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RingCentral Supports Contractor’s Highly Collaborative Culture

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:
Structural Group is a recognized leader in the specialty construction industry, delivering turnkey solutions that integrate technology, engineering, and construction.
Year founded:
1976
EMPLOYEES:
2,500 employees
Headquarters:
Columbia, MD

Structural Group integrates technology into its specialty contracting services to improve, protect, and repair infrastructure. “We make new and existing structures stronger and last longer,” is how Jason Kasch, Structural Group’s CIO, describes the company’s mission. Structural Group has 2,500 employees and 30 operating centers worldwide, with most of their employees (approximately 1,800) working at 22 locations across North America. When Kasch was considering a unified communications (UC) solution for Structural Group, he had quite a list

of requirements. For example, he needed to support a mobile workforce as well as a highly collaborative culture. “We have been doing video conferencing for almost 20 years,” he explains. The company had been using expensive, dedicated circuits for video conferencing, and Kasch hoped to reduce those costs. Other requirements for the UC solution included a similar user interface on every platform, a “single-click” interface to reach anyone, limited or no training requirements, and customizability through an API.

RingCentral selected for its “completeness of vision”

Kasch evaluated four unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solutions, including RingCentral. He chose RingCentral because in addition to meeting all of his requirements, “RingCentral was the only provider we looked at that had a completeness of vision and a history of continuous improvement,” he says.

He engaged RingCentral Professional Services to help with the implementation, which took only 90 days to deploy to the 22 North American locations. If that seems especially fast, Kasch explains that part of the reason is because they weren’t migrating to UCaaS from a traditional PBX system. “We were already with another UCaaS provider, so we had past experience working with a cloud PBX solution, and with RingCentral, the deployment was pretty seamless.” Because RingCentral Meetings™ is included with every RingCentral Office® 

subscription, Kasch saw the opportunity to stop paying for online meetings. First, he had to convince the skeptics, including some very heavy online-meeting users, that the RingCentral alternative was as good or better. After a 30-day pilot using RingCentral Meetings as part of the broader RingCentral Office suite, those employees “really didn’t want that product pried out of their cold, dead hands,” he notes.

Kasch used RingCentral’s open APIs to create integrations with other business software, such as their customized HR system. He sees RingCentral as more than a communications solution. It’s also a key part of his disaster recovery and business continuity strategy. “When superstorm Sandy hit the east coast, we were one of few civil engineering contractors that was up,” Kasch says. “We could take phone calls from our homes and actually show up on-site to help clients with structural damage.”

Supporting a collaborative culture

With RingCentral, every Structural Group employee now has a powerful way to communicate and collaborate from any device and from anywhere. Kasch is especially happy to have the RingCentral collaboration functionality since it makes the company’s culture even more effective than it was in the past.

“With RingCentral, we have an all-in-one platform for team messaging, voice, video, meetings, and conferencing. RingCentral is not just about phone calls. It’s about allowing people to work the way they want to work using any tool they have,” he adds. A good example involves a typical engineering problem.

 "Say someone is working on-site and sees something on a drawing that isn’t right, such as an access problem that wasn’t anticipated, for example,” Kasch explains. “That person can initiate a phone call or send a text and start a conversation with an engineer in the office about the problem. That engineer can have a conference with other engineers, change the drawings, and then share the new document through RingCentral to the work site. In the past, it would have taken one day to make the change and another day to have copies of the drawings sent out. Our engineers now get that kind of on-the-fly, just-in-time change done in 20 minutes to an hour.”

“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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