IP Simple: Designed to Your Specifications

“Windstream’s IP Simple solution has all the features that we need, but it also keeps things from being overly complicated.”

Charlie McCown IT Director, Baker Barrios

Industry Focus: Commercial Planning & Design Firm

Location: Orlando & Tampa, FL

Windstream Solution(s):  IP Simple

Web Site: www.bakerbarrios.com

Baker Barrios is a commercial planning and design firm that services clients around the world from their offices in Orlando and Tampa. With nearly 90 employees managing projects ranging from architecture to interior design to landscape architecture to structural engineering, the firm has built a regional powerhouse that has been recognized as one of the area’s most successful architecture firms.

“Baker Barrios was founded in 1993 to offer the next generation of design for both emerging and established brands,” said Charlie McCown, IT director at Baker Barrios. “In that time, we’re proud to say that we’ve designed innovative projects in a number of vertical markets, including corporate, commercial, education, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, mixed-use, multi-family residential, retail and sports. Clearly, our vision has resonated with a number of clients.”

Consistently ranked among leading architecture and design firms, the company was named Firm of the Year by the Orlando Chapter of the American Association of Architects. In addition, they have been the recipient of multiple design and community awards at both the local and national levels.

The Challenge

Modernizing a legacy system

Client service is the lifeblood of Baker Barrios and communicating quickly and effectively with clients is a critical component of delivering that quality of service. However, Baker Barrios found themselves with an underperforming legacy phone system that was fragile and difficult to maintain. Replacement parts were increasingly difficult to source and technicians who understood and serviced the system were becoming more and more rare.

Baker Barrios’ aging phone system also meant that staff could not leverage many newer phone-system features. For example, the ability to easily transfer calls across offices, set up in-house conference calls and create custom call-routing trees were all features that the firm was not able to utilize with their legacy system.

McCown recognized that the existing phone system was underperforming and that a systemic failure would leave Baker Barrios “dead in the water.” He began researching options that would give Baker Barrios a more robust and reliable system at a reasonable cost.

The Solution

An (IP) simple solution to dramatically improve voice reliability and features

After evaluating several options, Baker Barrios selected Windstream’s IP Simple solution. IP Simple gives Baker Barrios a managed Unified Communications (UC) solution that combines Voice over IP, data and an Allworx business phone system in an affordable monthly package. There’s no upfront capital expense and Windstream owns and manages the phone system equipment on Baker Barrios’ behalf.

“Windstream’s IP Simple solution is the perfect fit for our communications needs,” McCown stated. “It gives us tremendous flexibility in terms of the software and hardware elements we utilize. Windstream’s support has been tremendous—even better than I expected. Their entire team has been incredibly committed to our success.”

The IP Simple solution also creates efficiencies across the firm’s two offices. For example, employees can transfer client calls across offices just as easily as if they were in the same office. And when the receptionist at one office is unavailable or out of the office, incoming calls can be instantly re-routed to the receptionist in the other office to handle.

The Result

Windstream’s IP Simple and Baker Barrios—a perfect match

Today, Baker Barrios is convinced they made the right decision to go with Windstream.

“Windstream’s IP Simple solution has all the features that we need, but it also keeps things from being overly complicated,” McCown said. “We customized the system a little, but it was almost exactly what we needed from day one of the installation. Additionally, Windstream’s Allworx system has been reliable and durable.”

That simplicity and ease-of-use also translates to users. According to McCown, “No training was required for the firm’s employees and they enjoy using their new system.”

McCown says he appreciates the simplicity of the Windstream IP Simple solution because it has freed up considerable time he would otherwise have to dedicate to the firm’s communications system. That’s particularly important considering he’s the lone IT staff member supporting a firm of nearly 80 employees.

“My to-do list is long and being able to offload responsibility of our phone system to Windstream has been huge,” McCown said.