Media company

At a glance:

The parent company of five lifestyle brands including Portland Monthly, Seattle Met, and Houstonia, SagaCity Media already had a difficult consolidation on their plate when COVID-19 further scrambled their operations. Could a more modern telecom solution give them the agility to respond?

The problem:

As a magazine publisher in the 21st century, SagaCity was no stranger to rapidly-changing market conditions. But when COVID transformed 90% of their workforce into telecommuters overnight, their 1990s-style phone system just wasn’t flexible enough to keep up.

For starters, the system could only be programmed onsite. At a time when staff numbers were constantly changing, having to send a tech to the office every time something needed modification created an unnecessary bottleneck. Moreover, the old system’s lack of scalability meant SagaCity was paying every month for user capacity they usually didn’t need.

As if all this weren’t challenging enough, the company needed to consolidate their current six office locations into three, ideally with no hits to productivity and little or no capital outlay for telecommunications.

SagaCity needed a partner who knew modern business communications backwards and forwards. So they turned to us for an agile, portable solution that would be ready for whatever twists and turns the media future might bring.

Solutions: Analysis, Recommendations and Strategy

With more than a decade working with some of the Northwest’s best-known brands, Access Tech has developed a rigorous, data-driven process for documenting business workflows and communications needs. In SagaCity’s case, this inventory suggested a cloud-based UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) system would offer the real-time scalability and remote management capabilities they needed.

Choosing the right UCaaS plan can impact a company’s bottom line for years to come—not only in terms of monthly outlay, but also in slowly-accumulating effects on productivity. Accordingly, we made sure we had SagaCity’s workflow, budgeting, and human resources requirements fully defined before we began presenting them with carrier options.

After reviewing plans from RingCentral and Microsoft Teams, we ultimately recommended a scalable solution from Zoom. Pay-as-you-go per-person licensing ensured they’d never again have to pay for services they weren’t using, while flexible remote management options meant no more expensive, time-consuming support trips to the office.

Solutions: Action and Implementation

With a complete requirements analysis and recommendations in hand, SagaCity could have selected any tech firm to handle the implementation of our plan. But our track record bringing projects online quickly, efficiently and on budget made working with us for deployment the ideal scenario.

Switching into project management mode, we took over communications with the new and legacy carriers, giving SagaCity a single point of contact for any issues that might arise from to the switch.

We also took on the challenge of porting 100 users’ phone numbers from the old carrier to the new system. Long experience with this complicated process enabled us to handle it with no downtime or impact on productivity for the client.

All of this was accomplished within an extremely tight timeline, and, perhaps best of all, required no up-front capital costs.

The Results:

SagaCity can now right-size their telecom services—and their monthly bill— in real time whenever their workforce changes in size. IT staff can handle system management and programming from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection. And employees can now work and collaborate from home (or anywhere else) as easily as they can from the office.