his company’s growth, and his plans for recruiting partners that have been working with Cisco, Avaya, Mitel and other competitors.

Channel Partners: RingCentral’s fourth-quarter revenue and profit topped analysts’ expectations. What’s fueling this growth?

Zane Long: There’s no question that our channel partners are looking at what their customers’ demands are, and today we know that customers are moving away from the premises-based hardware solutions and into cloud services, looking for UCaaS. And as these customers are looking at their partners as their trusted advisers to move them into this new territory, the partners we have are recommending RingCentral for that UCaaS opportunity that customers are asking for. The channel-partner program that we have here continues to drive a tremendous amount of revenue for the company; in fact, we’ve had quarter-over-quarter growth in our channel through 2017 and our bookings grew by over 100 percent year over year, which is a pretty extraordinary thing. But when you combine what we’ve done in the channel-partner program and what’s happening in the UCaaS market space with customers moving away from premises-based hardware into UCaaS-type solutions, it really is a perfect storm.

CP: There have been a lot of changes in this highly competitive market, with high-profile acquisitions. What’s your take on all of these changes and how they are impacting RingCentral?

ZL: It’s something we continue to recognize in the marketplace just through competitive-type opportunities that we engage in. Some of the acquisitions you’re referencing are what Cisco did recently (BroadSoft acquisition) — and there [are] some other acquisitions that are going on. And the truth of it is, we simply don’t see them in the marketplace competitively. What customers are looking for is a robust product like what RingCentral provides — when you look at our collaboration tool in Glip, and when you look at how we go to market with our partner community through what we call Channel Harmony. These are really some key components to the success of what we’re seeing at RingCentral, and comparatively our competitors out there are not …

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