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ShoreTel Customers in the Spotlight

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We're always grateful that our "raving fan" customers love to sing our praises, so we were thrilled recently to be able to return the favor. Three ShoreTel customers - the City of Oakland, Safeway Insurance Group and Texas-based Big Brothers Big Sisters - were recently honored at the Nemertes Research 2008 VOIP and Unified Communications PilotHouse Awards Dinner for having effectively leveraged VoIP and unified communications (UC) to improve their operations. The awards were based on evaluating several criteria, such as how efficiently the organizations are implementing VoIP and how many UC applications they use.

These organizations and their management teams are truly heroes in my book. They didn’t take the well-worn route of sticking with a traditional PBX or defaulting to the largest vendor. They carefully assessed their needs, considered where they wanted to take communications within their organization, and took the time to carefully study and understand a new technology. It's organizations and people like these that pave the way for the future of business communications, and I commend Nemertes Research for honoring them.

I hope you'll take a look at the brief recaps below and download the case studies. Each contains great ideas about how a UC system can transform your organization, improve productivity and reduce costs.

When the City of Oakland needed to replace its aging PBX, it chose ShoreTel's UC system in part because the distributed architecture provided the city with a solid disaster recovery plan, enabling calls to get through even during natural disasters such as earthquakes and mudslides. The ability of the city to make its own changes and additions to the system, rather than outsourcing these activities, also saved taxpayer dollars.

Founded in 1962, Safeway Insurance Group operates seven insurance companies and offers coverage in nine states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The organization used its ShoreTel UC system to span its nine locations, boost employee productivity and increase customer satisfaction. The distributed architecture ensures the organization can always serve its customers, even during an emergency like Hurricane Katrina. Simple and straightforward management has also saved time and money.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the oldest, largest and most effective youth mentoring organization in Texas. For more than 80 years, the organization has had a direct and lasting impact on the lives of children. The organization implemented a complete IP-based UC solution to tie all its remote locations together and present a unified front to the community. Streamlined business processes and new call management features helped the organization increase the number of mentoring relationships by more than 34 percent over a two-year period, while cutting the average wait time for clients to find a successful match almost in half. Meanwhile, least-cost routing saves the organization thousands of dollars a month in long distance charges.

John W. Combs