It’s no secret that on-site IT infrastructure is relatively costly to maintain, particularly if you have no specialist engineers on staff. Besides the initial outlay for hardware and installation, manual upgrades and line expansions add to running costs, while maintenance is expensive due to either having IT specialists on-site or paying for guaranteed service from an external supplier.
In a world of tight margins, reducing communications costs can make a big difference to a business’s bottom line. For SMBs, cloud service is a natural alternative to traditional on-premises systems, as cloud delivers all of the service with none of the additional maintenance costs. Besides the savings from not having to purchase, store and maintain rapidly-ageing hardware, businesses benefit from cloud’s accessibility, allowing anyone to connect and configure communications systems simply and quickly. Self-management of cloud systems is possible from anywhere via internet connection, and adding or reconfiguring lines is much easier thanks to its avoidance of hardware.
All of these factors came into play when London-based financial services business Walker Crips Group plc wanted to upgrade its phone system. The business goal was to bring more functionality to the phone system while lowering the cost of the overall service, and it was a perfect chance to put an end to the company’s expensive legacy system.
Walker Crips Group plc is a London-based diversified financial services group employing 280 members of staff in six business units. Operating in a tightly-regulated industry means Walker Crips needs to partner with fully secure, highly reliable service providers that help the company consistently meet its obligations and manage a world-class portfolio.
CEO Sean Lam led the overhaul of Walker Crips Group’s phone system from a legacy on-premises setup, looking to improve functionality while making management easier and more cost-effective. “Everything was physical, everything was on site,” says Sean. “Every time we had to upgrade it was a big pain.”
Sean approached Walker Crips’ incumbent provider with his desire to add functionality, such as more flexibility in recording calls, to the phone system. The provider was willing and able to fulfil the request, but not at the current price. “They could give us what we needed,” explains Sean, “but it involved more equipment, and thus higher costs.”
In his search for a better solution, Sean researched 25 unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solutions, and eventually chose RingCentral, partially based on the fully cloud-based service provision. Several other aspects of RingCentral also made it stand out. “RingCentral is way ahead in terms of innovation,” Sean says. “It has plenty of functionality: It brings big-company systems to smaller companies. There’s a lot there.”
As part of its business operation, Walker Crips is required to record phone calls as per financial industry regulations. Given the sensitive nature of such data, the company needs to rely on a secure system to record and store the call information. RingCentral helped Sean find a solution that suited the company’s needs. “RingCentral helped me make recording more robust for my needs by giving me access to their API,” he explains. “RingCentral made us a beta site so we could have access to the API before it had been formally released to Europe.”
Using the API platform, Walker Crips programmers worked with RingCentral counterparts to set up RingCentral so that it downloads call recordings to a storage array at the end of each day. “That was part one. Part two was we built our own search facility, integrating into our own CRM, using the RingCentral call reference data so that staff can pull up the calls from our own CRM system,” says Sean.
Beyond specific functionality, implementation of the RingCentral system had positive ramifications across the business. Employees across the firm can now work from anywhere, and “they are absolutely more efficient,” says Sean. “They could be working from home or meeting clients where the clients want to meet. And everything is recorded centrally.”
Did the implementation meet Walker Crips’ original goal of adding functionality while lowering costs? Absolutely, says Sean. “RingCentral gives us a lot of control, and we have seen significant costs savings, moving from CAPEX to OPEX,” he adds. “Instead of needing third-party support, it provides sufficient control to do what we want to do.”
Making the transition from distributed to unified communications consolidates tools and make communications processes more efficient, while moving from an on-premises to a cloud-based system saves significant operational costs. There are plenty of success stories online about how RingCentral has helped many businesses streamline their communications while saving money.
Originally published Feb 13, 2020, updated Jan 16, 2023