Consider for a moment the telegraph, the telephone, the fax machine and email. These successive communication breakthroughs of the past 175 years brought huge leaps in productivity to the people who adopted them. They ushered in new ways of communicating and exchanging information, and they bestowed an advantage not just on their users, but also on the industries where they were put to use and on the companies who were part of making them and bringing them to market.
As a cloud-based unified communications company endeavoring to meet the needs of a rapidly changing, globally distributed workforce, we’re constantly thinking about how we can equip businesses with that “innovation advantage.” In other words, how can we help enterprises access and use the cutting-edge productivity tools that will maximize their success?
Kira Makagon, Executive Vice President of Innovation, thinks about that question quite a bit in her role leading the innovation charge here at RingCentral. A self-described “serial entrepreneur” as well as a business and technology leader, Kira has dedicated her career to breaking new ground. She’s done this both by creating leading-edge software products and by speaking up on important tech workplace issues such as diversity inclusion and pay equity. She’s also an adviser to entrepreneurs, early-stage companies, and women working in tech.
I love working with Kira because she’s a big-picture thinker, brimming with ideas and in possession of a keen understanding of the technology landscape and which emerging trends are likely to take hold and become “the next big thing.” She’s been a powerful force behind RingCentral’s market-leading innovation helping enterprises shift to the cloud while empowering workers of the modern distributed workforce to be productive and communicate from wherever they are and on whatever device they choose. Kira is driving some of the most strategic and visionary initiatives for RingCentral, including helping companies go global on RingCentral Global Office, and pioneering new paths into enterprise messaging and collaboration.
Kira’s influence here at RingCentral in Silicon Valley is recognized by many of us who work with her. But it’s also great that she’s getting the recognition through a couple of recent Bay Area accolades. Earlier this month Kira was honored by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the 2016 Most Influential Women in Business, her second consecutive year as an honoree. And last week she was celebrated as a Bay Area CIO of the Year honoree in the Innovation/Transformation category by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Originally published Jul 05, 2016, updated Apr 27, 2021