A Tech-Savvy Publishing Company Finds the Right App to Collaborate and Build a Community with Its Globally Distributed Workforce
It had everything in a single place. Video—which we could record and reuse—real-time messaging, calendar sharing, and file sharing. The RingCentral app gave us an integrated platform where our entire global team could work.
Founder & Publisher, Pandamoon Publishing
Video training online for authors. Twitter pitch parties. An executive team comprised of tech-industry entrepreneurs. These are not the characteristics of a typical book publishing company. But Zara and Allan Kramer are not your typical publishing execs.
Zara Kramer is a serial entrepreneur. Her first company was a true disruptor: the first ad agency in the Southwest United States serving only tech firms, including the computer giant Dell. After selling that agency and a second company she founded, a management consultancy, Zara discovered another industry to disrupt.
“Book publishing was one of the most archaic industries I’d ever seen,” she says. So Zara founded the tech-driven, author-focused Pandamoon Publishing to give an old industry a new twist.
And when Pandamoon began growing rapidly into a successful independent publisher with an international workforce and author roster, Zara and her husband Allan, also a successful tech executive, realized they needed a better collaboration platform to maintain a sense of community among their growing, worldwide team of “Pandas.”
A new, highly collaborative publishing company wanted a better way to communicate with its worldwide staff and authors
When she decided her next entrepreneurial venture would be as an independent book publisher, Zara Kramer knew she would be disrupting a legacy-driven industry, just as she had several times in her career. Zara’s plan was ambitious: leverage her experience in technology, marketing, and operational efficiencies to create a new type of highly collaborative partnership between publisher and author.
“Traditional publishing is a legacy industry that operates through silo-based management,” says Zara. “I’m a disruptor, so I wanted to build an alternative publishing model—one built not just on pushing books out the door but on working closely with authors, training them, supporting them, helping them build their own brands and long-term careers.”
Pandamoon discovers the RingCentral
app—because they had outgrown everything else
Zara and her tech-executive husband Allan applied their combined backgrounds in technology, marketing, sales, and operations to build Pandamoon into a rapidly growing indie fiction publisher, leveraging the internet to find and work with the best editors, illustrators, authors, and other staff wherever they happened to be in the world.
“But that success created its own challenge,” Zara says. “Our teams span time zones, continents, cultures. This is the same problem Allan and I faced working with technology companies: It’s tricky to create a sense of team cohesion and family when your workforce is so distributed.”
That’s when Pandamoon found the RingCentral app.
“We were using one app for video conferencing, which we need for our author trainings,” explains Zara. “And that app didn’t even let us record, so we weren’t able to leverage those video assets after the trainings ended. We had to use a different app for online communication, and we used still other tools for team calendars and file sharing.”
So Allan started researching online collaboration apps, and he found the RingCentral app.
“It had everything in a single place,” recalls Zara. “Video—which we could record and reuse—real-time messaging, calendar sharing, and file sharing. The RingCentral app gave us an integrated platform where our entire global team could work.”
The RingCentral app lets us work with the best people anywhere in the world—not just within driving distance to our offices.
Founder & Publisher, Pandamoon Publishing
Now every Pandamoon staff member and author uses the RingCentral app to communicate, stay informed, support each other, and have fun
“At first, I set up a small group of my staff on the RingCentral app, just to try it. When that turned out to be a big success, I set a date when we were going to officially shut off our account with the other communication tool and have everyone start using the app. But I never had to. Everybody in the company migrated to RingCentral on their own because their teammates were telling them about it... and they’ve all stayed on the app ever since.”
Today Pandamoon uses the RingCentral app for its video-based author trainings, team messages, storing and organizing files related to the company’s many book projects, and other collaborative tasks. But they continue to find new creative ways to leverage the app. “I encourage our staff and authors to use the app to build their own communities,” Zara says. “We even have a ‘Water Cooler’ team in the RingCentral app, where a Panda can go to vent if a character on her favorite TV show was just killed the night before, and another Panda can offer words of comfort. Because that’s what families do.”
“Having all of these tools to run our business in one place has been truly transformative,” Zara says. And coming from a lifelong disruptor, that’s saying something.