‘It’s an Instant Trust Builder’: How Commercient Transformed Its Culture of Communication with Zoom
Using Zoom, Commercient was able to improve security and generate a unique video help desk within the organization's VR environment.
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia
Challenges: Meeting security, support for web-based solution, gaps in global communication
Solution: Zoom Meetings
Business Benefits: Secure internal and external meetings, web compatibility, consolidated, global communications platform
We had Skype for a long time, but one of the reasons we got off of it was because there was no security. It was way too easy to invite the wrong person to your chat group, and as the company grew, we had no control over who was being invited to the different chat groups inside of Skype. And it also wasn’t easy to invite people outside of the company.
Richard JenkinsCo-Founder of Commercient
Data has quickly become one of the most valuable commodities in the world, and Commercient is dedicated to helping its customers leverage this data for business success. Founded in 2000, Commercient integrates Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions to help businesses create more detailed customer profiles, improve inventory management, and streamline their data processes.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Commercient serves a global customer base by providing ERP/CRM integration for over 85 marketleading solutions, including Salesforce, HubSpot, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics 365, JD Edwards, Aptean, and SAP.
The need for enhanced security
Commercient had a legacy communications tool that met its needs for years, but as the company began to expand, the teams at Commercient found that it couldn’t provide the secure meeting environment it demanded.
“We had Skype for a long time, but one of the reasons we got off of it was because there was no security,” said Richard Jenkins, co-founder of Commercient. “It was way too easy to invite the wrong person to your chat group, and as the company grew, we had no control over who was being invited to the different chat groups inside of Skype. And it also wasn’t easy to invite people outside of the company.”
The teams at Commercient sought a more effective communications solution that could meet their needs, but the solutions they evaluated were missing features that were essential to Commercient’s operations.
“We tried to switch over to GoToMeeting because we had some licenses, but it didn’t have the chat system,” Jenkins said. “We then switched over to Slack, which had the chat function and the screen sharing, but it didn’t have dial-in numbers for other countries.”
Commercient required a communications solution that could meet its internal and external communications needs, but also one that could integrate with its newest project, a web-based, gamified virtual reality (VR) environment that guides users through the deployment of its integration products. This web-based VR environment was designed to guide customers through implementation and connect users with a live support rep when they need help. However, many solutions out there are heavily clientbased and could not run in Commercient’s web-based environment.
Providing a personal communications experience with Zoom
In its search for a communications solution that could meet the unique needs of its employees and projects, Commercient demo-ed Zoom’s platform to see how it compared. The teams at Commercient were impressed by Zoom’s feature set and security, but they also noticed how Zoom could transform its internal and external communications experience.
“The salesperson we demo-ed the product with was using a virtual background with a green screen and showed us some awesome backgrounds, but he was also using screen share to show us the product,” Jenkins recalled. “But he didn’t just stick to sharing his screen. He would go between showing his face and sharing his screen, and it made it a very personal experience. All the executives in the room walked away from that demo saying, ‘That’s what we have to do.’ ”
“The other thing that was really important with the green screen was that it created congruence,” said Noah Thomas, Head of Channel Development at Commercient. “We have a global team, and the virtual background creates the same natural environment for our sales team. So when a customer gets on the same call with someone from the UK office and someone from the Canada office, they aren’t asking, ‘Oh, what office are you based out of?’ ”
But the key Zoom differentiator was its ability to integrate into Commercient’s web-based VR environment. If customers require support while using Commercient’s VR deployment environment, they can initiate a Zoom call and speak to a member of Commercient’s support team in real time over video conference, all without leaving the browser. This provides Commercient and its customers with more flexibility to resolve issues and deploy products.
‘It’s an instant trust builder’
By implementing Zoom, Commercient was able to provide a more secure and flexible means of communication. Commercient was also able to trigger a cultural shift within the organization that has changed the way employees communicate with each other and customers.
“Zoom has made a huge change in our company culture,” Thomas said. “It’s an instant trust builder for our team. We often have conversations with customers that involve their accounting data that they’ve had for 20 years, and they are understandably protective of it. So if something small goes wrong, it’s amplified for the customer. But when you have the webcam on it brings back that human-to-human interaction, and the tone and feeling of those conversations is completely different.”
“People become humanized when you actually have to speak to them face-to-face,” Jenkins added. “They’re not just a name and an email that the customer is unfamiliar with. The customer realizes, ‘They’re just like me.’ ”