Cloud communications leader RingCentral and tech giant Google have teamed up to deliver an enterprise solution package in an effort to challenge Microsoft's Office 365 productivity suite. In a release, RingCentral said this new solution will offer organizations a richer and a more robust communication alternative to Office 365 and Skype for Business.
Unveiling the RingCentral Office Google Edition
Offered at $30 per user per month (and available to existing Google for Work users for only $20 per user per month), RingCentral Office Google Edition is designed to help mid to large-sized enterprises transition seamlessly to the cloud. It includes Google Apps Unlimited with unlimited storage, and a new edition of RingCentral Office that integrates with Google Apps and Google Hangouts. The service will initially be offered in the U.S. through channel partners, and will then be available in Canada and the U.K shortly after the U.S. launch.
Users will be able to use this new solution as a central hub for their business communication. They will be able to handle a variety of time saving tasks, including placing calls from their browser, scheduling online meetings with Google Calendar, and sending and receiving text messages from within Gmail, among others.
Changing the Way Businesses Work
In a recent survey, 69% of North American companies put great importance on the ability to access and integrate voice and business applications within a single unified communications (UC) solution. They want to be able to chat, make voice or video calls, and check their email or address books without toggling between apps. The RingCentral Office Google Edition is an excellent solution that empowers businesses and workers to do just that. It provides advanced business communications that work seamlessly within Google for Work apps no matter where users are.
RingCentral Also a Microsoft Partner
The new Google-RingCentral partnership will surely intensify the competition against Microsoft, which has been pushing Skype for Business. However, it’s interesting to note that RingCentral also counts Microsoft as a partner. The cloud communications provider is responsible for adding PSTN calling, SMS capabilities, as well as online meetings and conferencing for Microsoft's collaboration and productivity suite. So it’s worth waiting how Microsoft would react and respond to Google given this new development.
Nevertheless, RingCentral’s Senior Vice President of Business Development Richard Borenstein says they remain vendor-agnostic. In an interview, Borenstein said they don’t advocate to customers which platform they should use, and simply brings their service to whatever platform companies are currently using or have invested in. Borenstein also said that while Office 365 is a good productivity suite, “Skype for Business is obviously lacking in terms of capability sets.” This gives RingCentral “a huge opportunity to fill those shoes," he said.