- Improving mobility: For the first time, Katz Media Group sales reps and other employees can make and receive calls on their business lines from any device.
- Integrating apps: Using RingCentral’s app integrations with Dropbox, WebHooks, and others, the company has been able to streamline several key workflows.
- Cutting costs: By eliminating telecom contracts and hardware maintenance agreements, and consolidating communication apps, Katz cut its costs significantly.
The company that literally invented the media representation industry
In the TV, radio, and digital advertising space, the company trusted by more ad agencies than any other is Katz Media Group. The first firm established in the US to represent media advertising more than 100 years ago, Katz is now the largest of its kind in the country—representing thousands of radio stations and hundreds of TV stations.
In fact, considering that the ads sold by Katz across all media platforms reach 275 million consumers weekly, chances are their messages have reached you.
The need for cloud-based, unified communications
Barbara Rossi, Director of Telecommunications for Katz, explains that she was overseeing a 25-year-old PBX phone system at the company’s New York City headquarters. Additionally, each of the company’s regional offices throughout the US had its own on-prem telephony hardware. That led to many operational challenges, Barbara explains.
“We had no company-wide directory, which made calling people in other offices a constant challenge. We also had to oversee and fix aging PBX hardware at every location. From an administrative standpoint, it was a nightmare.”
Robert Lyons, Katz’s CTO, adds that because the company’s legacy telephony system didn’t offer much in the way of additional communication capabilities, such as team messaging and video conferencing, Katz’s employees began adopting different tools for those purposes.
“We had so many communication apps and vendor relationships—multiple phone systems and carrier contracts, different tools for video conferencing, and several others for team chats. In addition to creating challenges keeping everyone connected, that infrastructure was also costing us a small fortune.”
RingCentral’s mobile communication capability proves invaluable during the lockdown
Although Katz’s staff would soon discover many ways to improve their workflows using RingCentral MVP on their laptops and smartphones, the first significant benefit the company found was newfound mobility. As Robert explains, he and Barbara were rolling out the unified communications solution when the COVID lockdowns began.
“New York City officials were talking about closing bridges and restricting movements, which would have kept us locked out of our main office, where half of the company works. But because RingCentral let us put our business phone service, team messaging, and video conferencing on everyone’s phones and laptops, we didn’t need to worry about not being able to access our on-prem PBX. Our transition to remote work was basically seamless.”
Improving workflows and creating efficiencies across the company
As Katz’s employees settled into their new remote working environments, the company began discovering ways to use every aspect of the unified RingCentral MVP solution to improve its operations. The ability to take and place calls from any device using their business number, Robert explains, was only one such improvement.
“About 80% of our workforce are sales reps who spend a good portion of their days taking media-buy requests from ad agencies,” Robert explains. “Being able to take those calls on their work numbers—from anywhere—had a hugely positive effect on our responsiveness to clients and our sales teams’ ability to close business. This mobility was obviously essential during the lockdowns, but it would’ve added enormous value for our sales efforts even without COVID.”
As for RingCentral MVP’s built-in team messaging platform, Customer Support Manager John Iacono points out that Katz’s employees are using that service to manage complex initiatives.
“We can run entire projects, like developing client pitches, in RingCentral,” John explains. “We create a dedicated group for chats and keeping track of our notes, and we use the RingCentral Dropbox integration to share document links. If we want to discuss something with the group, we fire up a conference call or a video chat, all without ever leaving the RingCentral app. It’s like a one-stop-shop for managing our group projects.”
The company is also leveraging RingCentral’s built-in video conferencing platform to improve the productivity and engagement of internal meetings—which is particularly important when those meetings involve remote workers or team members in different parts of the country.
“We’re a distributed organization, and even in our headquarters we have some people coming into the office and others remote,” says Robert. “Having meetings by phone, with some people in a conference room and others dialing in, doesn’t always give the virtual attendees the full experience. Having everyone connected by video, though, means we can all enjoy an equal sense of participation. In that sense, RingCentral Video has been great for our teamwork.”
Finding more workflow improvements in the RingCentral App Gallery
Finally, as Robert explains, his team is continuing to increase the value of their RingCentral platform by integrating the company’s communications environment with other productivity apps.
Employees use Dropbox for RingCentral, for example, both to share Dropbox links in their RingCentral team messaging threads and to automatically move business voicemails from the RingCentral environment into a Dropbox folder.
Additionally, Katz’s development department is using the WebHooks for RingCentral integration to automatically send development events into the team’s dedicated RingCentral team messaging group, which the developers have open and are checking throughout the day. “That’s a huge timesaver,” he says.
Robert is also looking forward to implementing the RingCentral HubSpot CRM integration for the company’s outbound sales teams—another integration he discovered in the RingCentral App Gallery.
“HubSpot is our CRM, and it’s going to be great to have our outbound prospecting conversations automatically logged into our CRM system, so the reps don’t have to manually enter the data after each call. That’s going to be a big timesaver and, ultimately, allow our reps to reach more prospects.”
Robert concludes by noting that these integrations are creating an enormous benefit to the company’s overall operations. “One of the things I find most valuable about RingCentral is the ecosystem of apps it lets us integrate into our communications platform. We just keep discovering useful integration opportunities in the RingCentral App Gallery, and they’re adding massive efficiencies to our workflows.”
Originally published May 12, 2022