By Jim Sabo
Wantickets is a growing online reseller of event tickets that operates two main offices in New York and Los Angeles, with remote staff in Chicago, Miami, Canada and Spain. Connecting approximately 50 employees across multiple offices was becoming a major challenge for our company.
With a single PBX system installed in our main Los Angeles office, maintenance and support had become time-consuming and expensive. Any changes or service required our team to call the provider, wait for a response and pay for the change.
An added challenge: We needed a phone system that would accommodate our remote workforce, which the PBX system was unable to do. Working in the events industry, our staff has to be accessible after normal business hours and on location. The only option was for employees to give clients their personal cell phone numbers, which many were reluctant to do.
For telecommuters, interns and temporary employees, a PBX-style system was neither feasible nor affordable, given the high cost of support and hardware.
When it came time to relocate our New York City office, we explored other phone options and discovered RingCentral, a cloud-based business telephone provider that offered an all-inclusive system with the features and flexibility we needed at a much lower cost than a conventional PBX.
With our PBX system, we had to buy a minimum number of phones and extensions—whether we needed them or not. But with RingCentral, we can add or remove users on the fly and pay only for what we need. Plus, setting up new users now takes minutes instead of days.
The app-based solution allows each employee to have a dedicated extension, accessible from the RingCentral software on a computer, via a mobile app or desk phone. Employees can make and receive calls using the same number from anywhere.
A major benefit to us is that all our employees can have their extension ring wherever they choose—or not have it ring at all and let it go to voice mail. Our employees like the option of getting voice mails as MP3 files to play back on a PC without having to dial in. Also, they can pass messages to other staff members without having to type them into an email or explain them.
The ability to set up remote and temporary employees with an app-based solution has also made life much easier for our tech team, and we can now make changes in minutes. Last week I set up an intern by installing the app on her mobile phone. It took five minutes, and now I won’t have to deal with reimbursing her for cell phone bills.
System reliability has also improved dramatically. With the PBX system, we were constantly calling support for calls that didn’t go through, lost voice mails, the clock needing to be reset, etc. The new system has eliminated those headaches.
Our employees like the new system, and so does our CEO. After just a few days of use, he never considered switching off the system because he liked it so much.
The system is also much more affordable. We can run RingCentral for two or three years for the same price as just the startup cost for a new PBX system. In short, we’re getting better features and greater reliability without having to spend as much money.
Jim Sabo, shown above, is vice president of technology at Wantickets. He has 20 years of experience in e-commerce, system architecture, software development management and large database administration.
Photo courtesy of Wantickets.