Unification Nation: BOX
A content sharing firm supports rapid growth with
When a company’s staff skyrockets from about 50 to more
than 500 in a matter of a few years, building an internal
infrastructure to support that growth can be a challenge. Box,
a content management and collaboration platform based in
Los Altos, California, experienced exactly that kind of growth
between 2009 and 2012 as its user base grew to more than 10
million individuals and companies.
“We had to be able to scale quickly. The answers for us were in
the cloud and in finding partner platforms,” says Menaka Shroff,
director of product marketing. She says an important part of
that growth was partnering with Plano, Texas-based unified
communications (UC) provider Fonality.
UC is built on an integrated platform to support and enhance
the wide range of communications functions necessary
in today’s competitive work environments. Voice, data,
and video communications are all managed on a single IT
infrastructure accessible from a range of mobile phones and
devices, laptops, tablets, and in-office equipment. By allowing
employees to access data, applications, and other critical
business tools by simply “plugging in,” unified communications
improves productivity and allows organizations to quickly
support a growing employee base without heavy investment in
IT staff and equipment.
THE NEED FOR A FLEXIBLE PLATFORM
For Box, the unified communications effort began in the marketing department, where the team lives and breathes metrics.
Shroff says that the company needed a phone system that would service multiple locations with no downtime, an effective
way of collecting feedback from customers, and a dashboard that would be easy for the sales team and managers to use.
Fonality’s interface, especially the Heads-Up Display (HUD), which integrates information and shows employee availability
at a glance, was intuitive and fit the need for a platform that could interact with Box’s own, as well as CRM powerhouse
Salesforce.com, which is an important tool Box uses for tracking information about customers and prospects.
That kind of analytical approach to choosing a system is exactly what Springfield, Pennsylvania business growth
consultant Bill Ringle recommends. “You need to examine the need, and spec out what’s required in order to make that
happen in job descriptions,” he says.
Scaling quickly also requires putting the best people in charge of each process, says Ringle—and that’s not always
the owner. Finding excellent talent to lead functions like finance, operations, marketing, and sales allows the owner to
reduce bottlenecks and bring fresh thinking to each department, says Ringle. While it can be difficult to give up such
control or decide to invest in new tools, failing to do so can slow or stifle growth.
SUPPORTING MULTIPLE GROWTH PATHS
In Box’s case, growth is two-fold—scaling the company’s service infrastructure to ensure it can support rapid addition
of new customers in addition to building processes to support new employees. IT director Jeff Sutton spends time
getting employee feedback in order to make sure that the company’s technology is serving employees’ needs and
also finding ways to make it better.
“This is not a company with a top-down approach. We look for the best solutions, wherever we can find them,” he says.
Finding effective solutions like Fonality has allowed Box to grow exponentially, both internally and externally.
To learn more about how Fonality’s unified communications solutions can streamline your collaboration and processes, boost your productivity, and give you a competitive edge, visit us at www.fonality.com, or call 1.877.366.2548.