Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons Get a Big Assist from RingCentral
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day to transition the entire organization to remote work — with no IT issues


outbound calls managed through Contact Center over the previous 6 months


inbound calls managed through Contact Center over the previous 6 months
Thanks to RingCentral, our entire corporate staff was able to shift to working from home in a day, without missing a beat.

Paul Rapier

Vice President of IT, Detroit Pistons

A great comeback story

The history of the Detroit Pistons reads like one of the most inspiring comeback stories in all of professional sports. After moving from their original Indiana home to Detroit, Michigan, the team spent the next 41 seasons without a NBA championship. Only one other pro team in any sports league—baseball’s St. Louis Browns—had ever gone longer without a championship.
But then, in the decade and a half between 1989 and 2004, the Detroit Pistons won three championships. In fact, from the 1988 through 2005 seasons, the team made it to the NBA Finals five times. Only two teams—the LA Lakers and the Chicago Bulls—made more Finals appearances during that period.
When the Pistons moved from their long-standing home at The Palace of Auburn Hills to brand new Little Caesars Arena in 2017, the team made history again. With the Pistons move to downtown, Detroit became the only US city to have its professional baseball, football, basketball, and hockey teams all playing in its downtown district.
The Pistons followed up their move to the new stadium by constructing a nearby training facility and headquarters, which opened in 2019. And although setting up its corporate offices in the new, high-tech downtown facility promised to improve the Pistons’ operations, the move itself created a serious IT challenge.
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Detroit, MI

A communications infrastructure in need of a new game plan

Like most long-running organizations in any industry, the Detroit Pistons had built up their IT communications infrastructure organically, over time, adding new services and vendors when necessary. But after 30 years in the same location, the team’s corporate employees—in sales, support, marketing, HR, finance, etc.—found themselves trying to make do with a wide range of communications tools, many of which were inflexible and incompatible with each other.
The organization’s move to their newly-built training facility and corporate offices at the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center served as the perfect opportunity for the IT team to reimagine the organization’s entire communications environment.
“Previously, managing our on-premises phone system was a challenge at times,” says Paul Rapier, the Pistons’ Vice President of Information Technology. “It took up time for maintenance and troubleshooting.”
Rather than trying to rebuild their legacy communications environment in the new offices, Paul decided that his team would find a more modern, cloud-based system that could work anywhere. “If we found the right solution,” he adds, “we would also be able to consolidate our other systems and vendors… for things like audio conferencing, faxing, video calls… into one environment.”
We wanted a phone system we could pick up and move with us to new offices—no rewiring, no hardware to reconfigure. That was RingCentral.

Paul Rapier

Vice President of IT, Detroit Pistons

RingCentral proves the ideal teammate

After thoroughly researching the industry —“We seriously vetted about 10 providers,” Paul says—the IT team selected RingCentral. There were several reasons this solution proved to be the all-star.
“RingCentral was so easy to use,” explains Paul. “It meant that our call center managers could administer the system themselves, and do things like create new call queues and pull their own data reports without needing to wait for IT.”
The Pistons’ sales teams were also thrilled that RingCentral integrated with their other productivity tools.
Our reps use RingCentral’s click-to-dial in Salesforce. It saves them a ton of time because they don’t have to manually dial numbers anymore.

Paul Rapier

Vice President of IT, Detroit Pistons

COVID forced them home… but not out of the game

In the early months after Paul’s IT team deployed RingCentral to all of the Pistons’ corporate staff, the organization was already seeing the benefits they had hoped a cloud solution would provide.
Because RingCentral lets employees take and make calls, join audio or video conferences, and fax digitally from any connected device, the staff was able to move to its new headquarters without any interruption in communications or accessibility. Also, the call center teams were seeing significant increases in productivity—and, for the first time, they had real-time access to key data such as call volume and average talk times.
But perhaps the most significant benefit of RingCentral didn’t surface until the COVID lockdowns suddenly forced the entire corporate organization to shelter in place at home.
In addition to being able to take and make calls from home, because all employees had the RingCentral apps on their computers and cell phones, the built-in RingCentral Video also made it easy for the staff to stay in touch face to face. “It was so easy to start a video call using RingCentral Video on the app, and those face-to-face conversations were especially helpful during the lockdowns.”