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RingCentral Supports Rapid Growth for Optimum Credit

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:
Optimum Credit is a leading provider of second charge mortgages for homeowners in England, Wales, and Scotland. Optimum’s innovative approach to the market has seen it advance funds totalling over £380m since launching in 2014, growing rapidly to 26% market share.
Year founded:
2013
EMPLOYEES:
93 employees
Headquarters:
Cardiff, Wales

Following the lessons learnt from the credit crunch of 2008, five colleagues working for a mid-sized financial services provider saw an opportunity to shake up the market for second charge mortgages. With investment from a private equity backer and funding lines from a major UK bank, Optimum Credit was born.

Based in Cardiff, Optimum Credit offers a range of variable, fixed, and discounted second charge mortgages either directly through its fully qualified mortgage advisors or via its Broker Intermediaries. Its innovative approach to pricing delivers prices that reflect individual customer circumstances.

The company also offers flexible overpayment options, allowing clients to either reduce the term of their second charge mortgage or reduce monthly repayments to suit circumstances. “This agility and flexibility is

something that we strive for both commercially and in terms of technology. We are proudly a cloud-first business,” says Paul Strinati, Founding Partner & IT Director at Optimum Credit.

Strinati initially promoted the use of off-the-shelf software and a number of SaaS and cloud services to allow the firm to launch quickly with the minimum of cost, yet with the ability to scale as needed. Within the highly regulated financial services sector, Optimum underwent significant due diligence examining each supplier for resilience, security, and compliance against best practice standards such as ISO-27001.

“We successfully paid out our first deal in June 2014 and quickly grew, but it was as a result of the need to comply with the requirements of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard that it became clear our existing telephony service just wasn’t up to the task, so we put out a new tender,” he explains.

Communications system requirements for a growing business

Optimum had several criteria for the new communications solution:

  • Absolute reliability with the option to scale with the
    growing business
  • Ability to integrate with Optimum’s in-house Lending Platform
  • Support for self-service functionality through IVR integration
  • Omnichannel contact centre capabilities supported
    by granular MI
  • The need to support a flexible and secure method for card detail capture whilst meeting the requirement to record calls
  •  Ability to adapt to future regulatory changes

“We spoke to and had demonstrations from several telecommunication service providers, but what struck us most about the RingCentral team was their sheer enthusiasm,” says Strinati, “In many ways they are like us, a technology-driven business with a can-do attitude; even in our initial meeting when we raised issues that the incumbent service provider had said were difficult, and often expensive to overcome, they were already discussing solutions that they had previously deployed that they were sure would work for us—it was refreshing

Ready for the challenge

Optimum chose the RingCentral Office® and Contact Centre solution for its company-wide and customer-facing communication platform. The deployment focused on voice and intelligent IVR with self-service options to help customers connect more quickly to the agent best able to handle their needs along with integration into its CRM systems.

“RingCentral adapted its system to allow our clients to securely enter card details whilst still recording the audio portion of the calls,” explains Strinati, “It was one of a number of integration features and capabilities within the application that really impressed us and highlighted the ability to customise the solution to our needs; it also highlighted the potential for the future.”

Through the plethora of open APIs available, Optimum Credit’s application development team is constantly adding more automation features to its platforms to further enhance the customer experience.

Recognising that customers are increasingly keen to communicate across different paths, Optimum Credit is embracing an omnichannel strategy that is adding elements such as webchat to its telephone service. “With RingCentral, we can manage different channels within a unified contact centre queue,” says Strinati, “this is a useful capability as we start to offer more direct-to-consumer products.”

In terms of deployment, the company has largely done away with traditional handsets with 95% of its employees using the desktop clients and a few executives using the mobile client. “We are now looking at flexible working patterns that could allow our mortgage advisors and call agents to work from home while still meeting our security and regulatory requirements,” says Strinati, “In RingCentral, we have a platform in which we have absolute confidence plus a shared ethos that believes that almost anything is possible!”

ProductPlan believes RingCentral offers many benefits for small companies and startups

“The RingCentral platform has supported ProductPlan’s growth over the years in a number of ways,” says Semick, “and I think it could benefit many young and small companies. I’ll give you some examples.”

“Ease of use. Setting up a new employee with RingCentral is really as easy as unboxing the phone, plugging it in, and recording a voicemail message. It doesn’t require any specialized technical expertise.”

“Portability. As our staff grew, we had to move to new offices or take over additional space in our existing offices. With RingCentral, the beauty was we could take the phones to our new space and just plug and play. Because RingCentral is cloud-based, we never needed to set up physical phone lines or wait for a telecom provider to activate service for our staff.”

“Time and cost savings. If we had an on-prem PBX or other traditional business phone system, we’d be spending time and money configuring and managing it. And if we instead relied entirely on our cell phones for business communication, that would create inefficiencies in the office in terms of being able to grab a coworker’s ringing phone or easily transferring calls to the right person. Having the RingCentral cloud platform is the perfect solution for a young but fast-growing company like ProductPlan.”

“Easy scalability. As our Account Management and Customer Success teams grow, RingCentral makes it so easy for us to get them up and running. We just add users, order phones, and plug them in. We don’t have an IT team, and when you’re a startup like us, every aspect of your tech infrastructure that you can outsource, simplify, or set up to be self-running makes it much easier to scale quickly. That’s yet another reason I’m so glad we went with RingCentral from day one.” 

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