Van Ausdall & Farrar

Indiana’s Largest Full-Service IT Provider Saves $20,000 a Year with RingCentral
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[RingCentral] gave us the confidence that we could move to the cloud seamlessly, and it could not have been easier. The benefits of cloud communications have been far-reaching, as we’re not just making phone calls through the cloud, but consolidating all our communications — voice, messaging, SMS, video, and fax — onto a single platform to work more efficiently than we ever could have imagined.

Trent Smith

Vice President & GM, IT

Providing business technology solutions for more than a century

Van Ausdall & Farrar has been bringing groundbreaking technologies to businesses in Indiana since its early days as the state’s sole distributor of the first-ever wax cylinder dictation machine, invented by Thomas Edison.
Today, the company has grown to become the state’s largest full-service provider of office technology solutions — from IT services, to print technologies, to communication systems, to helping organizations customize the right business processes for their needs.
IT services  
Indianapolis, IN

COVID exposed the limitations of the company’s phone system

Trent Smith, Vice President and General Manager of Van Ausdall & Farrar’s IT and Communications divisions, notes that the company had a premise-based phone system from Mitel for many years. That system enabled inbound and outbound calls from office-based landline phones — and not much else. As Trent explains, this became a top-priority challenge in 2020.
“Suddenly, we were facing the pandemic shutdowns — and a company that had been bricks and mortar for its entire history now needed to support communication capabilities for 150 employees working from home across Indiana.” 
Trent and his team researched the remote and mobile capabilities of both the company’s existing phone system and a few others, and they found the same challenges with them all.
“There are so many components to manage if you’re trying to build infrastructure for remote users — servers, other on-prem hardware, an edge gateway — all of which need to be configured properly and monitored constantly. Plus, there’s a single point of failure: If your gateway fails, all remote users lose communication. And this was something that happened to us more than once as we were working our way through the early days of the lockdowns.”
When the Mitel-RingCentral partnership formed, Van Ausdall jumped at the opportunity both to upgrade their Mitel premise systems to the unified RingEX (Message, Video, Phone) cloud platform and also to become a resale partner at the same time. This way, the company could improve its own internal communications and add a compelling solution for its clients.
“We couldn’t find a single limitation of the RingCentral solution or a missing component that we needed,” Trent explains.
A big differentiator for us was the cloud-native aspect of RingCentral. The other communication solutions we looked at were premise-based for most of their history — and moved to the cloud later. They hadn’t been designed to support anywhere, any-device communications. RingCentral was born in the cloud and, as a result, created a solution that works much more seamlessly.

Trent Smith

Vice President & GM, IT

RingCentral delivers significant new functionality

Trent points out that in addition to solving the remote work challenge — with a cloud solution enabling employees to communicate from any device — RingCentral is providing many new capabilities to Van Ausdall & Farrar’s employees.
“The list of new capabilities our staff has with RingCentral is considerable, including the ability to initiate video calls through the platform, send and receive SMS texts anywhere using their business numbers, and even set up sophisticated call queues and routing instructions for our Customer Care department’s support calls.”

Using the system’s versatility to customize employees’ workflows

Trent also points out that RingCentral has proven so flexible that his team is able to easily create the optimal experiences for various teams and individuals.
“Because RingCentral integrates so well with the phones we already had, we’ve been able to create a seamless upgrade for employees who wanted to continue using their desk phones,” he says. “And for those who didn’t want physical phones anymore, those migrations were easy as well because RingCentral works seamlessly on their laptops and smartphones.”
Another element of flexibility benefiting the company, Trent adds, is the RingCentral Direct Routing integration for Microsoft Teams. “We have a couple of dozen IT engineers who work with clients, and many of our clients use Microsoft solutions. For these engineers, it makes sense to use the Teams integration dialer, because they’re still in our RingCentral environment but they’re also gaining experience in the Teams app and becoming experts for our clients.” 

Improving more workflows with RingCentral integrations

In addition to Direct Routing for Teams, Van Ausdall’s staff use several other RingCentral integrations to streamline and improve other key workflows.
“Our sales department gets tremendous value from the RingCentral for Salesforce integration. Our reps are much more efficient now that they can make and receive calls through RingCentral without leaving their Salesforce interface. And they really appreciate having the screen pops show a customer’s profile and history because that allows for a much more personal and positive conversation.”
Many of Van Ausdall & Farrar’s employees — including Trent himself — are also finding significant value every day in the RingCentral for Microsoft 365 integration.
“I live in Outlook,” he says. “With this RingCentral integration, I can be in my email interface and at the same time manage my inbound and outbound calls, check my call history, look up someone in my RingCentral contacts, send a business text, and even initiate a video call. And I never have to jump between apps to do any of those things.”

Saving money with RingCentral

Finally, Trent points out, the companywide migration to RingCentral has helped Van Ausdall & Farrar lower its overall communications costs by a substantial amount.
By moving our entire communications environment to the cloud with RingCentral, we’re saving money in many ways. We no longer need to maintain as many physical phones as we did. We’re not supporting servers and related hardware. We’ve consolidated services, like fax and SMS, with a single vendor. And we no longer need to pay carrier fees for telco lines — which all by itself is saving us $20,000 a year.

Trent Smith

Vice President & GM, IT

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