NCI Information Systems

RingCentral Engage Helped This Top Government Contractor Improve its Customer Service—and Cut Telecom Costs by Two-Thirds
Industry
Information
Technology Services
Hq
Reston, VA
Year founded
1989
 
Employees
900
Industry
Information
Technology Services
Hq
Reston, VA
Year founded
1989
 
Employees
900
After replacing our old phone system with RingCentral, we’ve gotten our telecom costs way down—from $66,000 per month to $22,000.
Vasili Ikonomidis
Chief Information Officer
66%
savings in communications costs after migrating to RingCentral
$60,000
saved on third-party IT to support an outdated phone system
0
call-quality issues since deploying RingCentral Engage
One of the United States government’s most trusted technology partners
When United States Government agencies such as the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) need modern, secure technology solutions for their most complex missions, they turn to NCI Information Systems.
One reason for NCI’s industry dominance is that the company does not simply administer other tech providers’ solutions. NCI develops its own. Customers including the US Army, the General Services Administration (GSA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entrust their technology needs to NCI’s proprietary artificial intelligence solutions, including the company’s Empower™ AI platform. 
Today, NCI holds some of the largest government contracts of any tech provider. To cite just one example: the company was recently awarded an $807 million contract to apply its Empower platform and other advanced systems to modernize the GSA’s IT infrastructure.
Ironically, though, this provider of cutting-edge AI technologies was facing difficulty maintaining one of the most basic areas of its own IT infrastructure: the company’s phone system.
A “giant tangled mess” of disjointed telecom services
Like many businesses that scale rapidly to meet demand, NCI built out its IT infrastructure organically, on an as-needed basis, and usually in a hurry. When the company opened offices in a new location, its management teams were focused on hiring the right people and serving customers—not on which phone system to deploy.
But as CIO Vasili Ikonomidis explains, this led to long-term technical debt when it came to the company’s communications environment. “Eventually we found ourselves with different levels of service, from different vendors, all over the country,” Vasili says. “If you can think of a major telecom provider, chances are one of our locations was paying that company for phone, internet, or some other service. It was a giant tangled mess.”
As Vasili also points out, the company’s telephony infrastructure was built around an on-premises system that his team was managing at headquarters. He notes that this created two major operational challenges. The first was a lack of reliability and functionality.
“The on-premises system was so outdated that it needed a lot of maintenance and updating just to stay functional. We had regular problems with outages, and it took a lot of work making even minor adjustments. In fact, we were paying a consulting firm to support us, but our system was so old that even they had limited expertise on it.”
A second ongoing problem, Vasili explains, was cost. “We had no centralized telephony invoicing, because we were paying so many different bills every month for phone, internet, faxing, and other services. In many cases, we were paying more for phone numbers because they were out of contract and had shifted to month-to-month billing.”
A system so outdated, almost nobody could support it
When they investigated the company’s telephony infrastructure closely, Vasili’s team knew they’d need to move to a cloud solution. For the interim period, though, they looked for a short-term fix to keep their old system functional. But that experience further underscored the urgency to find a more modern, scalable cloud solution. 
“We talked with other consulting firms, hoping to find one that had more expertise with our phone system than our current consulting company. We couldn’t. In fact, several of those firms literally recommended the company we were already working with. That made it clear: industry expertise on our old system just didn’t exist anymore, and it was definitely time to move on.”
With our old system, which was a couple of years past end of life, we’d hear about call-quality issues from an agent or customer a couple of times a week. Now that we’re on RingCentral Engage, that number has fallen to basically zero issues.
Vasili Ikonomidis
Chief Information Officer
Unifying, streamlining, and improving all telephony operations
With RingCentral, NCI found the scalable, flexible communications solution they were looking for. Vasili’s team was able to consolidate all of the company’s decentralized phone services and billing arrangements across the country into a single solution from one provider. But that was only the beginning of the operational improvements.
“From an internal communications standpoint, RingCentral created so many efficiencies,” he says. “Now all of our employees have one communications app on their computers and smartphones that gives them access anywhere to their office phone number, video conferencing, online faxing, and team messaging.”
Another key operational improvement was being able to host online meetings for as many people as the company needed—a capability NCI didn’t have before. As Vasili explains: 
With our other conferencing app, we’d start having call-quality problems if we had too many people join. RingCentral Video has been ideal because we’re able to invite as many people as we wanted to these calls, and we haven’t had any capacity or quality issues.
Vasili Ikonomidis
Chief Information Officer
And while NCI’s call center team was facing many challenges with their previous phone system—including regular outages and call-quality issues—the team is now able to operate more efficiently than ever with RingCentral Contact Center and the RingCentral Engage customer-service platform. But Vasili points out that in addition to solving the team’s call-quality and uptime challenges, these RingCentral solutions have given the company’s support agents a number of efficiency- and productivity-boosting tools.
With RingCentral Engage, our agents now have key capabilities like automated outbound dialing and screen popups showing them the relevant details about the next company they’re calling.
Vasili Ikonomidis
Chief Information Officer
Anticipating even more operational improvements with RingCentral
As Vasili points out, NCI found so many ways to leverage RingCentral’s unified cloud platform to improve operations that his team is now looking into other tools and integrations available in the system.
“We’re working on integrating RingCentral’s one-click dialer with our lead-tracking platform, ServiceNow, to increase efficiencies for our business development team,” he says. “We’re also planning to use RingCentral’s APIs to add functionality—including AI capability—to make our automated outbound dialing even more efficient.” 
He adds: “There’s a lot of potential with RingCentral’s integrations and open API to improve our operations. We’re looking forward to exploring more of them.”
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