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Cloud-based telephony provider RingCentral expands services

RingCentral, a cloud-based telephony provider, targets multinational businesses by expanding services to include Global Office cloud PBX packages in foreign markets.

RingCentral is taking on legacy telephony providers by expanding its UCaaS offering to foreign markets and multinational businesses.

This week, RingCentral, a cloud-based telephony provider, announced its new offering, called Global Office. Global Office is currently available in 12 countries, and will be available in more than 35 by the end of 2016.

Global Office aims to solve the problems associated with tying together several phone systems in multiple countries. To help centralize a company's unified communications, Global Office provides local phone numbers and caller ID for call centers or other parts of enterprises located in a foreign country. Also included in the service are international extension-to-extension dialing and minute bundles for international calling.

Before, RingCentral Office, the previous version of the cloud-based telephony offering, was only available in the United States. Global Office is expected to launch on Feb. 18, and RingCentral charges a per-user fee for the service.

"This has been a competitive space, and what we've seen is that [vendors] kept throwing more and more stuff into their offerings," said Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Research in Mokena, Ill. "It's been a hot market, but it's quickly growing, so there is enough market share out there for companies to succeed."

Cloud-based telephony in demand

Cloud-based telephony is an area of unified communications that has been expanding. A 2015 Nemertes Research study showed a quarter of 270 companies surveyed are using IP telephony for UC, and another 16% were evaluating it. The study's numbers indicated the highest adoption rate is the small business market, or companies with fewer than 250 employees.

RingCentral has been expanding its offerings to include collaboration tools to get a foothold in the UCaaS vendor space. In June of 2015, RingCentral purchased the cloud-based, team-messaging company Glip, incorporating it into a new service, called RingCentral Teams.

RingCentral's Global Office will help reach more customers looking for not only cloud-based telephony, but also a comprehensive UC package, according to Alan Lepofsky, an analyst with Constellation Research.

"There are a lot of really cool Silicon Valley startups that create these great collaboration solutions, but they know nothing about enterprise needs," Lepofsky said. "A company like RingCentral, who has been doing this for a long time, understands security and scalability, and the needs of having multiple data centers for regulatory, compliance and data governance reasons."

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