This top-25 UK accounting firm unlocked massive efficiencies by integrating RingCentral into Microsoft Teams
Our success depends on maintaining long-term relationships with our clients, and a big part of that involves regular phone communication. With RingCentral embedded into our Microsoft Teams environment, we now have an intuitive, high-quality telephony solution our staff can use anywhere to stay connected to clients and each other.
Leading mid-tier accountancy firm
Accountancy Age has ranked haysmacintyre 24th on its list of the Top 50 accounting practices in the UK based on total UK fee income. The full-service firm of chartered accountants and tax advisors has earned many other industry accolades—including a British Accountancy Award for ’Mid-Tier Firm of the Year’, ’Best Auditor at the HFM European Services Awards, and ‘Best Knowledge Provision to Clients’ at the Managing Partners’ Forum Awards 2021.
Haysmacintyre is a founding member of MSI Global Alliance, an alliance of independent accounting and legal firms, which means the firm can continue to advise corporate businesses, charities and not for profit organisations and private clients as they expand their operations internationally.
Telephony was the missing link to an effective unified communications environment
Haysmacintyre has always taken a forward-looking approach to technology. Years ago, before many of its competitors, the firm moved its entire staff to a unified solution that offered cloud telephony, meetings, and team messaging. The firm’s management team also began discussing plans for a more mobile, hybrid working model—and this was years before COVID.
“In principle, we had everyone’s buy-in for the migration,” recalls CIO Simon Bulleyment. “But the solution itself—a big name we all trusted—just wasn’t meeting our needs. I was glad we had broken our dependence on desk phones and landlines. But to give our staff reliable phone service anywhere, we needed a better system.”
After struggling to make the previous solution work, Simon and his team consulted with haysmacintyre’s long-time IT partner, CDW, which recommended Microsoft Teams. It was great advice, he says. “The Teams environment worked much better for meetings, messaging, and even internal dialing. But when it came to external phone calls—the key component for us to stay connected with clients and bring on new business—we were relying on the old system.”
Creating a truly unified solution: integrating RingCentral with Teams
The final piece of the puzzle fell into place, Simon recalls, when CDW recommended RingCentral—specifically, embedding RingCentral’s cloud-phone functionality directly into the Microsoft Teams environment that haysmacintyre’s staff and partners were already using.
“We did our own research and quickly understood why RingCentral would be the best fit. The company has huge-name corporate customers all over the world and everything we heard and read suggested RingCentral has outstanding support and truly treats its customers like partners. Plus RingCentral tops the Gartner Magic Quadrant for unified communications and provides the industry’s highest SLA—99.999%”.
When haysmacintyre signed up for RingCentral, Simon’s team rolled out the integration—RingCentral Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams—which let employees make and receive business phone calls using the normal Teams 'Calls’ functionality.
The enormous benefits of a Teams-only cloud communications platform
Since integrating RingCentral with Teams, Simon explains, haysmacintyre’s staff and partners have found significant workflow improvements.
“Before RingCentral, everyone had to deal with two communications platforms, Teams and the telephony system. I knew this was frustrating for our staff because I kept hearing, ‘Simon, when are we going to be able to do external calling in Teams?’ Now it’s all in our Teams apps: cloud phone service, messaging and meetings. We can even retrieve voicemail within the Teams environment so it really is fully integrated and it’s making everyone’s lives much easier.”
Because our previous communications environment was built on a complex set of servers that required a lot of management, I worried about our ability to scale the organisation. With RingCentral, that’s no longer an issue. We have an online admin portal where we can easily make updates to the system like adding users, and everything else just takes care of itself in the background.
The firm also created additional workflow improvements using an integration with RingCentral partner Bridge Communications. “When our clients call, we prefer they reach a real person, not an automated menu,” explains Simon. “So, we added the Bridge Operator Console, which helps a great deal with intelligent call routing.”
“The app bolts in beautifully with RingCentral and Teams. When our receptionist is speaking with a client and needs to route the call, she’s already in Teams, so she can see everyone’s availability status. Even better, if an employee is out, she can see that person’s out-of-office message, which often has details about the right colleagues to speak with if they’re away.”
Perhaps most importantly, haysmacintyre now has a true unified communications platform that lets employees stay connected and productive no matter where they are. And unlike with their previous solution, telephony isn’t the outlier that requires a separate, standalone app—or worse, a desk phone.
“In the aftermath of the lockdowns, we’re rolling out a hybrid working model that will have employees in the office some of the time and otherwise working remotely,” says Simon. “What’s great about this RingCentral-Teams integration is that wherever our people are, they’ll always have their business telephony with them.”
With RingCentral integrated into our Teams environment, we finally have a true SaaS telephony solution that our staff can use anywhere… and that we have to worry about precisely never.