HBW Construction is one of the top general contracting companies in the Washington DC/Baltimore area. Eric Whitman is the company’s CFO and his responsibilities include overseeing IT. Eric recognizes the importance of IT for efficient operations and has made significant technology investments in the past few years. The latest investment was converting their VoIP phone system to Microsoft Teams Voice.
HBW has about 120 employees and more than half of these people use office phones. With the system that they replaced, you had to be a power user to be able to quickly make programming changes, like forward calls or set up a new voicemail. This would create issues for employees who had to request help to do things that should have been intuitive.
They handled their struggles to administer the old VoIP system as best they could, but then they started to have random outages. It wasn’t usually apparent right away that their phones were down. When someone finally figured out that they didn’t have service, they had to scramble to get help while worrying about the calls they were missing.
XPERTECHS Help to Compare Zoom vs. Teams
When Eric decided that they couldn’t live with unpredictable phones any longer, he didn’t have to weigh HBW’s phone system options on his own. As an XPERTECHS’ client he had input from his vCIO and phone system experts to vet the two systems that he was considering – Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
As a Microsoft Gold partner, XPERTECHS was partial to Teams but despite that preference, Eric didn’t feel like he was being pushed in that direction. XPERTECHS helped him to consider the implications of each option, including costs for licensing.
“XPERTECHS was very helpful in helping us vet Zoom as well as providing information on Teams,” Eric said. “Although they had a preference, they weren’t pushing us in that direction, which I appreciated. They were very open to the idea of installing Zoom, if that was the choice we were going to make.”
Ultimately, Eric decided that Teams was the best option for several reasons. They were already using Teams and the phones would integrate easily into the workspace that had become familiar to them. He viewed XPERTECHS’ expertise in the Microsoft platform as a benefit, and in cost comparisons Teams was a bit more economical.
Single Point-of-Contact for Planning and Implementation
When the decision was made to switch to Teams Voice, Eric began working with his XPERTECHS project manager to plan the implementation. He appreciated having one contact person whom he could count on to walk them through every detail and decision that was involved.
“I consider myself a very needy customer. I tend to ask a lot of questions,” he said. “I want to know what’s going on, how it’s happening and when it’s happening.”
Part of the planning work that XPERTECHS did was to map out HBW’s existing phone system and determine how the capabilities and customizations they needed would be organized in the Teams environment. They decided that most employees would use headsets, so there was minimal hardware to procure.
XPERTECHS facilitated employee training so that people could quickly gain a comfort level with their new communications system. It certainly was a plus that employees were already working within the Teams platform.
Smooth Rollout to Microsoft Teams Voice
Overall, the rollout was very smooth. When the cutover day arrived, everything was ready to go. Calls were rolled to their answering service. Voice mail and call forwarding rules were set up. Employees knew what was going on.
“I’ve done a lot of implementations in my office for software, hardware, or a new process or procedure. This was probably the least intrusive one I’ve done,” Eric reflected.
The experience that Eric and HBW Construction had with their Teams Voice implementation is great, but what’s even better is they don’t have to think about their phones anymore. And the time that Eric used to have to spend when their old phone system went down… he’s got that time back on his plate again.
“It’s not on my radar. That’s probably the best way to say it,” said Eric. “I’m not dealing with problems. I don’t think about it. I don’t worry about it. It just works.”
Learn more about HBW Construction here: https://hbwconstruction.com/