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How the Boston Globe Saved $1.6 Million With ShoreTel

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ShoreTel Unified Communications Boston Globe

If you’ve seen the Academy Award nominated movie Spotlight, you know how important telecommunications is to the news business. Reporters rely on the telephone to run down leads and interview sources, communicate with their editors from the field and even email in articles they’ve written on a mobile device.

Spotlight’s story took place in the early 2000s, before the advent of technologies like unified communications and video-enabled smartphones. But when it came time to update its systems in 2015, the Boston Globe – the newspaper at the center of the film – turned to ShoreTel.

At the time, the Globe still relied on a POTS Centrex phone system that was so old, its provider could no longer support it. On top of incurring ever-increasing maintenance costs, the system didn’t offer the mobility features needed by both the reporting and advertising staffs, who do much of their work out of the office. Making things even more interesting, the Globe had plans to relocate from its current building, so any new system had to be easy to move when the time comes.

After evaluating a number of prospective vendors, the Globe decided that a ShoreTel onsite solution was the best way to address both its present and future needs. The system’s built-in features and remote call-center capabilities made it exactly what the staff needed to get their jobs done efficiently and well, and the cost savings were significant. In fact, Mary Beth Bayes, the Globe’s telecom manager, estimates ShoreTel will save the company about $1.6 million over five years.

A Key to Success

Communications is critical to a successful media operation. Not only do reporters and editors rely on high-quality telecom systems to gather a paper’s news and feature stories, the newsroom must be in constant touch with the printers and technology specialists who publish the product in print and online. Sales people regularly talk to advertisers, and subscribers want to easy access to customer service to do everything from renew subscriptions to report lost papers.

“A lot of our readership is elderly people and they don’t want to chat or text or even email,” observes Bayes. “They want to call on a telephone and talk to somebody. So in that respect, communicating with our customers makes it an imperative that we have fully featured remote applications.”

In addition, ShoreTel offered portability features its competitors couldn’t match. With its new system, the Globe was able to move 300 employees to a facility outside of the city while keeping their existing phone numbers. “With ShoreTel we could unplug the phones, move 300 people out of their current building and get our employees up and running quickly with their same 617-929 phone numbers,” Bayes says. “That’s a big issue. We’ve had those phone numbers for years.”

Today, the Globe’s staff works with a telecommunications system that is easy to use, economical to maintain, and offers the flexibility needed for future growth. Says Bayes:

“We’re very happy with the product. I would absolutely recommend ShoreTel because it’s a reliable, affordable and portable system.”

To read more details about the Boston Globe’s experience with ShoreTel, see our full case study here.