There are two kinds of people I come across these days.
There are those who call me on the phone to discuss a project, prefer to meet face to face and email attached photos and documents. They wait for my decision or input, and they may do the same with a few other people. Projects plod along sequentially. These people are working pretty much the same way they did in 2005, or earlier.
And then there are those who work completely differently than they did a decade ago. They share a link to a collaborative document, and by the time I open the link, there may be several other people reading, editing, sharing comments, task planning and messaging each other. Work moves quickly and interactively. These people are working in an entirely new way that didn’t even exist a decade ago.
Age is only part of the story that determines how people work today. More often than not, it’s your work environment, industry and corporate culture that determine whether you are working like it’s 2005 or 2015. I’m a Gen-Xer, but just because I started using computers in the 1990’s doesn’t mean I want to work the same way now.
Here at RingCentral, we’re proud to be able to support both ways of working – and providing a bridge to connect everyone with each other seamlessly. Regardless of operating platform, device or location, you’ll be able to work more efficiently with your colleagues, customers and partners with the help of our services. That’s the convenience that has earned us hundreds of thousands of customers so far – and we’re growing every day.
In our vision of the future, however, the 2005 way of working is going to eventually fade away. It may take another 5 or 10 years, but by 2025, real-time global collaboration, distributed teams and device- and platform-agnostic projects are going to be the norm.
Sorry, fans of tracked changes and email attachments. Your heyday is drawing to a close.
At RingCentral, we believe the future of work is about making it as easy to collaborate with colleagues around the world as it has been to do with your co-worker down the hall. I use RingCentral Meetings to connect with colleagues around the world several times a day. Having a quick sync to share documents and align on plans is as easy as opening my laptop. This is a huge change in how I worked just a few years ago.
This vision is already embedded in the cultures of many of our customers and partners. At Sequoia Capital, for instance, our Board of Directors member Doug Leone has recently led the storied venture capital firm to do away from desk phones in favor of moving all business communications to the cloud with RingCentral.
The way we see it, all of your work tools – regardless of app, device or screen – will cooperate seamlessly with everyone else. You won’t have to think about switching from place to place. That’s why RingCentral recently launched a Google integration, since so many business users spend so much of their day in Gmail. Now they don’t have to leave their email inbox to make and receive phone calls, texts, host video meetings, or set up audio conferences.
And with our recent launch of the RingCentral Connect Platform, we’re taking the future of work to the next level by opening our tools to software developers and customers. Our partners at Intuit built a customer integration into TurboTax to make it easier to send government assistance applications to local agencies around the U.S. At Zoho, their 12 million CRM customers now have access to RingCentral capabilities without ever leaving their app.
The new way of working is still in its infancy. But already, we know that it’s a lot faster, more efficient – and generally more fun.
As I think about the future, I picture my 9-year-old son, who types faster on a phone than a keyboard. I envision how artificial intelligence and virtual reality will augment our work in virtual environments. And I think of the 2nd place winners at our recent Launch hackathon, who merged RingCentral with Oculus Rift and Leap Motion to enable shoppers to “walk” into a virtual Best Buy and virtually “pick up” a phone with a hand gesture to call the store to ask questions.
The future of communications has already arrived, and it’s at all of our fingertips!
How do you envision the future of business work environments?