RingCentral integrates into many of the workflow tools we use every day: Microsoft Dynamics, Office 365, even Slack. That makes all of our tools more valuable, and it creates a more streamlined communication experience for our entire team.
With competition from online sellers growing more intense each year, Mom-and-Pop retail stores need every advantage they can find to reduce their costs and improve their customers’ experience. Socket Mobile’s data-capture solutions provide just the edge these small businesses need.
Socket Mobile’s data-capture tools — including scanners, NFC/RFID readers, and software applications — help small businesses improve their sales processes, inventory management, and customer relationships. Over the company’s 30-year history, its products have won numerous industry awards, including Portable Computing Magazine’s “Product of the Year.”
In fact, Socket Mobile’s patented data-collection peripherals have earned such a stellar reputation for ease of use, affordability — and their beautiful design—that the company has found other industries eager for its products. Service firms use Socket Mobile scanners to streamline inspections and audits. Logistics firms use the company’s RFID readers to track inventory. And healthcare providers use its scanners to give practitioners instant access to patient records.
But as much value as Socket Mobile’s technology was delivering to its customers, the company found its own tech stack failing.
A leading mobile-tech provider… with a 1990s phone system
The company was well aware of the irony. Socket Mobile develops sleek, iOS-compatible scanners for retail shops. The company’s Bluetooth-enabled card readers, using Near Field Communication technology, help hospitality and other businesses manage their loyalty programs. These are leading-edge applications. Yet the company’s employees were all taking and making business calls on a phone system that was more than 20 years old.
Although Socket Mobile’s legacy telephone infrastructure hadn’t created any major problems for the business, an incident with an aging piece of hardware provided the perfect wakeup call that it was time for an upgrade.
“One of our phone system’s hardware boxes gave out due to a bad power supply, and it took the whole system down with it,” recalls Len Ott, Socket Mobile’s CTO. “We found a backup power supply and got the phones up and running again. But it was a good reminder that our system was completely out of support.”
Even if its 1990s phone system continued working without issues, the company was increasingly finding other reasons to migrate to a more modern communications solution. “Our on-prem system lacked features that were becoming important to our operations, such as automated call logging, call-traffic analytics, digital faxing, and mobile capabilities,” says Len.
Len also points out that the on-prem system required the IT team to administer and troubleshoot a lot of hardware, which diverted resources from other priority initiatives. There was also one additional reason everyone was eager for a new phone solution: “Our on-hold music was an original iPod playlist that ran on a nonstop loop for more than 20 years!”
We’re worldwide. Headquarters in California, a dev team in New York, and offices in the UK, Switzerland, and Japan. Even before COVID, we were a distributed, remote company—and we needed a better communications system to keep everyone connected.
A global cloud solution streamlines communications and workflows
When Len and his team rolled out RingCentral, the company was able to give its employees a truly mobile and flexible communications solution — including the ability to take and make business calls from any computer or mobile device. But the team also quickly began finding other ways to leverage the cloud solution to improve operations. Anna Buckman, the company’s Manager of Global Sales Systems, describes one example.
“By integrating RingCentral into our Microsoft Dynamics CRM account, we’ve given our reps one-click dialing capability right from their Dynamics screen, and it also lets them easily add notes about the call in real-time.”
The company also used RingCentral’s integration with Office 365 to make it easy for employees to schedule RingCentral audio or video conferences through their Outlook account and send out invitations with one-click access to the meeting. “The 365-RingCentral integration makes setting up meetings so much faster and easier, and that’s improving communication across the company,” says Len.
And when they lost a couple of support-department employees, Len and Anna found another way to leverage RingCentral. “We had to rely on employees in other departments to fill in the gaps in support, to cover a couple of hours here and there,” Len explains.
“RingCentral’s call queue feature is so easy to use that Anna and I were able to go in and set new rules in minutes: For these two hours, route support calls to this person. For the next two hours, direct them to this person."
The flexibility of this system is just phenomenal.
The lockdowns underscore the team’s foresight
Socket Mobile signed up for RingCentral in January 2020. Just a couple of months later, the COVID shutdowns forced all of the company’s employees around the world — except for a skeleton crew at its manufacturing facility — to begin working from home. But because they had already begun rolling out RingCentral, the transition went extremely smoothly.
As Len explains: “As soon as the lockdowns started, our staff saw the benefits of having RingCentral on their computers and cell phones — because they were able to easily collaborate with each other and stay reachable to clients, even though they couldn’t be in the office.”