ITC Case Study
ShoreTel UC saves forestry leader ITC $30,000 annually in maintenance and service costs
High use of IT resources
ITC’s aging hybrid IP telephony system with Cisco handsets was using up increasing levels of IT resources for maintenance and service, and putting reliable communications at risk.
Less time needed for maintenance
With 16 branches in urban and often isolated regional areas throughout Australia, reliable telephony for ITC employees is critical. For Easaw Mathew, group IT manager, ITC’s aging hybrid IP telephony system was no longer viable.
“As part of our management function, we audit our IT and engineering resources to see where our time is spent and where it can be best applied,”
Mathew explains. “Alarm bells were starting to ring as demands on ITC’s engineering resources to service the telephones was growing, particularly with the aging of the system. As soon as we addressed one issue, another would arise. And each service call was diverting our resources away from areas where we could add a lot more value, and perform more interesting work.”
A review of service calls over a 13-month period revealed more than 1,500 work requests just to service the previous telephony system. This added up to more than 570 internal IT and engineering work hours, at a cost of approximately $30,000. “Just to keep the phones operating was costing us almost a full-time IT service role,” says Mathew.
The need to unlock IT and engineering resources
As various components of ITC’s networking and telephone service contracts were expiring, Mathew contacted telecommunications providers that offered unified communications (UC) to assess the latest offerings in IP-based solutions. Since the company had already invested in Cisco, Mathew initially felt inclined to opt for a Cisco solution. But he changed his mind.
“Our comparative review process identified major differences between the Cisco and ShoreTel solutions,” he explains. “ShoreTel demonstrated easy-to-use features and productivity benefits of the system and this, along with their passion and interest in our business, really stood out as points of difference,” says Mathew.
The ShoreTel UC system was installed on ITC’s existing Citrix system to demonstrate its versatility and compatibility with existing networks. Mathew’s team also talked to other companies currently using the shortlisted telephony systems. ShoreTel demonstrates low TCO and cost savings
“Cost was a key area where ShoreTel was ahead of its competitors,” says Mathew. “The ShoreTel UC system was designed as a fully integrated whole. The competitors offered systems where you have to pay for more features, and keep on paying. It was clear that many of those costs would continue to rise, and if we needed to upgrade in a few years, we’d have to throw away various components and start all over. With the ShoreTel UC system, additional components just fit into place so we won’t have to change the system itself.”
The flexibility of ShoreTel’s modular and distributed architecture means that additional components, such as contact center solutions and videoconferencing, can be purchased at any time, then added to the system quickly and easily—without the need for external support.
“It is basically plug and play,” Mathew explains. “Simple add-ons and system changes are typically carried out on the spot. There is no need to engage internal or external service people and incur additional costs.”
ShoreTel also provides complimentary software upgrades for license holders, which significantly extends the life of the system and reduces the total cost of ownership. Additional cost reductions come through features such as temporary licensing agreements for one-off events and leastcost call routing options.
“ALARM BELLS WERE STARTING TO RING AS DEMANDS ON ITC’S ENGINEERING RESOURCES TO SERVICE THE TELEPHONES WAS GROWING, PARTICULARLY WITH THE AGING OF THE SYSTEM. AS SOON AS WE ADDRESSED ONE ISSUE, ANOTHER WOULD ARISE.”
Easaw Mathew, Group IT Manager
”Following the comparative review, the ShoreTel offering emerged as the solution of choice for us,” says Mathew. “It stood out ahead of competitors particularly in the important areas of reliability, management ease, upfront costs, and ongoing value. We could see where ShoreTel is truly taking a leadership role in the IP telephony market. And of course, having spoken to many satisfied ShoreTel customers, it was an easy choice.”
A solution for all locations
ITC selected a solution comprising ShoreTel IP Phones and energy-efficient ShoreTel Voice Switches, and it was installed with minimal disruption across all ITC offices.
“My team conducted some of the installations ourselves to gain experience and cut back on costs,” states Mathew. “The entire system switchover was quick, with no disruptions to operations. Training was just as easy because the system is very intuitive and simple to use.”
Call quality has also improved, even in remote locations. Employees have quickly adopted ShoreTel’s productivity features, such as desktop dialing and call forwarding to mobile and external locations, improving efficiency and customer services. “Users can seamlessly move calls and text messages between voice – wired, wireless or IM—through to other offices, departments, or through to mobiles,” says Mathew. “And the ability to forward messages on our email system really cuts internal costs.”
ShoreTel enables higher-value time allocation of IT resources
The ShoreTel UC solution has met ITC’s need for reliable, low-maintenance, and low-cost telephony, and unlocked valuable IT resources that are now being applied to core business projects that can be completed without additional resources.
“INSTEAD OF OUR RESOURCES BEING USED ON TELEPHONE MAINTENANCE AND SERVICE, WE ARE NOW INVOLVED IN PROJECTS THAT MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE TO THE WAY THE COMPANY PERFORMS.”
“Instead of our resources being used on telephone maintenance and service, we are now involved in projects that make a real difference to the way the company performs,” concludes Mathew. “Simple and repetitive tasks, such as telephony moves, adds, and changes, are being completed by nontechnical staff. And maintenance that used to involve hours of travel time and days to fix is completed in minutes. And best of all, with the bundled solution we chose that also includes all of our data and carriage costs as well as telephony costs, we are provided with one simple bill each month. What more could we ask for!”
- Annual maintenance on a hybrid software-based IP telephony system was using critical resources that could be allocated to highervalue work.
- ShoreTel UC solution comprised of ShoreTel IP Phones, as well as energy-efficient ShoreTel Voice Switches.
- Annual cost savings of $30,000
- Higher call quality even in remote locations
- Regular software upgrades lower TCO
- Easy to use, more reliable and robust