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Cinema Giant Wins with ShoreTel Unified Communications

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In our latest featured case study, we profile Australia and New Zealand cinema chain, Hoyts Corporation.

Hoyts is now enjoying the functionality and benefits of UC, reducing operational costs and increasing productivity across the business.

The deployment has formed the foundations of a broader networking strategy for the cinema chain to reduce communication costs and enhance productivity across the group, we discovered after speaking in more depth with Hoyts' Group Technology Director and CTO, Adam Wrightson. That strategy centred on the rollout of digital cinema and PoE (Power over Ethernet) switching across its complexes in Australia and New Zealand, supported by a new, fully-redundant wide area network capable of supporting VoIP.

The role that ShoreTel's UC solution has played in supporting Hoyts' digital cinema deployment has been one of the immediate benefits from the rollout. Hoyts has developed its own IVR application on top of the ShoreTel UC platform for use in the IT service desk, ensuring that support calls in relation to the digital cinema systems are routed to the most appropriate and available engineer.

"At present we are using the IVR in reverse," explains Wrightson. "Our cinema sites log projection and sound issues via a website and assign a priority based on the impact to the business. Because our business is moving to digital projection systems, a problem with one of those systems can potentially have a major impact to our business and income streams - and our priority one issues require an SLA from our support team of no more than a few minutes."

Hoyts has developed an IVR system on the ShoreTel platform that puts logged problems into a queue. From that queue the system works through a list of on-call technicians based on a roster and the geographic location of the site. If the appropriate engineer does not answer, the system phones an alternative engineer and escalates until it gets someone. When an engineer answers, the IVR prompts the engineer to accept the job. If accepted details of the fault are forwarded to the engineer otherwise the system goes back to escalating or finding an alternative engineer.

"This approach fully automates the assigning of tickets. It also allows us to have a distributed support workforce, working in local time zones but providing the flexibility of covering a much longer day across our different time zones of operation."

Hoyts deployed a new ShoreTel unified communications (UC) solution as part of its move to a new head office location for 160 staff in Sydney in 2010. In the case study, we outline the implementation of a solution which included ShoreTel SG 90 switches, IP extensions, conference ports, SG E1 switches, lines, an SG 24A switch, analogue extensions, VPN Concentrator and Music on hold ports. Handsets included ShoreTel IP Phone IP115, IP230, IP230 gigabit, IP265 and IP8000 conference phones along with licenses, Extension and Mailbox, and ShoreTel Communicator with Professional Access.

Hoyts has also deployed ShoreTel unified communications in NZ to replace a non-scalable PABX system that Hoyts acquired with the purchase of Berkeley Cinema Group in 2010.

The next steps for Hoyts are to introduce VoIP across the WAN and UC into the cinema complexes, which will generate significant cost savings for telephony and voice communications, in addition to improve staff productivity through improved communication and collaboration.