Customer Story

Sun Valley Floral Farms adds efficiencies while subtracting costs with RingCentral

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3 min read

Highlights:

  • Empowering remote employees: With RingCentral’s cloud communications, Sun Valley’s remote workforce has stayed connected and productive.
  • Improving workflows: From instantly forming groups in the messaging platform to holding impromptu video meetings, employees across the company are leveraging RingCentral to improve their daily workflows.
  • Saving money: Consolidating vendors and apps, as well as eliminating the need to replace aging phone equipment, is saving Sun Valley substantially.

One of the largest cut-flower operations in the United States

When Whole Foods wanted to begin selling tulips in its hundreds of US stores, the company turned to Sun Valley Floral Farms. Why did Whole Foods choose Sun Valley? For the same reasons that wholesalers and retailers throughout the US have partnered with the California-based company for more than half a century.

Leveraging its proprietary processes, decades of floral experience, and the ideal growing conditions of California’s Humboldt County, Sun Valley consistently produces and distributes stunningly beautiful flowers year-round. The company has also earned a reputation as one of the most socially and environmentally responsible organizations in the industry—becoming the first flower farm, for example, to earn the prestigious Rainforest Alliance Certification.

Today, for these reasons and others, Sun Valley is one of the country’s largest and most successful growers of fresh-cut flowers.

One of the country’s largest flower growers sees staff productivity blossom with RingCentral

A phone system that had lost its bloom

For more than 15 years, Sun Valley’s telephony infrastructure consisted of on-prem PBX servers at its Southern and Northern California locations, desk phones for all office-based employees, and landline service from local carriers.

Kyle Sharp, IT Director for Sun Valley, explains that this aging phone environment became more troublesome in recent years—and flat-out unacceptable when the lockdowns began.

“We had upgraded the PBX servers a few times over the years,” Kyle says. “But the desk phones were antiques that we were going to need to replace soon, which would’ve cost a fortune. Plus, even pre-COVID, we were thinking about business continuity, consolidating our communications platforms into one environment, and making it easier for our employees to stay connected outside the office. A cloud-based solution seemed like the obvious choice.” 

RingCentral helps unleash efficiencies across the company

When his team rolled out RingCentral’s unified message, phone, and video platform across the company, Kyle says employees immediately saw the benefits of such a mobile, flexible communication tool, especially considering many were working remotely for the first time.

“The fact that everyone now can have the RingCentral softphone on their computers, and the mobile app as well, is making it a lot easier for our work-from-home staff to feel connected to the rest of the company and to work more seamlessly throughout the day no matter where they are or what they’re doing.”

Nor are Sun Valley’s employees using RingCentral only for phone calls. Kyle notes the staff is leveraging the other components of the platform to improve their workflows, particularly team messaging.

“One of the best things about this solution is that we now have one platform for everything, including messaging, collaboration, and video meetings. Our teams are going into the RingCentral messaging platform and creating ad hoc groups to manage a new project. And what’s great about that isn’t just that they can chat and share files in real-time, but also that the team has a historical record of everything related to the project and can find things easily.”

An implementation that signaled the company had chosen the right solution

Before Sun Valley’s employees even began reaping the benefits of their new unified cloud solution, Kyle explains, his team was already feeling reinforced in their decision to choose RingCentral, thanks to an incredibly successful rollout.

“The implementation was so smooth, it was amazing. If you were an employee and we didn’t tell you it was happening, you wouldn’t have even noticed we were switching phone systems. No downtime. No employee complaints. No issues at all. And then, just like that, it was done, and everybody had this awesome new cloud phone system.”

Reducing the company’s telecom expenses

Finally, Kyle points out that Sun Valley decided to move to cloud communications for business continuity, employee mobility, and added functionality—all of which they found with RingCentral. But, he notes, the company is also enjoying an unexpected benefit: cost savings over its legacy phone infrastructure. 

“We had been paying several vendors for the solution we now have entirely through RingCentral. So this migration allowed us to consolidate those bills, including local third-party help to manage the on-prem systems in our different locations, and a separate video conferencing app.”

In fact, Kyle anticipates saving substantially with RingCentral for another reason: “Not having to buy hundreds of new desk phones to replace our ancient inventory is also going to result in some nice savings.”

Originally published May 05, 2022

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