kid-5957-plantronics-blog-imageGuest post for Plantronics Blog
By Matt McGinnis
Associate Vice President, Product Marketing, RingCentral


As someone who has worked in the cloud communications and IP networking areas for the past twenty years, I’ve been fascinated watching the significant changes in the types of technologies that businesses use to communicate. Marc Andreessen famously asserted that software was “eating the world” in 2011, but it’s only been in the last couple of years that cloud communications has really hit its stride. Today we’re seeing more and more companies—of every size— migrating away from traditional wire-based desk phones in favor of mobile and desktop apps running on software hosted in the cloud.

It’s easy to understand why. Work as we know it has changed radically, largely due to new communication technologies that allow workers greater flexibility and mobility. In larger organizations especially, the average office worker may spend the whole day going from meeting to meeting with his or her laptop, communicating solely with his computer. His desk phone likely sits largely unused. Like every other department, IT is under pressure to find cost savings, and traditional desktop phones are expensive and become obsolete quickly relative to softphones, which can be upgraded at each new software release. We’re quickly migrating to a world where the main workstream in the office will originate from the computer and the phone will be more and more of a niche use case.

What does this mean for the workspace of the future? At RingCentral, where my colleagues and I are constantly thinking about the future, we certainly have some ideas. We think the workspace of tomorrow will look like one integrated, web-based collaboration environment equipped with real-time and non-real-time communication capabilities. This means that across applications— whether you’re sending an email, monitoring a help desk, pulling a report in your CRM, or messaging your team on an application like Glip—you’ll be able to make and receive calls directly from your browser with a headset or other wearable device.

This environment opens up exciting new possibilities for software and software-enabled hardware to come together to better empower workers of every type—from desktop office workers to mobile employees to contact center agents. Those possibilities are why we’re so excited that RingCentral and Plantronics are joining efforts as global technology alliance partners.

We’re honored to be chosen by Plantronics as a UCaaS provider to take part in the expanded alliance program. Plantronics is an obvious partner for a number of reasons. They lead the market in the business headset space as an established provider recognized for superior quality and have a strong reputation among their customers. Their APIs allow us to embed things like call control features into our software so that we can optimize the user’s experience at the headset endpoint. For example, RingCentral customers using Plantronics headsets can exercise features such as answering, ending, and switching off calls, as well as muting directly from their headsets. Down the road, we’ll be working together to bring contextual intelligence features such as caller ID, wearing and proximity sensors, and presence indicators to our joint customer base, further amplifying the value we can deliver together through software.

Most importantly, our partnership will help drive the adoption of mobile and desktop apps as more and more companies abandon desk phones and begin adding softphones into a mixed environment. We’re convinced greater dependence on softphones will continue to help organizations work smarter, more efficiently and more collaboratively in our environment of constant change.