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BY NEED

RingCentral Is a Game Changer for EAH Housing

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.
Company profile
Company profile:
EAH Housing is a nonprofit corporation founded with the belief that attractive affordable rental housing is the cornerstone to sustainable living communities.
Year founded:
1968
EMPLOYEES:
475+
Headquarters:
San Rafael, CA
Website:

EAH Housing develops low-income housing, manages over 100 properties in California and Hawaii, and plays a leadership role in local, regional, and national housing advocacy efforts. The organization serves more than 20,000 families, students, people with disabilities, seniors, veterans, and the formerly homeless.

Jiano Ma, EAH Housing Vice President IT, has been moving the organization toward an all-cloud IT environment since 2013 when he migrated to Office 365. “I’m proud to say that today everything we have is cloud-based. There is zero on-prem,” Ma says.

That includes the phone system, which Ma included in his cloud initiative because the piecemeal system he found when he arrived at EAH Housing was not serving the organization well. Different offices had different phone service providers and different equipment, so there was no centralization. Many of the on-prem PBX systems were so basic that they didn’t include voicemail. “We missed a lot of business opportunities as well as customer service calls,” Ma recalls.

Another drawback to the on-premises system was that it was not transparent. “It was always a hidden box for everyone, even admins and IT,” Ma says.

Going with an innovator

After evaluating a number of cloud-based options, Ma chose RingCentral, in part because it met one of his main requirements: a system that could be managed in house. “It was clear that my team could administer this,” he says.

He also valued RingCentral’s corporate commitment to openness and innovation. “They don’t make you use certain types of equipment, and I liked that,” says Ma. “RingCentral provides the service and the platform but doesn’t force you into something proprietary.”

Ma sees RingCentral’s innovation in the on-going improvements to its functionality. “For example, RingCentral is constantly innovating the user interface, for admin and for users,” he explains. “And there are the integrations with other popular tools, such as Salesforce. We saw from the get-go that RingCentral is a company that actually invests in innovation and follows the IT trends that are out there.”

Much more business functionality

With RingCentral, EAH Housing employees have so much more functionality than the basic phone service they had in the past. Features such as internet faxing, call forwarding, voicemail, conferencing, and team collaboration (through RingCentral Glip™) are available to everyone—in the offices and on the road.

Ma has implemented Single Sign-on so that all this functionality is available through one click on the user’s homepage. 

EAH Housing employees are more productive now that they’re not spending a lot of time “just trying to find out who called them,” as Ma says. Supervisors are thrilled with RingCentral because it helps them

manage the workforce turnover that is typical of their industry. “A supervisor can instantly divert calls or forward messages to the people covering for other people,” he explains. “They never had that capability before.” Mobile workers have more functionality on the road (through the RingCentral mobile app on their cell phones) than they had at their desks previously.

For Ma, RingCentral is a win-win. It fits into his cloud initiative, it delivers the wider range of communications functionality that the organization needed, and it enables employees to be more productive in their jobs. “RingCentral is definitely a game changer,” says Ma.

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