RingCentral IT Keeps Global Enterprise Humming Over The Holidays; Denies Elf Involvement.
As the world’s #1 business communications platform, RingCentral is legendary for connecting people in any mode, on any device, anywhere. And all those communications enjoy rock-solid protection and reliability, with enterprise-grade security and an industry-leading 99.999% uptime SLA.
Think about that for a moment: millions of users, worldwide, all using different devices, different operating systems and different networks. Yet somehow, RingCentral IT manages just 5.26 minutes of downtime across the entire app for the entire year. Now add in a global pandemic, an end-of-year rush to close the books and the holidays? RingCentral IT is good…but they couldn’t be that good, could they? There’s just no way this is humanly possible. And if it’s not humanly possible, then how is it possible?
What sort of workforce could provide that sort of reliability and performance, while working remotely in an environment as unforgiving as Holiday 2020? We say – it has to be elves. Hardworking? Check. Organized? Check. Tech-savvy? They’ve been building your kids’ videogame systems since 1975.
We sat down with an insider, RingCentral IT’s Jorge Zuniga, to get the truth.
RC: “Mr. Zuniga, is it your assertion that RingCentral IT is managing to keep the world’s #1 business communications platform running with 99.999 % uptime while almost the entire IT team works remotely?”
JZ: “Yes, most of us are working remotely. At the beginning of this pandemic, the team implemented a rapid response to install virtual desktops so people who may have been working on desktops or didn’t have laptops or the office, or who needed extra computing power were able to work from home.”
RC: “And how much involvement have elves had with this process?”
JZ: “I’m sorry, did you say “elves?””
RC: “You’re claiming RingCentral IT was able to transition to virtual work around the world with zero help from elves?”
JZ: “Huh. You did say “elves.” No, there are no elves. Just a normal IT department, doing some pretty extraordinary things. When the pandemic hit, our virtual desktop deployment went from zero-to-100 so to speak, in about three weeks. It was pretty impressive. But no elves.”
RC: “And the whole deployment just magically worked?”
JZ: “Well, it did take us time to identify exactly who needed extra capacity, find the proper middleware routes, and so forth, but we were able to monitor performance and latency, identify the best ways to optimize performance pretty quickly, so, yes, we basically transitioned with zero issues.”
RC: “Thanks to the elves.”
JZ: “No, that was us.”
RC: “That’s very surprising.”
JZ: “What was surprising to me was how willing everyone on the team was to help. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise, based on our culture, but people are so willing to help and to go the extra mile to get orders up and running, and there’s been so much sharing of knowledge – if someone has found a way to optimize something at home, for example, that information gets shared with the team. It’s made a real difference.”
RC: “And we suppose that “willingness to help,” not elves, is how you’ve managed to run a successful disaster test this past November, where you maintained 99.999% uptime with half our servers offline?”
JZ: “That’s correct, yes. We had all our west coast servers failover to the east coast, then back to the west coast to ensure that we can survive any calamity, and also to ensure we’d be resilient for the end of the year. It was a little scary. But everyone pulled together and the systems performed just fine.”
RC: “Everyone pulled together…including the elves?”
JZ: “I’m telling you, no elves.”
RC: “Mr. Zuniga, you’re under oath.”
JZ: “I am?”
RC: (checks notes,) “OK, we’re being told you’re not. But still – you expect us to believe that a normal, elf-free IT department is able to: manage a pandemic, run a successful disaster test, and manage the end-of-the-year workload all by itself?”
JZ: “Well, we also made a pretty big change to the VPN policy, companywide. Those can be tough – there’s always a trade-off between security and productivity, but we never want to slow people down. So, a few issues, but resolved very quickly. All by humans.”
RC: “Hypothetically, Mr. Zuniga, if RingCentral IT did have elves, how might they contribute?
JZ: “What kind of elves are we talking about? The bow-and-arrow kind? The cookie-baking kind, or…?”
RC: “We’re asking the questions here, sir”.
JZ: “Hmm. Maybe PR elves.”
RC: “Go on…”
JZ: “No one thinks about IT unless something breaks. And when we institute new security policies or new technologies, it can feel like we’re slowing people down, but, I wish the world knew – we’re your partners. We’re here to make sure everything runs smoothly through the holidays and beyond. There are a lot of interesting stories about how that happens. So, yeah, if elves who could get that message out existed, that would be good.”
RC: “So you’d be open to hiring elves.”
JZ: “I’m hanging up now.”
A global pandemic. Stress tests. End-of-year rush. The holidays. Almost all of it performed remotely, while maintaining RingCentral’s legendary “five-nines” uptime. RingCentral IT delivers some pretty amazing levels of performance…a little too amazing if you ask us. While we continue to investigate this mystery, we wish you had a safe and happy holiday season. Hoping you had some #relaxingtogether, to rest and recharge – now let’s all welcome 2021!
Originally published Jan 04, 2021, updated Feb 24, 2021