Rocky Mountain PBS Gained System Flexibility & Simplicity with Zoom Phone
With the move to Zoom Phone, Rocky Mountain PBS cut the cord on slow support, reduced its hardware footprint, and saved money.
Rocky Mountain PBS
Headquarters: Denver, Colorado
Challenges: Outdated digital phone solution, significant on-premises management of tech stack
Solutions: Zoom Phone, Zoom Meetings, Zoom Team Chat
Business Benefits: Consolidated technology stack, less infrastructure management, increased collaboration, simplified digital systems
We had tons of phone numbers that we weren’t using – 800 numbers, call banks, DIDs to offices. The Zoom PSO team did a great job reducing the active phone numbers down from more than 400 to about 150. We jokingly referred to them as ‘phone janitors,’ because they cleaned it all up so well and provided great documentation.”
Joey KlossChief of IT and Systems Engineering, Rocky Mountain PBS
Established in 1956 as Colorado’s first public television station, Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS) has been recognized for its journalistic excellence, award-winning documentaries, and thorough reporting. RMPBS has stations across Colorado in Denver, Colorado Springs, Steamboat Springs, Grand Junction, and Durango. The company hosts a wide variety of programs, including Emmy-winning documentaries such as “Red Power Energy” and groundbreaking reports from investigative reporters like John Ferrugia.
As part of Rocky Mountain Public Media (RMPM), Colorado’s largest statewide, member-supported organization, RMPBS is responsible for coordinating television programs alongside the rest of RMPM’s programming, which includes radio and digital platforms.
Replacing outdated on-premises PBX
With so many stations spread out across Colorado, RMPBS requires a reliable, cost-effective means of communicating among them. And although its legacy phone system did the job, the outdated product and associated on-premises technology required a large capital and time investment to maintain.
Joey Kloss, Chief of IT and Systems Engineering at Rocky Mountain Public Media, implemented a solution he had used in previous roles. But his IT teams had difficulty getting their enterprise communications provider to address issues quickly.
“Coming from a ShoreTel web systems background, I implemented that,” Kloss recalled. “But it was governed by CenturyLink, and it took a long time to get our issues resolved. We also had a lot of on-site hardware, and that was something I really wanted to move away from.”
To streamline its communications infrastructure, RMPBS sought a phone solution that could reduce on-premises management and that was user-friendly, reliable, and cost-effective. RMPBS also needed its phone system to easily integrate with the rest of its technology stack while meeting the evolving needs of a modern media organization.
More flexible phone system
In his search for an effective phone solution, Kloss researched a number of options. But the simplicity of Zoom’s unified communications platform stood out for him in the early testing stages.
“Zoom was relatively simple to test-drive,” Kloss said. “We were able to get into the admin console straight away and set up some test phones. I had phones ready to go and deploy with just a few clicks. We were up and running within five minutes.”
Kloss and his team conducted a two-week trial of the system with the internal sales team, who found Zoom Phone easy to use and reliable. Kloss implemented the solution across the organization and was able to reduce his management of on-premises hardware while simplifying the rigid business phone systems RMPBS employees had grown used to.
“We really wanted to push people toward softphones, so now I would say about 85% of our employees are using softphones,” Kloss said. “There are still people who are more comfortable using handsets, but we can use Zoom Phone on the hard phones, so I just add another phone and off they go. That’s why we went with Zoom. I mean, it really is a very powerful system. And for our company, it’s working quite well.”
And with the help of Zoom’s professional services (PSO) team, RMPBS was able to simplify the phone number porting process and rein in all the rampant numbers.
“We had tons of phone numbers that we weren’t using – 800 numbers, call banks, DIDs to offices,” Kloss said. “The Zoom PSO team did a great job reducing the active phone numbers down from more than 400 to about 150. We jokingly referred to them as ‘phone janitors,’ because they cleaned it all up so well and provided great documentation.”
The teams at RMPBS have found the Zoom platform so easy to use that they are expanding their use of the platform beyond Zoom Phone. Employees have started using Zoom Team Chat to stay in touch throughout the day and maintain agile communication. And executives and other high-level staff are using Zoom Meetings to help coordinate the move to their new headquarters.
“Zoom Meetings has been used a lot as we move to our new building near Coors Field,” Kloss said. “We need to share a lot of architecture plans, one-line drawings, and financial spreadsheets, so the screen sharing feature has been really useful.”
The power of the Zoom platform
Zoom Phone helped RMPBS streamline its operations and minimize the need for on-site hardware. And with products like Zoom Meetings and Zoom Team Chat, its employees are able to better communicate and collaborate on important projects. Kloss believes that RMPBS will continue to expand the use of Zoom products in day-to-day operations, especially at the organization’s new headquarters.
“We’ve already talked to Crestron, our A/V integrator, and they are ready to install Zoom Rooms at our headquarters as soon as we’re ready for them,” Kloss said. “Zoom really is a powerful system, and I think that we, as an organization, are just starting to understand the actual power and capability of the product.”