At a glance:
We had just two weeks to take a law firm with several physical locations—and its complex phone network—and turn it into virtual operation with mostly remote workers. We did it without a hitch, and reduced their monthly bill to boot.
When COVID-19 shuttered Harrang Long Gary Rudnick PC’s three Oregon locations, this prestigious full-service law firm needed to make a lightning-fast transition from working in conventional office suites to a mostly-remote-worker model.
That would mean somehow replicating the functionality of the existing on-site PBX phone network—the same phone numbers, same mailboxes, same directories—in dozens of employee’s homes. They’d also need a secure, reliable virtual environment in which to hold meetings.
In addition, all this brand-new technology would need to integrate seamlessly with the Microsoft Active Directory software that supported their PC network. And with the added expenses of remote work gobbling up a budget that was never designed for a pandemic, they hoped to do all this for less than they were currently paying for voice service.
Finally, all this had to happen in two weeks—there was no time for trial and error. HLGR needed a business networking expert to connect them with the right solution, right away. We couldn’t wait to get started.
Solutions: Analysis, Recommendations and Strategy
We agreed that Harrang should transition from their traditional hardware-based phone system to a UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) system. That’s essentially a virtual version of the voice network they were used to, except it lives in the cloud instead of in a gray box in the basement.
In order to choose the right carrier and plan, we did a user-by-user audit of HLGR’s needs: phone numbers, “hard” (i.e, real) phones, “soft” (virtual) phones, and mobile apps. This detailed information would not only enable reliable cost estimates, it would serve as a roadmap for the actual deployment.
With firm user data in hand, we were able to get accurate pricing from a number of carriers, and shared the most promising candidates’ demos with HLGR staff.
We ultimately recommended the carrier RingCentral as HLGR’s new UCaaS PBX provider—they met the requirements, had competitive pricing, and offered a secure, scalable virtual meeting space. Last but not least, RingCentral had robust support for the Active Directory system that powered HLGR’s network.
Solutions: Action and Implementation
Of course, there’s more to moving your entire phone system than just picking a carrier and writing the check. Fortunately, our years of experience with such transitions has yielded a detailed, step-by-step deployment process to ensure the move goes smoothly.
We began by programming a virtual version of HLGR’s system into RingCentral’s online portal. Then, with our user-by-user audit as a guide, we filed the exhaustive list of port orders required to move all of HLGR’s phone numbers—regular, fax and toll-free—from the legacy carrier to RingCentral.
Then, we made sure that all the necessary “hard” phones were ordered and shipped to the appropriate employees. Finally, we oversaw the programming and activation that would make these home office phones functionally identical to the ones at the office.
By having the new phone system ready to use inside the specified two-week window, we avoided embarrassing (and potentially costly) headache for the law firm. The employees have all the voice functionality they were accustomed to, as well as new features offered by UCaaS.
Perhaps most importantly, all this is happening at a significantly lower monthly cost. By consolidating voice services for all their locations into a single carrier plan—previously there’d been three carriers and three monthly bills—they were able to save a full 40% in monthly costs.