RingCentral looks to fight video meeting fatigue with free-standing Glip meeting service

Available on a freemium model and not tied to the RingCentral platform, Glip meetings have no real time limit, and facilitate pre- and post-meeting preparation and collaboration so that meetings have more context than is typically the case.

Today, RingCentral is announcing Glip, a smart video solution for meetings which is not part of the RingCentral Office suite, and which is designed to compete with other free-standing conferencing offerings like Zoom, Teams, and GoToMeeting. RingCentral is also emphasizing that Glip is highly differentiated from these other products, with features like video meetings lasting up to 24-hours for up to 100 people, better context with integrated team messaging for pre-meeting and post-meeting experiences, and better quality stemming from RingCentral’s carrier-grade security and reliability.

Glip – the name comes from a team messaging product RingCentral acquired years ago and already owned – is actually the second RingCentral video meeting product to be launched this year.

“In April we announced RingCentral Video,” said Will Moxley, Senior VP and Chief Product Officer at RIngCentral. “It is part of RingCentral Office, our flagship paid offering that includes our whole UCaaS [Unified communications as a service] suite. So the only way you get RingCentral video is by buying the whole suite.”

Glip, on the other hand, is completely independent of RingCentral’s product line, and is designed to be offered as a free-standing alternative to popular independent conferencing software.

“Glip is a brand new product offering that includes team messaging and video meetings,” Moxley said. “There’s no cloud PBX with it. It’s video meetings first, and it’s important that it comes with team messaging.”

The basic offering, Glip Pro, is also free, and that’s not a stripped-down version.  It features the standard meeting length of 24 hours, plus the ability to have up to 100 people attend, and the same level of quality as the paid version, which is Glip Pro Plus.

“The paid version gets more participants, 200 today, and later 500,” Moxley indicated. “What’s more significant is that the paid version provides a lot of administrative control over the system. There is longer retention of cloud recordings [the free version is 7 days], more storage, and the ability to lock things down in different ways. Basically, once IT wants to take control, provision and customize, they need to take control with the paid offering.”

Zoom took off during the pandemic because of extreme ease of use, but Moxley said that Glip is even easier.

“There’s nothing to download and nothing to install,” he stressed. “You just need a Chrome or an Edge browser. People said that was something that they valued. It really matters with things like telehealth where a person on the other end may be completely tech unsavvy.”

Moxley said the 24-hour meeting limit is also a strong sell feature, even though no sane people will be holding meetings for 24 hours.

“It’s another way of saying that meeting time is basically unlimited,” he noted. “The key is that some systems have a 40 to 45 minute limit, and if you are still going, the meeting ends anyway. We don’t have that time limit.”

Moxley also emphasized that these really are smarter meetings, as well as being easier to join and use.

“We thought a lot about the before, during, and after meeting experience,” he said. “There is a place to prepare for a meeting beforehand, then the meeting, then a place to post and to share notes after the meeting. The Team Connect feature that connect teams to a meeting lets members carry on a conversation even after the meeting is over. In addition, a major problem with meetings now is that  people go from meeting to meeting with no context, and there is a lot of fatigue as a result The team messaging follows you around and provides that context, so that you are not having just a series of one-off transactional meetings. We have a lot more planned around that as well.”

Moxley also highlighted the business class reliability that comes from a carrier-grade product.

“It has 5 9s of reliability, HD audio and video, and it is feature rich, which will include live transcription in real-time by the end of 2020,” he said. Other features include weather person mode, where you can superimpose yourself on top of a screen share to engage with people on the screen, dark mode, virtual backgrounds, screen sharing, and easy integration to other apps.

Moxley said Glip is important for RingCentral and its channel partners because it will introduce RingCentral to many users who do not use their platform.

“It will expose us to a much broader set of people and drive more brand awareness of our product, as people do 2021 plans for their businesses,” he said. “That’s a good thing. It’s also a product-qualified lead, which is the best kind of lead, where people are already using the product already. It will generate highly qualified, really valuable leads. That’s all great for partners, who will now have a video and messaging offering for customers for end users who don’t want telephony.”