Unity House

Non-profit upgrades and consolidates phone system across multiple service locations

Unity House is a non-profit human service agency providing direct services to people of Rensselaer County in New York who are hurting and struggling. They assist people living in poverty, adults living with mental illness or HIV/AIDS, victims of domestic violence and children with developmental delays. With 15 locations of shelters, schools and the main office, their existing telephone and network operations were a conglomeration of nine different telephone systems serviced by 13 phone and data circuit vendors. Because of the disparity and limitations of the plain old telephone (POT) analog lines, the branch locations could not transfer calls to each other, access the internet or accommodate remote and mobile users. Unity House was looking to simplify and modernize their telephone system so they could provide integrated communications and internet connectivity across all locations.

Thinking Beyond Traditional Phone Systems

During the request for proposal (RFP) process, RingSquared recommended the agency rethink beyond a traditional business phone model and leapfrog to a holistic, future-proof communications solution hosted in a cloud environment. This way, they could consolidate all the phone systems with one carrier, and integrate their 15 branch locations into one secure, hosted cloud environment. The solution enabled them to upgrade their system with real-time communication technology to unify users across multiple devices and media types, provide internet access, deliver higher bandwidth and ensure a stronger security posture. The agency chose RingSquared because of its unique capabilities to fully manage all aspects of the transition from laying voice transport lines and upgrading data connections to migrating UCaaS seats into the cloud and managing the network of all branch locations from a single portal.

Impressive Communication Updates for Unity House

With multiple vendors and disparate telephone systems spread across 15 locations, Unity House was looking to upgrade and simplify their phone system to provide seamless communications and internet connectivity across all locations.

RingSquared consolidated all phone systems into a cloud-based solution to reduce complexity and lower expenses:

  • Unified Communications-as-a-Service
  • Network Security-as-a-Service (SaaS)
  • Metro Ethernet
  • POT Fiber

Creating a Modern, Flexible Voice & Data Solution

With the new RingSquared solution, Unity House now has:

  • Multiple locations together on one network and telephone system.
  • Saved money moving from a CapEx to an OpEx model. No upfront equipment cost. Predictable monthly fee.
  • Feature-rich UCaaS allowed auto-attendant and self-service capabilities from an online portal.
  • Built-in redundancy and stronger security measures ensured better uptime and protection from data breaches or intrusions.
  • Dedicated fiber and Ethernet to each location from multiple carriers to provide redundancy.
  • Unified 310 seats from multiple locations into RingSquared’s cloud environment. The new functionalities combined voice, audio and video, conferencing and instant messaging, allowing Unity House to improve collaboration and productivity. Remote and mobile users could access the network anywhere, anytime.
  • Upgraded 25 data circuits to provide 10X higher bandwidth speed.
  • Provided better data security with a firewall that allowed Unity House IT administrators visibility into the network through a portal so they could monitor and make changes with self-service tools.

Better Uptime & Customer Accessibility

Unity House BuildingImagine having a suicide line and the caller gets a busy signal or cannot get through to the right person to get help. With one telephone system managed in RingSquared’s cloud environment, all Unity House’s phone connections have built-in redundancy where unanswered calls can be rerouted to another phone number.

Should the internet go down at Unity House, the calls can automatically be programmed to reroute to an employee’s mobile app, which is not affected by the internet outage at the office. This way, Unity House is ensured 100% uptime so hurting callers can readily access an agency employee any hour, night or day. And if anything comes up, RingSquared’s team is there to help.

“The RingSquared account team is always attentive and available to answer questions or when we needed additional services or technical advice. You can tell they really go the extra mile for their customers,” says Gina Couture, Assistant Director at Unity House.

Cost Savings & Convenience

In the past using multiple vendors and phone systems, monthly expenses were running $18K a month. Managing the large volume of bills from multiple providers was a challenge. By consolidating, Unity House now has lower monthly phone expenses and can conveniently see all charges on a single bill and pay online.

In addition, moving from a CapEx model to an OpEx model, the agency was able to save almost $200K dollars in upfront costs if they had purchased the transport, hardware and software licenses themselves in-house. Now they pay a predictable monthly fee each month. In addition, with RingSquared managing the day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of the network, their IT staff spends more time on strategic IT initiatives.

Couture and her team can already see an improvement in their system’s management. “The UCaaS project allowed Unity House to decrease our cost, eliminate multiple bills and paperwork and consolidate our outdated telephone systems at multiple locations into one easy-to-use system.”

Worry-Free System Performance

Today, Unity House IT administrators no longer worry about expensive move/add/change expenses if they need to add new phone lines in branch locations. With IP connections in each location running through the cloud, they can easily expand their service, worry and hassle free.