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ShoreTel in pole position with Williams

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For many companies, the ability to cater for a remote workforce has become utterly imperative. Williams has a more pronounced need for secure, seamless mobile working than most companies. With around 70 of its employees travelling ten months of the year to different, exotic locations, Williams knew that in order to ensure the utmost efficiency of its workforce it would have to turn to a unified communication system.

Williams is a British Formula One motor racing team and constructor. It employs over 550 people working on its race team at the Grove headquarters in Oxfordshire and around 100 people working on advanced engineering.


Addressing the Issue

In 2013 it became apparent to Williams that it would have to look at an alternative to its current communication system, which consisted of three separate platforms for its communication channels, such as e-mails, voicemails and calls through desk and mobile phones.

Chris Taylor, head of IT at Williams, said, “Our aim was to improve communications in every way, regardless of location. We realised that we had to streamline our ability to communicate with each other from all over the world, and knew that this would not only improve efficiency, but could potentially cut costs, too.”

Taylor explained, “We looked at several vendors, before we decided upon ShoreTel. The reason ShoreTel stood out was due to its ability to demonstrate its competence and experience in the space. After seeing the solution, we realised that ShoreTel was the UC specialist that most suited our needs, and would be a resilient cross-site solution, one where we could scale up or down and add additional components with the click of a button and at a minimal cost. We also wanted a solution that we could easily administer across all sites as previously there was a lot of administration – ShoreTel’s solution was simpler and less time-consuming.”

Meeting specifications

ShoreTel’s solution would have to match the specific requirements of Williams’s mobile workforce. Williams needed an easy-to-use communication system that was usable by members of the team as they travel every two weeks around the globe, it also required extremely robust safety measures as unlike most enterprises, Williams’ competitors were often within earshot of its employees (in the next paddock).

Chris Murray, head of marketing at Williams, said, “It is an absolute necessity to have mission-critical, secure communications between our employees at trackside and our engineers back in the factory over the course of race weekend. When the cars are actually running this will generate tangible benefits that we believe will turn into performance gains on-track.”

ShoreTel provides Williams with a range of solutions – including ShoreTel IP-PBX, ShoreTel Mobility client licenses to extend UC applications to mobile devices, Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) handsets, conferencing services, and ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Centre with multi-media, providing a complete end-to-end solution whether onsite or remotely.

ShoreTel joins the team

Williams now enjoys a brilliantly simple unified communication platform that allows its employees to communicate in an efficient and cost-effective way, regardless of location. “ShoreTel provided great functionality which has improved our employees’ efficiency and helped us avoid the service charges that would usually accompany calls made from Australia, for example. It could actually save us tens of thousands of pounds,” explained Taylor.

The technical partnership has given Williams the opportunity to cater to this most mobile of workforces. For example, if an employee is at track-side and unable to make a call, ShoreTel’s solution also offers an instant messaging service on the same platform, saving time and offering an alternative which may not have been available before.  It is this flexibility that will provide invaluable to Williams, while ShoreTel will benefit from the global reach of this highly-respected brand.

“The benefit for us is bringing everyone together. Whether it’s the race team, or employees on general business, we can easily communicate through one system which makes everybody more efficient,” concludes Taylor.

For an inside look at Williams’ use of ShoreTel, watch this video.