RingCentral’s Charlotte office is strategically located near many East Coast customers, and the area provides both an excellent local talent pool and a vibrant culture. In the two years since it opened, the Charlotte office has grown from 5 to 85 employees and is expected to top 100 by the end of 2017.
This rapid growth is the result of strong demand for cloud communications and collaboration solutions, and it’s also a testament to the team assembled by Mike Piccolotti, RingCentral Area VP of Sales and General Manager, who led the move to Charlotte. We sat down with Mike to ask him a few questions about the office and its place in the Charlotte community. We also spoke to various team members about life at RingCentral in Charlotte.
Can you paint a picture of the office and its surroundings? Take us to Charlotte!
Mike: We are located on the top floor of the prominent BB&T building in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, the city center and business district. Several Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here, and we are located in close proximity to professional athletic facilities and hotels, as well as restaurants and nightlife. Inside the office, you will find many amenities: ping pong tables, darts, a putting green, and a cafeteria. Lunch is catered every Monday and Wednesday, and breakfast is provided every Friday, Monday, and Thursday. There is also a mall located on the third floor of the building, with convenient shops and restaurants.
Describe your office culture.
Mike: The culture is truly second to none. Because the office is only two years old and growing, we have a higher ratio of newer employees versus tenured ones, which encourages a very collaborative environment in which everyone is willing to help each other out. To me that is one of the most rewarding characteristics of the amazing culture we have formed. Everyone is committed to the success of our customers and the company, and we like to celebrate those successes together.
We host a quarterly awards dinner, when we recognize the top sales performers from the previous quarter as well as special guests from non-sales departments. We also put together quarterly office outings so we can get together outside of the office and enjoy fun activities like a baseball game, a BBQ in a local park, or our recent outing to the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
A small group of employees started a culture club that organizes a Thanksgiving potluck, white elephant gift exchange, Fourth of July lunch, and other holiday celebrations. Plus, every month, we celebrate birthdays with cake and cupcakes.
How does the team describe the office culture?
When we asked for three words that best describe the Charlotte office culture, team members responded with descriptors like: fun, energetic, collaborative, family, innovative, and dedicated.
How does the office connect with the Charlotte community?
Mike: We take part in a variety of community events and help out at a number of local charities. We volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, several school supply drives, and the Charlotte Metro Police Department toy fundraiser. During the holidays, we also team up with Hope Match, whose work involves identifying a family in need and helping to provide all the items on their holiday wish list. We are also planning a clothing drive, career coaching session, and blood drive for Hope Haven, a charity that supports children battling serious illnesses.
Throughout the year, the team participates in many activities that benefit the community.
You moved from RingCentral’s Denver office to start the Charlotte office from scratch. Please share some key highlights from your experience.
Mike: When we opened the office, there were five of us. We had a very “all-hands-on-deck” approach because we were small and growing rapidly.
On weekends, we would get furniture and assemble it as a team, paint walls, and build signage. This was real hands-on team bonding: There’s nothing like going through an Ikea manual and building out a new office to unify team members.
Two years and 80 employees later, we are in a new building, with a much bigger, well-established office. We expect to have more than 100 employees by the end of the year, and we will double our office space in the next two to three years. The growth and success of the Charlotte office is the biggest highlight.
Even though more than 60% of the team is part of the sales function, the synergy between the different groups is amazing. And thanks to our culture club, we are able to participate in many office-wide activities that contribute to the community atmosphere in the office.
Overall, it’s been easy to settle in to the city of Charlotte because it’s a vibrant, fun town, and our team members are thriving here. I couldn’t be happier with the decision to move and open the new office. And, with the team we have built and the success they have delivered, I couldn’t imagine doing anything more rewarding at this point in my career or RingCentral’s history.