Leading edge Featured

12:08pm EDT July 1, 2011
Leading edge

Not long after moving to the United States with his family as a teenager, native Ukrainian Vlad Shmunis discovered a passion for new technology. After working as a programmer following graduate school, Shmunis found his second passion: entrepreneurship.

By the time he was 30, Vlad started RingZero Systems Inc., a multimedia communications company, which he grew to become the No. 1 communications software provider to major PC manufacturers, including Sony, IBM, HP and Compaq. RingZero Systems shipped 25 million units in 20 languages, and after several years, Shmunis sold the company to Motorola and began looking for his next entrepreneurial challenge.

Recognizing the growth of mobile phone usage around the turn of this century and an increasingly dispersed work force — with increasing numbers of employees working in the field as opposed to  the office — Shmunis came up with the idea to use cloud computing technology to develop a new kind of phone system. In 2002, Shmunis founded RingCentral Inc. rolling out his first product in 2003.

Shmunis used venture capital funding to drive rapid innovation, and in 2009, he launched the company’s award-winning RingCentral Office product. In 2010, the company developed its newest product — the smartphone-based PBX, which is the first and only phone system in the market that enables businesses to run their entire phone system from a smartphone.

That breakthrough product earned RingCentral the prestigious World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer Award, soon followed by a marketing alliance with AT&T. Soon after that, Cisco Systems made a strategic investment in RingCentral, and today, the company has more than 200,000 customers and is the clear leader in its space.

Shmunis’ vision is that businesses will be converting to cloud-based solutions to allow them to access all the capability of an expensive enterprise-level phone system at a fraction of the cost, while enjoying unparalleled flexibility of operation and simplicity of use.

How to reach: RingCentral Inc., (650) 472-4100 or www.ringcentral.com