This week Bandwidth plans to roll out a version of its direct routing and E911 product, Duet, specifically for RingCentral.
The product is currently available for Microsoft Teams and has seen strong adoption as Teams customers look to add calling. Now Bandwidth is providing this to RingCentral customers as an option to Ring’s current calling plans. The value proposition of Duet for RingCentral compared to Teams is a bit different.
With Microsoft, Bandwidth is filling many gaps in Teams Calling as the product is missing several key features such as receptionist capabilities, SMS, call merge or any kind of advanced calling analytics. RingCentral has one of the richest feature sets of any cloud calling vendor and, in this case, Duet provides an alternative for customers that want to bring their own carrier.
This partnership is significant for both parties. For Bandwidth, it opens the door for it to sell calling and other services into the massive RingCentral base. For Ring, it’s a step in the direction of having a broad “bring your own carrier” (BYOC) program.
The press release positions it as BYOC and it is, as long as the “C” is Bandwidth. In a pre-briefing with both companies, RingCentral did make it clear that the Bandwidth partnership is the starting point but not the end state as it will be exploring other carrier relationships.
As RingCentral moves from serving small, regional businesses to dealing with large, global companies, it will find that BYOC becomes a necessary part of the offering. As I mentioned before, RingCentral does have a robust set of calling capabilities, but many large enterprises want to control the carrier contracts as they can typically get better pricing on their own or they might be locked into a contract or just want to leverage a business relationship.
Whatever the reason, the fact is large businesses often want to bring their own carrier. This shows the maturation as it’s starting to better understand the needs of big businesses.
Dedicated Global IP Backbone
Bandwidth is a perfect carrier for RingCentral to start with as it has a massive, dedicated global IP backbone that spans over 60 countries that reaches about 90% of the world GDP. Bandwidth also has an excellent set of emergency calling capabilities including solutions to help customers comply with the upcoming Ray Baum’s Act. This week’s news expands on a partnership that goes back about a decade now as Bandwidth currently provides RingCentral with calling, messaging, phone numbers and more.
The target audience for Duet for RingCentral is the Global 2000 that wish to decouple the telephony from UCaaS and / or CCaaS. I would expect the small to mid-market and even smaller enterprises to continue to by RingCentral the way it is now. These large customers like choice, flexibility and control and Duet brings that. It also makes migration simpler as current Bandwidth customers can keep their calling plans, phone numbers and the existing phone numbers.
Duet for RingCental will initially be in an early access phase for select customers and become generally available later in the year. On the pre-briefing, I was told there were already two large customers in the pipeline so we should see some “wins” announced in the very near future. The two vendors confirmed there are plans to do joint development to bring additional capabilities to customers that choose to go down the Duet path.