Founded in 1955, Barge Waggoner is a full-service engineering and architecture firm focused on industrial, energy, environmental, aviation, water services and land resources (private development, surface transportation, civil site design and survey) markets as well as federal government work. Before implementing 8x8’s unified communications solution, Barge Waggoner had as many as 10 different phone systems installed at its various offices. These older systems lacked modern features and functionality, such as email notification of voicemail and accompanying mobile apps. More importantly, the problems associated with having disparate phone systems were exacerbated when the firm organized to focus on vertical markets rather than geographic locations. This organization meant that professionals in areas like water plant design needed to collaborate with colleagues throughout the firm, not just in their own local offices.
“We wanted to use the talent we have anywhere,” explained Barge Waggoner’s Chief Technology Officer
“Our firm is affected by macroeconomics, just as many businesses are today,” said Dougherty. “We wanted the ability to quickly add users and offices during expansion, and to scale back during downturns. There’s no point investing in expensive hardware we may not be able to use in the future.” Impressed by a recent Gartner Magic Quadrant report that named 8x8 a leader in unified communications, Dougherty and his team decided to pilot 8x8 service at one office.
“We were very pleased with the feedback received so the firm decided to move forward with 8x8,” said Dougherty. “Our original plan was to implement 8x8 only where it was needed most, but momentum started to build, and we ended up canceling some phone service contracts early and replacing the former hardware that wasn’t even fully depreciated so we could standardize the whole company on 8x8 unified communications.”
From Dougherty’s perspective, 8x8 has “transformed how we interact with clients and other stakeholders.” Employees can now make and receive business calls on their smartphones using the 8x8 mobile app, which makes it appear as if they are using their office phones. Email notification of voicemail lets employees know when they have voice messages—and caller ID indicates who left the message, greatly enhancing responsiveness to clients.
Standard 8x8 business features such as four-digit dialing between offices and a company-wide directory on every desktop make it easy for employees to reach colleagues anywhere in the firm. Conference bridges are also included as part of the standard service, eliminating additional charges for third-party conferencing services. The flexibility of the 8x8 solution enables customized configurations for the firm’s locations. For example, some offices allow direct inward dial (DID) calls to go straight to the call recipient; others set up ring groups and have a receptionist answer calls before transferring them to the recipient.
“8x8 allows us to set up our phone system to meet the needs of each office and the individuals who work there,” said Dougherty. “Each time we rolled out 8x8 to a new location, our IT Manager,
"The benefits of switching to 8x8’s cloud-based unified communications are even more apparent with highly distributed organizations like Barge Waggoner,” said 8x8 CEO
About Barge, Waggoner,
Barge Waggoner is a professional services firm that includes engineers, architects, landscape architects, and surveyors employed in offices in