Case Studies

Cloud Calling and AI for Remote Teams

May 28, 2021
Data Communications, AI and Cloud Calling concept

How to Effectively Work from Anywhere with Dialpad Featuring the Second City

Our case study for today will be about an improvisational comedy enterprise, The Second City. It is the first ongoing improvisational theater troupe based in Chicago with training programs and live theatres in Toronto and Los Angeles.

We’ve explored all kinds of the industry before, but this is the first time we’ll talk about the entertainment industry that also needs a smooth communication system. We will learn how The Second City is now equipped to work from anywhere with Cloud Calling and AI from DialPad.

Read more about Dialpad here. Is Dialpad the right business phone system for you? Why not chat with us and let us help you get you to deliver smooth call flow.

Company Profile: The Second City

The Second City Theatre opened on December 16, 1959, choosing a self-mocking name that came from an article about Chicago, published in The New Yorker. Way back in the summer of 1955, University of Chicago students led by David Shepherd and Paul Sills started a “Commedia dell’arte” based on Paul’s mother’s professional theater games.

Soon after, they started performing occasional shows with their first revue show with the famous Barbara Harris singing “Everybody’s in the Know.” A couple of years later, the theater sent a cast to Broadway that earned a Tony Award nomination. Eventually, the theater expanded, including three touring companies and a second resident company.


What is The Second City All About? 

What makes the Second City revues interesting is their mixed semi-improvised and scripted scenes with new materials developed in the unscripted sessions. Later on, the company also established training centers, television shows, improv, and sketch show for Norwegian Cruise Line through 2017. In the 2000s, they also launched productions in regional theaters across the country with different sketches for locations such as Phoenix, Boston, Baltimore, Dallas, and Louisville.

In the mid-1980s, The Second City Training Center was founded to facilitate the growing demand for workshops. There are training centers located in Chicago, Toronto, and Los Angeles and have grown substantially. It has over 5,000 students with subjects covering improvisation and comedy writing. Their alumni include Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, and Dave Foley.

The Second City has also partnered with different companies worldwide, such as Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd, aiming to bring improvisation training and performances to Japan. There were also accidents and struggles along the way – one of them was the 2015 fire that destroyed offices but sparing the theaters. These did not deter the company from expanding and achieving more.

In 2016, they opened 1959 Kitchen & Bar, a retro vibe that pays homage to its rich history. It is also the perfect option for a pre-show dinner or cocktail. This restaurant focuses on sustainable, certified humane, and local organic ingredients, with their menu ranging from fun pub fare to other specialty dining options.

Looking back to its prosperous 60 years of history, The Second City has nurtured comedic talents in Chicago City. When they started the Harold Ramis Film School, they successfully expanded their approach in attracting and developing nascent screenwriters and directors.


The Second City Works? What is it About?

The Second City Works is a branch of the company that focuses on helping businesses in performing better. Their offerings are designed to get people engaged and energized. They aim to drive action and improve critical skills such as collaboration, creativity, agility, and communication.

The company uses humor, empathy, interactivity, and dialogue to improve conversation and inspire people to work better. Their services under this branch include creating performances, inspiring events, content, and professional development programs. They also claim that collaboration has been in their lifeblood. The Second City Works work with clients to turn their insights and strategies into a more effective program.

The Second City continues to innovate, expand, and grow, with its primary purpose revolving around collaboration, entertainment, and inspiration. The whole company now has over 520+ employees in six different locations.


Traditional On-Premises PBX Phone System

Amidst all the history, glamour, drama and fun, The Second City brings, it is still a business with its own basic needs. With hundreds of employees scattered worldwide, it needs a tool to support all its staff wherever they are. The company has been facing significant issues of scale, especially when the fire happened in August 2015. The devastating fire at headquarters in downtown Chicago has destroyed the organization’s data center and On-Premises PBX phone system.

There is in need for a modern business communication system. Dan Wagner, the IT manager of the company, reiterated that their goal is to build a future-ready IT stack, with options for cloud calling, conferencing, and contact center, completely eliminating the desk phone.


Deployment of the New Cloud-based Business Phone System in Under Five Days

The Second City decided to move to Dialpad. The deployment only took less than five days, and they notice the difference right away. It brought the organization one step closer to a pure cloud IT stack that lessens the risk of their data getting damaged or destroyed again.

There is obvious scalability and reliability on a platform that works on any kind of device. It also supports voice, texting, messaging, and video, all business communication tools that are far more efficient than traditional desk phones.

After the fire that started at the basement of the building, coming straight up to the roof reaching the data center, everything was wiped out. However, the company needs to keep the business going as fast as it can. They felt the exhaustion and dread as they thought about what can save the business. It was the perfect opportunity to re-engineer and prepare themselves for the next fifty years.

Fortunately, with Dialpad’s help, the company was back at its feet. It was up and running within five business days, including training. It impressed everyone in the company, although what happened was really sad and devastating.

AI-powered cloud calling feature from DialPad- Case Study

Old-School On-Premises PBX Phone System VS Cloud-Based Business Phone System   

Compared to the old-school desk phones, here are the reasons why Dialpad created an exceptional impression for The Second City.

Efficiency of deployment

Because of the platform’s lightweight cloud architecture, it was easy to provision users, spin-up offices, and level up the process of changing the management. That’s why it only took the team a week to eliminate the desk phones for good and instantly moving to tablets, desktops, and smartphones. It amplified the speed of team communication and collaboration around the world with its powerful feature such as cloud calling powered by Voice Intelligence.

Effective Work-from-Anywhere Set-Up

The Second City staff travels to remote offices, whether it is in Los Angeles or London, the employees can now extend communication beyond the workplace. Everybody in the company is so mobile. With multiple locations, people are traveling to different cities and with a touring company that is all over the place.

Because of Dialpad, remote teams can now comfortably work from anywhere and with any device. And if a particular staff is out in the world, other employees can still assist. It gives the employees the flexibility to work where they want to, and since the employees can independently work, it has transformed into better productivity. In the long run, it cuts down the management time, resource time and saves money too.

Easy Integration with Essential Apps

Aside from its AI-powered cloud calling feature – Dialpad can conveniently integrate with Google Apps for Work. This provides a rich context into their productivity tools such as emails, calendar events, and shared documents. It is also armed with a communication platform that syncs right away to the productivity suite. For this reason, the business phone system has made it even better to work from anywhere.

Working with Dialpad was life-changing for The Second City. Nowadays, they don’t have to worry about their server getting out of date or the need to update a new piece of software.


The Dialpad Talk Cloud Calling and AI

Aside from what we mentioned above, here are other reasons why Dialpad Talk is incredible. Dialpad’s other features are:

Reliable VoIP.

Cloud calling with Dialpad makes crystal-clear calls with 100% uptime SLA. Because it uses an advanced cloud architecture and the best in internet protocol technology, it keeps your business running uninterrupted.

It is Easy to Manage. 

With Dialpad, it is easy to provision users and assigns them phone numbers. It is also possible to sync their contacts and establish permissions within a few minutes.

You Can Get the Most Out of Every Conversation.

How? Dialpad’s Voice Intelligence allows you to focus on the conversation itself and not on notetaking. The business phone system can capture what was said and who said what on every call. It has AI-powered analytics that can dig into call volumes so the management can see who is placing most calls. Or if you need to search by specific keyword mention – that’s possible too!


Do you have a business with multiple offices? Is Dialpad the best choice for your company?

Improve your call flow with Call Flow Solutions. Let us discuss with you the different options for your business. We offer a 30-minute discovery call and offer unbiased recommendations for the best office phone system that will work for your type of business.


Read Our Latest Blog