Hagaman Insurance Group, a life, health and dental insurance brokerage, is located just off the Jersey Shore in the township of Toms River. The town, with its bucolic central business district and miles of water frontage, is normally quiet. But when Hurricane Sandy struck in the fall of 2012, Toms River was anything but peaceful.
Dean Pasqua, Hagaman Insurance’s technology director, described to us the havoc that Sandy wrought. “Sandy killed us,” he said. “We were totally unreachable – clients were screaming at us.”
Why was the insurance firm hit so hard? It was using an on-premise business phone system, Dean explained. New Jersey was one of the states hit hardest by the hurricane, and the towering winds and storm surges that swept through Toms River knocked out miles of power and phone lines.
“When Hurricane Sandy happened, no work could get done,” Dean said. “Our fax machines simply couldn’t send or receive faxes.”
Sandy served as a wake-up call for Hagaman Insurance. No longer, Dean realized, could the company rely on systems that could go down during weather events. Shortly after the cleanup process began, Dean began shopping for a hosted PBX phone system that operated in the cloud. His search took him right to RingCentral.
Not only is RingCentral fully redundant, with data centers on both coasts, it offers features like call recording that are hugely valuable to Hagaman Insurance. As a broker of financial products, Hagaman Insurance has to keep detailed records of customer communications. RingCentral helps it catalog customer calls which can be downloaded locally and archived for compliance purposes.
And Dean discovered that RingCentral’s customer support department is at the ready for any issues that may crop up. “I called in and explained to a rep, this is what I want to do – I had some pretty in-depth questions,” he said. “She came back and answered them. That impressed me.”
Ultimately, it’s RingCentral’s cloud architecture that has made it a smart choice for Dean and Hagaman Insurance. A storm of Sandy’s magnitude isn’t likely to strike again soon. But should such a disaster occur, Hagaman Insurance will be ready.
“We have 34 people in our office, so we need a phone system that we can count on,” Dean told us. “Now, if our office goes down, we’re still able to conduct business.”
Originally published Apr 01, 2013, updated Aug 07, 2020