By The Numbers
Number of Employees 1,600
Number of Offices 100+
Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, Galls distributes public safety equipment and uniforms to more than one million men and women each year. Galls serves the needs of law enforcement, military, security, fire, EMS, postal, public transportation, and more.
Between 2011 and today, Galls saw rapid growth as they completed numerous acquisitions and opened new locations across the United States. The expansion left them with an expensive, difficult-to-maintain patchwork of telephony solutions across their network of stores and offices.
“We’d acquire some companies that had an old analog solution,” said Eric Helton, Galls’ IT Senior Infrastructure Manager. “We had stores that had PBX systems so old there was literally an 80-year-old guy down the street that was the only one who knew anything about it—and that’s not a joke. Our telecommunications setup was very fragmented.”
Galls’ customers struggled with the systems as well. If they called one store, they might be presented with one set of menu options to accomplish their objective, but another store might provide them with a completely different experience. In addition, some of their legacy vendors had outage problems—in one case, a store in Texas was left with no phone service for two weeks before Helton’s team was able to get that provider to bring it back online.
Helton and his team wanted an alternative that would require significantly less work to maintain, more consistency across the enterprise, and that would not demand regular equipment replacement over the life of the relationship with the vendor. They explored unified communications as a service and discovered the ways in which Fuze could streamline their approach.
“It was a replacement for web conferencing. It was a replacement for chat. It was a replacement for everything in one package with a bow on top. With all the requirements we were looking at, Fuze looked really good,” said Eric Helton, Galls’ IT Senior Infrastructure Manager.
In 2017, Galls began a transition plan that would move every location to the Fuze platform. The plan included arriving on site, rolling out the system, ensuring all numbers were properly ported, and implementing a comprehensive training process so employees understood how to use the full range of features offered on the platform.
“We just didn't set phones on the desk and go, ‘Here you are,’” Helton said. “Fuze is way more than just a telephone. I mean with the chatting, meeting, video conferencing, share screen, et cetera, there's so much more you can do.”
When sites are new and don’t have a legacy system, Helton said the setup process is completely plug and play. “It takes 10 minutes,” he said. “There’s nothing really hard to do. It’s just ‘Here’s your new number,’ and there you go.”
Helton said transitioning sites from another provider tends to be more challenging, but that’s because of the paperwork and processes required to get out of the previous relationship. Fuze stepped in to provide support with that aspect of the transition, and Helton is grateful for that. That extra support from the Fuze team speeds up the process of getting legacy sites up and running and saves the Galls team time, which they can then use to prioritize other work.
As of March 2020, a little more than two years after Galls started the process of moving their sites to Fuze, Fuze is fully deployed across the enterprise — but Galls is already enjoying the savings and efficiencies that have arisen from that change.
“Through the application, we have the entire company at our fingertips, whether it be chat or phone call,” Helton said. “That’s one of the biggest things people enjoy.”
“With unified communications as a service, as long as we have a phone and have power over ethernet and things of that nature, it’s mostly plug-and-play. What has surprised me overall is just how easy of a tool it is. I’ve been working in technology for a long time, and some communication tools I’ve used in the past are not very intuitive, but within Fuze, a lot of the things are very streamlined,” said Eric Helton, Galls’ IT Senior Infrastructure Manager.
By consolidating their telecommunications approach to Fuze’s unified cloud communications solution, Galls has significantly decreased their telecommunications bill year over year.
Fuze is part of the standard image that goes on all employee laptops, desktop computers, and mobile devices. Because Galls has a single sign-on integration with Fuze, employees using a company device just have to remember their company email address to use the available features.
With 1,600 employees spread across the United States, all-hands meetings can be a challenge. Fuze’s video meeting tools have allowed Galls’ Human Resources department to host company-wide meetings that allow everyone to participate and feel like a part of the community, even if they’re physically far away from company headquarters. The video conference and screen sharing tools have also made training easier to roll out and share with employees wherever they work.
Galls has been involved in conversations with Fuze about the product roadmap and what changes to prioritize, allowing for collaboration on ideas of how the product will evolve and strengthening the relationship between Galls and Fuze. As new features are rolled out, both partners know exactly what to expect and also understand just how valuable the new additions will be to the product functionality.