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BY NEED

Engineering Consulting Firm Communicates More Seamlessly with RingCentral

Summary
Needed a phone solution that would work easily on day one, scale easily later.
Cloud-based RingCentral enabled easy office expansion and frictionless growth.
Continuing to benefit from RingCentral’s ease of use and cost-effectiveness.
Summary
“Thanks to RingCentral, we now have disaster recovery built right into our phone service, which really helped us when one of our locations faced an actual disaster.”
Wesley Peper
Corporate IT Manager, Coffman Engineers
Company profile
Company profile:
Coffman Engineers is a multidiscipline engineering firm offering civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and fire protection engineering. The company also offers specialty services including process piping, corrosion control, sustainable design, instrumentation and controls, commissioning, and surveying. Coffman's diverse portfolio includes commercial, retail, institutional, government, industrial, educational, and alternative energy. Its focus has always been on its clients' success, and it does this by offering its diverse services from 14 offices across the US. This has made it a leader in the building industry and strengthened its reputation as progressive, innovative, and a great place to work. 
Year founded:
1979
EMPLOYEES:
475 employees
Headquarters:
Seattle, WA
Website:

Since its founding in 1979, Coffman Engineers has grown to become a major player in the engineering-consulting business in the US and continues to grow its presence nationally and internationally. Today the award-winning company’s 475 employees offer a wide range of engineering consulting services (civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and fire protection) and specialty services (process piping, corrosion control, sustainable design, instrumentation and controls, commissioning,

sustainable design, and surveying) in 14 offices across the US, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam.

Through a combination of organic growth and mergers, Coffman has rapidly built up its workforce and geographical footprint in recent years. With this rapid growth, the IT team began investigating ways to improve the company’s increasingly trouble-prone legacy phone system, and their search led them to RingCentral.

The need for a streamlined, centralized, and easy-to-manage system

For many years, each Coffman location operated its business phones on a local PBX. “We had a myriad of different systems across the company,” recalls Wesley Peper, Corporate IT Manager for Coffman Engineers.

“With outages, increasing maintenance costs as the systems aged, and

the fact that they were no longer sufficient for our communication needs, it became clear that we needed to upgrade our old PBX infrastructure to something new—ideally something more streamlined, centralized, and easy to manage.”

All the needed features in one platform

Peper and Coffman’s IT team started researching alternatives, and they quickly decided to migrate the company to a VoIP phone system. “When you compare the differences between VoIP and PBX—with all the features and services you get with a cloud phone solution—there’s just no comparison,” Peper explains. The question then became which VoIP system?

“As we reviewed different solutions out there, RingCentral jumped to the

top of our list for a few reasons,” says Peper. “First, there were all of the features available with the RingCentral Office platform. Second, the price was attractive. This was back in 2013, when cloud phone systems were still relatively new, but RingCentral’s price was affordable, and it represented a significant savings over maintaining our PBX system. And finally, all of the positive customer reviews we saw about the service put RingCentral over the top for us. It was clearly the right choice.”

Benefits of a centralized platform and built-in disaster recovery

From the time Peper and his team deployed RingCentral Office®, they knew they made the right choice. “There have been so many benefits to rolling out RingCentral,” Peper says.

“Because we’re all on a single, centralized platform, it’s easy to add new people and even new offices to the Coffman family,” he explains. “All we need to do when we bring on a new employee is order a RingCentral phone, assign an extension, and the hardware is literally ready to go as soon as we plug it in. In fact, when I order a phone, our RingCentral rep sends me the number ahead of time so I can program it before we even receive the physical phone. This is great for our small offices that don’t have on-site IT staff. They just plug the phone in, and they’re ready to go.”

“Another huge benefit about being on the same platform is that we can

have calls handled by any office, anytime. When we opened our Oakland office, which didn’t have front desk staff, the calls were answered by our Los Angeles office and routed to our Oakland staff as needed. Thanks to the ease of routing calls across offices, we didn’t need front desk staff for several years and still had every call answered.”

“Also, thanks to RingCentral, we now have disaster recovery built right into our phone service. With RingCentral, we are able to reroute all calls from the office’s main number to another location. You can use the RingCentral admin portal to program each employee’s home number as their business extension. So even though they didn’t have their actual phones, our employees could seamlessly take work calls on their home lines until it was safe to go back to the office.”

Significant cost savings

“We used to have to pay for phone lines and hardware with our old PBX infrastructure,” Peper explains. “But then you’re stuck with aging systems, and you don’t have most of the services we’re getting with RingCentral, like call sharing, the Call Flip feature that lets you seamlessly switch devices mid-call, built-in conferencing, or the ability to easily add new employees.”

“It’s hard to quantify the savings exactly because the phone service we’re getting now is so different from our legacy system. But given all the maintenance and upkeep costs we no longer have, I’d say that even if RingCentral were costing us 50% more per employee, it would still easily represent a 25% savings over our legacy phone infrastructure. The cost savings with RingCentral has been significant.”

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Outstanding proactive customer support

Peper also notes that both the quality of service and the customer support from RingCentral have been outstanding. “Our experience with RingCentral’s service has been consistent with the great customer reviews we read,” he says. “For example, I opened an issue with the support team and didn’t follow up because I got busy, so the team contacted me to see if I was still having the issue. That level of proactive service is a big benefit for us.”

“As for the quality of the service itself, I should point out that I recently asked the IT team if they were hearing any issues from anyone in the company about the phone service. None of them had heard any concerns or complaints. Just knowing the service is that reliable and consistent for the IT team and company-wide staff is pretty awesome.”

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“The RingCentral platform has supported ProductPlan’s growth over the years in a number of ways,” says Semick, “and I think it could benefit many young and small companies. I’ll give you some examples.”

“Ease of use. Setting up a new employee with RingCentral is really as easy as unboxing the phone, plugging it in, and recording a voicemail message. It doesn’t require any specialized technical expertise.”

“Portability. As our staff grew, we had to move to new offices or take over additional space in our existing offices. With RingCentral, the beauty was we could take the phones to our new space and just plug and play. Because RingCentral is cloud-based, we never needed to set up physical phone lines or wait for a telecom provider to activate service for our staff.”

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“Time and cost savings. If we had an on-prem PBX or other traditional business phone system, we’d be spending time and money configuring and managing it. And if we instead relied entirely on our cell phones for business communication, that would create inefficiencies in the office in terms of being able to grab a coworker’s ringing phone or easily transferring calls to the right person. Having the RingCentral cloud platform is the perfect solution for a young but fast-growing company like ProductPlan.”

“Easy scalability. As our Account Management and Customer Success teams grow, RingCentral makes it so easy for us to get them up and running.” 

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