Patrick Houston is a seasoned tech media veteran. He wrote for and served as a bureau chief at Businessweek before leading Yahoo's tech channel - and later became the editor-in-chief of CNET, the nation's most widely read tech news platform.
Now, Patrick is trying his hand at entrepreneurship with CloudBase3.com. The site - an offshoot of Patrick's many years communicating with tech experts and writing for the consumer - helps companies with their cloud-service purchase decisions.
"The site's purpose is providing expert ratings and reviews, customer ratings, product and service rankings
Sunwarrior is an international nutrition supplement supplier for large chains such as Whole Foods, The Vitamin Shoppe and Health Smart. The company created a protein-based supplement that is organic, dairy-, soy-, genetically modified organism- and allergen-free. While the company provided the market with a popular niche product, they were losing business because of their out-of-date ShoreTel PBX system.
The company went down a conventional path with regard to its phone system, paying thousands of dollars upfront for hardware. But as expensive as it was, the system crashed half a dozen times
Dessange is an internationally acclaimed franchisor with over 1000 salons, close to 200 beauty institutes, and eight training centers in 45 countries. The company’s headquarters in the United States are located in Massachusetts, but its salons exist all over the country.
So when the chance came to try an internet phone solution, Dessange jumped at the opportunity.
Linda Halbruner, senior director of IT for Dessange International Inc., knew something had to change with her old on-premise phone system (PBX). Each of Dessange's 10 PBX-equipped locations required expensive technicians and hours
DCIT develops point-of-sale and inventory-control software for jewelry retailers. The company's MySQL-based software is designed to be reliable, scalable and easy to use - so it's little wonder DCIT turned to RingCentral for business phone service.
DCIT is heavily reliant on its phone system, company founder Raffi Minassian told us. DCIT sells its products through an e-commerce portal, but it offers implementation assistance to new customers over the phone. The firm provides phone-based support on an ongoing basis, as well.
"Our customers like to call in for tech support," Raffi said.
Ever tried to find an apartment? It's not a fun process. One RingCentral customer, Apartment Hunters, helps make the apartment-discovery process a little less painful - for people in its central Florida operating area, at least.
The firm's service is completely free to use. (Its revenue comes from the apartment communities with which it collaborates.) Apartment Hunters offers an apartment-search portal on its website, and it has retail locations in Tampa, Orlando and Gainesville.
Agents are also available to meet with clients at their homes or workplaces. Between site visits
Hagaman Insurance Group, a life, health and dental insurance brokerage, is located just off the Jersey Shore in the township of Toms River. The town, with its bucolic central business district and miles of water frontage, is normally quiet. But when Hurricane Sandy struck in the fall of 2012, Toms River was anything but peaceful.
Dean Pasqua, Hagaman Insurance's technology director, described to us the havoc that Sandy wrought. "Sandy killed us," he said. "We were totally unreachable - clients were screaming at us."
Why was the insurance firm hit so hard?
Most RingCentral customers rely on their phone systems to contact customers, vendors and partners - standard business use cases. But there are some in the RingCentral-verse who have much more innovative ways of making the most of their RingCentral service.
RingCentral Superfan Owen McGab Enaohwo is one of the latter. Owen and his business partners are working to build a web app that allows entrepreneurs to easily document their workflow processes. The app, SweetProcess, is designed to give businesses a top-down view of their standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The core idea behind
Maureen Jackson, the controller for Applebee's franchisor Gator Apple, was having a tough time reconciling all the phone bills she received each month. Gator Apple operates 41 Applebee's restaurants in Georgia and Florida, and it had a unique phone system at each location. That meant 41 different phone bills, in different amounts, with due dates at different times of the month.
With that kind of complexity, it's little wonder Maureen and Gator Apple decided to investigate other options. Their quest for phone-system simplicity led them to hosted VoIP services, which deliver a single,