Cramer Fish Sciences

Scientific Consulting Firm Uses RingCentral to Help Its Mobile Staff Communicate Easily
Cramer Fish Sciences logo
When we realized we could integrate online meetings and video conferencing into your system with RingCentral Meetings, we were in!

Olivia Hipes

CFO, Cramer Fish Sciences
The experts at consulting firm Cramer Fish Sciences are often on the move—conducting research in the field, visiting clients’ offices to present analyses, or traveling among the company’s six locations across the Northwestern US. Their work often influences government policy regarding fisheries and other natural-resource challenges, but it’s difficult to explain to nonscientists, so the team, most of whom hold Ph.D.s and Master of Science degrees, describes Cramer Fish Sciences this way: “We solve fish problems.”
These highly mobile scientists also often need to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues, even when those colleagues or they themselves are in the field. And until recently, the team was working with a disparate set of phone systems that made it difficult for employees at one location to reach a colleague in another office (and nearly impossible to connect with that colleague on the road).

Patched-together phone systems were slowing productivity

Patched-together phone systems were slowing productivity “When I started here, I could see right away our phone system was slowing things down,” recalls Olivia Hipes, Chief Financial Officer for Cramer Fish Sciences. “My right-hand person was responsible for key financial processes like managing payroll and reconciling invoices, and she was spending a lot of time every day answering our phones like an operator.”

But the problem was more significant than slowing down one of Hipes’s colleagues. “We had four different phone systems across our six offices,” she explains. “Some locations used landlines, others had VoIP phones; some systems were okay, others were problematic. And none of them connected easily with the others. So anyone calling anyone else in the company had to figure out how to reach them, and it wasn’t easy. Our office’s main lines were ringing all day—often with calls from scientists in other offices trying to reach scientists at our office, and they couldn’t contact them directly.”
“In fact,” Hipes says, “plenty of our staff just gave up trying to use our phone systems altogether and started calling each other from their personal mobile phones.”

Frustrated, Hipes and her team began investigating unified communications solutions.
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Portland, OR

The team found an all-in-one solution with RingCentral

Whatever new phone system Cramer Fish Sciences chose would have to solve several problems at once.

“Ease of implementation was a big factor,” Hipes explains. “We’re spread across several states, so we needed a solution that would be plug-and-play, quick, and easy for our staff to learn. We didn’t want to have to use a third-party IT provider to roll the system out or to have to spend a lot of time and money training everyone on it.”

“Also, we had to make it easy for everyone in the company to communicate no matter where they were or what devices they had. Because our scientists are traveling so often, it was really important that they are able to contact each other (and clients) from anywhere and that they always have access to voicemail and be able to join meetings, even in the field. RingEX™ checked all of these important boxes for us, and every part of the service was so simple.”

“Now anyone on the team can easily reach anyone else no matter where they are, thanks to RingCentral. It’s like we're all working right next door to each other.”
Now anyone on the team can easily reach anyone else no matter where they are, thanks to RingCentral. It’s like we're all working right next door to each other.

Olivia Hipes

CFO, Cramer Fish Sciences

A stand out feature leads to the selection of RingCentral

As important as improving the company’s phone solution was to the team, and as impressed as they were with RingCentral’s phone system, Hipes recalls that it was actually another service that sealed the deal for them. “When we realized we could integrate online meetings and video conferencing into your system with RingCentral Meetings, we were in!”

RingCentral Meetings™ lets Cramer Fish Sciences cut a big cost

“At the time we were using another online meeting solution, and it was okay, but not so easy for the team to use,” says Hipes. “And those meeting licenses were costing us a lot.”

“We used to run our weekly senior-management meetings as audio
conferences, for example, because not all of our execs were comfortable using the old system, especially if they were traveling. But since we’ve deployed RingCentral Meetings we’re running all of these management meetings as video calls. That’s helped us cut way down on our travel costs, and I think it’s also brought our team closer.”

The team also finds huge benefits in the RingCentral Glip™ messaging app

Although they didn’t even have any interest in the feature at first, when Hipes’s team discovered the RingCentral Glip team messaging app, it became a game changer for her entire admin department.

“We tried out Glip to help our admin team manage a move to a new office, a hugely complicated undertaking,” she explains. “I can’t tell you how amazing it was to have this tool during the move. It helped us consolidate and organize our conversations about move-related tasks.

It helped us quickly bring new team members into the loop so they could start helping. And that meant Glip allowed us to expand our move team from the couple of local people to admin staff across the organization, even our colleagues in other states.”

“Now we’re about to roll Glip out company-wide, and my team and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it.”