8x8 Cloud Unified Communications Provide Business Continuity for KC Integrated Services
KC Integrated Services needed to replace its outdated on-premises PBX. And it needed a solution that could ensure communications between its 14 locations through stormy winter seasons. It found the perfect answer in the Cloud.
KC Integrated Services, a full-service transportation and supply chain solutions provider for North America and beyond, has implemented 8x8 cloud communications across its geographically distributed organization, which spans 14 locations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Ontario, Canada.
Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Carleton, Michigan, KC Integrated Services provides truckload services, finished vehicle transport, and fleet leasing and maintenance through its KC Transportation, KACE, Tran Tech, and Markare Services divisions. The company has also established itself as one of the largest Certified Minority Owned logistics providers in North America.
Outdated Phone System Was Vulnerable to Weather and Outages
The newly deployed 8x8 cloud-based solution replaces an outdated analog phone system that routed all communications through a central hub at the company's main office in Carleton. Whenever that office lost power or connectivity, the entire communications system failed.
“Environmental factors definitely played a role in our decision to deploy an 8x8 cloud solution,” said Bob Bergstrom, director of information services at KC Integrated Services. “Michigan has brutal winters and severe thunderstorms that made our previous system vulnerable to outages. With 8x8, we can protect the business but still communicate easily across all locations.”
8x8 Cloud Unified Communications Implemented Across 14 Sites
KC Integrated Services currently uses 8x8 cloud communications services in 14 sites across seven geographic locations. A centralized corporate directory included on every desktop lets employees quickly look up coworkers, see their status and call their extensions. Auto attendants with both day and night greetings efficiently route outside calls to the right departments.
Improved Collaboration and Productivity
8x8's internal chat feature and mobile app have also enhanced worker productivity. Employees who need a quick answer to a question can now use chat rather than wait for an email response. The 8x8 mobile app gives them the flexibility to make and take business calls anywhere without revealing their personal cell phone numbers.
Bergstrom and other employees are also taking advantage of advanced 8x8 phone features, such as “find me, follow me,” which allows users to set up their own personal call-routing rules. For example, when a user does not answer a call at the office, the caller can be given the option to try the user's cell phone, home phone, or any other configured phone number.
Meeting features are included in the company's 8x8 service, eliminating the added cost of a separate conferencing application. Bergstrom notes that 8x8's Outlook plug-in makes scheduling and managing meetings much easier for users. The intuitive, web-based system administration portal gets very high marks from Bergstrom's technical staff.
Moves, Adds and Changes Simplified
“Making changes to our previous system was very complicated, and there was only one guy who really knew how to do it,” recalled Bergstrom. “8x8's web interface is straightforward, user-friendly, and highly configurable. We've trained our entire IT team on the new system so we all know how to make changes and can share knowledge instead of losing it.”
As a company that deals with transportation logistics, KC Integrated Services has unique requirements for routing calls to its dispatchers. When Bergstrom contacted customer support for help in configuring the phone system, 8x8 created a customized routing solution.
“8x8 has opened up new avenues of communication for us and been a true partner in the process,” said Bergstrom. “We believe that partnership will help us grow our business over the long term.”
Business Continuity, Cost Savings and Richer Communications Tools
“The flexibility of 8x8 cloud communications allows us to deliver affordable solutions that meet specific business requirements and provide disaster recovery,” said 8x8 CEO Vik Verma. “By moving their communications to the cloud, geographically dispersed organizations like KC Integrated Services can eliminate single points of failure in their networks and achieve a triple win: better business continuity, richer communication tools, and significant cost savings.”