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ShoreTel's Unified Communications Solution Increases Productivity at Hitachi Consulting

Reliable, easy-to-manage distributed unified communications system facilitates collaboration and saves consulting firm more than $10,000 every month
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SUNNYVALE, CA, February 4, 2008 - ShoreTel, Inc., (NASDAQ: SHOR), a leading provider of Pure IP Unified Communications solutions, detailed how Hitachi Consulting has benefited from a ShoreTel unified communications (UC) system. Hitachi Consulting has deployed the ShoreTel UC solution at all of its offices in the U.S. and Europe, creating a single, integrated phone system complete with five-digit dialing, centralized management, and toll bypass. According to Hitachi Consulting, ShoreTel's UC system has made the company a more collaborative and productive organization while saving more than $10,000 every month.

Hitachi Consulting is a global business and IT consulting company with deep industry, business, and technology experience. Prior to ShoreTel, the company relied on separate Avaya phone systems installed in the offices of the firm's former parent company. Each installation was managed separately, with different features turned on and different codes used for the same functions. This made it difficult for the highly mobile staff to use the phones as they traveled from office to office. As the consulting firm planned to move into its own offices, Michael Shisko, IT director for Hitachi Consulting, recognized the need for an IP-based solution.

After rejecting a Cisco system based on cost and complexity, and other solutions because of unpredictable long-distance charges or feature limitations, Shisko opted for a distributed unified communications solution from ShoreTel. He started with a small deployment in a single office, and it was such a hit that he subsequently rolled out the ShoreTel solution in each new office as it was opened.

"We wanted a phone system that would provide 5-digit dialing across all offices, local phone numbers for each office, toll bypass, and unified management through remote administration," said Shisko. "ShoreTel delivered all this in a highly reliable, easy-to-manage system that has made us a more productive organization. When we put it all together - toll bypass and the simplicity of administration, configuration and deployment - the ShoreTel system is saving Hitachi Consulting more than $10,000 per month, every month, year after year. We continue to be amazed at how our per-employee costs keep coming down."

The ShoreTel distributed architecture lets staff in any office in the U.S. and Europe access the same phone and voicemail system to reach any other staff member using 5-digit dialing or by dialing co-workers by name. Mobile staff can log into the system at any desk in any office and access the exact same feature set, enabling them to be equally productive no matter where they are. ShoreWare® Personal Call Manager also lets each staff member see the status of the person they are about to call - on the phone, out of the office, etc. - so they can think about a message to leave or place the call later.

As part of his ShoreTel UC system, Shisko implemented ShoreTel's Converged Conferencing solution, which not only allows voice conferences to be efficiently established and managed, but also includes desktop and application sharing, instant messaging, virtual meeting rooms, online presentations, and multimedia recording. ShoreTel Converged Conferencing fosters collaboration by virtual teams, enabling Hitachi Consulting to instantly bring together the right experts from any office for highly productive meetings. Any employee can quickly set up a voice conference, and the firm is currently logging up to 450,000 minutes of conference calls per month.

"Another key benefit," added Shisko, "is the integrity, survivability, and simplicity of the distributed architecture. We don't have to worry about the availability or quality of our communications. The ShoreTel UC system is always on." The distributed architecture and intuitive management interface make the administration of multiple offices very simple. Moves, adds, and changes that used to require connecting to individual remote systems and time-consuming command line entries, can now be done in minutes from anywhere via the browser-based console. Least-cost routing is configured automatically as new cities are added to the system, and employees don't have to remember which numbers qualify, or use any special access methods.

"In the past, companies did not have much of a choice," said Steve Timmerman, vice president of marketing at ShoreTel. "They could purchase an expensive, hard-to manage phone system designed to keep their employees productive, or they could try to save money and watch productivity suffer. But thanks to ShoreTel, Hitachi Consulting has found that even its highly mobile workforce can stay productive and collaborate more effectively no matter where they go using a highly reliable system that is easy to manage and offers the lowest total cost of ownership."

About ShoreTel, Inc.

ShoreTel, Inc., (NASDAQ: SHOR) is a leading provider of Pure IP unified communications systems. ShoreTel enables companies of any size to seamlessly integrate all communications-voice, data, messaging-with their business processes. Independent of device or location, ShoreTel's distributed software architecture eliminates the traditional costs, complexity and reliability issues typically associated with other solutions. ShoreTel continues to deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction, ease of use and manageability while driving down the overall total cost of ownership. ShoreTel is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices in the United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia and Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.shoretel.com or call 1-877-80SHORE.