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RingCentral Offers Private Connections

“CloudConnect” Offers Quality and Security

RingCentral Offers Private Connections
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Unified communications vendor RingCentral (RNG) is today launching a new service, CloudConnect, to provide direct, private network connections for customers, delivering lower latency and improved quality for voice, video, and other RingCentral services.

“CloudConnect is a private, high-quality network connection that will deliver better quality of service and better security,” RingCentral Associate Vice President for Product Marketing Matt McGinnis (above) told the Daily Cloud in an interview. “Only a few other cloud players have this,” he added. The service helps to level the playing field with on-premise PBX vendors like Cisco (CSCO) and Avaya, which often have professional services teams to engineer private connections for larger customers.

McGinnis said the service is aimed at larger customers, who often have a greater focus on service quality than smaller businesses. It will be required for customers with over 1,000 users.

CloudConnect works via MPLS connections between customer locations and RingCentral’s data centers. MPLS is a technology for a direct, private connection provided by a telecom carrier. It provides greater control and predictability than sending data over the public Internet. Telecom companies typically charge much more for an MPLS connection than for a simple data connection, but McGinnis said that larger enterprises are willing to pay those fees for the quality and security they need. And the costs may not be that large, because many companies already have MPLS connections into or close to a RingCentral data center.

Motion Recruitment is an international recruiting firm headquartered in Boston. With over 1,000 RingCentral seats, it was an early beta user of CloudConnect, and VP of Technology Bill Corwin told the Daily Cloud that he was very happy with the quality improvement Motion Recruitment has seen. “Three years ago, we did have call quality issues occasionally, and it only took one garbled voice call to a boardroom meeting to put a lot of focus on the issue,” Corwin said. Since deploying CloudConnect, those issues have gone away. “Qualitatively and quantitatively, we’ve seen call quality super-enhanced. And with the Fortune 50 customers we have who are auditing data, protecting that [via the private network] is a nice additional security feature I am happy to have.” Another benefit is that a public Internet connection has been configured to serve as a backup should the MPLS connection go down at any time.

Corwin added that the additional cost of CloudConnect was small as he already had connections to the two major RingCentral U.S. data centers, in Virginia and Los Angeles.

“Stickiness”

RingCentral charges a fee of $1,000 per month per location for a 200 megabit CloudConnect connection, sufficient to support 1,000 users. McGinnis said that customers with over 1,000 users represent just 5% of RingCentral’s market. The goal of CloudConnect is not to boost RingCentral revenue directly, but its strategic importance. “This will account for less than a 1% uplift in our revenue in the first year, but this gets us to the market before competitors. For us, it’s about creating a bigger enterprise opportunity, an increased conversion rate and increasing the stickiness of our service. It makes for happier customers.”

Motion Recruitment’s Corwin said he was happy with the RingCentral service, and also pleased about their international expansion, a priority for Motion Recruitment too. “We have 14 countries that we get service with through RingCentral, and we have seven more asks on the table that are imminent,” Corwin said. “They are expanding internationally, right along with our business growth.”

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