2020 was a year unlike any other. It was a year of major transformations—not just in the workplace, but also how businesses respond in times of crisis.
Despite the many challenges, however, your organization rose to the occasion. From pivoting to large-scale work from anywhere to implementing new and cutting-edge technologies, you proved that your teams are flexible and adaptable enough to weather the storm and come out on top.
At RingCentral, we’re happy to have helped navigate those storms, and ready for your hybrid workplace strategy in 2021. While we’re all eager to look ahead, let’s also take a look at our biggest new features, industry analyst recognitions, acquisition of AI technologies, and global partnerships from this year.
Video meetings took the spotlight in 2020. As workers went remote, video became the de facto communication tool to facilitate face-to-face collaboration. That’s why we worked hard to make meetings smarter for you.
1. The launch of RingCentral Video
In April, we launched an all-new video meeting solution: RingCentral Video. Integrated directly into Office, RingCentral Video allows users to work together from anywhere with HD video and audio.
Meet fast without any downloads and work smarter with integrated team messaging all in the same app.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral Video.
2. The launch of Glip
Today’s collaboration should extend beyond simply video. In fact, video meetings must come with context both before, during, and after every meeting. Glip is our answer to better and smarter meetings.
Glip Pro is a free, unlimited, easy-to-use solution that offers HD video and audio conferencing for 100 participants with no time limits or downloads required. It comes seamlessly integrated with team messaging, file sharing, and contact, task, and calendar management.
Here’s the full overview of Glip.
3. New additions to RingCentral Rooms
RingCentral Rooms is now supported on several hardware devices by Poly. These ready-to-deploy devices transform office meeting rooms into video conferencing rooms, connecting both in-office and remote workers regardless of meeting size.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral Rooms for Poly.
4. Acquiring DeepAffects
In December, we announced the acquisition of DeepAffects, a leading conversational intelligence pioneer that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze business conversations and extract meaningful insights. The acquisition will enable us to create even smarter video meetings.
Here’s the full overview of the DeepAffects acquisition.
We added several new features to the Office platform this year that improve the messaging and meeting experience.
1. A new desktop app interface
In May, we launched the latest version of the RingCentral Office desktop app. From real-time switching between messaging, video, and phone, to advanced search functions, the new interface significantly improved the user experience.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral Office desktop app.
2. Keep the conversation going with Team Connect
Team Connect allows RingCentral app users to automatically create a new messaging group as they schedule a meeting, or connect a meeting to an existing group. This keeps important meeting context all in one location that participants can easily access at any time.
Here’s the full overview of Team Connect.
3. Dark theme: Better for your eyes and battery
White backgrounds can often strain your eyes and drain your devices’ batteries. The new dark theme (for PC and phone) revamps the RingCentral app’s entire color palette so you can choose which is right for you.
Here’s the full overview of the RingCentral app’s dark theme.
4. Express yourself with emoji reactions
Emoji reactions are a quick and fun way to respond to messages in the RingCentral app. You can choose from any emoji in the emoji menu, or use one of the shortcuts in the Snackbar for quick responses.
Here’s the full overview of emoji reactions.
5. Text formatting toolbar: Add personality to your messages
Want to add more personality to your messages? Or emphasize certain parts of a message? The text formatting toolbar allows users to bold, italicize, hyperlink, and more, all with one click.
Here’s the full overview of the text formatting toolbar.
While 2020 was the year of video, phone is still the preferred form of communication for many businesses. Here’s a sample of features we introduced to our phone solution this year.
1. Switch from a phone call to a video meeting with one click
Phone calls are an excellent way to communicate, but sometimes, video meetings can offer deeper levels of collaboration. In the RingCentral app, switching from phone to video is only one click away.
Here’s the full overview of switching from phone to video.
2. Detecting and preventing robocalls
Our servers automatically detect robocalls and alert users before they answer their phones. If a robocall is detected, they’ll get a “Suspected Robocall” warning if the caller ID is found in a blacklist.
Here’s the full overview of robocall blocking.
3. Reach more people with group MMS
Group MMS allows users to send multimedia text messages to several people at once. For example, sales reps can send promo details to several customers at once. Alternatively, users can send MMS messages to all of their colleagues at the same time.
Here’s the full overview of group MMS.
4. Emergency services for all users with Nomadic 911
More and more employees are working remotely, and that trend is only increasing. Nomadic 911 ensures that, no matter where they dial 911 from, their RingCentral phone will provide emergency responders with an accurate location.
Here’s the full overview of Nomadic 911.
5. Call queue advanced routing options
Never miss a call again. When all primary queue members are busy, calls can be automatically redirected to other numbers (another call queue, IVR menu, user, announcement-only or message-only extension, or a PSTN external number).
Overflow queues are also activated when members are available but can’t answer the phone.
Here’s the full overview for call queues.
Our Office platform and services extend around the world, enabling businesses everywhere to connect their employees regardless of location. Here’s what we introduced this year:
6. Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams
When COVID-19 struck, Microsoft Teams grew as a popular messaging platform. But one area left enterprises wanting more: telephony.
Via Direct Routing, our Cloud PBX integrates with Microsoft Teams to offer users a seamless, unified solution with the reliability, security, and global availability today’s enterprises need.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams.
7. Global Office expansion
We expanded Global Office to include several critical new features that encompass security, licensing, language localization, and much more.
Here’s the full overview of the Global Office expansion.
8. A new data center in Germany
To support our customers in Germany, we opened up a new data center in Frankfurt, along with a new office in Hamburg. These new additions give users a fully local experience and meet compliance with local laws and regulations.
Here’s the full overview of our launch in Germany.
Managing your RingCentral account should be straightforward. That’s why we continue to improve the user experience and capabilities for administrators. Here’s what we added this year:
1. Centralized license purchase and management
Authorized administrators can now access a new, single-page catalog view in the Admin Portal to purchase and manage RingCentral licenses.
Here’s a full overview of RingCentral License Management.
2. A new home page
The RingCentral Admin Portal has a new look, with enhancements to the layout and navigation that makes administration much more efficient.
3. Customized notifications
Businesses can now add logos and custom messages to RingCentral service notifications so users instantly recognize and trust them.
Part of what makes our platform robust is our integrations with other cloud services. With the addition of RingCentral Video this year, many of our apps now directly integrate video meetings into other platforms.
Here’s what’s new in our App Gallery this year:
1. RingCentral for Canvas
Teachers and students can integrate RingCentral directly into their Canvas LMS and schedule, start, and join RingCentral Video meetings without ever having to leave their app.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral for Canvas.
3. RingCentral for Microsoft Teams
Make calls and start video meetings using RingCentral without ever having to leave the Teams UI.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral for Microsoft Teams.
4. RingCentral for Microsoft Dynamics 2.0
Streamline daily business workflows with features such as click-to-dial, inbound screen pops, automatic call and SMS logging, and much more.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral for Microsoft Dynamics.
5. RingCentral for Smarsh
Archive RingCentral calls, voicemails, app messages, and SMS/MMS texts to meet recordkeeping and regulatory needs.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral for Smarsh.
6. RingCentral for Slack
Those who prefer Slack for messaging can now integrate RingCentral Video directly into their Slack interface. Users can start audio or video meetings with a single click.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral for Slack.
7. High-volume SMS API
Our new high-volume SMS API allows users to send SMS messages and updates to their customers rapidly, reliably, and at a lower cost. The new tool is perfect for automated messages, notifications, chatbots, and more.
Here’s the full overview of the High Volume SMS API.
Businesses want actionable insights into the performance and usage of their phone calls, video meetings, and message conversations. That’s why we made major improvements to the analytics in RingCentral Office.
1. RingCentral Video analytics
The Analytics portal now offers end-to-end visibility into the quality of RingCentral Video meetings, including details such performance and QoS reports.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral Video analytics.
2. RingCentral Rooms analytics
A new set of analytics features gives admins a single-pane view into the health and quality of their RingCentral Rooms meetings.
Here’s the full overview of RingCentral Rooms analytics.
3. Adoption and Usage analytics
Businesses now have complete visibility into how their teams are using RingCentral, with insights into usage patterns, power users, low/non users, different devices, and more.
Here’s the full overview of Adoption and Usage analytics.
We understand that when you use our product, you’re trusting us with your data. That’s why the protection of your data continues to be our number one priority.
1. Trust portal
The trust portal gives you anytime access to our latest security and compliance reports. You can use those reports to meet your own compliance, regulatory, and data protection requirements.
Here’s the full overview of the RingCentral Trust Portal.
2. More ISO certifications
This year, we achieved three internationally recognized ISO certifications: ISO 27001, ISO 27017, and ISO 27018.
Here’s the full overview of the ISO certifications.
Global brands continue to choose RingCentral Office as their preferred UCaaS / Cloud PBX solution. Here are our new partnerships this year:
1. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
In August, we partnered with Alcatel-Lucent to introduce a new co-branded solution: Rainbow Office powered by RingCentral.
Here’s the full overview of the Alcatel-Lucent and RingCentral partnership.
In a partnership with Atos, we introduced a new co-branded UCaaS solution: Unify Office by RingCentral.
Here’s the full overview of the Atos and RingCentral partnership.
In December, we announced a partnership with Vodafone to develop a new co-branded, cloud-based UCaaS service that will support Vodafone Business customers.
Here’s the full overview of the Vodafone and RingCentral partnership.
4. Horizon Telecom
Also in December, we partnered with Horizon Telecom to provide RingCentral Office to large-scale, multinational enterprises around the world.
Here’s the full overview of the Horizon Telecom and RingCentral partnership.
We received some pretty noteworthy recognitions from leading consulting and analyst firms. Here’s what we earned this year:
1. Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant
For the sixth year in a row, we received the highest position for completeness of vision in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report.
Here’s the Gartner Magic Quadrant report.
2. Frost and Sullivan
Research firm Frost and Sullivan identified RingCentral as an industry innovator and pioneer in the hosted IP telephony and UCaaS market.
Here’s the full overview of the Frost and Sullivan announcement.
For the fourth year in a row, Omdia recognized us as the number one organization in its North America UCaaS scorecard.
Here’s the full overview of the Omdia 2020 scorecard.
More innovations to come in 2021
Business needs have changed dramatically within the last year. We went from working in our office cubicles to working from our kitchen tables, with some predicting that we’ll soon work from anywhere—permanently.
As we look toward 2021 and a post-COVID world, we recognize that tomorrow’s workplace will likely be a hybrid one. Employees will zip in and out of offices, taking their work wherever they feel most productive.
The key takeaway is that remote work is here to stay. Whether employees work in the office, at home, or on the road, businesses must enable them to work effectively from anywhere, in any mode, and on any device.
RingCentral is with you every step of the way. We have an incredible amount of updates planned for the next year that will elevate how your teams communicate and collaborate. And with a single platform for message, video, and phone, your business will be fully prepared to tackle any challenges tomorrow brings.
Originally published Dec 30, 2020, updated Dec 30, 2022