One of RingCentral’s newest customers is MiHaven, a multi-faceted social enterprise business based in Cairns, Queensland. Starting out in residential construction for remote communities in the Gulf region of Far North Queensland (FNQ), MiHaven now has more than 40 staff and has expanded from building and construction to also be a property developer, registered training organisation (RTO), student accommodation provider and, most recently, a Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) developer and provider.
B Corp registered MiHaven’s business strategy and commitment to creating social impact in everything they do has attracted a lot of community attention, particularly from not-for-profit community organisations and also investors. One of these is Roger Allen AM, a very experienced serial entrepreneur and investor in early stage growth companies in Australia and internationally. He was the founder of Computer Power Group and co-founder of Allen & Buckeridge, an early stage VC firm with offices in Silicon Valley and Australia. Allen also sits on MiHaven’s advisory board.
While MiHaven had been evaluating RingCentral Office as a cost-effective alternative to its existing hosted IP telephony service, a burst water pipe on the top floor of the office ‘precipitated’ the decision. Flooding caused such extensive damage that MiHaven was forced to relocate to temporary facilities and a lot of staff had to work from home.
“We ordered the RingCentral Office licences and Yealink handsets, and our in-house IT manager was able to set it all up quickly and easily. We were fully operational within a couple of days, with most of our staff working from home and everyone connected via RingCentral,” said James Mort, who is a co-director of MiHaven together with his wife Sarah.
At the same time, COVID-19 social distancing restrictions came into force, so MiHaven’s temporary business continuity situation has become more permanent. With 150 rooms under management, MiHaven has been able to provide accommodation for essential workers and also quarantine facilities for people needing to be in isolation. RTO students are now participating in online training via video sessions, which are all being recorded for easier access and future use.
“We’ve actually been able to increase the number of students we can reach, whereas before we were limited by the classroom space we had available,” said Mort.
MiHaven has just started constructing its first Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) property, with funding support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Rather than building the facility then finding tenants, MiHaven has taken the completely opposite approach, designing the house to suit the needs of a specific client and their disabilities, and future proofing it to cater for any potential changes in their disability over time. That’s including connectivity, communications (including RingCentral services) and home automation technologies, that are factored into the design of the facility.
Ultimately, Mort highlights the flexibility and simplicity of RingCentral’s UCaaS platform as the biggest advantages for MiHaven. “We wanted a phone system that would stand the test of time, and wasn’t reliant on dedicated lines. With RingCentral, if we have to change or add offices, or work from home, setting up our phones and making sure they work is one headache I don’t have to worry about any more.”