RCV: RingCentral Gets Video

by Dave Michels

About a year a go I concluded that RingCentral would need its own video technology. I incorrectly assumed they would acquire an independent video provider. My logic was simple, UCaaS has expanded, and really includes today telephony, messaging, and video. Of course, RingCentral already offered all three components in its solution, but it didn’t own and control (it resold) the video technology. I believe own and control is critical. Own and control means the provider has absolute control over the the delivered service and user experience.

Evidently RingCentral had already started developing its own video solution. The service launched last week and CEO Vlad indicated it took three years to develop it. RingCentral took what was openly available from WebRTC and combined it with its own internal expertise developed from owning and operating a global telephony service. That’s the right angle today as WebRTC is so robust (though has a few gaps which they filled). I absolutely believe RCV (RingCentral video) is on the right track, and the service is impressive for a first release. When they briefed analysts on RCV a few weeks ago, they had some 90 participants on an RCV conference. The application worked well.

RingCentral does not intend to force existing customers to switch to RCV, though they have that option. I suspect all new customers will be getting RCV — and that includes Avaya Cloud Office customers, and whatever they end up launching with Atos. Also, AT&T @Hand will be bundled with RCV. I also expect ongoing feature improvements from RingCentral. The video service works well today, but I’d like to see more integration with Glip in the future.

I believe that visual communications are critically important. And, not just because of the coronavirus. I’ve been discussing visual-first communications most of 2019. The tech is here – many organizations still find it odd, but it is a one time adaptation.

I had the opportunity to evaluate RCV and completed this paper. Visualizing the Future of Communications.