From On-Prem to the Cloud: Iress Simplifies Global Telephony with Zoom Phone

Australia-based tech firm Iress moved its phone system to the cloud to simplify its stack and align to a broader technology strategy.

If you’re on a phone call and want someone to see something quickly, you just click a button and you're instantly in a meeting where you can share your screen with others. It saves a lot of time not having to send a meeting invite.

Anthony Feher

Systems Engineer, Iress

If you’re on a phone call and want someone to see something quickly, you just click a button and you're instantly in a meeting where you can share your screen with others. It saves a lot of time not having to send a meeting invite.

Anthony Feher

Systems Engineer, Iress

Iress is a leading provider of technology for financial services in Asia-Pacific, North America, Africa, and Europe. 

Since being founded in Melbourne in 1993, Iress has continued to evolve and expand to serve multiple client segments internationally. Today Iress has a global team of more than 2,250 people and its software is used by more than 10,000 businesses and 500,000 users worldwide. Its vision for workplace technology is to support mobility and flexibility, in a way that “just works.” 

In early 2019, Iress transformed its video communications using Zoom Webinars to conduct its global town hall meetings, along with Zoom Meetings and Zoom Rooms for day-to-day communications. The company was extremely impressed by the quality of video and audio on Zoom. So when Anthony Feher, Systems Engineer at Iress, had to address mounting issues and quality challenges with the company’s legacy, on-premise phone system, Zoom came to mind. “While we had largely moved away from landline telephones, the softphone system we were using didn’t provide the stability and ease of use we required. We needed to investigate other options.”

Moving to the cloud

Feher’s decision to move the company’s phone system to the cloud was borne out of a desire for simplification and alignment to the broader technology strategy within Iress. “Having our phone system on premises became an obstacle in terms of productivity and costs,” Feher said. “We had roughly 45 virtual machines and about a dozen physical hosts that we had to constantly look after and maintain.”

Also, Feher knew that value isn’t provided to Iress by managing on-premise hardware and infrastructure; in fact it was taking time away from the Iress Workplace Technology Strategy. “We wanted something simple, where we didn’t need to worry about monitoring, updates, and the like,” he said.

After using their on-prem phone system for so long, Feher had enough. “We wanted to look at an actual unified communications system and decided to go for the cloud.” After testing out Zoom Phone with a POC in Australia, Feher wasted no time in starting the process to move the company forward with Zoom. 

Zoom Phone: The simple solution for Iress

Since many Iress employees were already using Zoom for meetings and webinars, the switch to Zoom Phone was familiar and easy. Iress first rolled out Zoom Phone to its APAC sites, starting in Australia. “It took us less than a day to get things running in Sydney,” Feher said. “With our old system it would have been at least a few days to be able to set up accounts and organise things like phone numbers. Being able to do it in literally half a day was not only a great experience but also critical given what we were facing at the onset of the pandemic.”

Feher credited Zoom for doing a lion’s share of the rollout. “Zoom took care of the majority of the work, which was great. We gave our Zoom reps all the information and they got it done.”

According to Feher, “The most important thing to know about Iress is that we like simplicity. With our old phone system, it took us 20-plus minutes to get one user set up. You needed a degree to run that thing. With Zoom Phone, this is not the case. We can get a user up and running within two minutes! And there’s so much documentation available on the internet, people can work out how to do it themselves. It’s that simple.”

Not only did Zoom Phone simplify phone communications for Iress, it also provided complete business features and capabilities. Feher marveled at the fact that his team could create a call queue with the Zoom Phone system in five minutes or less. “To accomplish this with our old on-prem system would have taken five days to do what we can do in five minutes.”

Another significant benefit to moving from the on-prem system to cloud-based Zoom Phone, Feher said, was the cost savings. “We are definitely seeing a cost advantage from moving to Zoom Phone versus keeping our on-prem system.”

Phone adoption increased

One of the most used features of Zoom Phone at Iress is elevating a Zoom call to a Zoom video meeting. “We do a lot of calls internally, and this is something all of us often use,” Feher said. “If you’re on a phone call and want someone to see something quickly, you just click a button and you’re instantly in a meeting where you can share your screen with others. It saves a lot of time not having to send a meeting invite.”

The benefits of using Zoom Phone are evident in its adoption. Prior to switching to the cloud-based system, Feher calculated that roughly 20% of Iress APAC employees were actually using its legacy phone system. Once Zoom Phone was deployed for the APAC group, phone usage rose. “It’s a testament to Zoom Phone that more of our employees are using it,” Feher said. 

Ultimately for Iress, a single consolidated communications platform helps its employees better connect and better support its customers.

Check out this video to learn how Zoom helps Iress’ teams feel more connected with Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars:

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