More than 1,000 RingCentral partners and customers descended on San Francisco for its third annual ConnectCentral conference.
The software vendor shared information about its technology and investment strategy, while Vlad Shmunis, its founder, chairman and CEO, touted his company’s born-in-the-cloud advantage over Cisco, Avaya and Mitel.
Also, Shmunis announced that RingCentral has signed a multi-year agreement with the Golden State Warriors as a founding partner of Chase Center, the team’s new arena under construction in San Francisco, and official enterprise communications provider for the team.
“We’re excited to have this agreement,” said Joe Lacob, the Warriors’ owner/CEO. “Can’t wait to have your technology there, and to be working with you on arena infrastructure and going forward.”
Shmunis said his main message to attendees was, “We’re here for you.”
“We’ll know our road map, our products; this is our chance to get you educated,” he said. “Hopefully you’re excited about where we’re going, our vision … and it’s not a one-way street — we’re here to learn from you. This is all to learn and get feedback. This is how our road map gets formed, how we go forward … how we win.”
Scroll through our gallery for highlights of the conference.
During the preconference VIP channel partner lunch, (left to right) Derrell James, RingCentral senior vice president of global services and solutions; Praful Shah, chief strategy officer; Ryan Azus, executive vice president global sales and services; Zane Long
, senior vice president of global channel sales (standing); Dave Sipes, COO; and Mitch Tarica, senior vice president of worldwide sales, gave a sneak peak of what's head in terms of RingCentral's strategy
Partners gather to grab some breakfast before the first full days of ConnectCentral 2018 gets underway. The conference drew attendees from more than 17 countries, up from four at last year's event, making it a "truly global conference," said Kira Makagon, RingCentral's executive vice president of innovation.
Riadh Dridi, RingCentral's chief marketing officer, welcomes attendees at the start of Tuesday's general session. The theme of the conference was “Unite.”
“We’re here to unite as an organization, to learn and inspire each other,” he said. “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.”
During a fireside chat with Jim Lundy, founder of Aragon Research, Vlad Shmunis said the software vendor is "here to disrupt a very, very large market" with "billions in opportunity."
"It's still early, but we are in the lead," he said.
Dave Sipes, RingCentral’s COO, said his company is focused on investing in employee engagement. During the conference, RingCentral announced the availability of its mobile app
, a reimagined collaboration-centric experience for enterprise communications. The offering eliminates the need for multiple applications and unites voice, team messaging, video meetings and other key features into a single user experience.
One of the guest speakers at ConnectCentral was Jacob Morgan, futurist and best-selling author who specializes in the future of work. He told attendees that employee experience is the future of work and is the next biggest competitive area for organizations. Few companies are investing in employee experience, but when they do, satisfaction and performance improves, he said. Organizations can control culture, technology and physical space, all of which impact employee experience, he said.
RingCentral provides demos and answers partners' questions. RingCentral Engage, a new digital customer engagement platform based on RingCentral's recent acquisition of Dimelo
, will give agents the ability to use team messaging and video for quicker customer resolution.
Google's booth in the Partner Pavilion. RingCentral for Google
provides advanced business-communications capabilities that operate across Google G Suite applications.
Polycom's booth in the Partner Pavilion. RingCentral sells Polycom endpoints for those customers who have hardware needs for desk phones and in-room video conferencing solutions.
is a conversation intelligence platform for sales teams, using RingCentral's open APIs to develop an offering that incorporates machine learning for sales teams to drive best practices and effectiveness at scale.
StrikeStriking hotel workers
outside the Westin St. Francis created some challenges for ConnectCentral attendees. The chanting, whistling, drumming and honking made things difficult for attendees needing to make early morning sales calls.
Attendees gather to party after a day of presentations, demonstrations, breakouts and meetings at ConnectCentral.