Accessing services for adults and children with disabilities is an essential service and during the pandemic Alta California Regional Center had to find a way to safely stay in contact with their clients and families. Avaya Cloud Office® by RingCentral® allows them to be there when their clients need them.
Remote workers during pandemic
Cost of multiple licences, platforms and systems was a concern
Needed reliable communications platform across multiple locations
Use of personal cell phones posed HIPPA security risks
Staff and clients let unknown calls go to voicemail causing scheduling delays and repeat calling
Reporting and analytics were sparse and not useful
No remote worker plan in place for continued contact with clients and families
Cost savings realized with OPEX model by eliminating systems such as e-faxing and video conferencing
Cloud platform delivers HIPPA compliant, reliable connectivity and eases the daily workload of IT staff
Having one single number alleviates missed calls to connect clients and staff on first contact
Robust reporting enables planning for surges and trends in call patterns
Simple but feature-rich cloud system allows for personal service from any device or remote location
The way people access public services, and how and where those services are delivered has fundamentally changed due to COVID-19. For Alta California Regional Center (ACRC), this meant moving from a legacy on-premises phone system to a more flexible cloud communication solution that would keep users safe while maintaining quality of service and cost-efficiency as a state-funded non-profit corporation. The organization assists over 25,000 California clients from early childhood to adulthood, with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities helping them and their families access appropriate services pursuant to the Lanterman Act.
Cloud was unsuccessfully campaigned when the company evaluated new phone systems back in 2017. When doors closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, ACRC found itself needing a more reliable phone system for its staff who were now largely working remotely. That’s when the company decided to move to a cloud solution. As an existing Avaya customer, they found Avaya Cloud Office® by RingCentral® to be their best fit.
The company quickly began planning its rollout of Avaya Cloud Office for over 600 employees across nine locations state-wide. “We wanted a well-known player in the industry who was rock-solid. As an existing Avaya customer, we knew we’d get that from them with their cloud solution. They have been great to work with from start to finish. They gave us access to the system prior to us signing on to play around with, and even granted an extension of that trial period when we asked for it, which we really appreciated,” explained Phil Adams, IT Engineer at ACRC.
Avaya has opened our eyes to what’s possible during and after the pandemic in terms of how work gets done. Now that we have Avaya Cloud Office, we’re re-evaluating our remote work policy for the long-haul. —Phil Adams, IT Engineer at ACRC
From an IT perspective, Avaya Cloud Office has been massively beneficial for ACRC. The company has seen a real return in moving from a CAPEX model to an OPEX model by reducing smaller hidden expenses that add up over time. This includes license fees, personnel training, and the ability to eliminate standalone services that were being paid for and maintained separately like e-fax and conferencing. “Our employees have everything they need to work effectively with Avaya Cloud Office, and the hard part of managing the communications solution is done for us,” said Adams.
Disaster recovery was also a major influencer in the customer’s purchasing decision. If any of their offices go dark, they can trust that their phone system will stay up no matter what with the ability for staff to call and collaborate from anywhere. In fact, the system accelerates communication when needed most. “Right before we invested in Avaya Cloud Office, the power went out in one of our regional centers and there was a major lag in communications. Now, we can use the system to immediately send a text message to everyone in the company through their cell phones letting them know when something like this happens,” explained Sarah Procsal, Facilities Assistant at ACRC.
Avaya Cloud Office also has built-in reporting and analytics, which the organization has been lacking for some time. “It’s nice to know from a 50,000-foot level what we’re doing with our phone system. Now we’ll know when our busy times are, when calls are going out, and what’s trending, which will help us improve the way we deliver service to our clients,” said Adams. These built-in analytics also allow the company to dig into specifics of a single call or user’s phone setup to pinpoint exactly what is affecting performance. “The solution allows us to focus on what’s most important: our clients. As a non-profit corporation funded by tax dollars, we feel we really get the value of the investment. It’s something other vendors simply can’t offer.”
We wanted a well-known player in the industry who was rock-solid. As an existing Avaya customer, we knew we’d get that from them with their cloud solution. They have been great to work with from start to finish.
“We’re usually hesitant to adopt new technology for our staff, but when you look at all of the services that are encompassed in Avaya Cloud Office and how easy the solution is to use, it’s a no-brainer,” explained Tara Miller, General Services Manager at ACRC. Procsal agreed. “We’re all about relationships and getting in touch with our clients quickly and reliably. Our Service Coordinators don’t want to sweat the small stuff to reach clients, and vice versa. They just want to get done what they need to get done. Everything we need is now in one easy-to-use app, which I know our staff will really love,” she explained.
Avaya Cloud Office gives every employee their own conference bridge with full collaboration functionality for getting work done. The company can create groups for Service Coordinators who work together in different units (i.e., adulthood, early childhood), and managers can easily communicate to these groups through Avaya Cloud Office. The executive management team will have its own separate group for communicating and getting work done. The company is also adding advanced texting functionality, in addition to video conferencing, for its unit that serves hearing-impaired clients to provide a better overall client experience.
Another major differentiator for ACRC is that with Avaya Cloud Office, one number does it all. Service Coordinators can make calls from any device (laptop, tablet, mobile phone) and it always appears to clients as coming from the same trusted, verified number. Before this, many clients would send incoming calls to voicemail because they didn’t recognize the number the call was coming from (Service Coordinators would *67 calls to hide their personal phone number.) Clients would then call the employee’s desk phone, which wasn’t always set up with call forwarding. “There was a lot of back and forth that negatively affected productivity and client/family experience. Now, it’s easy for our Service Coordinators to customize their communications environment with different features anywhere, at any time and there’s no mixing of personal and business communications,” said Miller.
Alta California Regional Center is relied on by tens of thousands of people for support through their care journey. Using Avaya Cloud Office, the company is able to navigate the challenges of digital remote collaboration during COVID-19 to continue its frontline work.
Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) is a private, non-profit corporation working under contract with the State of California, Department of Developmental Services, to provide services to persons, age three and above, with a developmental disability pursuant to the Lanterman Act.
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