EDAW Case Study
ShoreTel gives EDAW a unified voicesolution with single-system view and remoteweb-based management
Disparate systems requiringoutsourced management
IT director Ron Pike had inherited a patchworkof incompatible PBXs and key systems that hadto be managed individually with separate servicecontracts and the associated overhead. Servicewas inconsistent and slow.
A system that could be easily managedin-house
The San Francisco-based company provideslandscape architecture and community planningservices to public- and private-sector clientsspread across four continents. EDAW hasexpanded through acquisitions in recent years,and now has a 1,000-person workforce operatingout of 15 domestic and nine international offices.Seeking a single voice network, EDAW consideredits preferred data vendor, Cisco, which by thenhad an IP PBX. But the Cisco solution requiredexpensive upgrades to existing network hardwareand staff skills,
ShoreTel delivers intuitive multi-sitemanagement
Unlike other solutions, every part of theShoreTel system is managed from the samebrowser-based interface. Administrators canrun a multi-site network from anywhere. SaysMier Communications, a leading independenttesting company, “ShoreTel has a top-shelfmanagement application other vendors woulddo well to emulate.”
When Pike and his staff are out of the office, theycan log on to the San Francisco system remotelyfrom any Internet connection. The IT staff caneasily perform administrative tasks that previouslyrequired truck rolls from the local outsource.Moves, adds, and changes can be made in amatter of minutes, making ShoreTel’s entire richfeature set immediately available to newor relocated employees.
“We feel more comfortable now that we havethis immediate, Web-based interface to what ishappening,” says Pike. “We don’t have to call acontractor and wait for a response, because wecan handle things internally right away.”
Embedded reliability ensures uptime
The ShoreTel system is based on a unique callcontrolarchitecture that distributes call processingacross all the switches in a multi-site network. Theswitches communicate with one another as peersand can cover for one another when necessary.Also, any individual switch can operate by itself ifit is cut off from the rest. This innovative approachcreates a voice system with no single point offailure and high availability.
The ShoreTel system matches and potentiallyexceeds the 99.999% availability of traditionalvoice systems, while also offering the flexibilityand economy of plug-and-play equipmentreplacement.
EDAW uses the ShoreTel network to do leastcostrouting between San Francisco and theSeattle office, where Pike is based. Despite thedramatic drop in long-distance rates, there are stillsignificant savings to be found by letting voice rideon existing IP data WANs.
The combination of ShoreTel’s intuitive interfaceand least-cost routing makes it easy to automatetoll bypass across a multi-site network. Callsbetween offices flow over the IP backbone, andcan be initiated by dialing only the recipient’s fourdigitextension number. And when an individual inone office is placing an outside call to a numberwithin the local dialing radius of another office,the call automatically gets routed over the IPnetwork. It is completely transparent to the callers,who don’t have to remember which area codesqualify for toll bypass, or punch in any commands.
“WE FEEL MORECOMFORTABLE NOW THATWE HAVE THIS IMMEDIATE,WEB-BASED INTERFACETO WHAT IS HAPPENING.WE DON’T HAVE TO CALLA CONTRACTOR ANDWAIT FOR A RESPONSE,BECAUSE WE CAN HANDLETHINGS INTERNALLYRIGHT AWAY.”
Ron Pike , IT Director
The next challenge: improve productivityThe ShoreTel system’s intuitive, real-time callhandling makes productivity-enhancing featuresmore accessible to employees. To create aconference call, the initiator simply dials by name,clicks conference, and then repeats the process toconnect additional participants.
When Pike does travel physically to San Francisco,his “presence” information – including phonenumber and user profile – automatically followshim when he logs on to the network. People don’thave to keep track of where he can be reached,because calls made to his Seattle extension ringat his temporary location.
The ultimate challenge: improvecustomer satisfaction
ShoreTel’s powerful call handling and workgroupfunctionality facilitate collaboration so that farflungresources can be instantly marshaled toaddress business problems. This boosts employeeproductivity, and ultimately improves customersatisfaction.
Through an intuitive interface, administrators candefine hunt groups or wait queues for extensionsthat get more than their share of inbound calls.The result is more efficient call handling, which canspeed the responsiveness perceived by callers.And users can help themselves to many callhandlingfeatures that produce a better experiencefor callers.
Using ShoreTel’s real-time presence features,employees can see whether a colleague isbusy before transferring a call. The call is simplydropped on the user’s name, so there is no needto remember or look up numbers. Clients calling inare less likely to get dropped, or sent to the wrongperson, or end up in voicemail.
Included in the Operator level of the ShoreTel clientsoftware, the extension manager can be used tomonitor up to 250 extensions in a pop-up windowthat displays call activity details in real time. Itallows drag-and-drop call transfers and simplifiescall pickups and parking. Workgroup memberscan monitor one another’s incoming calls and jumpin to intercept a call from an important client that isabout to bounce to voicemail.
ShoreTel provides more for less
Next on EDAW’s agenda is installing ShoreTelVoice Switches in the Atlanta and Alexandriaoffices, and connecting the existing Siemensswitch in the Sacramento office via a ShoreTelgateway. That will give EDAW four-digit dialingamong six of its offices.
Summing things up, Pike says EDAW is verypleased with the feature-per-dollar return from itsShoreTel investment, saying, “It would have costus more in licensing fees to add similar capabilitiesto the Siemens platforms we already had, and wewould have gotten less out of them.”
“IT WOULD HAVE COSTUS MORE IN LICENSINGFEES TO ADD SIMILARCAPABILITIES TO THESIEMENS PLATFORMS WEALREADY HAD, AND WEWOULD HAVE GOTTENLESS OUT OF THEM.”
EDAW wanted to use its existingdata network to create a singlephone system with a single-systemview, network-wide directories,and four-digit dialing that wasmanageable in-house withoutadding staff.
The ShoreTel system unified theentire voice network and easedmanagement dramatically. Everypart of the system is managedfrom the same browser-basedinterface.
- Embedded reliability ensuresuptime
- Least-cost routing saves money
- Advanced call controls
- Improved end-user productivity