Glip offering puts vendor in tighter competition with Zoom, Microsoft, and Cisco in cloud collaboration space
Cloud communications vendor RingCentral is looking to challenge Zoom and other rivals with Glip Pro, a free tool that offers video and audioconferencing integrated with such features as team messaging and file sharing.
The Lowdown: The Belmont, California-based company also is boosting its video meeting capabilities with the acquisition of DeepAffects, a company whose platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze business conversations to gain insights. The deal was announced Monday.
The Details: The moves are designed to give RingCentral a deeper reach into a cloud video collaboration market that has boomed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden shift by most businesses to a remote workforce.
One way is by adding videoconferencing to its Glip messaging application as it looks to compete with the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex. Glip Pro, announced this month, includes pre- and post-meeting capabilities and enables organizations to run HD video meetings that run up to 24 hours for as many as 100 people, all for free. Participants can create groups, share files, and start a meeting from a messaging thread.
Other features include one click to host and join a meeting; integrations with business productivity applications like Google’s Workplace and Gmail, as well as Microsoft Teams and Office 365; screen sharing; meeting recordings stored in the cloud for up to seven days; and a range of security capabilities, including virtual waiting rooms, meeting passwords, and authentication controls.
There also are paid options in RingCentral Glip Pro+, including hosting meetings for up to 200 participants, advanced analytics, and single sign-on. Customers can also upgrade to RingCentral Office, which combines video meetings, team messaging, and a cloud phone system.
RingCentral officials said buying DeepAffects is part of the company’s larger mission to create smarter video meetings. DeepAffects’ platform includes technology that recognizes core emotions and sentiments in a participant’s voice based on such cues as intensity and pitch, identifies an individual based on the unique characteristics of their voice, and converts audio to text by using neural network models.
The Impact: The cloud-based collaboration space has expanded rapidly in April, when many of the lockdown orders were put in place, offices closed, and many employees were told to work from home. Vendors like Zoom and Microsoft have reported skyrocketing jumps in users and revenue, and the market will likely continue to flourish with many companies expected to continue to support hybrid work environments even after the pandemic lifts.
Background: RingCentral for the past several years has been building up its collaboration capabilities, including buying Glip and its cloud messaging app in 2015. In April, it unveiled its RingCentral Video remote meeting tool as part of its RingCentral Office platform and for more than a year has been aggressively partnering with other vendors like Poly, Avaya, and Pax8 and channel players like Synnex and D&H Distributing for Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaas).
The Buzz: “We’re moving to the hybrid world of work where we transition from transactional and disjointed video meetings to collaborative experiences that address pre-, during- and post-meeting needs,” said Anand Eswaran, president and COO at RingCentral. “RingCentral Glip has been designed to make video meetings smarter. It reduces wasted time and lets you focus on what matters. We’re launching a free version of RingCentral Glip so everyone can now experience smart video meetings with integrated team messaging for improved productivity.”
“The power of messaging integrated with video has taken our internal communications to a whole new level. With RingCentral Glip Pro, we are able to have meaningful conversations quickly and efficiently,” said Paul Rapier, vice president of IT for the Detroit Pistons.
“With Glip, RingCentral is making its messaging and video available to more users,” said Dave Michels, principal analyst and founder of TalkingPointz. “By making the telephony component optional, Glip now addresses a wider variety of use cases in business communications. Glip offers an efficient way to increase collaboration and also boosts productivity by reducing the need to switch apps. The freemium approach makes it even more appealing.”