Digital transformation, digitalization, call it what you will, but the trend toward smarter, more nimble business enabled by technology is real. The trend spans industries, and the leaders of these industries are transforming nearly all aspects of their businesses — and disrupting the competition.

The shift to the cloud that is happening in the contact center software market is very similar to what has already happened in the customer relationship management (CRM) market.  With each passing year, just as in the CRM market, that proportion will rise as companies increasingly choose cloud over premises-based solutions for their upgrades and expansions.

As Sheila McGee Smith states in her newly published whitepaper “Disrupting Industries with Customer Engagement”,  there are real companies turning their industries upside down:

“The last few years have seen Uber disrupt the taxi and rental car industries, AirBnB takes on the hotels, and alternatives like Netflix become the entertainment provider of choice for an escalating proportion of viewers. Companies are under pressure to find ways to compete with emerging — usually digital — competitors. This competition is redefining the expectations around customer experience and relies heavily on modern, digital tools to deliver better and faster than ever before.” — Sheila McGee Smith

These sorts of success stories show us that new technologies in the hands of creative companies do more than provide more cost-effective ways to do the same old stuff, they reinvent entire industries by taking a fresh approach to solving customer problems.

RingCentral customers are similarly embracing cloud-first technologies to find new ways to engage their own customers, and in the process, they’re creating entirely new products and services, while reinventing their own industries.

Changing how cars are sold

Carvana is one example of a company with a fresh approach to an old need: buying a car. From an online purchasing experience, to a “car vending machine,” to front-door delivery, Carvana is on a mission to change the way people buy cars.

Much of what makes Carvana successful is how the company builds successful relationships with their customers. Although Carvana is a digital company, nonetheless focuses on providing great customer experiences. RingCentral helps make this possible by enabling local sales reps spread over 40 markets to connect easily with customers — from local numbers in each market to a centralized contact center.

Carvana managers can use RingCentral Live Reports to track agent productivity, and by providing a local number that connects to the local office or a centralized contact center as appropriate.

A new business serving real estate agents:

MyOutDesk is a Sacramento, California-based company that, similar to an Uber or AirBnB, has created a new business using collaboration technology. MyOutDesk serves US real estate professionals and companies with “Virtual Professionals” who provide a variety of services from marketing to the filing of legal papers, helping real-estate agents focus on what they do best – sell properties.

MyOutDesk was able to create their business by using RingCentral Contact Center to eliminate barriers both by using virtual assistants in The Philippines to support US-based real estate businesses and by allowing its Philippines-based staff to work from home instead of spending hours each day commuting to a call center.  RingCentral Contact Center also enables MyOutDesk to market its services to smaller real estate offices, even individual agents, by providing access to shared virtual assistants who have the same level of expertise and access to resources as dedicated Virtual Professionals do for larger clients.

These are just two of the stories that we have seen of companies who are using cloud and digital solutions to not just improve customer engagement, but to change how companies do business.

Listen to Sheila McGee Smith as she talks about her research on Disruptive Customer Engagement.