At a Glance
- Cut the cost of a previous telecom solution by 50%
- Improved productivity
- Greatly improved voice quality of phone
Virtual Offices Improve Cost Effective Productivity for Small and Medium Business.
Fulcrum Consulting and the law offices of Blumenthal, Nordrehaug and Bhowmik enjoy cost savings and productivity improvements with Polycom simple, plug-and play solutions that allow them to focus on their business, not the technology they use to run it.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the United States face unique challenges that have become even more difficult to manage in the country’s struggling economy. Most SMBs run lean, every employee wears many hats in the organization, and they must strictly focus on the business at hand. So when it comes to deploying technology solutions to help streamline and grow their companies, SMB managers do not have time to deal with complex systems, nor do the have the luxury of a large IT department to take on the responsibility. What they need are simple, plug-andplay solutions that allow them to focus on their business, not the technology they use to run it.
A partnership between Polycom and 8x8, Inc. is providing just such a solution to SMBs all over the country. 8x8’s expertise lies in offering voice, video, mobile, and unified communications solutions to SMBs, with more than 25,000 businesses currently using its services. 8x8 is a Polycom certified VoIP Interoperability Partner, which ensures compatibility with the Polycom unified collaboration platform.
The tight integration between the Polycom SoundPoint IP desk phones and SoundStation IP conference phones and the 8x8 cloud-based VoIP PBX solution is providing SMBs with the industry’s highest quality phone systems and reliable phone service from a proven company.
“What we hear from our customers is that they need to be able to just plug the phone in and use it so they can get on with their business,” says Bill Korbe, technology product manager with 8x8. “That’s important for SMBs to be competitive.”
A look at two companies that have implemented the Polycom – 8x8 solution—Fulcrum Consulting and Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik—exemplify the cost savings and productivity improvements customers are achieving.
Fulcrum Consulting Creates a True Virtual Office
Fulcrum Consulting is one of the fastest-growing consulting firms in the country, offering a full range of consulting, staffing, and outsourcing services to corporations and government agencies. The company has up to 800 consultants working in the field at any given time. A full-time staff of 26 sales people, recruiters and HR reps runs the business from the company’s three Midwest offices in Des Moines, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.
The cost of communicating among these offices over traditional land lines was continually increasing and the technology did not support the company’s virtual structure.
“One thing small business people need is a true virtual office—that’s where VoIP really makes sense,” explains Fulcrum Consulting Managing Partner Dan Emehiser. “It’s all about virtualization.”
Based on favorable recommendations from colleagues who were using Polycom VoIP phones,
Emehiser deployed Polycom’s SoundPoint IP 550 desktop SIP phones running on the 8x8 hosted PBX. The Polycom – 8x8 solution streamlines daily communication among the Des Moines, Minneapolis, and St. Louis offices as well as vital contact with consultants and clients all over the country. As Emehiser explains, “Our life is on the Internet and the phone. Without a good phone system, we’re out of business.”
All of the Fulcrum users have been impressed with the quality and clarity of the speaker phone, enabled by Polycom HD Voice™ technology.
Fulcrum Consulting has achieved the office virtualization it was looking for with a phone system that keeps employees connected, improves productivity—and has cut the company’s phone bill in half.
Law Firm Improves Productivity
Based in La Jolla, California, employment discrimination law firm Blumenthal, Nordrehaug, & Bhowmik was in desperate need of a more featurerich phone system that could handle its growing call volume and better serve the communications requirements of its 15 employees.
The firm deployed a combination of Polycom SoundPoint IP 550 and IP 670 desktops phones and the Polycom SoundStation IP 6000 conference phone, all running on the 8x8 hosted PBX. The phone system provides an array of features that make communication more effective, improve the firm’s productivity, and reduce the cost of communications.
Says Norm Blumenthal, the firm’s managing partner: “The Polycom VoIP phones coupled with 8x8’s VoIP service have significantly improved my law firm’s ability to manage communications both inside and outside the office for half the price we were paying before.”
The firm’s Marketing Director, Jon Zacharias, who became the de facto “IT department” responsible for the installation of the entire phone system, appreciated how simple it was to set up. Polycom and 8x8 have a mutual distribution partner that pre-configures the Polycom phones before they’re shipped to the end-user, making installation truly plug and play.
Ease of use was also critical to the success of the deployment. Because the employees at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug, & Bhowmik don’t tend to be early technology adopters, there was some apprehension with the switch to the new phone system; however, not only are all employees completely comfortable using the new phones, everyone in the firm has been impressed by the HD Voice sound quality when using Polycom’s award winning desktop or conference room speaker phones.
In addition, standard 8x8 features such as caller ID, voicemail to email notification, and the ability to record calls are essential for Blumenthal, Nordrehaug, & Bhowmik from a liability perspective. And the firm’s managers were pleased that virtual Web meeting functionality was included, eliminating the need to pay for a Web conferencing service.
A Growing Partnership
Moving forward, Polycom and 8x8 anticipate even greater synergies that will benefit SMBs as the partnership continues to grow. The most recent collaboration between Polycom and 8x8 has resulted in a groundbreaking cloud service that combines 8x8’s advanced, SIP-based communications services with the Polycom UC Intelligent Core software platform and its industry leading video conferencing endpoints. This solution delivers enterprise-class video conferencing capability at flat-rate pricing that small and medium businesses can afford.
“We have a very good relationship with Polycom,” says Korbe. “There are a lot of good angles to our partnership, and that’s what makes it work. Our customer is the ultimate winner in this situation.”
To find out how Polycom solutions can help your organization, visit us at www.polycom.com or speak with a Polycom Account Representative.