For high-tech companies, coming up with a great service or product or killer app, and then bringing it to fruition, is often only half the battle. But true profitability lies with a business’s ability to scale.
Scaling refers to a company’s ability to grow quickly without necessarily having to invest proportionately. The principle is simple: when you’re capable of producing more without having to significantly increase spending on resources, you’re in a position to drive increased profits.
But as the high rate of failure among tech startups would suggest, the act of scaling is often much more difficult than simply building on a great idea. As businesses quickly grow, they must be able to maintain efficiencies and mitigate risks such as silos and bottlenecks. The problem is, these challenges are more likely to occur as new employees, offices, processes, and systems are brought online in order to scale up production.
There can be many things standing in the way of achieving scalability. But one of the most fundamental problems is often communication, or, more precisely, disconnects in communication—not only between people, but between company locations and geographies and even within workflows.
To illustrate how these can be overcome, it’s helpful to look to businesses that have mastered the scaling game. Here’s how SonicWall, a cybersecurity firm that secures more than a million networks in 215 territories and countries, has helped support growth by switching out its legacy systems for RingCentral’s unified communications solution.
The strain of legacy communications systems
As technology businesses grow, they often have to bring on new offices and plants in order to support the increased output. But having to connect and maintain on-premises “legacy” phone systems at each location is in itself a painful resource drain that directly conflicts with the principles of scaling.
“We’d been discussing for some time how to get rid of our legacy, on-prem phone system,” recalls Cassandra Hughes, system administration analyst for SonicWall. “It created so many problems for us.
“From an IT standpoint, the phones were a major challenge because the system required both constant oversight as well as coding skills just to execute standard tasks, such as adding an extension when onboarding a new employee. Managing the phones took so much hands-on work, and there was no central administrative dashboard. You’d have to log in to a separate platform to update voicemail settings, for example.”
Picking up the pace with app integrations
A lack of features and the inability to easily integrate with other processes and business apps makes legacy communication systems a further huge barrier to growing efficiency, often because such systems require users to undertake additional manual and/or redundant steps to get work done.
“For example, sales reps would locate a prospect’s phone number in our Salesforce platform and then have to copy and paste it, or dial it manually on their desk phones,” Hughes describes.
Switching to RingCentral opened up for SonicWall a number of important opportunities to streamline and create efficiencies that helped everyone get more done. For starters, employing an all-in-one messaging, video, and phone solution made it easier for SonicWall’s 1000+ member global workforce to work together, seamlessly switching from text chats to phone to video, depending on the requirements of the task at hand.
An ability to integrate RingCentral with Salesforce and other core business apps created additional workflow improvements, as well.
“Our sales teams are also finding it easier than ever to make sales calls. Using the RingCentral Salesforce integration, reps can now click a lead’s number in their Salesforce account and automatically dial that number using RingCentral. This saves a great deal of time—I’d estimate at least a couple of person-hours a day across the company—and it’s helping our sales teams cover more ground,” says Hughes.
Uncovering hidden opportunities to scale
Using RingCentral’s data reporting and analytics, SonicWall continues to uncover new opportunities to support better individual performance—and fuel ongoing growth.
Says Hughes: “With our legacy system, sales managers would have to ask IT administrators to put call-data reports together and deliver them, which consumed IT time and meant that sales teams had to wait longer for important call-history data. With RingCentral, pulling the calls report is so simple that it’s now self-serve for any manager who wants them.
“One sales manager went into the RingCentral call-reporting system and set up an automated daily email to herself and her entire sales team, containing everyone’s call history from the previous day. They can review stats for each rep such as talk time, and the number of inbound and outbound calls handled in a given day. Having access to this data is great for sales training and for incentive programs the sales managers like to use, such as end-of-quarter contests.”
As for what to do with the remnants of their old legacy phone system? “We started a pile for discarded desk phones for employees who don’t want them anymore,” Hughes says. “People are dropping them off all the time.”