- Lowering costs: Migrating to RingCentral helped the company eliminate carrier fees, remove many desk phones, retire servers, and save money in several other ways.
- Consolidating services: The company now has a solution that fully supports remote work and enables voice, message, video, and fax capability in one unified solution.
- Improving workflows: The company’s staff is improving efficiencies and productivity with RingCentral integrations for Salesforce, Microsoft 365, and MS Teams.
Indiana’s first distributor for the Thomas Edison Company
Few business technology providers can say they’ve been operating continuously for more than 100 years, but Van Ausdall & Farrar is on that extremely short list.
From its launch in 1914 as Indiana’s exclusive distributor of the wax cylinder dictation machine, invented by Thomas Edison, Van Ausdall & Farrar has grown to become the state’s largest privately owned provider of office solutions — with offerings that span managed IT services, print solutions, communication systems, and fully customized business processes.
The lockdowns accelerated the need for cloud-based telephony
Trent Smith, Vice President and GM of Van Ausdall & Farrar’s IT and Communications business units, explains that when lockdowns started, the company was still using a Mitel premise-based phone system that it first rolled out nearly 20 years earlier. As Trent notes, the sudden transition to remote work quickly exposed the limitations of that old phone system.
“There are so many components to manage if you’re trying to build infrastructure for remote users — servers, other on-prem hardware, an edge gateway — all of which need to be configured properly and monitored constantly. Plus, there’s a single point of failure: If your gateway fails, all remote users lose communication. And this was something that happened to us more than once as we were working our way through the early days of the lockdowns.”
The key trait that made RingCentral stand out
After investigating cloud communication providers, Trent and his team found RingCentral to be the standout for several reasons — including its leadership position in the industry, broad portfolio of app integrations, and sophisticated reporting and analytics capabilities. But the key selling point for Van Ausdall & Farrar, Trent says, was a unique trait they found in RingCentral.
“A big differentiator for us was the cloud-native aspect of RingCentral,” Trent explains. “The other communication solutions we looked at were premise-based for most of their history — and moved to the cloud later. They hadn’t been designed to support anywhere, any-device communications. RingCentral was born in the cloud and, as a result, created a unified solution that works much more seamlessly.”
In fact, Trent points out, when the Mitel-RingCentral partnership was announced, Van Ausdall saw an opportunity both to improve its own internal communications, by migrating to the unified RingCentral MVP (Message, Video, Phone) cloud platform, and to add a powerful communications offering to its portfolio for clients.
“We couldn’t find a single limitation of the RingCentral solution or a missing component that we needed,” Trent explains. After his team’s research, Trent says, the company became both a RingCentral customer and resale partner at the same time.
Giving employees new capabilities with RingCentral
In addition to solving the remote work challenge Van Ausdall & Farrar was facing — with a cloud solution that lets employees make and receive business calls using their laptops and smartphones — RingCentral also allowed Trent’s team to roll out several new communication capabilities to the company’s employees.
“The list of new capabilities our staff has with RingCentral is considerable, including the ability to initiate video calls through the platform, send and receive SMS texts anywhere using their business numbers, and even set up sophisticated call queues and routing instructions for our Customer Care department’s support calls.”
Improving efficiencies through RingCentral integrations
Trent also points out that employees across the organization are leveraging several RingCentral integrations to streamline and improve their everyday workflows.
“Our sales department gets tremendous value from the RingCentral for Salesforce integration,” he says. “Our reps are much more efficient now that they can make and receive calls through RingCentral without leaving their Salesforce interface. And they really appreciate having the screen pops show a customer’s profile and history because that allows for a much more personal and positive conversation.”
Additionally, Trent notes, employees throughout the company have been able to reduce app hopping with RingCentral for Microsoft 365.
“I live in Outlook. With this RingCentral integration, I can be in my email interface and at the same time manage my inbound and outbound calls, check my call history, look up someone in my RingCentral contacts, send a business text, and even initiate a video call. And I never have to jump between apps to do any of those things.”
Van Ausdall & Farrar has also found an ingenious way to use yet another RingCentral integration to leverage the convenience and reliability of RingCentral and help a key department develop expertise in another cloud solution.
“We have a couple of dozen IT engineers who work with clients, and many of our clients use Microsoft solutions. For these engineers, it makes sense to use the RingCentral Direct Routing integration for Microsoft Teams, because they’re still in our RingCentral environment
but they’re also gaining experience in the Teams app and becoming experts for our clients.”
Lowering telecom costs
Although migrating to RingCentral has led to substantial operational improvements for Van Ausdall & Farrar, Trent notes that the move has also lowered the company’s overall communication costs.
“By moving our entire communications environment to the cloud with RingCentral, we’re saving money in many ways. We no longer need to maintain as many physical phones as we did. We’re not supporting servers and related hardware. We’ve consolidated services, like fax and SMS, with a single vendor. And we no longer need to pay carrier fees for telco lines — which all by itself is saving us $20,000 a year.”
Originally published Dec 29, 2022