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How the Detroit Pistons scored a big win with RingCentral


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Few sports fans give it much thought, but an NBA team consists of far more than the 15 players on its roster and the trainers and coaches guiding those athletes to success. Every NBA organization also depends on the teamwork of an entire corporate staff: sales, marketing, customer service, IT, finance, etc.

When the COVID lockdowns began going into effect, the 300 employees of the Detroit Pistons organization had moved just a few months earlier to a new corporate headquarters and training facility—the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center—located just a couple of miles from the arena in Downtown Detroit.

When the stay-home orders came into effect, all of the organization’s employees, even the call center agents, were able to transition to remote working within just one day. This was in part due to the Pistons IT team choosing to roll out a cloud-communications solution that would enable employees to work from anywhere.

Improving operations pre-COVID

Faced with setting up communications infrastructure for the staff’s new office space, Paul Rapier, VP of IT for the Pistons, decided the move itself presented an opportunity to finally retire the organization’s old, on-prem phone system. Rather than waste time with copper wiring and re-establishing employees’ phone connections at their new desks, Paul and his IT team went looking for a cloud-communications solution that didn’t require any onsite hardware to manage.

As Paul points out, switching to a cloud solution promised to solve several of the corporate staff’s daily communication challenges—including having to share audio and video conference licenses, maintaining legacy fax machines, and the call center managers’ lack of access to real-time data.

“Our sales teams wanted better reporting capabilities and integrations with tools like Salesforce,” he says. “My IT team wanted a phone system that was easier to manage, would work reliably, and would help us consolidate our other communication tools and vendors. With RingCentral, we got everything we were looking for.”

Ready for the lockdowns

But as enthusiastically as the Pistons’ employees were about their new RingCentral desktop and mobile apps—which let them take and make business calls anywhere, easily join or host online meetings, and even fax without paper—RingCentral’s real value to the team became evident when the entire organization was suddenly forced to quarantine at home.

Thanks to the built-in video conferencing capability from RingCentral Video, the Pistons’ employees were able to able virtual face-to-face meetings all throughout the lockdown period, because anyone in the organization could easily host a video call with their team.

Originally published Mar 04, 2021

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