When Disaster Struck, Woodbury University Kept Its Communication Lines Open, Thanks to RingCentral
There are a lot of reasons we chose RingCentral, but our need for a disaster-proof phone system was one of them. And they sure proved themselves worthy of that label right away.
Vice President of IT and CIO, Woodbury University
Calls viewed and analyzed
Increase in support team capacity
Educating students since 1884, Woodbury University today offers 26 fully accredited majors across a broad range of professional and liberal arts subjects. The award-winning university is repeatedly recognized for outstanding education in design, architecture, animation, and other programs. Woodbury has also been recognized nationally as a College of Distinction the last four years in a row.
When the institution’s on-premises phone system was due to be replaced, the IT team initially planned to buy and manage a newer version of the same hardware. But thanks to a suggestion from a trusted partner, Woodbury’s team investigated and eventually signed up for RingCentral’s cloud phone solution. And when disaster struck at their main campus soon after, the team couldn’t have been more relieved at the choice they made.
A campus disaster quickly shows why RingCentral was the right choice
“The entire first floor of our university’s main facility in Burbank, California, suffered a flood when a water main broke,” recalls Eric Wang, Woodbury University’s Vice President of IT and CIO. “The water was almost knee high throughout our first floor, and they classified it a Category 3 flood because it brought in contaminated water.”
“But here’s the amazing thing,” Wang explains. “If we still had our old on-prem phone system, or the new one we were about to buy, it would’ve been on that first floor. And our whole campus would have been without phone service for who knows how long. As it turned out, we had just started rolling out RingCentral’s cloud phone system, so we didn’t lose communication service at all.”
“There are a lot of reasons we chose RingCentral, but our need for a disaster-proof phone system was one of them. And they sure proved themselves worthy of that label right away.”
A first-class sales and support team makes the selection process even easier
“Just as we were about to buy an updated version of the same phone hardware we were retiring, a vendor we work with told us about their great experience with RingCentral. So I agreed to look into it with my team,” says Wang. “I was happy with our existing communications system, but that phone hardware was going to be a huge purchase, and I was uneasy about locking our institution into the same phone technology for years.”
“When my team started investigating cloud phone solutions, I was actually blown away by RingCentral for several reasons.”
“First, and this is always a top priority for me with vendors, RingCentral has the best team. The sales and technical staff are knowledgeable, responsive, and helpful—all without being pushy. If I’m going to entrust my company’s resources and operations to a vendor, I want to know that vendor is trustworthy and knows what it’s doing. RingCentral won that contest, easily.”
“Second, RingCentral offers the most complete communications and collaboration solution. In fact, it seemed clear that the company had thought of things that could benefit our organization that we hadn’t thought of ourselves like the mobile app, which would be great for letting our staff forward calls to their cell phones when they’re away from their desks, and the team collaboration platform, which our marketing team has actually used with great success developing campaigns for our School of Architecture. I could see RingCentral was going to be a true partner, helping us roll out just the right services for us at our own pace, based on our own priorities and our own business process roadmap.”
“And third, the RingCentral user interface is so well designed and intuitive. It was really easy for our staff to get up and running right away—with the cloud phone service, RingCentral Meetings for online conferencing, and team messaging. Remember, some of our faculty and other employees were getting started with their new RingCentral phone service in the middle of that flood. And even though we were all new to the system, pretty much everyone was able to learn the system within minutes.”
RingCentral has the best team. The sales and technical staff are knowledgeable, responsive, and helpful—all without being pushy. If I’m going to entrust my company’s resources and operations to a vendor, I want to know that vendor is trustworthy and knows what it’s doing. RingCentral won that contest, easily.
Vice President of IT and CIO, Woodbury University
The new platform continues to prove itself as the right choice
“Here are a couple of examples of how our processes have improved since we started this deployment,” Wang says.
“At our internal IT help desk, when we were running the old phone system, if an employee who took those calls was on vacation or just stepped away for lunch, people calling in would be routed to voicemail. But with RingCentral, we use call queues and can make sure that several people are available to take a call. That’s helped us by shortening our internal customers’ wait times on help desk calls, improving our ticket resolution rates, and of course basically eliminating the missed calls that used to go into IT’s voicemail.”
“Here’s one more example, which brings us back to our campus flood. When I got the call notifying me about the flood, I was away at a family event. Before RingCentral, my team would’ve called my direct office line, which I obviously wouldn’t have answered. And then they would’ve had to hunt down my cell phone, and I still wouldn’t have been able to do anything until I got onto campus.”
“But RingCentral lets our coworkers just dial one four-digit number and reach us wherever we are, so they were able to reach me much faster. And I was able to go into the RingCentral app and start checking on things immediately, making the necessary changes to our system and communicating in real time with my team about what they needed to do.”
“What’s amazing about that whole incident,” Wang explains, “is that it was one of the busiest times of year for our university: new student orientation. We had lots of students and parents calling in with questions about financial aid, applications, that sort of thing. And we didn’t miss any of those calls. Having the ability to keep our operations running smoothly even during a major flood really reinforced that we had made the right choice in our communications partner. Knowing RingCentral is here to support us means we can worry less about our own communications system and focus more on what really matters here at Woodbury—educating our students.”