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RingCentral has acquired Glip, a team collaboration and messaging platform, to round out its unified communications portfolio as real-time collaboration applications grow in popularity in the enterprise.
RingCentral plans to use Glip to align its cloud-based telephony and PBX service with the way work is changing, Jose Pastor, vice president of product management for RingCentral, said. That includes using Glip to take a mobile-first approach to team collaboration.
"For a long time, RingCentral was a virtual PBX; now they've become more of a UC and telephony provider that offers a much richer set of features," said Irwin Lazar, vice president of Nemertes Research.
RingCentral and other companies are adding capabilities that offer a more collaborative experience for users looking to do more than use their UC services for meetings. "What constitutes a complete [UC] offering continues to expand," Melanie Turek, vice president of research at Frost & Sullivan, said.
Glip's flagship application will be renamed RingCentral Teams, Pastor said. It will remain a separate product that can integrate with RingCentral Office as an additional feature.
When Glip becomes part of the RingCentral portfolio later this year, customers will have access to capabilities like chat with internal and external contacts, and integrated corporate directory, Pastor said. Users will be able to escalate chat sessions to video, voice or conference calls without needing to switch applications. Call logs will be integrated in conversation streams to make it easy to track user communication.
Peter Pezaris, CEO and founder of Glip and now vice president of collaboration at RingCentral, said Glip offers over 20 integrations with third-party services like Zendesk, Box, Dropbox and Google. The application also includes productivity tools like shared calendars and file sharing.
The acquisition was important to Glip because it was missing the ability to seamlessly transition from text-based conversations to voice, video and conferencing calls, Pezaris said. "That's where the fit with RingCentral makes sense."
RingCentral plans to pitch Glip to IT departments as a collaboration app that is secure and can be controlled.
"A big fear among IT leaders is the fact that these apps are coming in because people can download them in app stores," Lazar said. Most companies don't have an enterprise-level collaboration app that can compete with apps like Slack and Hipchat that users can download and use on their own.
"It's really important for players in the communication space to offer these capabilities from a go-to-market position," Turek said.
Lazar believes the acquisition will help RingCentral differentiate from the competition. "They've got 8x8 and other hosted providers like Verizon and Windstream squarely in the crosshairs right now," he said.
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