Scott Dressel: (00:05)
Joining us today from RingCentral are Bob Lenarcik, he's a Customer Enterprise Partner Development Solution Engineer. We have Jeff Carroll, Partner Development Solutions Engineer also. We have Tim Newman, who is our Regional Sales Manager, we work with on a daily basis. And then we have Chris Frey, our VP of Cloud & Contact from Converge Technologies. With that, we're going to kick this off and jump right into the Q&A. As we go through this, like I said, submit your answers or your questions as we go, but Chris, I'm going to kick it off with you here and if you could explain your role and your title with Converge Technology Professionals.
Chris Frey: (00:55)
Sure. Scott, first off, can you hear me okay?
Scott Dressel: (00:58)
Chris Frey: (00:59)
All right. So, again, Chris Frey with Converged. I've been with CT Pros for going on 12 years now. Spent about 10 years on the operations side of the business, doing everything from training to end user support to running the operations and the support teams. In the last two years, I've made the flip over to the sales side of the house and now primarily a resource for the sales team and customers providing advocacy, strategy, consultation, and doing a good chunk of the discovery with existing clients as they move from, or contemplate moving from their current solutions to new ones.
Scott Dressel: (01:44)
Cool. First question, Chris, how does your previous role, from a Mitel standpoint, compare to the new role as a RingCentral partner, as it relates to, for example, planning, strategy, implementation, and deployment? That was something that a lot of people were interested in the survey when they registered.
Chris Frey: (02:07)
There's obviously a lot of similarities in what we do today from an operational point of view. There's some stark differences though as well so I guess first let's talk about the operational stuff. We still have a team of professional services people that include project managers and technical account managers, the TAMs, Technical Account Manager that is, these are individuals that previously would've done support and implementation and low voltage cutovers on the heritage ShoreTel product line. They're now cross trained to work on various cloud systems with the heavy emphasis on RingCentral. They're the same types of people that you probably had experience with before, and they handle the human element of things, but since we are not specifically responsible for the underlying architecture we rely heavily on RingCentral and we have resources at our disposal to help with these implementations.
Chris Frey: (03:08)
It's definitely more of a co-delivery approach between their organization and ours. The sales side of things is a little bit different. In the past, we sold one product, it was the ShoreTel system, we would roll in with our demo kits and show you the equipment on site and really, we were just focused on selling you that one particular solution. In this day and age, we do represent multiple brands, RingCentral being a prime component of that. And our sales team spent a lot of time focusing on discovery and really helping customers go through a proper evaluation so that they can get from one end of their need to the other. And along with that, we're able to provide a very in depth summary and phasing of how their new solution might work.
Chris Frey: (04:07)
I would say there's obviously a lot of similarities, a lot of differences. I would say the one thing though, that is probably the biggest difference is the relationship between us and RingCentral. The three other gentlemen on this call are part of our channel program and the people that we rely on, on a daily basis for information and assistance all for the benefit of our clients. We definitely have a stronger relationship there at the channel end of things, not just on the sales end, but also operationally with this group.
Scott Dressel: (04:42)
Yeah. And I would just like to say, I mean working with Chris, I know a lot of the individuals on this call have had experience and having them on the sales side and helping us through that evaluation process is priceless. So Chris, could you explain the level of discovery customers can expect when moving for example, from their ShoreTel My Connect PBX to the cloud.
Chris Frey: (05:07)
Yeah. So that is a big piece of what I do right now. We would approach this similar to doing an engineering review for a customer that might be looking to take their support from their current partner of record over to ours. It's going to start with a remote access session to take a deep dive into what they're doing, look at the existing PBX, as well as contact center, scripting, licensing, assets, call flow, complexity, really try to get a pretty good understanding of the overall business needs and structure down to what are you doing for paging? Are there any analog requirements? Are there any things that might be incompatible? Things like door strikes or connection to a physical fax machine. So we're going to take all the information and by the way, the people that are going to do that type of discovery are going to be cross-trained on both ShoreTel or here to ShoreTel as well as RingCentral.
Chris Frey: (06:05)
And so they're going to be able to help really identify and isolate the items that require scrutiny, as opposed to all the things that are just kind of run of the mill that we don't need to pay close attention to. The end result of this, is that we're also going to put together as a lead behind or deliverable from our team is going to be a demo agenda so too oftentimes we've been in opportunities where the UCAS or the CCAS a demo is kind of... It's a little bit too out of the box, and it doesn't particularly fit the needs of the customer and so we want to make sure that any demos that you see are really tailored to your particular organization, that the components are only things that are relevant and in scope.
Chris Frey: (06:54)
And lastly, all this information translates down to an executive summary that both my team, sales team, marketing team helps to author and put together that lays out some of the challenges within the business today, products that are being proposed side by side pricing with what it might take to stay on current platform or move. I would say that compared to how we handle this before, there is a much greater emphasis on the overall design and discovery phase.
Scott Dressel: (07:26)
So Chris, you've mentioned TAM, which is our Technical Account Manager, another question, and maybe you can go into some more detail on that with regards to our implementation process and that ongoing support and what that looks like.
Chris Frey: (07:41)
I think most customers they would feel pretty much right at home from previous implementations that we've done on the old product line, we still have our own dedicated project managers, we still have engineers, we still have what I call individuals that handle humans and that those are the Technical Account Managers, people that know how to do system design, delivery, training. The stark difference or the only real difference is that from an end user support, I'm sorry, from a business support standpoint, support is handled directly from RingCentral, it's included in the monthly recurring costs that they pay. They're well suited to handle technical things, break, fix type of items. However, Converge can be of assistance and we can be leveraged through like a prepaid block of hours agreement, separate from what many we know as a standard support agreement or eight by five support agreement so this is more of a pay as you go approach, but with time that doesn't expire and you can consume it and use it how you wish. Even though it's kind of a co-delivery in terms of implementation, and it can be a because support in terms of the post implementation.
Scott Dressel: (09:02)
And when we talk about support I just kind of want to touch on this. We are certified on the UC and CC side to do those implementations from a RingCentral standpoint. So Chris, one of the next things that a lot of people that are attending this webinar have asked questions is help explain why organizations should move sooner rather than later to a hosted platform?
Chris Frey: (09:29)
I think there's probably lots of reasons, and I could probably spend all day talking about it, typically we do spend all day talking about it. I guess from the... Aside from Mitel, I would look at the industry as a whole, and that we were on this bell curve trajectory towards cloud adoption. And then as soon as the pandemic hit, it really became more of a elevator type approach. On-premise solutions weren't set up to handle remote workers at scale so the cloud adoption just skyrocketed literally overnight as workers went home. And although that was already the trend, it's really kind of amplified it to exponentially. And I think the result of that is a huge shift in revenue, a huge shift in time and energy and the businesses became overnight consumers and buyers of cloud and employees started looking elsewhere for their next gigs and their next jobs.
Chris Frey: (10:36)
And we've definitely seen just a steady trend and a flow of money and people to cloud and UCAS and CCAS solutions away from the on-premise solutions. The analogy I like to make when possible is, "We all kind of feel like we have a choice in this, but ultimately the choices are kind of being made for us." There is a steady flow of people and money to different modalities and different solutions and it is a way from the on-prem solutions. And that's pretty indicative of what we've seen with all of the on-prem producers out there. Many are staying or trying to hang on to their premise business as much as they can, but we see increased costs, we see poorer response times on tickets upgrades are fewer between, and the value of those upgrades seems to wane.
Chris Frey: (11:37)
I think staying on these on-premise platforms, especially those driven by windows servers is continues to be a liability. I think security plays a big piece in that, especially with the amount of ransomware attacks that we see. And I got to say, like from a ransomware standpoint, nobody really likes to talk about it. They're prevalent, they happen, but they're that deep, dark, dirty secret that companies push way down and don't want publicized and on-prem solutions are definitely subject to those types of exploits.
Scott Dressel: (12:14)
Yeah. We're definitely starting to hear more about the ransomware. The other thing that we're hearing Chris, that kind of piggybacks on that is on a weekly basis, I take multiple calls from customers that are not ours, that their current providers are dropping their support from a premise based solution so those are some great points to take into consideration.
Chris Frey: (12:38)
You mind if I just tack onto that, because that's a good point. Right now, all of our money and investment and training is going towards cloud solutions, enablement of sales teams on cloud solutions, enablement of technical teams, we still have personnel that are here that are handling and supporting the on-premise base, but that's not where things are headed and we have a substantial team of people providing support. Many, many other partners in the partner community do not have the same resources and they were basically kept going by single individual who is supporting the base and that individual leaves and now they really have no choice, they have no options and it's very difficult to find other people that are willing to go down that path. So again, it's kind of like POTS lines, AT&T and others don't want to continue to invest in them, the people that understood that product line are retiring or shifting into other areas so I would definitely say it's sooner than later.
Scott Dressel: (13:51)
Yeah. Well, thank you Chris on that. One of the other things is there are some attendees here on the webinar that are not our customers and Chris, if you could explain what those options would be to for us to potentially support their existing platform while we help them migrate to the cloud?
Chris Frey: (14:11)
Sure. The first step is engineering review similar to a cloud discovery session, same individuals, but looking through a different lens so in the case of doing an engineering review, we still want to gain remote access to the system, we still want to look at things like complexity, assets, get a good feel for the business, but at the same time we want to look at, are there any initial issues or problems that need to be addressed often today? And some of you may know of this, there's been a voicemail issue that has been problematic with the ShoreTel PBX for a number of years. And what we've identified as the... Mitel itself has come out and stated adding another server, adding more servers to the mix will ease the load and allow the system to work properly often with customers coming to us, they have that problem, that's first thing that we want to do is get them to a stable position if at all possible.
Chris Frey: (15:11)
What most customers are faced with the challenges are that they want all these things to coincide at the same time. I want my SIP or my PRI contract to end at the same time that my support at contract ends at the same time that my cloud contract starts. And, historically that's been very difficult, they've all overlapped and businesses have had to either put themselves at risk by having a gap or they have to overspend, six months extra support, six months extra PRI. We are trying to help make this easy, take some of the risk out of the business so we can provide flexible support terms for customers looking to make a transition to a cloud solution.
Chris Frey: (15:55)
In some cases, we still may offer that typical one year agreement with through Mitel, for example, municipality, and you need to have every avenue at your disposal should you have a problem, but for many customers, we can do our own version of support where we'll provide the maintenance and warranty on the hardware and do our best to keep the system static as is, run as best as it can. So again, we could do flexible agreements in order to get people over the hump from point A to point B.
Scott Dressel: (16:30)
All right, well, thank you Chris. If anybody has any questions again, please submit them at the bottom of the Q&A widget. We're going to move on to Chris Carroll now. Is the SE for UC RingCentral and Jeff, could you do a quick introduction and your background? I think the attendees will find your background very interesting.
Jeff Carroll: (16:59)
Sure. Scott, thank you, you guys it's Jeff Carroll, very nice to be on the webinar here today with you all my background I've been in telecommunications for well over 30 years, started out being a support company within a company called Southwestern Bell Telecom back in the day, right after divestiture, then moved into working for SBC and AT&T as that company transformed, I moved into Nortel Networks back in the late 90s and worked as both a salesperson and SE for that company working with primarily the sprint account at the time, they were a big Nortel user at that time and I was their sales and technical support person for them for a number of years.
Jeff Carroll: (17:49)
Then as that company wound down, we'll say politely, I was able to take advantage of that moment and move over to ShoreTel. And I was at ShoreTel for about seven years and when acquired by Mitel, I continued in Mitel and that's where I principally started focusing on the MiCloud Connect product for support. And for personal reasons at one point I was interested moving over to RingCentral and so been here since October of 2020 so going on two years now.
Scott Dressel: (18:25)
Cool, well, Jeff, with your background in the ShoreTel system and now your knowledge of the RingCentral system. Could you talk a little bit about the differences between a hosted system and the on-prem Mitel system?
Jeff Carroll: (18:42)
Sure. Probably the most noted thing, and this is going to get a little technical because it's probably not something you're going to readily see, is the difference in how a product is functioning in a cloud environment. An ideal solution is going to be utilizing a number of microservices, you're going to hear its a term containerization, where not any one process is completely dependent upon the whole solution itself so upgrades of one piece is not going to affect upgrades of another piece or even failures of one piece is not going to affect failures of others. The ShoreTel system that I knew of MiCloud premise solution, my voice connect they called it. Was a cloud solution in the sense that it was hosted in the cloud, it was set up in the cloud, it was running on a virtualized environment, but the overall architecture of the system was still built around that on-premise architecture.
Jeff Carroll: (19:45)
So the flexibility of being able to upgrade components separately, or to be able to have failures geographically of various items within the system, just really wasn't in the core architecture, great product for premise solutions, did not translate the best into cloud in my opinion, certainly saw some difficulties there. But when you get into cloud, some of the advantages that you're able to take advantage of or things like conference services, you have much, much higher capacity and you're not dependent upon onsite servers to support that sort of thing. The mobility component is the same way, no servers required, works very, very solidly because it's built around the RingCentral network, which we can get into that in another time but it's a holistic, a worldwide network connecting through various private and public data centers to maintain and manage the solution. And then the upgrading piece, if you have to upgrade a onsite PBX, you have to open up a maintenance window to do that, depending upon your business operations, we can do a silent upgrade to your environment, no downtime, no changes in your services.
Jeff Carroll: (20:58)
So it makes it fully much more reliable in the sense of being able to build your system out and be able to monitor it as required to provide more wholly complete services for your end users. A couple of other things, RingCentral has a number of open APIs, those Application Programming Interfaces that allow you to integrate not with just a select few products out there from CRM products, ERP systems, but the whole variety of other products out there to allow you to say back up your system, or to integrate with a variety of emergency notifications systems or integrate with CRP systems as ranging from Zendesk to Salesforce, to any number of different ones, we have over 300 different integrations on our website. And finally, just hearkening back to my ShoreTel day work groups was a very, very popular feature within the ShoreTel onsite product.
Jeff Carroll: (22:06)
RingCentral is one of the few providers that I've seen that has a very nice set of features that works very, very similarly to work groups does so if you have work groups today, you can migrate those into RingCentral very easily and that is a part of the core voice product you're not having to buy a full contact center product to support that so lots of different differences are out there, Scott.
Scott Dressel: (22:29)
Yeah. Well, thank you, Jeff. You mentioned DR, and that is always a big question about technical topics and how a cloud based solution would work. Could you go into what is paging, faxing, analog, E911 and DR look like in a little more detail.
Jeff Carroll: (22:51)
Sure. Some of those core onsite services you need like paging, faxing, analog support. Can those continue to be supported without line cards in your PBX to support those specific functions? And the answer is absolutely. RingCentral has faxing as a core component of our user licenses so you people can have that on their desktop, but we can also support an onsite fax machine if that is a requirement for that particular business. When it comes to paging, we have a number of providers, specifically CyberData, and couple of others out there who support IP to analog connectivity so if you have existing paging devices out there, paging amplifiers, we can coordinate with those providers recommend solutions to be able to provide that integration directly back into RingCentral. And that can be done in many cases without any additional charge from RingCentral.
Jeff Carroll: (23:50)
And then finally analog devices, if you're a huge analog user, we do have ways of supplying gateways on-premise or simple ATA that can allow you to provide connectivity to one or two analog course as needed. When it comes to E911, we are fully compliant with Kari's law, as well as Grey Bomb Act, which is very important, harkens back to some of the advantages of being hosted, you're paying for us to be compliant to federal standards, and we make sure that we are so you don't have to worry about that on your own end to do that, but we certainly can provide a lot of option with respect to 911.
Jeff Carroll: (24:31)
If somebody does dial 911, we can provide notifications throughout the organization built right into the product for that notification or as people are moving about and moving to a different area of your building or campus, we can establish what we call nomadic 911, where we can detect where you're at, your IP address or the SSID of the wireless access point that you're connected to and be able to adjust the 911 notifications at appropriate for that person's location.
Jeff Carroll: (25:01)
Finally, when it comes to disaster recovery, that again goes back to the architecture of a cloud solution. In the United States, we have two primary data centers amongst the over 35 we have worldwide that we utilize for our core telephony functions, should one fail, you're automatically going to go to the other one and we'll be able to resume services in a blink of an eye in many cases. So very easy to be solidly supported by RingCentral, but let's say your local loop has some kind of failure, do we have solutions for that? Well, we do. Couple of things as you can use our mobility application, which is a very, very reliable application, which also can avoid any type of local connectivity issues you might have, but we can even program something as simple as if I don't see that particular telephone device on somebody's desk operational, that MAC address is no longer appearing to us, then we can force that calls to go to an externally defined number if we want to do that so a number of ways we can be resilient as well as redundant for users.
Scott Dressel: (26:07)
Yeah. I know Jeff in the past people would always say, well cloud systems aren't as resilient, they don't have the redundancy in the DR that a premise based solution does, but really with the way you guys have it set up it, the system never stops answering the phone or forwarding to sell so that's great from that standpoint. One of the other questions that I know I get asked quite a bit is that there's an opinion that cloud is more expensive. And if you could talk about where those cost savings are and talk about PRI versus Fiber and call rates.
Jeff Carroll: (26:54)
Sure. So certainly when you're looking at RingCentral, you can eliminate any of the trunking costs that you might have related to your existing on-prem system. So your SIP trunks if you're using those or if you still have PRI available to you, those costs can go away if those contracts are able to be ended, as Chris was talking about a little bit earlier, so you certainly can have some cost savings there, RingCentral provide you unlimited calling in Canada and the US for our standard, what we call MVP users, Message Video Phone users. There's some savings you can certainly see from right there. We can provide you packages for cost related to your 800 number when you port those over to us so you can play a fat pay, a flat rate for that 800 service so you don't have any unexpected costs popping in at you at the end of the month.
Jeff Carroll: (27:51)
And then there's other savings to consider such as your cost of your data center. How much is that costing you today? Maybe it is just a closet in your building, or perhaps it's something larger, but that has some inherent costs to it as well as electrical costs, rack space costs. And then the support agreements associated with having an on-prem system. That's going to have some costs related to it as well. So there's certainly... I do understand the argument, it can be more expensive depending upon your expenses as it relates to telephony, but in many cases it can be a savings to you.
Scott Dressel: (28:31)
Yeah. And Jeff what I find in my experience with all the customers I've worked with about 95% of customers end up saving money so thank you.
Jeff Carroll: (28:42)
Chris Frey: (28:43)
Jeff, I got one follow up for you. We talked about PRI Fiber, but what about private networks? Many customers today are using private network to carry their voice, they're on across MPLS and some have moved away from that to SD-WAN, but we get asked a lot about if there are any concerns about caring voice over the public internet?
Jeff Carroll: (29:09)
Yeah. So thanks, Chris. From a RingCentral perspective, we don't have a lot of concern with that because we certainly have means of managing all those scenarios you mentioned, we can certainly participate as a note in a customer's MPLS network, if they want to extend that out to our data centers or if they're using SD-WAN, which is sort of taking over the MPLS environment to a certain extent these days. We participate and have tested with any number of SD-WAN providers and can participate in whatever their method of prioritizing that traffic to RingCentral.
Jeff Carroll: (29:46)
Our website has all sorts of explanations about the various providers we work with and how that can be operational for us but even on a bigger sense, when you're talking public internet, we will provide encryption for all traffic that comes into our data center but its coming over a public connection, which honestly, most of our customers do connect that way so we're provide encryption both in transit as well as at rest so it makes us able to be compliant with a number of things like HIPAA, as well as other types of compliances that are out there. And our data centers are annually reviewed for those types of things too, Chris. It makes it a little more secure for our customers and hopefully it provides them a sense of security when they are giving their services over to RingCentral.
Scott Dressel: (30:41)
Hey, Jeff, we got time for one more, could you explain a little bit about the reporting and the built in performance matrix in the RingCentral platform?
Jeff Carroll: (30:53)
Sure. RingCentral provides a number of different types of reports from basic call log type of reports, that's similar to what you might see in a standard CDR coming out of the ShoreTel system, but we also have the ability to look deep into our network and be able to provide you all sorts of information about the performance of your calls, about the usage of the applications by RingCentral, these are our call analytics we call them and it provides us any number of tools for our customers to use so say you're a sales manager and you're needing to be able to track calls, I can watch my sales boats and capture all the calls that they place or receive and see how many went to voicemail, how many were parked and abandoned and all sorts of detailed type of information can be provided about your calls.
Jeff Carroll: (31:48)
But you can also, let's say you're a technical IT person trying to understand why my CEO's computer is having difficulties every time who gets on a video conference with RingCentral. Well, we have analytics in there that allow you to see the quality of service of not only voice calls, but video calls and allows you to identify specific regarding that particular interaction for that person so I can see what the version of client he's on, I can see IP addresses, if he's remote, I can see the networks he's on and the internet service provider he's utilizing. I can also even look down into the CPU usage of this particular device to see if perhaps that can be causing some problems for that particular person.
Jeff Carroll: (32:36)
So lots of analytical tools are also available for you to be able to use those within our reporting so just a lot of flexibility and the nice thing about it, Scott, is the fact that we're always enhancing those features, we come out with additional capabilities at 90% of the time's absolutely free to our customers enhancing the product and we push those free betas out to customers all the time.
Scott Dressel: (33:02)
Yep. All right, Jeff, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Jeff Carroll: (33:05)
Scott Dressel: (33:06)
All right. Next, we've got Bob Lenarcik. He's a Customer Experience Solution Engineer for channel CC on RingCentral so contact center. Bob, if you could explain your title and role, I think the attendees will find that interesting also.
Bob Lenarcik: (33:26)
So we don't use the word contact center very much at RingCentral, teams are all built around the title of customer experience and the reason for that is because it's not so much as technology focuses, is it about making sure we're designing a solution that helps the companies that we sell to deliver good customer experience? So the platform that we use is the contact center solution, but it's really about making sure that we're designing an experience that the customers get what they need quickly and efficiently. And my role is to really help partners like CT Pros understand the platform, make sure that they have all the technical resources and enablement they need to be able to talk to the customers and provide them the solutions that they really need to make their businesses run well.
Scott Dressel: (34:24)
Cool. Bob, could you explain, I know you've got some history from the ShoreTel side also and kind of how long you've been with RingCentral?
Bob Lenarcik: (34:34)
Yeah, I've been with RingCentral just as long as Jeff, October of 2020 is when I joined, and prior to that, I had spent about 16 years working at ShoreTel and as a ShoreTel partner. I joined ShoreTel back in 2000 as the QA lead so I actually was responsible for testing the architecture, testing the entire system end to end. And then I moved into different roles and then I eventually moved to work as a ShoreTel partner and we built a pretty successful practice specifically around the contact center platform. The ShoreTel at that point, at that time was called Enterprise Contact Center and it became the MiCloud or the Connect Contact Center then the Cloud Connect Contact Center, the names have changed so often. And I was also involved in the very early testing of the integration between the ECC product before ShoreTel purchased it. And I've been around the platform quite a long time so I certainly understand what the customers have been working with.
Scott Dressel: (35:39)
Nice. First question, Bob, can you explain, a lot of questions we get is the, what is the partnership between NICE and RingCentral?
Bob Lenarcik: (35:51)
We've been partnered with them for seven years now, when we recently about a year ago, we extended a partnership for another seven or eight years, I believe, and it's also deepened the relationship so we basically now have the ability to sell anything that they provide so whether you go to RingCentral or you go to NICE CXone, it's the same solution underneath, obviously it's branded RingCentral, but it's much more than that in terms of the partnership and one of the reasons why we partner with them is because they've been a magic quadrant leader, both in the contact center space, as well as in the workforce management or WEM space, which is what it's now being called. And RingCentral are UCAS platform has been a magic quadrant leader as well for quite a few years so if you combine the best of all three platforms, it provides the most capable solution that I think is in the market for your customers.
Bob Lenarcik: (36:48)
So a couple more things about our relationship, we provide support so it's not like we just basically sell the NICE CXone platform and then if there's any need to go back after the sale to get support or anything done, we point you to NICE CXone. We actually handled the tier one through tier three support so we will help partners like yourselves to make sure that we're taking care of the customers so we basically handle everything from pre-sale support, all the way through implementation services through post-sale, it includes support and anything, if a customer's needs change and they need to look at other components of the platform that they didn't get initially will help make sure that we provide them the demos and all the other information they need to be able to continue working with the platform as their needs change.
Bob Lenarcik: (37:38)
It's really a very deep relationship when it comes to making sure that our people are as capable all the way for the entire lifecycle of the customer. Another area where we've integrated our platforms together is, we've got a very extensive voice network that's global, we've actually integrated our voice network with their voice platform so when the call comes in, the numbers ported to RingCentral, and then we route the number over a dedicated 10 gig Fiber connection, we have redundant 10 gig Fiber connections across multiple data senators globally. We've got two in the US, two in Canada, two in Europe, two in the UK, three in AsiaPac.
Bob Lenarcik: (38:18)
The idea is that we have redundant capability and plenty of capability from a bandwidth perspective, to send those calls on that from our network over to the NICE in contact so they handle the IVR, the agent selection, and then queuing for those calls and then when the agent needs to take that call, it's routed again, back on net so there is no usage charges. In addition to the advantages going center for the UCAS platform from a telecom savings, that's extended through the UC and the CC platform integration we have.
Scott Dressel: (38:52)
Cool, okay. Onto the next question here so you've explained the relationship between NICE, why would a company want to move their contact center to the cloud? If you could just hit the high points on that?
Bob Lenarcik: (39:09)
Well, the biggest one, and this is probably one of the questions that we're asking the Q&A is, what's going on with Mitel? And I've known that contact center platform since it was before ShoreTel's. And that code base has not really fundamentally changed even when they moved it to cloud so the platform itself is very good voice platform, but that's about it, it never really did email and chat and when it comes to things like social media and other channels of communication, there just isn't that capability and so in general, the cloud platforms provide much more flexibility from a functionality perspective. We have the ability to do things like AI, to do things like sentiment analysis, I can see or detect whether or not customers are frustrated, are the agents frustrated.
Bob Lenarcik: (39:57)
And I can show that information so that I can see whether or not my agents need better training because of the interactions. I have the ability to do things like add conversational AI bots, so I can automate much more so these repetitive calls that come in and ask for like things like order status, those can be fully automated in a way that is very customer friendly and then only when it needs to escalate to a live agent, will I need to engage a live person, so it gives me the flexibility for doing more with the same number of agents, or even scaling back on the number of agents and being able to handle the same number of volume of customer interactions.
Bob Lenarcik: (40:35)
It also gives you flexibility from where are your agents. I can work from anywhere. The world of COVID is basically went from being pretty much all on site to work from home, which was a huge scramble for a lot of organizations that had a premerly solution. And then, now that things are getting back to normal, I'm not even going to use that word as a standard here, it's really hybrid, is really where things seem to be going and where agents are versus where the offices are, that's no longer a restriction, and from an IT perspective, there's no cost associated with where my agents relative to how I need to enable them to be able to do their jobs effectively.
Bob Lenarcik: (41:22)
I think that's the big one. And the other one is in terms of options, we talk about omnichannel as being the big buzzword these days, right? And that's where you want to offer things like social media, you want to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Apple Business Chat, all these different, different tools are out there for people to communicate. And they want to be able to interact with the businesses they do business with on the channels they prefer so if you don't have a platform that can supply the channels that the customers want to use, then you're really forcing customers to do things they may not want and as customers, the consumers ages is coming in... The people coming into the consumer market, their preference is not to pick up the phone these days, it's always the texting and the other channels that are not voice whether there's a live person on the other end is their preference.
Bob Lenarcik: (42:17)
And so that's where premise based solutions really struggle, they really struggle on that. And so I think cloud makes a lot of logical sense just from a infrastructure perspective, flexibility, capability, and then delivering a better customer experience ultimately improves your customer satisfaction, improves sales, reduces customer churn, all those things directly impact your bottom line so even though it may be more expensive when you look at just the price list, but ultimately it does improve customer's bottom line. You just have to look at it holistically.
Scott Dressel: (42:53)
Yeah. And that's always been, it's all about the customer experience is what we find? So you mentioned scalability, we talked about the phased deployment approach. Can you talk about what it would look like for a customer potentially going with CC or first versus putting the UC and the CC together during, and what that phased approach would look like?
Bob Lenarcik: (43:26)
Yeah. It really varies based on customers, sometimes it is based on the contracts for certain things like your PRI or your SIP trunks. So we've got some customers that have migrated their contact center first to cloud and kept their pre system for some period of time, until they could migrate off of that. And in some cases, we've actually had larger customers that had multiple older prem systems, and they couldn't do a flash cut to cut everything over so what we have is a custom engineering team that we can engage during the sales process that will help design a solution that will integrate the cloud platform to their prem solution so they can make that transition a phased approach versus a flash cut. So we can do things like do SIP trunks over public internet, or in the case of a MPLS or an SD-WAN, we can set that up and route the SIP trunks to integrate and have a accord into dialing plan.
Bob Lenarcik: (44:17)
I can do extension-extension dialing between the agents on the cloud contact center platform and the folks in the back office that are still on the prem solution. We try to make it case by case, depending on what the customer's trying to do and how big and how many offices they need to cut over. So it's really not a one size fits all.
Scott Dressel: (44:36)
Solution there. Yep. Cool. All right. Well, Bob, I want to thank you for that. Chris, do you have anything you want to add there?
Chris Frey: (44:44)
Yes, I did just want to mention one thing. And I know Bob supports us, but Scott, you and I deal with a lot of customers and it used to be when we were selling premise that it was one solution, contact center and UC all together, one shot, one cut over. And now I feel like we really do look at these as separate entities and they really stand on their own merits so I guess really that's all I wanted to add is that's what I'm seeing. I'm pretty sure that's what many people in our industry are seeing right now is ability to segment these things out is necessary and only consume what they need to consume at the time, instead of buying it all at once and then slowly working into all those features.
Scott Dressel: (45:34)
Yep. Cool. Thanks, Chris. All right. We're going to move on. Next panel says Tim Newman. He is the Regional Partner Manager, RingCentral. He is engaged with us intimately on a daily basis. Tim, you want to just do a quick rundown of your title? What you do? How you do it?
Tim Newman: (45:54)
Yeah, sure thing, thanks Scott. Senior Regional Partner Manager at Ring, also commonly known in the industry as a channel manager. I've been in this role with RingCentral for over five years and prior to that spent 12 years at IT Distribution as a channel manager. My relationship with CT Pros goes back to the beginning of 2019, we really spent about the first six months, largely planning and laying the groundwork together to build this scalable partnership that we've got today. Wasn't until about June, 2019, we started cranking so my role is largely the kind of quarterback and insider RingCentral for CT Pros, ensuring that the teams from sales and marketing to engineering and the TAM org are enabled and supported so they can be as effective as possible in all of your roles.
Tim Newman: (46:49)
Luckily, we have an army of resources that help me in that endeavor guys like Jeff and Bob on the technical side so a lot of the role is just aligning the right folks inside of RingCentral. And then big part of the job is helping remove roadblocks ideally before they become roadblocks in an issue but when we do run into an issue, the CT Pros job does an amazing job of running towards the fire, not away from it, and I try to get on board with that mindset so we're doing our part as an organization to help create and maintain happy clients together.
Scott Dressel: (47:22)
Tim, could you just touch on the kind of what our standing is and the and the fact that we're on your advisory board?
Tim Newman: (47:32)
Yeah, for sure. So, as I mentioned, we were really only kicked off client engagement with CT Pros around mid 2019. But by the end of 2020, we lifted our heads up to took a breath and realized that CT Pros had managed to become our sixth highest performing partner in the globe and fast forward to the end of 2021, our number three partner globally. And yeah, when you produce at that level, it definitely earns you a seat at the table and a voice to be heard, so for the last three years, the CT pros leadership team has been asked to attend and has attended our annual partner executive round table to share feedback with our CRO Carson Hostetter and his direct reports, what's working, what's not customer feedback, where can we get better?
Tim Newman: (48:29)
And then we provide feasibility to them, that's not available to our average partner and to our evolving vision where our partners fit in and how we plan to evolve with the product and in the months and years ahead but also at this point, the CT Pros leadership team know that they don't need to wait around for that event to tell us if we've got a gap somewhere, or if we're struggling to hit the mark and a customer engagement and our executives truly value that in the partnership and want that feedback so nobody's got the beat on the street like you guys. Yep.
Scott Dressel: (49:06)
And then finally, can you just touch just a couple of bullet points here on how you guys help us support and invest in our customers?
Tim Newman: (49:19)
Yeah. And you and Chris touched on it on a couple of these things during the first segment so at this point, CT pros has achieved premier status and what we call our HPPP our high performing partner program, which rewards elite partners for exceptional performance and you guys got there for a multitude of reasons, every CT Pros, TAM goes through a week long certification and ongoing coursework to certify them to do that delivery for unified communications installs and PBX replacements that we talked about, Scott, as you've been lucky enough to do along with the rest of the sales team, you've gone through the instructor led, ignite certifications, which empowers the CT Pros team to really run your own sales process. As Chris outlined the way you set up your demos, the way you engage with vendors versus having to follow RingCentral's methodology.
Tim Newman: (50:11)
Again, we're just on the heels of your contact center certification and implementation delivery training being completed, which is huge, and you're in a less than a handful of partners that have that capability today globally. Lots of investments being made by those teams and it's paying off across the board, you're all exceptionally well trained by us, which is only a compliment to all the years of experience prior to partnering with Ring. But some of the things that we're outside of just the training and enablement that we're bringing back to you all to help your customers, a dedicated AE for any of your prospects and customers here today in the SMB space, you get the same account executive on every engagement so we've built this great consistent model to engage with the customers in the upmarket opportunity as we discuss in client engagements you got our executive team on speed dial for those accounts, if we're missing the mark in any way.
Tim Newman: (51:12)
And one of the biggest things that Chris touched on is that dedicated RingCentral technical account manager who's full-time job is supporting the CT Pros, TAMs during implementation and during post-sale support, that's huge for day to day and for escalations, in addition to the things that Bob and Jeff do with the TAMs and the SE team, delivering monthly product roadmap, insights this is all really to ensure that your clients have the best possible journey as they go through this process.
Scott Dressel: (51:45)
Yep. Well, Tim, I want to thank you for that. Thank you very much.
Tim Newman: (51:50)
Scott Dressel: (51:51)
All right. As we've got about six minutes left, I'm going to wrap this up. I want to thank Chris, Jeff, Bob, and Tim for your time and insights.