John Varvatos

John Varvatos, an American contemporary menswear brand, improves existing IT infrastructure with the help of Global RingEX.
John Varvatos logo
We’re easily seeing a 40% to 50% reduction in communications costs with RingCentral.

Nick Barbarise

Director of IT
John Varvatos is a brand that occupies a unique place in the landscape of American design. It unites old-world craftsmanship and refined tailoring with modern innovations in textiles and a rock ’n’ roll sensibility. Launched in 2000 with a collection of tailored clothing and sportswear, the brand now represents an entire lifestyle that includes belts, bags, footwear, eyewear, limited edition watches, luxury skincare and fragrances, as well as the younger, edgier John Varvatos Star U.S.A. collection and Converse by John Varvatos.

Seizing an opportunity to transform IT

After starting out as part of the apparel and footwear company VF Corp., John Varvatos became independent in 2012—a move that John Varvatos’s Director of IT, Nick Barbarise, saw as a rare opportunity. “I had the chance to do a complete refresh of an existing company’s IT infrastructure,” Barbarise says. “How many people get to do that?”

Barbarise’s guiding philosophy was twofold: support the company’s employees in being as productive as possible and create an entirely cloud-based IT environment. “If a vendor didn’t offer a cloud-based option, we didn’t even talk to them,” Barbarise explains. “We want our people to be able to work from anywhere on any device at any time.” Achieving an all-cloud environment was more difficult in 2012 and 2013, when Barbarise was setting up his infrastructure, than it is today. But he managed to do it. All of the company’s applications, some of which are retail specific, are cloud based. “We have literally nothing on prem,” he adds.

International calling was a must-have

Barbarise’s vision included the phone system, which was an old on-prem PBX when he joined the company. After evaluating a number of cloud-based unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solutions, he chose RingCentral, mainly because it was the only one he found that could support international calling between the John Varvatos main office in New York City, its flagship store in London, and its showroom in Milan. Other big selling points for RingCentral included RingEX™, which would let Barbarise get rid of an older web-conferencing solution with limited subscriptions, and the RingCentral Mobile app, which he says is “fantastic.” He also valued RingCentral’s administrative portal for how it provides usage reports and for how it simplifies the management of the system. “I have an IT team of only six people,” Barbarise notes. “That wouldn’t be possible without applications like RingCentral.”
Several years after choosing RingCentral, I am still very confident and happy with that decision.

Nick Barbarise

Director of IT
New York, NY

Global collaboration, cost savings, and good people

Barbarise deployed Global RingEX company-wide in 2013. Between the phone service and RingEX, the people involved in the global effort of designing, manufacturing, and selling clothing are now easily connected. That’s due in part to the ease of reaching a colleague in another country by simply dialing their extension. RingEX helps, too, by making it much simpler to set up online meetings, compared to the previous solution.

With RingCentral, John Varvatos is actually paying less for a wider range of communications functionality than what it previously paid for just phone service and online conferencing. “We’re easily seeing a 40% to 50% reduction in communications costs with RingCentral,” Barbarise says.

For him, another very important aspect of RingCentral is its people. From his first contact with a RingCentral sales representative, through the implementation, and now with on-going support, he has only great things to say. “RingCentral has a position called a Customer Success manager,” Barbarise explains. “A lot of companies have people in these roles, but I do not have one at any other company who is as good as the people at RingCentral. Several years after choosing RingCentral, I am still very confident and happy with that decision.”