Does Glip Deliver Unified Communications to Ring Central?
On June 19th, 2015, RingCentral announced that it acquired Glip, a provider of team collaboration services. So who is Glip and what does this mean for Ring Central?
The acquisition of Glip signifies Ring Central’s attempt to offer a more robust unified communications (UC) experience, which is what more businesses are seeking today. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, 56 percent of enterprises and 66 percent of smaller businesses plan to implement or upgrade their UC solutions within the next year.
Who is Glip?
Like Slack, a leader in the team collaboration space, Glip aims to reduce the use of traditional collaboration tools such as email. It accomplishes this by providing users with a single interface for collaboration, note taking, calendaring and task management. Users collaborate in virtual rooms where they can invite colleagues, friends or even entire departments.
Glip has struggled to gain traction since it was founded in 2012. At the time of its acquisition, Glip had just twelve employees listed on LinkedIn and an installed base of “tens of thousands” of users, according to No Jitter. Glip does not publish its financial performance publically, but RingCentral noted in a press release that the acquisition of Glip “will not have a meaningful impact” on its financial guidance. By comparison, Slack has over 750,000 daily active users and a post-money valuation of $2.8 billion, according to The Verge.
What Does Glip Bring to RingCentral?
RingCentral promised that “Glip’s capabilities will be integrated and made available to all RingCentral Office customers.” RingCentral will also offer the current stand-alone Glip application as a rebranded solution called RingCentral Teams.
However, RingCentral has not yet announced a time frame for the release of RingCentral teams, nor has the company elaborated on the level of integration between existing RingCentral services and Glip technology. This should be a concern for RingCentral customers, who are already burdened by a fragmented user experience that relies on separate desktop apps for telephony and meetings, as well as separate mobile apps for telephony and meetings. The process of switching between different RingCentral applications on desktop or mobile devices can be a time consuming and frustrating process that may be worsened by the addition of yet another interface.
The overlap of features between RingCentral Office and Glip also may be a point of confusion for RingCentral customers. Both RingCentral Office and Glip offer the ability to chat, share files, schedule meetings and conduct video conferences, and the availability of two tools with similar features may slow communication rather than drive productivity.
Additionally, Glip adds further complexity to RingCentral’s unified communications ecosystem, which already suffers from an over-reliance on third party technology. For example, RingCentral Meetings relies on a third party web and video conferencing platform from Zoom Video Communications, RingCentral’s Contact Center solution is simply a rebranded service from contact center service provider inContact, and RingCentral’s conference calling features rely on technology from Free Conference Call Global.
What is a True Unified Communications Experience?
To date, RingCentral’s strategy has focused on piecing together features from multiple third party vendors, rather than the internal development of a single, comprehensive unified communications platform. This strategy has enabled RingCentral to quickly roll out new features, but has also ensured that RingCentral customers are provided with a confusing, frustrating, loosely integrated experience that relies on multiple, disparate applications.
At ShoreTel, we take a different approach to unified communications. We understand that collaboration tools are of little value if they are confusing or frustrating to use. That’s why ShoreTel focuses on providing customers with one, tightly integrated user experience. With our new Connect client, which will be unveiled in August, we make powerful collaboration tools available through a single interface, rather than multiple, disparate applications.
RingCentral has proven that any company can attempt to offer a “complete” unified communications solution by piecing together technology from small, struggling, third party vendors. At ShoreTel, we ensure that our customers actually derive value from unified communications by delivering powerful collaboration tools through a seamless user experience.