Mark Barham, Director of Information Technology, City of Williamsburg was faced with an aging phone system—one that was nearly three decades old. The current phone system worked, but the City was unable to find reliable replacement parts when they needed them and the systems lacked modern features and functionality to best serve the City.

After devoting budget to fund the upgrade, Barham went to typical phone vendors until one employee suggested a different route.

“I hadn’t thought of exploring a cloud-based phone system and quite honestly, putting our phone system in the cloud scared me,” said Barham. Entertaining the employee’s request, Barham decided to explore a cloud-based phone system through Carousel and RingCentral, throwing that option into the mix with other vendor proposals.

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For the City of Williamsburg, anything technology-related—think 911 phone calls to fire department systems—falls on Barham’s shoulders. Barham was unfamiliar with RingCentral before this initial process, but Carousel and RingCentral met with Barham to explain the process and migration and provided continuous communication throughout the process.

When it came to choosing this solution, it wasn’t the partner, technology, or migration that concerned him—it was the reliability and uncertainty.

“The most difficult part of this process was convincing myself that I could put a phone system in the cloud. At the end of the day, it’s still telephones—it’s a vital communication tool—and if it doesn’t work for whatever reason, I must answer for that,” said Barham.

RingCentral offered different features and functions that could benefit the City. And, the pricing from Carousel and RingCentral was such that he could reallocate some of the budgeted money to other projects. The savings from canceling old circuits and moving to the cloud, also meant they could use very little CapEx for the upgrade, with the rest being OpEx.

Need help charting your technology path? Have questions about OpEx vs. CapEx? We can help.


Because of the upgrade, Barham could take all the City’s disparate systems—the fax machines, meeting accounts, phone numbers, etc.—and put them into one system.

He said, “Initially, the city all these different systems, now we have the RingCentral OfficeTM for voice and fax and RingCentral GlipTM and MeetingsTM for collaboration, one platform that is extremely easy to use and offers new features we didn’t have before—like instant messaging and single dial.”

Curious about a cloud-based phone system? As the Carousel strategic account manager for the City of Williamsburg project, I’d love to explain ways we can help improve your own operations with similar solutions. Reach out to me at