RingCentral has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Connect First, a cloud-based outbound/blended customer engagement platform.
Connect First’s platform is deployed by customers such as the ASPCA, Carnival Cruise Line, Party City, PBS, United Way, and Business Process Outsourcers (BPOs) for large service providers such as Charter Cable, Comcast, and SiriusXM.
With the Connect First acquisition, the RingCentral Customer Engagement portfolio will include RingCentral Contact Center for inbound communications and workforce optimisation (WFO), RingCentral Engage for digital customer engagement, and Connect First for outbound/blended customer interactions.
“Maximising agent productivity in today’s rapidly changing customer service environment is becoming increasingly challenging. Customer service organisations need to seamlessly blend outbound calling activity with customer call-backs and communications over digital channels,” said Jim Dvorkin, senior vice president, Customer Engagement, RingCentral.
“The acquisition of Connect First complements our current Customer Engagement portfolio and will provide transformative and differentiated customer experiences. We’re excited to welcome the Connect First team to RingCentral.”
The Connect First cloud native platform is built from the ground up on a microservices architecture that is highly scalable and reliable, and runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
All of Connect First’s capabilities are available through web-based APIs that enable rapid innovation and easy integration.
“At Connect First, we’ve been focused on building an innovative outbound/blended customer engagement platform with a state-of-the-art architecture,” said Geoff Mina, founder and CEO, Connect First.
“This acquisition validates our technology leadership, and we’re confident that by joining forces with RingCentral we will broaden our market reach and scale to deploy our platform to enterprises worldwide.”
The Connect First platform provides key features that improve the outbound/blended customer experience and responsiveness of agents. These include:
- Preview, progressive, and predictive outbound modes to maximise the effectiveness of agents
- Telephony Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) tools to manage compliance rules and regulations
- Dynamic agent scripting to guide agent interactions with customers
- Call blending for managing outbound and inbound interactions to deliver optimal agent productivity
- WebRTC-based agent desktop for flexibility and ease of management
- Real-time and historical reporting and analytics for managers and supervisors
- Open APIs for easy integration with third-party applications
Cloud native architecture
- Microservices architecture running on AWS
- Fully redundant platform for high availability
- Proven deployments of multiple thousands of agents per customer
“As RingCentral continues to be chosen by larger businesses, the need to support outbound customer interactions and campaign management has increased,” said Sheila McGee-Smith, President of McGee-Smith Analytics.
“With its born-in-the-cloud microservices architecture, Connect First brings technology that has already been successfully deployed across mid-size and enterprise organisations and will complement RingCentral’s existing portfolio.”
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in Q1, 2019, and is estimated to have no material financial impact for the year ending December 31, 2019.