Conservatree Case Study
Conservatree designs a cost-effective communications system with a ShoreTel IP solution
Looking to buy, not lease
Conservatree was ready to upgrade its voice communications system. The company had been leasing a system from 3Com for five years, but it was only as the contract reached the end of its life.
Cost-effective VoIP solution that was future-proof
Since the company didn’t own the 3Com system at the end of the lease, Conservatree decided to look elsewhere, especially as the cost of upgrading to Voice over IP (VoIP) was prohibitive using the same technology as its existing system.
Telephony companies were asked to provide quotes to upgrade the voice system and provide new communications features. By coincidence, Chris Goslar, a partner at Conservatree, had met communications reseller Ron Brand from Link-Connect at a networking event. Since then, the two had developed a trusted relationship and so Goslar asked Link-Connect to pitch the business as well.
Link-Connect recommended an IP-based telephony system from ShoreTel. “We knew the Siemens system already, as we had been using it for five years,” says Goslar. “We looked at the NEC system, but we did not test it because once I saw the ShoreTel system in action, I knew we had found a system that offered everything we wanted. I also trusted Link-Connect to install it, so I felt comfortable choosing the ShoreTel IP-based telephony system.”
Conservatree had made a list of features any communications system it chose had to offer. “With the ShoreTel system, all these features were bundled into one system, so it had everything we needed and was pretty much plug and play,” says Goslar.
ShoreTel provides a graphic illustration of cost savings
In addition to the ShoreTel IP-based telephony system, Conservatree bought 14 ShoreTel IP Phones. Two engineers from Link-Connect made sure Conservatree offices had sufficient cabling to program the communications system accordingly.
This meant that when Link-Connect installed ShoreTel’s system at Conservatree, it was preprogrammed and could replace the Siemens system extremely quickly. “The whole process from the time we placed our order until it went live took three weeks,” explains Goslar. Link-Connect was also responsible for training Conservatree’s 16 staff on how to use the system. Goslar adds, “But the phones are so intuitive it does not take too long for users to work out how to use them.”
Enjoying the benefits of a VoIP system built from the ground up
Conservatree is extremely pleased with its new phone system: It is not only resilient and secure but also enables staff to work more productively. “Using VoIP technology, I can now work anywhere in the office and only have to log into the phone system to enjoy the same features as if I’m at my desk,” explains Goslar. “I can also log on remotely from home through a VPN connection, which means I can work more productively wherever I am.”
He is also confident that the company’s new communications system will cover its needs in the future as well. “The future is going to be VoIP, which means we will be able to talk to customers without paying for calls,” says Goslar. “From that point of view, we have a future-proofed system.” What’s more, at the end of this lease, Conservatree will also own the phones, a benefit it did not enjoy under its last supplier’s contract.
Goslar believes the ShoreTel IP-based telephony system has tremendous cost advantages for Conservatree. “With our old Siemens system, I had to buy a separate card or system to have VoIP, at quite a high cost,” states Goslar. “With ShoreTel, the overall cost for the system is significantly lower, but more importantly, the whole system is geared towards VoIP, which is a big benefit for us.” He estimates that the company will achieve a return on investment in two years–less than half the time he would expect from a traditional non-IP-based system.
“... ONCE I SAW THE SHORETEL SYSTEM IN ACTION, I KNEW WE HAD FOUND A SYSTEM THAT OFFERED EVERYTHING WE WANTED.”
Chris Goslar, Partner
In the meantime, Conservatree’s employees are enjoying many new telephony features they did not have before. For example, the voice system is integrated with the company’s email system, so when an employee has a voicemail message waiting, he or she receives a message in the email inbox. Several voicemail options are available. In fact, users can select from up to five different greeting messages. “It’s a benefit as we did not have that functionality before,” explains Goslar. Other features the company is considering include directory listings for all clients and suppliers on short dials, which would speed up the communication time, as well as introducing some remote cordless phones.
“Another big benefit is that because the system is network-based, we have halved the number of network access points we need,” adds Goslar. “We used to require two network points–one for the phone and one for the computer. Now the phone has a switch on the back, so we can plug the phone into the network point and the computer into the back of the phone. This means we can have more devices on the network, which is a huge benefit.”
“I had not heard of ShoreTel before I spoke to Link-Connect, but it’s a good telephony system,” concludes Goslar. “It is future-proofed, we are not tied into any upgrade plans, and it allows people to work remotely or log on from anywhere in the office. I would definitely recommend it to others.”
“WITH SHORETEL, THE OVERALL COST FOR THE SYSTEM IS SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS GEARED TOWARDS VOIP, WHICH IS A BIG BENEFIT FOR US.”
Conservatree, a graphic design and print company, wanted to find an alternative supplier that would offer an IP-based communications system at a reasonable price and not tie it into any future upgrades.
ShoreTel’s IP telephony system was installed within three weeks of the order being placed, and enables employees to work remotely, while enjoying the same voice functionality as if they were at their desk.
- Future-proofed IP-based communications
- Expected ROI within two years
- Anywhere, anytime connectivity
- Better customer and supplier service