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Local Governments Continue to Benefit from Unified Communications

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Perhaps no industry sector is under more pressure to improve services while reducing overall costs than government. From state and local agencies to the federal level, government IT is under substantial scrutiny while operating within tight budgets.

Adding to this pressure is an increasing constituent demand for more convenience, with the ability to connect and receive services online, from a phone or via a mobile device. Office hours, paper forms and town meetings are giving way to mobile access, automated processes and better ways to solicit feedback and opinions.

This is causing government agencies to rethink Unified Communications (UC) and how departments connect and interact with their constituents. It also puts a renewed priority on solutions that are not only effective, but easy to manage and simple for the broad population to use. Agencies today require integrated voice, video, data and mobile communications solutions with plug-and-play simplicity delivered via a reliable platform. Government UC solutions also should leverage deep industry expertise to help meet the unique challenges agencies face.

Providing UC solutions to more than 2,000 state and local government agencies, with an average of 500 seats, ShoreTel is a leader in the government market. This includes 87 municipalities in California alone. According to these government customers, ease of management was a top reason for selecting ShoreTel. Lowering Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and reliability are two other top ShoreTel benefits that customers cited. The ShoreTel UC architecture has built-in redundancy and disaster recovery features that many government agencies require.

The Alabama Department of Transportation, for example, has enhanced responsiveness to constituent calls and usability for the department’s employees with a ShoreTel solution that supports more than 5,000 agency users.

“Our ShoreTel system allows us to not only save money, but provide remote monitoring and reporting, and survivability from a security standpoint,” said Susan Butler, telecommunications manager for the Alabama Department of Transportation.

It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. With an intense need to reinvent how they operate and deliver constituency services, a growing list of government agencies are turning to ShoreTel. And as a result, they are improving services while staying on budget.