Boutique “Yachting” Law Firm Moves Through Choppy Waters to Smooth Sailing with a Modern, Cost-Effective, Cloud-Based Phone System
Introducing the Intermedia Business Innovators series – where Intermedia honors business and civic leaders who are improving customer care, employee engagement, and operations through innovative thinking and decisive action.
A company’s phone system is integral to every aspect of its work. But without reliable technology that can easily adapt to the changing needs of a business, systems become outdated and frustrations, and costs, mount. So, what happens when a business meets this challenge?
Discussing their journey of deploying a new cloud-based phone system, I had the chance to chat with Mark Norman, Director of IT for Robert Allen Law. Based in Miami, Florida with offices in several cities, the firm is a boutique practice specializing in the yacht industry. Mr. Norman described the firm as the “yacht lawyers.”
As the IT Director, Mr. Norman, said, “I oversee basically everything that has a plug into the wall. Everything that can turn on or off, I’m in charge of how and when it turns on or off.”
Mr. Norman explained they had an old VoIP (voice over IP) on-premises system, “It served us well, at first, bringing us from the dark ages to the middle ages.” But, over time, it became quite apparent to Mr. Norman and the firm that the need for a new solution was in order; upgraded features were hard to come by, the ability to use the system beyond the office was basically non-existent, and managing it was becoming more and more difficult. “Not only were we paying more for the same features, the system was becoming increasingly difficult to use. The current system was not going to help us manage the need for greater mobility and flexibility in how and where we communicate.”
Charting a New Course: Migrating and Deploying During COVID-19
When the difficulty in managing the existing system came to a head, Mr. Norman made the change.
After learning more about the versatility, flexibility, security, and reliability that a cloud-based communications and collaboration solution could deliver – all for an affordable cost – and investigating many business cloud providers, Mr. Norman found Intermedia. “I had great conversations with Intermedia. It was easy to get a quote that outlined what we needed exactly, which was unique.”
Once the firm chose to move forward with Intermedia Unite® – the all-in-one cloud communications and collaboration solution that combines a business phone system with video meetings, chat, contact center, file sharing and backup, and more – deployment was next.
Except this was in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. But with Unite, deployment is easy. Each user is provided with a full-feature desktop phone that just needs to be plugged into the wall. “I did receive a shipment of phones to my house, which my wife found hilarious.”
However, thanks to Unite’s desktop and mobile apps that turn any iOS or Android-enabled device into a full communications hub, his employees didn’t need the physical phones to begin using the service. “They were able to use the (Unite) app on their computers or mobile devices, and seamlessly switch between the two without interruption.”
Onboarding Was Smooth Sailing
Virtual onboarding has become a norm, but it’s not always smooth sailing. However, Mr. Norman relayed that the onboarding experience with Intermedia, and its 24/7 J.D. Power-certified technical support team, went extremely well. “Intermedia was unbelievably helpful in that transitional phase. I was on the phone with a contact for four or five hours over a few days, just making sure the phone trees and ring groups were laid out perfectly. So, if a client called our New York City number, it would ring to the desk in Miami. With numbers all over the country, we need to make sure everything is right.”
Post-Rollout, Flexibility, and Ease of Use Matter
Since the rollout, Mr. Norman revealed that users appreciate the flexibility of making and receiving calls via the desk phone, mobile app, or desktop app. They also added something special to their desk phones. “We added our logo to the phones, and the C-suite loves that.”
For his part, Mr. Norman values the ease of use of the administrator panel. “It’s so clean, neatly laid out, so it’s easy to add virtual numbers. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to what we used before.”
Intermedia Keeps Course with Big Wins for the Firm
The switch to Intermedia was a huge win for the firm and Mr. Norman regarding enabling mobility, reducing costs, and being reliable. “I feel like I never have to leave my house. I was able to do 100 percent of it from my house, safely.”
There were also surprises when it came to cost. “There were no surcharges. We’ve been with you guys about a year now, and the monthly bill hasn’t changed from that quote.”
Reliability is never in question either. “When you have a phone, you want to be able to pick it up and count on it working. I love that. It’s like with me, if I do my job well, nobody ever thinks of me, which is the goal. A phone system should work the same way. That’s how Intermedia is.”
Hear more from Mr. Norman and the firm’s success by watching the full interview.