RingCentral’s Rooms in a Box Helps the World’s Largest Independent Music Distributor to Communicate More Effectively than Ever

Summary
CD Baby found the answer to all of these challenges when it discovered Rooms in a Box, a unique conferencing solution from RingCentral that combines state-of-the-art hardware and professional services to transform any meeting space into a one-touch, video-ready conference room. “Problem… solved!” 
Tom Beohm
Director of Systems Operations and Engineering
Company profile
Company profile:
CD Baby is the world’s largest distributor of independent music, as well as the largest administrator of music publishing rights in the world. The company, which represents hundreds of thousands of artists and millions of tracks, has paid out more than $500 million to musicians, songwriters, and labels for streams and downloads of their digital music, CD and vinyl sales, YouTube ad revenue, and licensing fees for their songs.
Year founded:
1998
EMPLOYEES:
250+
HEADQUARTERS:
Portland, OR
WEBSITE:
CD Baby is a rare success story: a 1990s dotcom startup that’s still thriving today. In fact, in the decades since it launched as a digital storefront selling CDs online, CD Baby has become the largest distributor of independent music in the world, as well as the world’s largest publishing-rights administrator for artists and labels.
 
How’d they do it? How did a tiny eCommerce business build itself one of the most trusted names in music—representing more than 650,000 artists and becoming the first digital aggregator to earn preferred partner status with both Spotify and Apple Music? As its employees will tell you, CD Baby attributes its success to a constant focus on serving artists: advising them, opening revenue streams for them, helping them find new audiences, and ensuring they get paid for their art.
 
But as the company grew to hundreds of employees and established an international presence, CD Baby found its technology infrastructure making it difficult to communicate cohesively as a company—and to maintain reliable communication with artists, labels, and other partners.

A fast-moving, global company needs reliable video conferencing

“One huge problem our IT team needed to solve—which got more serious as we grew—was scheduling our online meetings,” says Tom Beohm, CD Baby’s Director of Systems Operations and Engineering. “We had conference rooms, but no way of knowing who was planning to use them, or when. The last thing our employees wanted was to start an important video call with an artist or label, or one of our executives, and then have someone walk into the room because they’d scheduled their own meeting.”
CD Baby’s IT team tried several workarounds. But the company had so many employees needing to run so many video conferences with coworkers and partners around the world that none of these ideas worked in practice.
“We started booking conference-room time through Microsoft Exchange,” Beohm recalls. “But unless someone checked the Exchange calendar on their computer, they still wouldn’t know if a conference room was going to be free or occupied in the next 20 minutes, or any time during the day. We still had double-bookings and conflicts.”
The company also faced another challenge. Although they had many conference rooms, each had a unique mix of IT and communications equipment. “Every time someone tried to launch a conference, it was like reinventing the wheel,” says Ben White, Manager of Systems Operations. “Does this room have VGA or HDMI cables? Are we using a PC or a Mac? Will the video feed work for our international attendees?”

When online meetings are this important, the solution can’t be “home-brewed”

“At first we home-brewed a few IT setups for these rooms, but none of them scaled,” White recalls. “We tried wireless HDMI dongles, for example, to make it easier to get a meeting going. But they created a lot of interference as soon as we added more than a couple to a room.”
“One time, we had a number of execs in a conference room, and they all wanted wired connections to their laptops. So they found a hub, everyone connected to it… and when they plugged it into the wall, it took down the whole system.”
“We spent so much time just getting meetings off the ground,” adds Beohm. “This wasted a lot of hours of productivity. Plus, it was undermining our ability to present ourselves as the trusted, reliable music-industry authority that we are.”
“One of CD Baby’s primary business objectives is global expansion,” Beohm explains. “That means we need a reliable, high-quality communications system that works worldwide. So we looked for a better solution—one we could set up and forget.”

RingCentral’s Room in a Box

CD Baby found the answer to all of these challenges when it discovered Rooms in a Box, a unique conferencing solution from RingCentral that combines state-of-the-art hardware and professional services to transform any meeting space into a one-touch, video-ready conference room.
“Problem… solved!” says Beohm.
“With Rooms in a Box, now we finally have a single integrated package, one that lets us create an identical, reliable video conferencing experience across all of our meeting spaces, where all of the pieces are designed to work together. This reduces administrative overhead, makes it easier for employees to schedule and host online meetings with anyone in the world, and lets CD Baby project the professional image that reflects our brand.”
“We’re seeing so many benefits from Rooms in a Box,” says White. “As soon as we set it up, we had a worldwide video meeting with staff everywhere—New York, Portland, London, Columbia, and other locations. Our CEO was able to give everyone a company update at the same time. We had never been able to do this before, and it worked perfectly.”
“One of my favorite things about Rooms in a Box is that I can walk into a conference room with my laptop, bring up the RingCentral app, and connect to my meeting without typing anything,” says Beohm. “The ultrasonic signal that RingCentral’s system detects automatically connects me to the meeting. No wires, no typing. Just walk in and go.”
“With Rooms in a Box, we also now have mini iPad schedulers for each conference room,” White explains. “That means someone can walk up to a room and check the screen to see when it’s booked. If they see an opening they want, they can just book the meeting right there on the screen.”
“The efficiency of setting up meetings has gotten far better thanks to Rooms in a Box,” explains Beohm. “Now when we want to schedule a meeting with a label or another partner outside our organization, we just give them our URL, and they’re in.”
“Our team really appreciates the ability to have face-to-face conversations with coworkers and our artists,” says White. “A discussion with an artist can include a lot of nonverbal communication and emotion—and building a strong relationship depends on allowing this. “Rooms in a Box lets us make these important connections all the time now, no matter where our partners are in the world.”
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