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How this Surveillance Software Creator Transitioned to a 100% Remote Staff Without a Glitch


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In uncertain times like these, security takes on additional significance, not only for individuals and their homes but also for businesses. One company that is quickly making a name for itself in this industry is Verkada, a provider of cloud-based enterprise video security.

In just a few years since its launch, the Silicon Valley-based company has become the video surveillance solution provider to 2,500 businesses worldwide, including dozens of Fortune 500 firms. And by 2020—just two years after the company began offering its smart cameras and cloud surveillance platform—Verkada already earned a market valuation of $1.6 billion.

Verkada’s growth was so rapid, in fact, that the company started an international expansion, opening offices in the UK and Australia. But just as it was bringing these locations online, the COVID-19 outbreak began leading to stay-at-home orders around the world. Suddenly Verkada found itself having to transition its 300 employees to remote-working arrangements.

But the cloud-based surveillance company was ready—because in previous months it had made an important cloud technology purchase of its own.

Legacy phone system proves unworkable—even before COVID-19

When Verkada launched, its founders placed high priority on the quality and uptime of its phone system. The plan was for Verkada to focus heavily on sales in its early days, and the executive team wanted to equip its fast-growing sales force with a reliable phone system.

But they soon realized that the on-prem solution they purchased created several business problems. The system didn’t provide the call data or analytics the company wanted. The on-prem hardware was also difficult to operate; making even minor changes required help from IT and a lot of lead time. And, worse, the phone system began experiencing outages.

Bjorn Pave, Verkada’s senior director of IT, remembers that as he was being hired, everyone was telling him his top priority would be to find a better communications system. “Even during the interview process,” Bjorn recalls, “Co-Founder Hans Robertson came to me and said: ‘Job one is to get the entire sales team off this legacy equipment and onto something modern.’”

IT communications proves the easiest part of the transition

Thorough due diligence led Bjorn to RingCentral. And although the IT team planned to roll out their new unified communications solution across the company in stages, growing problems with the old system forced them to do it all immediately. “Cutting over to RingCentral became an emergency,” says Bjorn. “So, overnight we switched about 165 sales reps to the new cloud solution. And nobody had any problems or needed any help.”

That turned out to be a lucky occurrence because it meant the company was far more prepared for the adjustment to remote work than they would’ve been with their on-prem phone system. “All of a sudden, we’re facing the stay-at-home mandate, and we need to shut down all the offices,” says Bjorn. “But of all the things that this transition was going to require, maintaining our communications was my lowest stress point, because we had RingCentral.”

Bjorn was right. From a communications standpoint, Verkada’s global staff easily transitioned to their new remote-working environments. “Our sales reps are making about 100 calls a day, even more in some cases, and we’re able to monitor this through RingCentral’s analytics.”

The company also easily adjusted to these new circumstances in other ways. “Even now, we’re continuing to hire,” Bjorn explains. “Thanks to RingCentral Meetings, we’ve been able to switch to video interviews. And when we onboard new hires, that’s easy too. We just send them their RingCentral account info, they download the software, log in, and they’re up and going.”

Originally published Jun 17, 2020, updated Aug 12, 2020

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