We researched the cloud communications industry thoroughly and did a bakeoff among our short-lists. Nobody matched RingCentral for the combination of phone features, unified tools, and global support we needed.
WideOrbit is the leading provider of advertising management technology for cable networks, local television stations, and radio stations. Thousands of broadcasters and networks leverage WideOrbit’s solutions to streamline operations, maximize revenue from traditional, digital and programmatic channels, and extend their business across distribution platforms. The company has more than 500 employees and offices around the world.
If you’ve ever watched a TV show or listened to the radio, you’ve almost certainly encountered WideOrbit’s work. The company’s online advertising platform helps media companies buy and sell ads on hundreds of radio stations, local TV stations, and broadcast and cable TV networks.
What WideOrbit has accomplished in its 20-year history is truly impressive. Whereas media-ad sales have historically been inefficient and high-touch—consisting of phone calls, dinner meetings, and a lot of manual data entry—WideOrbit’s AI-powered online exchange has automated and streamlined much of the process. The company’s digital platform and software tools help media companies buy, sell, and analyze ad inventory more efficiently than ever.
WideOrbit’s products and services have become so dominant in the media industry, in fact, that its online platform is now the system of record for more than $38 billion in ad transactions each year. For context as to the significance of this amount, consider that the entire TV-advertising market represents about $75 billion in transactions annually.
But over time, the company’s global growth—they now have more than a dozen offices around the world, and a large remote workforce—also created a serious operational challenge.
Trying to manage on-prem phone systems all over the world
WideOrbit has grown tremendously over the years, both organically and through acquisitions. In terms of telephony, this expansion led to a complex infrastructure of PBX phone systems at each of the company’s 9 locations—all configured differently, in different stages of life and support, and operating with different telephony companies.
“Our first goal was to bring all of our locations closer together by deploying one centralized phone system that included every employee around the world,” says Jai Dalal, the company’s VP of Internal IT & Technical Client Services.
Creating a unified business-phone environment has been particularly difficult with the company’s on-prem phone systems because, as Jai points out, many of WideOrbit’s employees don’t work primarily on-prem. “In terms of staff, our second largest ‘office’ after our San Francisco headquarters is our remote workforce,” he says. “We needed a global cloud solution so that these employees could easily make calls on their office numbers from anywhere.”
The distributed nature of the phone environment introduced other challenges as well. As Jai explains, it added time-consuming tasks to an IT team already stretched thin. “Administering and maintaining different phone systems, in different parts of the world, was a massive pain from an IT perspective.”
Also, because the company couldn’t unify everyone in a centralized phone environment, WideOrbit’s distributed support department could not operate as efficiently as they’d like. “We have support agents working largely by geography, with a support team in one region handling a specific product line,” says Jai. “We wanted to bring that whole department together, to allow anyone to call in to specific numbers and reach the right people right away, wherever they were.”
We were able to migrate 100% of our organization to remote work, and nobody even blinked. That speaks volumes about the value of RingCentral.
A global cloud communications solution unites the global team
When his team rolled out RingCentral’s unified solution to all of the company’s employees, Jai was amazed at how smoothly the transition went—starting with migrating WideOrbit’s business numbers. “We ported more than 500 lines, and it all happened in a week or so with almost no disruptions at all,” he says. “I had been through this process before, so I know how difficult and painful it normally is. That’s why the RingCentral experience was such a pleasant surprise.”
Our RingCentral implementation happened just a few months after we tried to roll out another cloud phone solution. So we had two experiences back-to-back. The first was a nightmare, but RingCentral was totally seamless.
Capitalizing on the simplicity and intuitiveness of the RingCentral solution, Jai and his IT team were also able to quickly get the organization up and running on the new platform. “Relatively quickly after the onboarding, people were using the RingCentral softphone to make and take calls on their computers, and teams were hosting video conferences through the RingCentral Meetings platform,” he says.
WideOrbit’s distributed support group also began using RingCentral Contact Center to streamline their operations in ways they’d never been able to do with the company’s legacy phone system. “Now we have the solution to bring the entire support department together as one cohesive team, where we can create call queues based on capacity, not on geography, and easily route calls directly to the right people regardless of where they happen to be located.”
A technological advantage during the lockdowns
As much value as WideOrbit’s staff was already finding in RingCentral before COVID-19, the cloud communications solution proved even more valuable when the quarantine orders went into effect.
“The transition to remote work was so simple and painless for our company, the experience was astonishing,” Jai says. “One day our employees are in the office, the next day they’re working from home. And we haven’t had a single complaint about system performance, call quality, lack of functionality—nothing. In IT, no news is fantastic news, so we’re rejoicing at our decision to go with RingCentral.”