From boats, to long-haul trucks, to heavy-duty machines, to golf carts, Trojan Battery helps to power the daily activities of millions of people around the world. A pioneer in deep-cycle battery technologies, the century-old company today sells more than five million batteries each year to individuals and businesses in 120 countries.
As a growing organization adding staff and new locations, Trojan Battery foresaw the value in moving its IT infrastructure away from in-house, hardware-dependent systems and toward hosted, cloud-based solutions that could keep the company’s distributed locations and teams connected.
But although the company had been enjoying success transitioning many of its IT systems to the cloud—including email, its ERP system, data access, and backup—one notable exception was the company’s telephony infrastructure.
Mobility and portability were top priorities
Eric Stermer, Trojan Battery’s Senior IT Manager, explains that one of the primary operational challenges Trojan Battery wanted to overcome was its dependence on physical landlines and desktop phones.
“For most other technologies, such as accessing work email or sharing files with coworkers, our employees could work anywhere using cloud apps on their laptops or personal cell phones,” Eric explains. “The last remaining hurdle to true mobility for us was phone service. When it came to taking or making a business call, we were all still basically tied to our desks.”
Managing multiple communication platforms became a drain on resources
Eric’s IT team also found it increasingly time-consuming and unproductive to manage the company’s growing list of IT communication systems and vendors.
“In addition to our on-premises phone system, we also had to manage relationships with local telco carriers, manage and troubleshoot in-house fax servers, and provision licenses that our employees shared for a separate conferencing app.”
The disjointed nature of Trojan Battery’s IT communications environment became even more of a challenge when the company merged with C&D Technologies—which itself had locations all over the world.
Call center challenges
Perhaps the most serious threat that the company’s legacy phone system posed was to its call center operations. As Eric points out, Trojan Battery’s nationwide sales and distribution call center is located in hurricane-prone Florida.
“We were dependent on the local telephony system in our Florida office,” he says. “When a hurricane took down service to that area, our agents could be without phone service for a couple of days, which meant our customers all over the country would have trouble placing orders. That was costing us business.”
One vendor, one platform, one number for each employee
Trojan Battery solved all of these and other operational challenges when the company retired its legacy phone system and migrated everyone to RingCentral’s unified, cloud communications environment. “For the first time, we now had a single solution for phone, audio and video conferencing, online fax, and even our call center operations,” Eric says.
“I think the biggest benefit RingCentral gave us was that everyone could now receive or place a call from their business number from anywhere, using any device—a desk phone, the soft phone app on their computer, or the mobile app on their cell phone. That really filled in the last piece of the mobility puzzle for Trojan Battery.”
Operating at full power through COVID
As pleased as the company had been with the capabilities and flexibility of its new cloud communications solution, Trojan Battery’s employees appreciated RingCentral even more when the pandemic lockdowns went into effect.
Eric explains: “When we sent everyone home, we were all amazed at how smooth the transition was and how efficiently we were able to continue operating. Even with almost no warning, and very little experience as a company working remotely, we were all able to stay connected and just as productive as if we were still in the office. A lot of the credit for that goes to RingCentral.”
Originally published Jul 29, 2021