RingCentral Brings Enterprise Functionality to the Apple Watch
|Stuart Parkerson in iOS Friday, December 11, 2015|
We recently visited with Ted Yoshikawa, Senior Product Manager of Mobile Product Management, about his company’s recent release of RingCentral Mobile for Apple Watch, which extends enterprise communications capabilities beyond phones and tablets.
RingCentral is a provider of software as a service (SaaS) solutions for business communications, including a cloud-based contact center solution and Glip, an advanced team collaboration workspace. The RingCentral Connect Platform offers cloud APIs and SDKs that provides developers direct access to voice, SMS, fax, account configuration, and communications data. The platform leverages REST APIs to provide connectivity to inbound and outbound RingCentral transactions and data.
ADM: Tell us about the new release.
Yoshikawa: There has been a lot of buzz and excitement over the Apple Watch and the ways it can improve how we live and work. We’re excited to offer RingCentral Mobile for Apple Watch to provide our users a new level of convenience and mobility with business communications.
Business communications are becoming increasingly mobile and our users want to be able to use RingCentral not just from their desktop client, but from their mobile devices. Our customers have loved using RingCentral on smartphones, and now we are able to bring the RingCentral Office suite to the Watch. The app is available in the iTunes Store for all RingCentral customers that are running iOS 9.1 and above.
ADM: What problem is RingCentral solving? How do you see this helping today’s work force?
Yoshikawa: As today’s workforce becomes increasingly mobile, we think that it’s important to offer solutions that don’t tie workers to their desks. Workers want to be able to communicate with colleagues or customers no matter where they are. With RingCentral Mobile for Apple Watch, we’re offering users a quick, real-time way in which to interact with their messages and become more productive, even when they are on the move.
ADM: How does RingCentral for Apple Watch tie into your larger platform?
Yoshikawa: Our app is an extension of our RingCentral Office platform that’s available on a desktop or mobile device. The app seamlessly integrates with a customer’s RingCentral Office account. In doing so, it allows users to respond to incoming calls and messages while they are on the go. Just as you would from your desk or mobile devices, users can also send a canned text-to-speech message, use the Apple Handoffs feature to directly transfer incoming calls to their iPhone for pickup, or direct an incoming call to voicemail - all from their wrists.
We really see the launch of RingCentral Mobile for Apple Watch as a continuous extension of our RingCentral Office suite, tailored to the mobile workforce.
ADM: Tell us more about the specific features that will come with this new app?
Yoshikawa: RingCentral Mobile for Apple Watch has a lot of features that enterprise workers are going to love. Starting now, our Watch app offers instant notifications for when a call or message arrives, the ability to read or reply to text messages, transcribe voicemails, a timeline with a view of messages or a call log with a specific contact, and synchronization with a users’ iPhone via the Handoff feature to answer calls.
One of the features we’re most excited about is the app’s ability to respond to incoming calls from the Watch. When you receive an incoming call, you can direct it to your voicemail or respond with a canned message from the app. This canned message gets transcribed from text to speech so that the caller hears an audio stream in real-time letting them know their colleague is acknowledging their call and will be calling them back.
ADM: Why do you think it’s important to be supporting the Apple Watch?
Yoshikawa: There’s been a lot of buzz around the Apple Watch and we’ve seen a number of our enterprise users begin to adopt the device. RingCentral has always been focused on addressing the current needs of the rapidly transitioning workforce. We’ve helped take office communications to the cloud and offer solutions not just for a user at their desk, but on the go. Our customers are already receiving RingCentral notifications to these devices and we wanted to be able to provide them with a way to interact with these notifications and take action - our app now enables this.
ADM: How does this announcement fit into the broader trend of business communications becoming more mobile and cloud centric?
Yoshikawa: The modern workforce isn’t anything like it was ten years ago. Employees aren’t working in one office at one desk. They aren’t working just from 9-5. Cloud-based, business communication empowers a mobile workforce to be as efficient and productive as possible - no matter where they are working from. We work on the go, from home, from a coffee shop, from another city while on a business trip. If your communications solution doesn’t support that, you hurt your workforce productivity.
We recognized this early on and offer RingCentral Office not just on desktops, but on mobile. As the workforce continues to evolve and workers are turning to new devices, like the Apple Watch, we’re ensuring that RingCentral continues to evolve its cloud-based communication offerings to meet today’s modern workforce demands.
ADM: What’s next for RingCentral?
Yoshikawa: In terms of what’s next for our Watch app, we’re looking to add the capability to play voicemails directly from the Watch, rather than having our users read a voicemail transcript or use the Handoff feature.
In addition to that, we’ve put a feature request into Apple on an API that would allow users to take a call in real-time from the Watch mic. That’s something we’d love to build upon if and when it’s offered by Apple.
Read more: https://blog.ringcentral.com/category/developer-pl...
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