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RingCentral MVP: Our top innovations of 2021, and what's coming in 2022

A woman on video conference in RingCentral chatting with colleagues. Overlaid with bubbles showing the team messaging and phone call features.

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2021 was another year of remarkable change. Many companies returned to the office. Many stayed remote. Many adopted new hybrid arrangements where teams worked alternating schedules.

We toppled our old, rigid routines and embraced new ways of work. We learned how to stay connected as colleagues spanned different states and time zones. And despite all of the uncertainty, we emerged successful. 

 


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Of course, we like to think that RingCentral MVP made an impact. The combination of messaging, video, and phone helped you stay connected with your colleagues, teams, and customers, and gave you the flexibility to do your best work—from anywhere. 

We’ve released a ton of new features in 2021 that made this possible. Here are some of our top innovations, along with a sneak peek at what’s to come for 2022.

 

Our favorite innovations of 2021

1. Live Transcription

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.

 

2. Team Huddle

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.

 

3. Auto-follow

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.

 

4. Presentation Modes

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.

 

5. Breakout Rooms

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.

 

6. 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.

 

7. RingCentral Rooms: a touchless meeting room experience

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.

 

Voice-activated control

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.

 

8. 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.

 

9. 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.

 

10. 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

 

11. 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. 

 

12. 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.

 

13. Always-on global security with 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.

 

14. Native dialer with AT&T Business

Launched in partnership with AT&T Business, we’re taking mobile to a whole new level with native dialer capabilities. 

Our new native dialer erases the line between business wireline and mobile phone service. This means no extra software to disrupt normal workflows and a more seamless experience with simultaneous and sequential ring options to minimize calls going to voicemail. 

Users can also access an auto receptionist voice response service that routes calls to wherever employees work from.

Currently only available in North America.

 

15. Resource Center

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.

 

16. 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:

 

Looking ahead to 2022

As we look ahead to 2022, here are some upcoming RingCentral MVP features we’re really excited to show you.

 

1. RingCentral Add-Ins

Our robust integration App Gallery already makes it easier for RingCentral users to do more in their app, streamlining workflows, and reducing app overload. And the seamlessness of our solution is only getting better.

RingCentral Add-Ins brings your favorite third-party applications right into your team messaging. For example, our DocuSign integration allows you to send important documents directly to the right people, where they can then sign documents within RingCentral.

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.

 

2. Next-Gen analytics for line of business

Our advanced analytics and centralized portal have long made it easy for IT teams to optimize the end-user experience, understand adoption, and proactively monitor quality of service for users. 

Now we’re extending the capabilities of IT to empower even more insightful decisions and act as strategic business drivers for their organizations. 

Stay tuned for next-gen analytics that offer even more powerful capabilities to analyze, visualize, summarize, and distribute insights, helping to better drive revenue, cut costs, and enhance customer experiences. 

 

3. Meeting summaries

Limited time and attention and a high volume of meetings can be a bad combination. But our AI-driven meeting summaries are making it easier than ever to keep up.

With 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.

Learn more about meeting summaries here.

 

4. Whiteboard

Whiteboards have long been a way to make in-person meetings dynamic and interactive (not to mention a useful way to capture information). And we’re excited to bring this key collaboration tool to video meetings.

Whiteboard is 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. 

As the word suggests, this exciting new tool is unbounded by space, providing freedom to add as many ideas as you can think of, and a mini map to lead participants to the right place on the whiteboard. 

Learn more about Whiteboard here.

 

5. India expansion

With one million employees joining the Indian workforce every month and more new engineers each year than come online in China and the U.S. combined, India is a key region of interest for multinational enterprises. 

And we’re making it easier for global companies to connect by expanding our award-winning cloud communications services to India. 

Existing customers will be able to extend our UCaaS solution to workers and locations in India, uniting everyone and everything via RingCentral MVP.

 

6. Dynamic end-to-end encryption (E2EE)

With cyberthreats on the rise, protecting sensitive information is critical—and we’re giving customers a powerful new security layer to protect video meetings. 

Our new Dynamic E2EE capabilities are available for desktop, mobile, and browser users, and can even be turned on or off at any time during the meeting

Our dynamic E2EE is first in the market and offers the protection and flexibility customers rely on us for. 

Dynamic E2EE is now available to all RingCentral MVP users.

 

7. RingCentral for HubSpot 

We’re constantly adding new integrations to our App Gallery, which has over 300 prebuilt apps ready to go. Here’s a look at our latest addition, RingCentral for HubSpot

With RingCentral for HubSpot, you 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.

Features include:

  • Make and receive calls
  • Click-to-call
  • Instant screen pop
  • Call disposition
  • View recordings

 

8. High Volume SMS API

Using your RingCentral number, our High Volume SMS API allows you to 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.

In fact, check out how Senderra RX, a specialty pharmacy based in Texas, uses High Volume SMS to send prescription reminders to their patients.

Currently only available in North America.

 

Keep an eye out for 2022

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 Jan 20, 2022, updated May 22, 2024

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