Allied Telesis Case Study
Allied Telesis saves money and improves customer service with ShoreTel
Communication key to success
Communication is key to Allied’s success, but increasingly staff struggled with the company’s legacy telephone system’s limited ability to provide the best possible customer experience.
The need for expanded features and less costly management
With no in-house control capabilities, Allied’s legacy system meant costly engineer site visits, and it could not offer voicemail services, resulting in lost calls and time wasted answering cold calls. Despite its lack of features, the system still took up valuable office space.
In addition, Allied’s legacy system could not facilitate additional ports for new users and basic configurations. The company was looking for a system that could grow alongside the business, and allow changes to be implemented in-house, without the need for specific technical knowledge or expensive staff training.
Furthermore, Allied desperately needed a voicemail system – the company risked losing potential business as users were unable to retrace missed calls. The ShoreTel Voice Switch 90v supports integrated voicemail capability with 56 hours of voicemail storage, ensuring Allied staff never miss a call. Voicemails can be accessed locally, using a telephone, PC or remotely via telephone or computer connections, ensuring users can follow up with callers, irrespective of the user’s location.
Following a review of the business communications market, Allied dismissed traditional PBX systems since they were unable to offer the functionality and integration capabilities the company required. Keith Hoult, managing director at Allied Telesis, identified UC as the best solution for the company.
“After comparing different product demos from ShoreTel, Mitel, and Avaya, we opted for the ShoreTel UC system as it proved to be the most cost-effective, scalable, and easy to manage,” says Hoult. “We engaged the help of Solar Communications, a ShoreTel reseller partner, to design a tailored solution. Solar evaluated our current system, allowed us to integrate our data infrastructure, and evaluate its scalability and built-in redundancy features.”
ShoreTel reduces call charges and increases efficiencies
Solar Communications worked with Allied Telesis to identify areas where ShoreTel’s UC solution could offer cost savings by heightening efficiency and reducing call charges. ShoreTel’s UC advanced calling options, including caller ID name and number, let calls be pre-screened and routed to the appropriate person. Customer satisfaction has heightened as a result of callers being connected faster to the appropriate advisor and having their requests processed faster.
“We were looking for a system that would provide real differentiation in terms of customer service, and ShoreTel’s system has exceeded our expectations,” explains Hoult. “We have witnessed a direct correlation between employee efficiency and improved customer service.”
Allied opted for the ShoreTel Voice Switch 90v, a 1U half-width voice switch that supports up to 90 IP phones, 90 voicemail mailboxes, and up to 12 analog ports. The new system captured Allied’s requirements and offered room for future growth.
In addition, Allied’s old system couldn’t screen cold calls, resulting in the receptionist missing important sales calls. With the new system, annoying and time-wasting sales calls have decreased, as the receptionist can block or direct these calls accordingly.
Many of Allied’s sales team work off-site, which had resulted in costly mobile calls, additional roaming charges, and time wasted dialing into corporate voicemail. ShoreTel’s Mobile Call Manager offers Allied’s staff seamless remote access to communications tools, including direct access to their corporate directory and voicemail, giving mobile employees visual access to office extension capabilities directly from mobile devices.
“WE WERE LOOKING FOR A SYSTEM THAT WOULD PROVIDE REAL DIFFERENTIATION IN TERMS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE, AND SHORETEL’S SYSTEM HAS EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS. WE HAVE WITNESSED A DIRECT CORRELATION BETWEEN EMPLOYEE EFFICIENCY AND IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICE.”
Keith Hoult, Managing Director
ShoreTel Mobile Call Manager has connected Allied’s mobile workforce with customers, colleagues, and corporate offices. Customers can now reach all staff, irrespective of location, and all users can collaborate easily and quickly to ensure fast response to customer and partner enquiries. Routing calls over IP has also allowed Allied to avoid mobile rates and roaming charges. “The ShoreTel UC system has enabled us to take back control of our phone system,” states Hoult. “Ease of use has ensured users are no longer bogged down performing routine tasks, such as moving and adding users, and can get on with their appropriate job roles.”
Despite its lack of features, Allied’s legacy system had occupied a large portion of the server room. In contrast, ShoreTel’s UC solution is both feature rich and compact, allowing Allied access to numerous functionalities and the ability to reclaim the server room. “By eliminating the old system, and introducing a more compact model, we have freed up valuable space for other equipment,” says Hoult.
ShoreTel’s offers lower TCO and a better business value
With the help of Solar Communications, installation went smoothly. Allied stayed within budget and met the agreed project plan and timeframe. The system was up and running within three days. Allied reduced capital expenditure by opting for a tailored financing option, which helped reduce the system’s total cost of ownership and improved Allied’s return on investment.
The ShoreTel UC system is a completely distributed, scalable solution layered on the IP network with no single point of failure – offering Allied greater reliability and business value. Distributed architecture and single-image deployment has enabled Allied staff to centrally manage the system, and avoid costly engineer callout charges.
Since the ShoreTel system is both intuitive and easy to use, the company has been able to integrate staff across different departments in one directory, and simplified internal communications.
Users can take full advantage of the system without the need for of any specific technical knowledge, helping to ensure widespread adoption.
“THE SHORETEL UC SYSTEM HAS ENABLED US TO TAKE BACK CONTROL OF OUR PHONE SYSTEM. EASE OF USE HAS ENSURED USERS ARE NO LONGER BOGGED DOWN PERFORMING ROUTINE TASKS, SUCH AS MOVING AND ADDING USERS, AND CAN GET ON WITH THEIR APPROPRIATE JOB ROLES.”
“The ShoreTel UC system not only offered features we currently require, but also the scope to continuously improve as we expand the business and our customers’ requirements change,” concludes Hoult. “ShoreTel’s system is easy to develop, which will allow us to maximize its value as we move further down the line.”
Network infrastructure provider Allied Telesis had an ageing telephone system unable to accommodate new users or integrate users across departments, and it incurred high maintenance costs.
ShoreTel offered a compact system that is simple to use, can be managed in-house, and is equipped with an array of new features. The deployment included a ShoreTel unified communications (UC) system with ShoreTel Voice Switches, conference room, and IP phones.
- More efficient call routing
- Remote routing capabilities
- Centralized management
- Cost savings on maintenance and calls