2021 was another year of great change. Some small businesses returned to the office full-time. Others went 100% remote, and stayed that way. Still others adopted hybrid work models as varied as their individual businesses.
Here are some recent innovations, plus a look ahead at what’s coming in 2022:
- New features for small business: cloud phone
- New features for small business: video conferencing
- New features for small business: RingCentral app updates
- BONUS: RingCentral Rooms
- New from RingCentral in 2022
Desktop & Mobile Head-up Display
In the past, only proprietary desk phone and desktop devices offered advanced capabilities for receptionists and admins, such as the ability to manage multiple incoming calls, add users, transfer calls, and view other users’ real-time availability.
RingCentral offers the first-to-market mobile and desktop HUD functionality, finally extending these critical features to all devices and making work more mobile than ever before.
Powerful phone solutions to enhance Microsoft Teams
RingCentral provides multiple calling options for Microsoft Teams users, made seamless via our rich integration with Teams.
With RingCentral, Teams users can access a native calling experience, including business-critical capabilities such as voicemail, SMS, fax, and other calling features—all directly from the Teams app.
And with business calling in 44+ countries and local and toll-free numbers in 110+ countries, it’s a solution that’s well-suited to the needs of global workforces and organizations.
Learn more about RingCentral for Microsoft Teams here.
Robocall mitigations / AI spam blocking
Robo and spam calls can wreak havoc on businesses, reducing customer trust and eroding productivity. But we’re giving our customers more tools to prevent these unwanted calls.
We’ve developed our own proprietary system to manage this growing problem, using AI-trained algorithms in combination with STIR/SHAKEN. It’s yet another way we’re saving customers time and money and helping to keep productivity high.
Currently only available in North America.
Whether you’re joining a call late and need to catch up or need to multitask, Live Transcription makes it easy to stay on top of what’s happening.
When enabled, Live Transcription uses AI to automatically transcribe conversations—great for late joiners who can get caught up without disrupting the meeting. Transcripts can be reviewed at any time during the meeting and also downloaded for future reference.
Real-time transcription is also a helpful tool that enables global teams to overcome language barriers.
Learn more about live transcription here.
The days of missing casual watercooler chats at the office are over, thanks to our Team Huddle feature.
Team Huddle is an always-on video meeting that allows members of a RingCentral Team to hop on and hop off as needed.
It’s a casual, accessible virtual meeting spot that’s great for setting up open office hours, HR Q&A sessions, IT service desks, and a lot more. Think of it as a live chat room.
Learn more about different ways to use Team Huddle here.
Having to take the time to ensure you’re framed optimally and visible to meeting participants can be one of the drags of video meetings—especially if you need to move around the room.
When enabled, our auto-follow feature makes framing automatic. Auto-follow uses AI to track where you are on camera and ensures that you are centered on the screen, no matter where you are.
One complaint we often hear about video meetings is that they lack the dynamic vibe of in-person sessions because you can’t see both the presenter and presentation materials at the same time.
Our Presentation Mode feature enables the best of both for video meetings. Instead of having to choose between a dry screenshare or seeing the presenter, Presentation Mode displays both.
Presenters can show their video layered on top of their shared content, with settings such as Overlay, Newsroom, and Conference Room, and still convey a human element: facial expressions, hand gestures, and more.
Learn more about presentation modes here.
Whether it’s small-group icebreakers or mini-brainstorming sessions, there are occasions where you’ll want to break out a larger meeting into more intimate discussions. Our Breakout Rooms eliminate the complexity of doing so.
With Breakout Rooms, meeting hosts no longer have to create separate video meetings and participants don’t have to leave the main meeting for small group discussions.
All you have to do is decide the number of rooms required, and then assign or randomly split up participants into smaller working groups.
The App Gallery: Now available in the RingCentral app
One of the biggest advantages of cloud communications is the ability to integrate your favorite apps. In RingCentral, we’ve made this easier than ever.
You can now search and install any team messaging add-in directly from your RingCentral app. Choose from messaging bots, interactive add-ins (beta), and notifications all without having to leave the app.
For other third-party apps, check out our App Gallery here: RingCentral App Gallery
Get tech support (and more!) right in the RingCentral App
Accessible right from the RingCentral App, our Resource Center is a one-stop-shop to get support, submit feedback, and discover the latest releases.
With simple and intuitive access to in-app guided tours, support articles, and more with just a click of a button, the Resource Center helps companies improve employee training, reduce on-boarding time, and get the most out of RingCentral MVP.
In 2021, we introduced new touchless features to make meetings safer and more comfortable for everyone.
Phone as a controller
Meeting hosts can now use their own mobile phones to control a meeting. Not only does this reduce surface contact, but it also allows hosts to move around a room rather than being tethered to a controller.
You can also launch a meeting completely touch-free with voice-activated control. Simply use the command “Hi RingCentral, join meeting” up to 30 minutes before a meeting start time to join automatically.
Learn more about our touchless meeting features here.
Rooms as a softphone
As you configure your meeting rooms for the future of work, there’s no need to purchase separate equipment for phone capabilities.
RingCentral Rooms setups can now also be used to dial out or receive calls, making it more seamless than ever to connect by phone or video as needed.
Learn more about other Rooms features designed for the hybrid workplace here.
New RingCentral Rooms hardware options
We’ve partnered with best-in-class providers including Avaya, Logitech, Poly, and Yealink, to offer all-in-one appliances that are easy to use, install, and manage.
These new appliances include innovative proprietary AI technologies for participant tracking, framing, and noise cancellation. Check out our full appliance offerings here.
RingCentral Rooms also offers various Room kits that are compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems, providing seamless solutions on your OS of choice.
See our list of compatible room kits here.
RingCentral Room Connector
For organizations that have already invested in SIP-based hardware, there’s no need to tear down your existing meeting room equipment.
RingCentral Room Connector is an add-on license to RingCentral MVP or Video Pro+ that allows businesses with third party SIP-based hardware to seamlessly connect to RingCentral video meetings.
Learn more about Room Connector here.
Mobile to Room switch
Commuting into the office or out for a walk and need to join a meeting along the way?
With our Mobile-to-Room switch feature, you can start a meeting from your mobile device and then seamlessly switch to a nearby meeting room.
This means no more dropping off and back on or fumbling to connect cables to switch over. Just click a button to transfer.
Learn more about Mobile-to-Room here.
There’s lots more ahead for this year! Here’s what’s coming:
- RingCentral Add-Ins: put your favorite third-party apps right in your team messaging. Along with over 250 apps in the App Gallery today, there will be new Add-In apps from Akazio, Asana, BugSnag, DocuSign, GitHub, HubSpot, Jira, Keeper AI, Prodoscore, RingClone, and Trello.
- Meeting summaries: RingCentral automatically generates a recap of your entire video session. Choose from a short or long summary, review important keywords, and view a list of all the participants who joined.
- Whiteboard in video meetings: Collaborate with your team on a blank virtual canvas that allows participants to draw shapes, add text, add images, and more. And when the meeting is done, it’s easy to export and save the whiteboard to refer to later.
- Dynamic end-to-end encryption (E2EE): Experience a powerful new layer of security for your meetings and more. Available for all MVP customers.
- RingCentral for Hubspot: Get key RingCentral capabilities embedded directly into your HubSpot CRM account. And there are no downloads required. Simply log on and access the integration from any PC or Mac. Currently available in open beta.
- High-volume texting: Send targeted or bulk SMS campaigns to your customers. Use our programmatic API or prebuilt app in the App Gallery to send mass-marketing messages, reminders, and notifications—all with your RingCentral business number.
- Pumped-up analytics: We’re building on our already powerful analytics portal in 2022. Access even more powerful capabilities to analyze, visualize, summarize, and distribute insights, helping to better drive revenue, cut costs, and enhance customer experiences:
This is just the beginning.
Exciting times are upon us, and we can’t wait to deliver the innovations that are in our pipeline for 2022.
To stay updated on the latest releases, follow us on our LinkedIn. You’ll see the latest features as soon as they’re released.
Not a user yet? Try out RingCentral for free here. Simply click on the “Try free” button to get started.
Originally published Feb 04, 2022, updated May 05, 2022