Decision Toolbox, a recruitment service and product provider, has close to a hundred employees spread all over the U.S. Finding a unified workflow that works well for this dispersed workforce is essential for a recruiting business, and fulfilling that need was a challenge for Jay Barnett, CEO. "We went through three VoIP partners who just weren't able and willing and enthusiastic about supporting that kind of environment," Barnett said. He also found that VoIP service providers were rarely willing to support people working from home, where the provider had no control over those employees' virtual environments.
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Irvine, California-based Decision Toolbox tried three VoIP providers before landing on Masergy. These previous partnerships failed because they were ultimately unwilling to deliver the customer service necessary to support an all-remote workforce. Barnett had to shift his selection criteria to include the following:
- A flexible provider with a strong API to maintain company autonomy.
- No restrictive, long-term contract.
- A provider with a strong track record of satisfied customers.
- A relatively small provider that would prioritize Decision Toolbox.
Location: Irvine, California
Core business: Recruitment
Business problem: Unifying communications and business process for all-virtual workforce
Barnett explored global cloud networking platforms and found Masergy's unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offering. UCaaS is designed to integrate voice calls and business application workflow into a cohesive system, all without changing a company's core processes. As desired, Masergy made no long-term demands. If they weren't providing the service Decision Toolbox needed, they gave the recruiter the option of backing out. Masergy's cloud APIs were also a good fit with Decision Toolbox's customized software and business processes, and could, by extension preserve their autonomy.
Location: Plano, Texas
Core business: Cloud networking platform
Solution: Masergy UCaaS
Target customer: Enterprises
APIs are Masergy's most powerful offering, said the company's VP of cloud communications, Dean Manzoori. "We allow our customers to use the APIs to automate their business processes. That's what Decision Toolbox has done so successfully, from click dial to screen pop," he explained.
APIs: A new approach to third-party services
Barnett likens enterprise technology to a waffle iron. "Our technology is the batter that we just pour in to surround those peaks and fill in those valleys so everything works exactly the way we want it to work." In other words, technology should adapt to business processes, not the other way around.
Unwilling to adjust their work methods to third-party technology, Decision Toolbox has developed most of its software in-house. Their CRM, recruiting platform and interfaces are all developed by Decision Toolbox.
While Decision Toolbox technically only uses Masergy's UCaaS offering, this tool has opened the door to their API, which has created a whole new net of opportunities for Barnett's development team. "There are so many products that Masergy offers that we have developed our own versions of using the APIs that Masergy lets us tap into." This approach also has the advantage of avoiding vendor lock-in, which is often a concern when it comes to cloud services.
Customer service: The great differentiator
For Barnett, Masergy's primary selling point was its open contract paired with its hands-on customer service. In Manzoori's words, anyone can go out and buy a commodity piece. It is the customer service that will ultimately set vendors apart. Indeed, the cloud has opened up a whole host of APIs and development tools to allow enterprise developers some protection from vendor lock-in. That said, support will always be required when something goes wrong.
"Not every company is going to want to support a virtual environment where none of the people are behind hardware that gives Masergy control over what's happening. But Dean said, 'We want to do it. We're willing to do it.' And he also made it very easy for us in terms of not having to make any kind of a long-term commitment."
Manzoori told an anecdote that aptly described his philosophy on how vendors should prioritize customer service. "Anyone dialing 611 on our network goes through the helpdesk, so [if] I call in and I say, 'My phone's on fire,' the correct responder will call the fire department." In other words, vendors who want to stay competitive should make their customer's problems their own, regardless of the root cause.