HORIBA Case Study
HORIBA International chooses ShoreTel UC to enhance customer services, simplify remote connectivity, and reduce costs
Disparate systems need to be unified
HORIBA had disparate telephone systems and was determined to unify communications. In North America, HORIBA was using mostly Mitel.
Seamless VoIP to handle global 24x7 operation
HORIBA is a large international corporation, headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, with offices worldwide in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania, and more than 5,000 employees—many of whom travel extensively for the company.
HORIBA remains dedicated to cohesive operations and communications, and its “One Company” philosophy is designed to help customers get to the right place at the right time.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most important, communications for HORIBA is a 10. We have different segments in our company that are scattered all over the world. When customers call, we want to ensure that everyone is quickly and easily reachable,” says Rajah Nithiananthan, the director of IT for HORIBA’s North America operations.
There are 10 locations across North America running two divisions of the company, HORIBA Automotive Test Systems in Canada and HORIBA Instruments in the United States.
“Being a global company, someone is always working, and customers are always calling. We needed a seamless, simple VoIP platform to handle our 24/7 reality. I wanted to ensure that we could accomplish this cost-efficiently for our North America operations,” Nithiananthan says.
To aid with evaluating VoIP infrastructure and features, Nithiananthan worked with partner LANtelligence, an international business communications solutions provider specializing in unifying data and voice solutions. “The team at LANtelligence always goes above and beyond, looking at the infrastructure, and recommending the right design for us. LANtelligence isn’t a Monday through Friday shop—we can call anytime and get the help we need,” he adds.
HORIBA considered VoIP products from Cisco, Avaya, and ShoreTel, but after evaluating and researching all potential solutions, the team chose ShoreTel. “No matter which way I looked at these solutions, ShoreTel continued to rise to the top for simplicity and value. We weren’t going to have to change our infrastructure or staffing to support the ShoreTel platform—this is significant in helping us cut costs, too,” explains Nithiananthan.
ShoreTel delivers a “one company” feel
The ShoreTel UC solution includes ShoreTel Communicator, ShoreTel VPN Concentrator, ShoreTel Conferencing, ShoreTel Workgroups, and nearly 838 ShoreTel IP Phones. While replacing legacy systems, the ShoreTel VoIP also eliminated the need and cost of many existing plain old telephone service (POTS) lines.
Already in place was a multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) network, designed to move data faster through high-performance telecommunications networks. Eliminating the need for complex lookups in routing tables, MPLS uses short-path labels, which automatically identify virtual links between distant nodes on the network. MPLS supports most access technologies and can encapsulate packets of various network protocols.
“Rajah has done a tremendous job building out a true UC network for HORIBA. A big part of the success of this ShoreTel implementation is founded on work he envisioned and put in place,” says Marty Tracey, business solutions director at LANtelligence.
“BEING A GLOBAL COMPANY, SOMEONE IS ALWAYS WORKING, AND CUSTOMERS ARE ALWAYS CALLING. WE NEEDED A SEAMLESS, SIMPLE VOIP PLATFORM TO HANDLE OUR 24/7 REALITY.”
Rajah Nithiananthan, Director of IT
HORIBA North America
HORIBA is using the ShoreTel VPN Concentrator to simultaneously and securely connect remote IP phones to the rest of the ShoreTel network. Employees can connect using their home broadband routers, and key in minimal yet secure configurations to establish a safe connection. At that point, the phone operates as though it were in the office, providing access to ShoreTel UC tools.
ShoreTel Conferencing allows HORIBA staff to easily schedule and manage conference calls using a web-based interface. Conference Bridge simplifies conference management with flexible ways to upload documents in real time, add participants during calls, initiate on-demand calls, record conference calls, and view call summary reports.
For HORIBA employees working in technical support and medical groups, ShoreTel workgroups are very helpful. Workgroups provide an entry-level call center design for informal groups looking to become more efficient and improve customer service efforts. HORIBA’s staff working remotely have greatly benefited from ShoreTel workgroups. They simply log on through the VPN and can engage in their workgroup activities and queues.
ShoreTel’s UC platform has a unique distributed architecture built with switch-based hardware and N+1 redundancy for 99.999 percent availability of mission-critical applications. The ShoreTel Communicator interface makes collaboration easy for users who want to move between voice, video, and instant messaging, and to better manage communication activities.
ShoreTel helps HORIBA realize cost savings and simplified mobility
Since implementing ShoreTel internationally, HORIBA has realized significant cost savings and productivity improvements. “Over the past few years, we installed ShoreTel at our sites, eliminated a lot of old phone lines, and created a viable, versatile VoIP infrastructure. Before ShoreTel, customers had difficulty navigating the phone system to reach a staff member, especially if that person was traveling. Now, customers seamlessly get transferred to the right person or group. And customers have many options for leaving messages if someone’s not immediately available. So customer service has definitely improved,” says Nithiananthan.
What is next for HORIBA’s One Company success? “We plan to roll out ShoreTel Mobility. ShoreTel Mobility can leverage our existing ShoreTel investments to extend our communications capabilities while dramatically saving us money on international and longdistance calls,” Nithiananthan explains.
ShoreTel Mobility provides native integration for the user interface running on smartphones and tablets, allowing HORIBA employees to easily access ShoreTel UC tools on their mobile devices.
“WE PLAN TO ROLL OUT SHORETEL MOBILITY. SHORETEL MOBILITY CAN LEVERAGE OUR EXISTING SHORETEL INVESTMENTS TO EXTEND OUR COMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITIES WHILE DRAMATICALLY SAVING US MONEY ON INTERNATIONAL AND LONG-DISTANCE CALLS.”
As a result, staff can use their mobile devices just as they would the desktop to connect to phone directories, workgroups, and enterprise applications. As the number of mobile devices on the ShoreTel network increases, ShoreTel Mobility will easily scale to as many as 5,000 per network router.
“We continue to be pleased with the ShoreTel system and the innovative features and cost savings we’re seeing. I anticipate that ShoreTel Mobility will further extend those benefits,” concludes Nithiananthan.
Disparate phone systems needed to be replaced to enable cost-efficient and cohesive communications across HORIBA’s business lines and locations worldwide.
The ShoreTel UC solution included ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel Communicator, ShoreTel workgroups, ShoreTel VPN Concentrator, and ShoreTel Conferencing.
- Cost savings on long distance
- Improved customer service
- Increased collaboration via conferencing
- Customizable, intuitive call handling