RingCentral engineers strive for smooth, secure user experience

Highlights:

  • Flawless user experience—in any environment —is a UCaaS must-have
  • High-quality video and end-to-end security challenges keep engineers inspired

In an ultra-competitive UCaaS market, flawless user experience is more important than ever. Last week, we shared some of the advanced audio quality challenges our engineering team takes on. This week, video steps into the picture. 

Camera-ready in any environment

RingCentral is in the business of bringing the world closer together. But let’s face it – that’s no small challenge. The world is pretty spread out. Network performance isn’t going to be the same in every location our customers are. Which makes our ability to deliver, smooth, uninterrupted performance more crucial than ever. 

“Wherever we can improve upon existing global standards, we are. That’s a big part of what our team is involved in,”  says VP of Engineering Sumeet Vohra.

“Last time we spoke, we discussed how the user experience gets challenging over networks with packet loss, high degrees of latency or bandwidth limits. So we’re excited to have the chance to deliver the best possible video, while adapting to network conditions. People who work with us have an opportunity not just to build a great product, but also to contribute to the open source community and give something back. That’s meaningful to us.” 

Right-sizing performance

Improving performance isn’t the only challenge Engineering faces. According to Director of Video Engineering Arnaud Budklewicz, there can be too much of a good thing. 

“Obviously we’re always working on upping performance – dealing with low-light conditions, recognizing a human face, improving backgrounds. But we’re also looking at the other end of the spectrum;  In rooms that actually do supply perfect conditions, with very high end displays and audio, we also address use cases where you’re talking about very, very high resolution, high frame rate, high quality audio, just because the hardware and the network allows it. We think there’s a better way to manage that.”

Where things get interesting

RingCentral’s offering is tough to beat: a single platform for voice, video meetings, team messaging and collaboration. But that broad set of features also presents a huge set of challenges. To Vohra, that’s a good thing. 

 “Even though the collaboration space has exploded, you’re not talking about a large set of companies who do what we do. Microsoft, Zoom, Cisco,  Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce— they’re all heavily investing in this area, but only (RingCentral) offers that seamless transition between messaging, audio and audio visual communications. And that, I think is where things get interesting. That transition between all these different modes, while using other collaboration tools, it opens up all sorts of different use cases, beyond corporate meetings. We’re already involved in remote collaboration, and that’s leading us into things like music, entertainment… it’s exciting to think about what’s next.”

Healthy side effects

Obviously there’s nothing good about a pandemic,” says Vohra. “But the work that’s come out of it so far has been valuable. Anything people would do in person in the office in the past, we’ve enabled them to accomplish that remotely. We think this will lead to different ways of collaborating, particularly in design, or anything that’s visually demanding that people need to meet about and discuss and work on together – we can contribute to that in exciting ways.” 

Tighter security opens opportunities

No matter how good audio/video quality is or isn’t, it’s all rendered moot without ironclad security. According to Vohra, RingCentral’s recent acquisition of encryption experts Kindite  means major opportunities to innovate. 

“Working end-to-end encryption across everything we do means there’s a lot of work ahead, but for engineers, those are the kinds of challenges people love to dig into. I think it opens up an incredible number of possibilities.”     #strongertogether