RingCentral — a cloud-based provider with autoreception, cloud based PBX, video and audio conferencing, business phone number allocation, SMS and related services — continues to make their play in the business communications market, betting on the power of APIs to help them become a central hub in a business’ customer communications workflow.
This week, they have released two new APIs for authentication and call recording, along with enterprise-focused SDKs for developers working in more legacy-based systems that need .NET and C-sharp client libraries.
"We are releasing 2 new APIs: Call Recording & 3-legged OAuth,” says David Lee, Vice President of Platform Products at RingCentral. “The Call Recording API provides customers and third parties access to valuable call recordings.”
Lee says early adopter developers are already finding new use cases for the Call Recording API:
There are some interesting applications that early adopters have already created, such as an auditing tool that ensures adherence to SEC insider trading rules when conducting business over RingCentral voice. Another developer built a customer mood rating app by transcribing and rating callers' emotional state based on keywords indexed from the RingCentral call recording.
Addressing enterprise needs for security, Lee says that the “3-legged OAuth helps our ISV partners build secure and safe authentication experience from the partners' applications to RingCentral accounts.”
RingCentral is hoping the expanded tools for developers will help them build out a developer community. According to stats from SimilarWeb, RingCentral’s website sees 3.5 million visitors a month. As expected, the developer portal is nowhere near that level of engagement, but while interest in the company’s website has been sustained all year, visits to the developer portal have tended to fluctuate, with averages of around 15,00 monthly visitors. Those devs are making good use of RingCentral’s APIs, however, with RingCentral boasting that the number of API calls from third-parties has increase by more than 6X in the past quarter.
To help the uptake of RingCentral’s APIs in the enterprise market, Lee says new two SDKS have also been released:
A 1.0 version of our PHP SDK supports the latest PSR-7 standard from PHP-FIG, as well as an improved helper for Fax document handling. Based on demand, we're also releasing a C# SDK that simplifies coding work for .NET developers, as well as a Xamarin component to speed up app building on iOS and Android.
The move comes alongside an extended set of direct integrations. While integrations to other business software — including RingCentral’s new integrations to Apptivo, Nutshell, Sikka and TeamSupport — have often been seen as an “interesting extra” for a service to offer, there are strong signs to suggest that SaaS today now needs to play well with others if they have any hope of entering more established markets. Definitely, the need for a Slack integration should be high on RingCentral’s agenda, as they already have most of the other bigger players like Zendesk, DropboxTrack this API, and Salesforce.
RingCentral has already learnt several key lessons in reaching out to developers, including by going beyond product managers to focus on engineers directly. Other strategies they could use include offering full sample web applications that are built based on the RingCentral APIs and a more expanded set of tutorials that perhaps describes some of those novel use cases that RingCentral’s early adopters are using to make use of the extended functionality available via the business communications provider’s APIs.
The telecommunications and business communications markets have some strong players already, but RingCentral is sure they can make some noise by focusing on supporting developers to integrate with their product offerings. APIs are looking to be a central focus as RingCentral tries to take their market share to the next level.