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Why One of Our Customers Shut Off Slack

By Mike Dolloff

We recently sat down with one of our customers to chat with them about how their communications tools have evolved from a traditional phone system + Slack to their new unified communications and collaborations tech stack, and what impact that has had on their business. Their evolution began with a traditional IP phone system and Slack. Slack has been on an amazing trajectory and has changed the world of business communication for the better, even replacing email for some organizations.

Slack As A Business Communication Tool

Our customer adopted and absolutely loved Slack! Giphys aplenty were shared, custom emoticons added and it was used heavily for one-to-one and one-to-many (mostly) work communications across all of their departments.

The next step for them was the addition of Zoom meetings, which was integrated with Slack to add an entirely new element to internal meetings. Besides the ‘feel good’ and opened up channels Slack afforded, they quickly discovered that messaging was an indispensable tool for getting work done. The immediacy and availability became something critical to how their business communications flowed internally.

However they still felt something was lacking, and they didn’t have a cohesive unified communication experience. That’s where Inflow stepped in.

Anything But Unified Business Communications

Our customer had been using more and more tools for communications over the past few years beyond just the phone: messaging, a revolving door of conferencing solutions – until they found Zoom – and even things like GDrive and Dropbox added some capabilities to communicate through doc sharing and collaboration. So while they had added more channels for communication, the siloed nature of these channels created additional inefficiencies.

While the initial idea of adding channels was spot on, the delivery just didn’t make for the communications utopia they were seeking. They were spending a lot of time bouncing between applications – phone calls here, video calls there, messaging everywhere but none of them being tied together.

Together, we made the determination that they needed to unify their channels of communication to really gain the full benefit.  

It All Adds Up In The World Of Business Communications

We determined that the disparate systems and applications were creating a lot of inefficiencies as people bounced between applications or couldn’t quickly reach a colleague. Was it significant though?

We ran some quick stats from an average month to see how many daily interactions they had as a company:

  • Conferences (audio/video): 33
  • Messages sent: 1,500
  • Calls made/received: 238

That’s a total of 1,771 interactions a day for their organization or about a half million of those interactions a year.

In this evaluation, we projected that they could save an average of five seconds each interaction by having a toolset that integrated messaging, phone and conferencing. The net of those savings would equal two and a half hours a day or over six hundred hours a year.

How were they going to save that time each interaction?

Unifying More Than Communications

Well for starters, being able to dial, start conferences and message out of the same platform would reduce a lot of time switching applications. As an end user the number of clicks to make the communications matters and adds up quickly and from our and their observations that was certainly the case.

Secondly, having a unified presence and availability to the team was critical to maintaining speed in their operations. Having visibility to see if someone is available to call, message, or to do an ad hoc meeting kept projects, sales, and other business functions moving along smoother. They wouldn’t need to check three or more places to see if someone is available for communication. Likewise, they now wouldn’t need to change their status in three different places that they were in a meeting, heads down on a project or out of office.

Another benefit they were looking for was as a distributed and increasingly mobile workforce, taking these features and making them the same regardless of device. This would allow workers to be connected regardless of their connection or role (field or office) and bounce in between seamlessly. It would also allow IT to save a lot of time managing a single app for users across their employee base rather than several apps that work differently for mobile versus in-office employees.

RingCentral Provided The Cure For Our Customer’s Business Communication Ailments

With Inflow’s guidance, they migrated to RingCentral Office – integrating phone calls, SMS, team and 1:1 messaging through Glip, which replaced Slack. When it comes to conferencing, they consolidated from stand-alone Zoom to RingCentral Meetings, which is essentially Zoom rebranded by RingCentral and tightly integrated into the experience. It’s a bold approach and shaking up the industry. And it works.

Additionally, RingCentral integrates with their Salesforce and GSuite stack – two tools our customer could not live without and now are tighter with their communications platform. And they found that RingCentral works as well on an employee’s mobile device as any non-work app so employees are actually using the technology without coercion!

The simplicity of having a more unified communications stack has been a huge gain as they have achieved the everyday efficiencies we anticipated in the evaluation.