When the IT leaders at AdvancedMD recognized it was time to scrap its underperforming legacy phone system for a cloud-based contact center, they asked MicroAge’s Unified Communications Team for help finding a customer experience platform that would meet their needs.
Recognizing the Need for Unified Communications
MicroAge’s Schan Krug was doing what he does with all his clients when he paid a routine visit to AdvancedMD, a MicroAge client Schan has worked with for more than seven years. During the visit, the systems administrator for the healthcare SaaS company mentioned that they needed a new integrated communications platform. Schan immediately offered the services and expertise of MicroAge’s Communications Team and suggested that he set up a call with MicroAge Unified Communications Manager Rob Cook.
AdvancedMD provides an integrated software suite designed for medical practices and billing services. While its flagship software suite is unified and 100% cloud-based, AdvancedMD’s phone system was not. They were using an on-prem legacy system involving three separate vendors. As a result, the call quality was low, frustration over the convoluted menu tree was high, and helpful reporting was just about nonexistent.
MicroAge’s Unified Communications Team
Schan and Rob had an introductory call with AdvancedMD Manager of Corporate IT Kate Boyle and her team to discuss their needs and current environment.
“Everyone was frustrated with their current setup,” says Schan. “With two separate telco carriers and a third company providing the on-premises contact center, they had to do detective work to identify the root cause of an issue and which vendor was responsible. And then there was the all-too-common blame-shifting between vendors that would invariably follow.”
The AdvancedMD team had come up with a list of nine providers but scrutinizing each vendor and its solutions would take them months, and they needed to trim the list down to the best three or four options to present to stakeholders in just two weeks.
“This is where MicroAge’s expertise in unified communications comes into play,” says Rob. “Our team works in the collaboration and customer experience sector every single day. We have partnerships and certifications with all the major providers—we know the vendors, their portfolios, how their solutions work, and their strengths and potential weaknesses. A company’s IT team is busy keeping the business running; they aren’t typically unified communications experts—at MicroAge, we are.”
Integrated Communications Platform Fact-Finding and Advocating
“Kate and the AdvancedMD team knew they wanted to move away from an on-prem phone system and shift 100% to the cloud,” adds Schan. “They also wanted a truly unified customer experience solution that would work seamlessly together, with straightforward reporting and an easy learning curve.”
With an understanding of the stakeholders’ requirements for a communication platform, Rob began sifting through the list of unified communications vendors, quickly cutting it down to four potential candidates that warranted a closer look.
“After additional meetings with Kate and her team to discuss the pros and cons of each of the four semifinalists and how they stacked up with AdvancedMD’s requirements, we narrowed the list down to two viable providers,” says Rob.
Schan and Rob set up proof of concept (POC) trials with each of the two finalists.
“They liked both providers,” says Schan. “But during this time, Kate and her team made it clear—the winning vendor had to offer a holistic customer experience solution with a single-point-of-contact for anything and everything that could go wrong. Anything other than that would be a dealbreaker.”
This declared line in the sand did not faze either vendor; they both claimed to be 100% unified and would provide AdvancedMD with a single point of contact.
Rob, however, knew that one of the vendors utilized a separate company for part of its platform—integrated, yes, but it was, in fact, an independent company.
“In the interest of full disclosure, I pointed this out to the vendor and AdvancedMD,” says Rob. “After some discussion, the vendor admitted that there could be instances when they would not be able to handle all support and would need to point the client to the third party. That was a no-go for Kate and her team.”
8×8: The Winning Customer Experience Solution
In the end, the vendor that matched up perfectly with AdvancedMD’s needs was 8×8. The client was impressed with 8×8’s clear communications and plans for customization and integration. The 8×8 team dedicated a team of professionals to implement the project, with regular meetings, scheduled due dates, and follow-up.
“Kate and her team are pleased with the 8×8 eXperience Communications Platform—it’s exactly what they were looking for,” says Schan. “They love the fact that it’s an all-in-one, cloud-based, customer experience solution, with a complete suite of features, including a fully integrated contact center, voice, chat, video, and reporting analytics. The call quality is fantastic, they have the reporting they need to inform managers for coaching purposes, and customers are happy with the simplified phone tree menu.”
Kate has high praise for MicroAge and the support she and her team received from Schan and Rob.
“They made the whole process much easier for us,” Kate says. “Schan and Rob were very attentive to our needs, representing our requirements with the vendors, and setting up meetings and demos. And we really appreciate how they dug in and disclosed that the other provider we were considering was not truly a one-vendor solution.”
“It was gratifying to help Kate and the team at AdvancedMD find the unified communications platform that met all their requirements,” said Rob. “First and foremost, we are advocates for our clients. Studying the needs of the client, researching options, and recommending the best solution is what we do.”
Are you ready to elevate your phone system to a customer experience solution? Let’s talk.
Communication and collaboration are at the center of every organization. Let the MicroAge Unified Communications Team help you find the right solution for yours. Call us at 800-544-8877.