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Broadvoice b-hive Enables East Texas Disability Associates to Advocate for the Disabled in Texas


In Texas, one in four adults — or more than 5.4 million people over 18 — live with a disability, according to the CDC. With such a large population applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies many applicants unjustifiably.

That’s where East Texas Disability Advocates LLC (ETDA) steps in. For more than a decade, ETDA has provided accessible, effective advocacy for disabled individuals in the region. ETDA helps citizens with often intimidating and overwhelming interactions with the SSA, providing the representation they need to receive entitled and past-due disability benefits. The organization’s mission is to provide effective advocacy in a compassionate manner that exceeds clients’ expectations.

The Challenge

ETDA’s case managers are often required to work remotely from shelters, mental health providers, or other sites. While physically dispersed, ETDA staff must collaborate and exchange information to do their jobs. Voicemails, emails, and faxes were routinely shared and stored across employees’ mobile devices, but there was no centralized repository for communications.

ETDA needed a better way to manage its communications. In its search, the company prioritized the following capabilities:

  • Portability/Mobility – ETDA’s staff work from multiple locations and needed a phone system that would enable them to be easily accessible wherever they work.
  • Continuity – ETDA also wanted the communications system to ensure staff wouldn’t miss client calls.
  • Ease-of-Use – ETDA’s busy team also required a system that was easy to use and backed by simple training and support.

The Solution

Steve Crane, non-attorney and ETDA’s president and owner, knew his wife’s employer was happy with their phone system from Broadvoice, so he decided to start his search there.

Broadvoice b-hive is designed for small and medium businesses (SMBs) like ETDA. It combines enterprise-class cloud PBX, unified communications (UC), collaboration, and virtual call center features into one platform connected to Broadvoice’s secure, redundant network, and hosting infrastructure.

In addition, b-hive Communicator offers users an easy-to-use all-in-one app for calling, video, text, collaboration, voicemail, and fax, putting essential communications in reach from any desktop, laptop, or mobile phone.

ETDA found b-hive Communicator ideal for supporting ETDA’s multichannel communications and remote work requirements.

The Benefits

Crane said ETDA’s switch to Broadvoice b-hive just before the pandemic-driven lockdowns was fortuitous, enabling an easy transition to work from home.

The b-hive solution delivered all of ETDA’s requirements:

  • Portability/Mobility – ETDA’s staff stayed connected while working from anywhere using the b-hive Communicator app on their desktop, laptop, or mobile phone.
  • Continuity – Crane credits features like email notifications for incoming faxes and voicemail-to-email messaging to help staff maintain consistent communication with clients.
  • Ease-of-Use – ETDA employees were up and running quickly following a brief training on how to use the b-hive features and self-service portal.
  • Service and Support – ETDA relies on Broadvoice’s customer support for speedy answers to questions and rapid resolution time for service issues.

The Results

Broadvoice b-hive enabled ETDA to centrally manage communications and message files in the cloud while working from anywhere. “We were able to maintain contact with the client, the Social Security Administration, and the Office of Hearings and Appeals, where the judges are located,” said Crane. “Wherever the office [location] was on a day-to-day basis, it didn’t matter.”

With b-hive, ETDA’s staff can focus on helping the disabled citizens of East Texas get access to the SSA disability benefits to which they are entitled without the hassle of juggling phones and phone numbers across multiple locations. “It has been a lifesaver for us, and we didn’t miss a step,” said Crane.

Crane also credits Broadvoice with helping him achieve work and life balance. “It allows me to go to Florida and sit on the beach and still answer a call. I have my email on my phone, I have my voicemail — everything I need to work,” said Crane. “It really does provide the opportunity to balance work and home. I don’t just have to work at a desk anymore.”

Whether working on a beach, at a shelter or in the office, outstanding communication is the hallmark of ETDA’s success in serving its clients. “If you were to look at our reviews, you’d find we have pretty high marks,” Crane said. “And there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s because of our commitment to effective communication and excellent service — and Broadvoice allows us to do that.”

“If you were to look at our reviews, you’d find we have pretty high marks. And there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s because of our commitment to effective communication and excellent service — and Broadvoice allows us to do that.”

Steve Crane, President, East Texas Disability Advocates LLC

Do your employees struggle with remaining accessible while working remotely or at different locations? Contact us for demo to learn how Broadvoice b-hive can make your internal and external communications happen anytime, anywhere.

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