Optiv was founded in 1996 by Gary Fish in the basement of his Blue Springs, Missouri, home. Now headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, Optiv has 11 major offices across the U.S. and about 20 remote locations. The company primarily serves Fortune 500 clients, as well as a number of federal government departments. With almost 750 employees, Optiv has become the largest information security and infrastructure solutions provider. “Our view of information security is comprehensive,” says David Yarnevich, IT architect for Optiv. “Our solutions include everything from managed security services and device support, to online security training, assessments, consulting and technology product resale.”
Reducing System Administration and Costs Makes the Cloud Attractive
In November 2013, Optiv began looking for a cloud-based replacement solution for its on-premises IP PBX systems. “Primarily, we were focused on operations and reliability, ease of use, and reducing the amount of system administration required,” said Yarnevich. “Also, we are very cost-conscious, and moving our communications to the cloud offered us a level of financial predictability that was very attractive.”
Extremely Selective Firm Likes 8x8’s Compliance and Security
As a security solutions provider, Optiv sets the bar high when selecting outside vendors. Yarnevich explains that, “We have our own internal security processes and procedures, but we also have to ensure that our customers’ data is secured in accordance with their own requirements. Multiply that by thousands of customers and you’ll understand why we have to be extremely selective about whom we entrust with their data.”
Switching to 8x8 has freed up a lot of our IT staff’s time to focus on doing things that are more strategic in nature than worrying about the day-today tasks of administering the phone system.
Gartner Recognition of 8x8’s Leadership Was an Important Factor
In addition, Optiv had a very limited timeframe in which to complete the cutover to the new communication system. While evaluating cloud-based providers, Yarnevich was impressed by 8x8’s “completeness of vision and ability to execute,” recognition by Gartner as an industry leader, and compliance with leading security protocols such as HIPAA and PCI.
“The timeframe for our deployment was shorter than we would have liked, and that made our rollout kind of tricky,” recalls Yarnevich. “We selected 8x8 because they have a successful track record of moving customers to the cloud quickly, and they meet the high bar we set in terms of security compliance.”
Nationwide Rollout Frees IT Staff for More Strategic Work
Yarnevich and his team first deployed 8x8 at the company’s smaller remote offices before moving on to the main offices. Within two weeks, all offices except for headquarters had been successfully migrated. In less than a month, the entire company was unified on the 8x8 telephony platform.
“Switching to 8x8 has freed up a lot of our IT staff’s time to focus on doing things that are more strategic in nature than worrying about the day-to-day tasks of administering the phone system,” says Yarnevich. He notes that the company has also significantly reduced its communications costs by eliminating the dedicated circuits it previously leased to enable MPLS services for its remote offices.
8x8 API Supports Multiple CRM Integrations
In addition to 8x8 phone service, Optiv implemented two 8x8 Virtual Contact Centers, one for outbound sales calls and the other for inbound customer support calls. The sales contact center is integrated with Salesforce CRM software, which gives agent online tools that help them make more calls and manage them more efficiently. The customer support contact center is integrated with a separate internally-developed CRM package, so that agents can see who is calling and access customer account information quickly.
“We’ve been very impressed with the flexibility of 8x8’s API in enabling us to integrate with both third-party and internal CRMs that don’t have a native integration already built in,” says Yarnevich.
Flexible Options Provide Business Continuity and Peace of Mind
The flexibility of 8x8’s virtual solution also enables contact center agents to work anywhere, around the clock, which Yarnevich cites as a major benefit to the company.
“Our support team works 24x7 to assist customers all over the world. As a security company, we’re very mindful of how important it is to provide these kinds of services in a reliable and survivable fashion. Should the need arise—and we hope it doesn’t—we can enable our support agents to work from home or other remote locations, which is crucial for our business continuity and disaster recovery.”
Moving to 8x8 Eliminates Administration Headaches
Prior to deploying 8x8 cloud communications, Optiv utilized multiple vendors for circuits, licenses and PBX maintenance. From Yarnevich’s perspective, standardizing on 8x8’s telephony platform has significantly streamlined the company’s communications infrastructure.
“One of the things that we focused on in replacing our communications system was simplification,” says Yarnevich. “Our system administrator—who used to get lots of headaches and take lots of ibuprofen—is very happy with the simplicity of managing our 8x8 system at a high level, and being able to delegate more daily tasks to our help desk.”
One Unified Communications Solution, One Predictable Low Bill
According to Yarnevich, reducing down to one vendor has also helped Optiv cut costs, and the predictability of 8x8’s flat monthly pricing makes it easy to budget for new users and offices as the company expands.
Follow-through from a Company That Listens
Looking ahead to a long-term relationship with 8x8, Yarnevich is pleased that Optiv’s unique needs and interests are being heard and addressed.
“We are very interested in having a voice in the future direction of 8x8’s cloud services,” he says. “As a security company, we have expertise to share and opinions about features we would like to see developed. It’s very gratifying that 8x8 actually listens and follows through. It’s a future that looks promising.”