Managing Communications for a Multi-site Business is Easier When You’re “All in the Cloud”

A nonprofit unifies their communications for better service for their employees and those they help

Imagine you’re the vice president of Information Technology for a rapidly growing company with five locations. Imagine this company is a non-profit organization partially funded by the state, so your budgets are limited and scrutinized. As if that wasn’t enough, imagine the organization is a healthcare agency, which must maintain compliance with increasingly strict regulations. Add the fact that many new employees are contract workers and need access to sensitive information, but only for a limited amount of time. To make it even more challenging, imagine you must support employees who are constantly travelling between your five locations, as well as to hospitals, schools, clients’ homes, halfway houses, and other treatment facilities.

Stop imagining and meet Mike Mann of Intercommunity Action. Intercommunity Action (Interact) has served Philadelphia residents for more than 45 years with many services: behavioral health and developmental disabilities programs, drug and alcohol addiction counseling, and senior citizen services. Effective communication both internally and externally is crucial to the organization’s ability to generate awareness, raise funds, and support its mission. But outdated technology and a lack of centralized control rendered effective communication nearly impossible, which made Mike’s job of managing it all a challenge, to say the least.

The first thing Mike had to do was to unify the agency’s communications so that it was easy for incoming callers to find the right employee, no matter where that employee was located. Second, he had to make it easier for the staff to communicate among sites. With their previous setup of separate phone systems at each site, calling someone at another location meant dialing the full number. Mike wanted his employees to have extension dialing so that Interact could communicate as if it were all under one roof—bridging the gaps between departments and breaking down silos.

By replacing all five phone systems with one unified communications system operating entirely in the cloud, OfficeSuite Phone®, and moving email to Broadview’s cloud-based email service, Mann achieved his goals and gave his mobile employees remote access to calls, voicemails, and emails. Since OfficeSuite Phone® is not based on SIP technology—which stores some data in physical devices—it allows users to switch between devices without IT’s involvement, a “truck roll,” or even a phone reboot. Being 100 percent in the cloud means that no data is stored on phones; instead, the phones are input devices, like touch-screen monitors, and communicate with the computer to translate the users’ touches. Since no intelligence is contained within the phones, moving between them is as simple as, well, moving. This enables Interact’s mobile workers to transform their mobile phone or a phone at another site into their work phone, with their individual speed-dial settings and voicemail, without needing Mike’s help.

Once the agency’s communications were housed 100 percent in the cloud, Mike needed a way to manage it all. That’s where the new MyOfficeSuite™ portal came in. MyOfficeSuite™ made his life a thousand times easier. Probably the greatest thing it gave him was the gift of time. Mike is a man with a vision. He’s constantly predicting the needs of the agency, projecting months and years into the future. Since MyOfficeSuite™ allows him to delegate tasks, he finally has time for new projects. He can empower office managers to control some services, such as automated greetings, which saves him valuable time.

Mike can also support each employee’s work style and grant them customized levels of access to MyOfficeSuite™ so they can manage their own services based on their individual needs. Mike’s days of spending hours performing simple changes for the staff are long gone. Employees can now make changes on their own, such as forwarding calls to their cell phone. Mike explains the impact MyOfficeSuite™ has had on his role as VP of Information Technology:

I can delegate tasks to people, freeing up my time. Some of the simpler things I don’t have to do at all anymore. And having all our services in one place is much easier for me. The ability to arrange the dashboard in a uniform, simple-to-access manner makes it easy for my staff to use and makes it easier to train new staff. MyOfficeSuite™ allows me to give employees access to what they need and gives them the power to do things they could not do before.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.