For the Ringmasters series, we take a look behind the curtain at how our teams internationally use RingCentral day-to-day. They offer up advice on how to get the most out of the platform, and give their honest opinion on the features they would like to see next. The third episode taps into our product management team.
What is product management?
For a product to last, companies must innovate and improve with feedback or bring new products to market. The best way to do this is by building a product-focused organisation where the right people, processes and company culture come together.
The people that make up our product team are the brains behind the scenes. They keep their fingers on the pulse of features in demand and work this into the product roadmap. Whether you’re discussing the key objectives of new features or quickly jumping on a video call, RingCentral gives product teams a virtual workspace hub for all their communications needs.
We caught up with Daniel Yin, associate vice president of product management at RingCentral, to find out more about how he uses the app.
Making global feel local
“One of the interesting things with the product management team is that it’s spread out across different continents. We’ve got many managers in the US, a bunch based at HQ in Belmont and my boss in Denver. Some members are from the east coast. Then there are a couple of us in England and one guy in Northern Ireland. A lot of the people we work with are product managers based in St. Petersburg and Xiamen. We’re in the middle of launching research and development offices in India as well; the engineers, product managers and owners are going to be there.”
This highlights that the people behind the product are dotted all over the world. Despite the distance between colleagues, the team remains connected. Daniel has worked remotely since before the pandemic, so things haven’t changed hugely for him. But certain features have enabled him to stay productive with an increasingly dispersed team.
Messaging keeps collaboration going
Here are a few of the things Daniel does to keep organised with colleagues spread across time zones.
“If I want to speak to someone synchronously or asynchronously, I'll use messaging. It's the primary way I share files and other content with colleagues. There's the historical conversations that are extremely useful in tracking what we're doing and project history. I do a large proportion of my communication over messaging tools. We use them every day, but we also build them.”
- Daniel Yin, AVP of product management at RingCentral, EMEA
“Having a collaboration platform, I don’t understand how businesses have coped without it. There are a few little things that really made the difference for me. The folders feature seems like a minor thing, but it goes such a long way to group your conversations in logical ways. It helped me organise my conversations. So that’s been one of the most useful little tools that we’ve released as a feature.”
“One of the other things that customers have provided a lot of very positive feedback about is emoji responses and GIPHY — the little fun tools when you’re just using messaging. Normally [with text only], you can’t share reactions, you can’t share emotions, it’s difficult to convey how you’re feeling, whether you’re making a joke or not, this is one of the social aspects of using a messaging platform. Especially right when I don’t see my team face to face, being able to convey what I’m feeling and in a more social way is nice. When we look at where we’ve come from with our messaging platform, it’s gone from being pretty much a text-only platform to being a lot richer in content.”
Integrations make work life easier
Now more than ever, businesses rely on multiple tools to boost productivity, automate workflows, manage customers and keep employees connected. While communications technology will always be useful, there is such a thing as overloading employees with too much tech.
A way around this is having one tool for everything. But when specialists (like product management teams) need certain apps to do their work, having everything in one place is easier said than done. This is why integrations are so valuable.
“A lot of the added value you get from RingCentral is based on how you use the product. So, for example, if you use Outlook all the time, and all you do is schedule meetings, the scheduler is really handy.
If all you do is work in Salesforce, the Salesforce integration is fantastic. All of this varies based on your use case, and there are loads of use cases. One integration we’re improving in the UK market is Bullhorn. Looking at this integration challenge, especially for my area of the business, I’d like to bring it to all our carrier partners much more quickly, and that’s one of the top things we’re working on.”
What does product management want to introduce in the future?
How could the platform evolve in the future? Best to get that right from the horse’s mouth. Back over to Daniel.
“It’s like a million-dollar question to a product manager, what do you want to develop next? My role is to very much bring all of our technologies to a set of global service providers. So one of the things I’d like to do more easily is bring all of our interesting integrations to our carrier service branded partners. So no matter whether you come to RingCentral via BT, AT&T, TELUS, Vodafone, I want you to have that same service, that same ability to communicate easily, no matter what your brand is, no matter what your visual brand looks like.”
Product management tools that help in the role
It’s clear that RingCentral’s product management team is always finding ways to innovate, collaborate and figure out what should come next for our customers and partners. The RingCentral MVP™ platform gives the teams the advantage they need to continue on this path.