Conducting business during the COVID-19 crisis is not unlike repairing an airplane mid-flight. As mechanics of their organizations, IT teams are scrambling to fix systems on the go, while installing technology for the first time. The pandemic thrust everyone into a living history lesson literally overnight, forever changing the way we conduct business.

To become “remote-friendly,” organizations are migrating their operations from on-premises to the cloud without much prep time. The transition is unfamiliar and feels a bit like flying blind for many traditionally located businesses. For some, however, the shift is less stressful, thanks to proactive strategic planning from forward-thinking IT teams.

NADA Continues to Serve Dealerships During Unprecedented Times

The National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) is a non-profit trade association that represents franchised new-car and -truck dealers before the federal government, automakers, the media, and the general public. NADA also provides a robust slate of education, compliance, and business operations tools. Within a short period of time, NADA soon found itself among the essential-vendor list – due to its service to a critical workforce of vehicle sales and service employees – and had to transition its teams to remote life all while counseling tens of thousands of auto dealers looking for emergency guidance on a flurry of topics.

NADA Vice President and CIO Rafael Maldonado was one step ahead, preparing for this day through his business continuity plan. While he couldn’t have predicted a global crisis, Maldonado’s plan called for a total overhaul of NADA’s legacy telecommunications technology to one based in the cloud. As a result, NADA’s transition to a remote-friendly workforce was smooth and fairly uneventful.

Shifting to Cloud-Based RingCentral Provides Easy Transition to Remote Work

Moving from an on-premises legacy phone system, NADA integrated Microsoft 365 in RingCentral’s cloud-based contact center to handle its inbound contact center. Purchasing laptops for all employees around the same time, Rafael intended for everyone to have information at their fingertips to allow them to work from anywhere, at any time, across any device.

“If we could enable our staff to be more nimble, efficient, and effective in our mission of servicing our members, we wouldn’t be limited by a building. RingCentral was one of those steps in us being able to get the work done from anywhere on any device,” Maldonado explained.

With the regulatory and economic landscape changing every day, NADA’s dealer members are in constant need of as much information as possible to keep their doors open and be able to continue serving their customers. NADA transitioned from an inbound call center to one that proactively communicates with customers by reaching out to share government-related benefits and available resources. Further, the organization began hosting sometimes daily webinars with as many as 5,000 members in attendance for a given session. Without the deployment of RingCentral’s telecommunications solution, NADA would have been unable to serve members as effectively.

“RingCentral has been critical for us to get our members the services and communications they need from us during this crisis. It was instrumental and critical in enabling us to do what we needed to do, especially for the call center,” Maldonado said.

IT Team Hopes Remote Workforce Continues Even After Pandemic

With its remote work policy coming to fruition slightly ahead of schedule, Maldonado is hopeful NADA and other companies will realize the potential of remote work even after the COVID-19 crisis ends. He envisions a permanent work-from-home policy for NADA teams, in part because of the move to RingCentral and other cloud applications that have eased the transition.

“We literally didn’t miss a beat,” he said. “The employees went home, had everything they needed to work, and they were servicing our members from day one.”