Driving the UCaaS Market

Comms Business talks to Sahil Rekhi, Managing Director, RingCentral, EMEA about Unified Communications in the SME and Mid-Market. What advice does Rekhi have for resellers?

CBM: What are the drivers for UCaaS in the SME market and how does this differ to those in the mid-market?

Sahil Rekhi (SR): RingCentral is still growing globally at a rate of 34% plus a year, our run-rate is $800m a year and we have a commitment to reach $1b by 2020 which is on track.

This is mostly through organic growth in our UCaaS and cloud contact centre business plus our acquisition of French company Dimelo last year. Dimelo is a digital engagement platform that enables enterprises to manage all their digital customer interactions, whatever the user preference, through a single platform.

All these markets are growing and we are enjoying particular success in verticals such as smaller GP surgeries and the retail sector.

To answer your question, we see the SME market as being focussed on mobility as a key factor with which to drive their business forward but they also want a single solution for multiple forms of communications. The SME is price conscious but when you begin breaking this down the full UCaaS suite options begin to gain traction.

The mid-market user needs are evolving; if you look at the 100-500 user space where organisations have dedicated sales and service teams, and examine what other apps they are using in the IT stack and how we can add value then you arrive at a contact centre sitting alongside a UCaaS proposition from RingCentral.

What have been the key channel highlights for you in the last 12 months?

(SR): The continued success of our Harmony channel program which has now been running for four years. The volume of partners is growing and the percentage of business from channels is now 55%. We are looking to realistically accelerate this share to 65-70% over coming months.

Where’s all that new channel business going to come from all of a sudden?

(SR): We announced last month that we have entered in to a new agreement with Westcon where they will act as our mater distributor and agent.

With Westcon acting as a master agent for RingCentral initially in the UK and Ireland, it is anticipated that Westcon will draw on its established EMEA footprint to extend RingCentral’s reach across multiple markets in Europe.

With proven expertise in unified communications as a service (UCaaS), Westcon will enable speedy partner onboarding, enabling them to secure fast ROI on their investment.

RingCentral’s portfolio is attractive to new resellers across many industries, with a market potential that extends beyond traditional UC players. We believe Westcon has the reach, relationships, and drive to help accelerate RingCentral’s business growth here in the UK and Ireland.

But aren’t Weston steeped in the traditions of Avaya, Cisco and to some degree Mitel?

(SR): Legacy suppliers such as Avaya and Cisco have not made it in the cloud but Westcon has a significant footprint of resellers. RingCentral will therefore open up the market for Westcon in new and different ways.

Westcon have seen a shift in the market over last 18 months with very strong demand coming from channels for leading UCaaS services to address the wider UCaaS needs and RingCentral offers great value for their channels.

How important is the effective use of application program interfaces (APIs) for Ring Central?

(SR): We now have over 2500 apps in our app store that can be clicked and added to your account instantly all of which are available for integrations with RingCentral. 25 apps have been built by ourselves but we make no charge for exposing these third party apps to our community.

You can’t get this from CPaaS – we are out of the box ready to drive change. There are also three sandbox developer account software developers can sign up for and there are 3000 developers already signed up. It’s a different business model – we don’t charge developers.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine