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Fortune Media (USA) Corp.

FORTUNE Chooses Zoom to Upgrade Legacy Phone System, Expand Virtual Conferences and Events Business

Zoom Phone offers extended support to help FORTUNE deploy a new cloud phone solution across multiple geographies with flawless execution.

Fortune Media (USA) Corp.

Location: New York, New York 

Industries: Media

Challenges: Migrating to a new company-wide cloud phone solution with offices around the globe; very small IT team

Solutions: Zoom Meetings, Zoom Phone, Zoom Webinars, Zoom Rooms, Professional Services

The Zoom Professional Services team helped us navigate the various carrier and regulatory minefields to make our global telephony migration seamless! Our lines in Europe, across the US and in Hong Kong all cut over when promised and without downtime.

Jeff Billark

Head of IT Infrastructure

Fortune Media (USA) Corp.

Location: New York, New York 

Industries: Media

Challenges: Migrating to a new company-wide cloud phone solution with offices around the globe; very small IT team

Solutions: Zoom Meetings, Zoom Phone, Zoom Webinars, Zoom Rooms, Professional Services

The Zoom Professional Services team helped us navigate the various carrier and regulatory minefields to make our global telephony migration seamless! Our lines in Europe, across the US and in Hong Kong all cut over when promised and without downtime.

Jeff Billark

Head of IT Infrastructure

For nearly a century, the multinational Fortune Media (USA) Corp. has been synonymous with one of the oldest and largest publications in the world, Fortune magazine. Today, the  FORTUNE brand is responsible for not only Fortune magazine, but Fortune.com and other business media (including the Global Forum, Most Powerful Women, and Brainstorm conferences).

The search for a new cloud phone solution

FORTUNE emerged in late 2018 after its previous owner, Time Inc., was acquired by Meredith Corp. earlier that year. Having once enjoyed enterprise-class telephony services, this relatively “new” small business no longer had access to the same technology resources and kicked off their search for a new cloud phone solution.

To help with this transition, Jeff Billark came aboard as the Head of IT Infrastructure to execute the company’s new IT carve-out plan. He turned to the Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant to evaluate several collaboration and communication tools after their previous point solution cloud provider no longer fit their growing needs. 

“We found that we had overspent on our UCaaS solution and had many features and services that weren’t being used,“ Billark said. 

Choosing another provider was not the only challenge. With teams in Europe, Asia, and the United States, FORTUNE had to account for staff members around the globe who wanted to retain their existing phone numbers from the former solution. Trying to tackle all of the port orders in various jurisdictions (each with unique requirements) while migrating to a new Meetings solution was too great for Billark’s small IT team to manage. 

In addition to the cutover process, there was apprehension around the actual day of cutover and how it would impact the staff during the middle of the workday. 

“I was concerned that our global phone service would go down. Our toll-free phone tree takes calls for our Conference business, our List business, and many of the GDPR-type compliance needs. This is a critical piece of FORTUNE’s business operations, and it needed to be cut over flawlessly,“ Billark said.

Easy global deployment and support

When he returned to Gartner’s UCaaS Magic Quadrant for recommendations, Billark discovered Zoom was a dominant leader for not only meetings but unified communications as well. 

“FORTUNE was already using Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars to run our now-virtual Conferences and Events business, so it seemed like a no-brainer to make the pivot to Zoom Phone,” Billark said.

FORTUNE ultimately chose Zoom Phone for the ease of deployment and the familiarity it provided as a built-in solution within the native Zoom platform. Adding Zoom Phone was as simple as accessing a new icon within their existing client experience and minimized any additional change management training. 

“I liked the single client app implementation, which made for an easy deployment and easy single entry point for our users. The administrative interface and controls made it very easy to support, which is very important for a small IT team,” Billark said.

Zoom Phone provides local telephony services in 45 countries, which allowed FORTUNE to cut separate geographic telecom costs and consolidate their phone system to a single uniform platform.  

All told, they needed to reprovision approximately 100 desk sets in New York and Hong Kong, while repurposing their existing devices to keep the pivot costs as low as possible. Billark felt confident that with additional support from Zoom Professional Services, his team could successfully migrate their legacy phone system to a new cloud phone solution. 

To prepare, Zoom’s PSO worked with the FORTUNE team to plan and test everything ahead of time, making the actual cutover days fairly quiet. 

It (the cutover process) was smooth and executed according to plan just like the PSO team had promised. Each cutover was flawless and we didn’t record a single trouble ticket.

Jeff Billark

Head of IT Infrastructure

FORTUNE saved thousands

In addition to providing hyper-support to ensure the porting requests happened on time and without interruption to business, Zoom’s Professional Services helped FORTUNE save more than $10,000.

“Zoom’s Professional Services engineering team went beyond the call of duty and helped my team figure out the Poly phone unlock, wipe, and reprovision procedures. That itself saved us over $10,000 because we didn’t have to throw out perfectly good Poly IP phone sets,” Billark said. 

Having been through the process, Billark recommends small IT teams add Zoom Professional Services to their budgets to streamline the migration to a new cloud phone provider.

“Unless you have a dedicated telecom team that has done local, regional, national or global porting, I would strongly encourage future customers to budget for Professional Services,” Billark said. “The Zoom Professional Services team helped us navigate the various carrier and regulatory minefields to make our global telephony migration seamless! Our lines in Europe, across the U.S., and in Hong Kong all cut over when promised and without downtime,” he added.

Learn more about migrating your legacy phone to Zoom Phone.

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