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Burr & Forman Case Study

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Case Studies

Burr & Forman deploys ShoreTel UC across eight offices to increase productivity and collaboration and benefits from softphone technology

Disparate phone systems try law firm

Burr & Forman needs to ensure effective communications, regardless of location or technology. But having separate phone and voicemail systems, inhibited the firm’s ability to smoothly collaborate across locations.

Single telephony platform easy and inexpensive to maintain

Burr & Forman has two types of employees: one group used to physical phones at the desk and a newer generation that prefers instant messaging and softphones. “We wanted an easier approach to share information, especially for lawyers who travel to depositions, hotels, meetings, and such.

Having disparate communications systems is just too expensive and hard to maintain, and really limits what capabilities can be introduced,” explains David S. Michel, chief information officer at Burr & Forman.

To find a more cohesive business IP strategy, Michel contacted CDW, a ShoreTel partner. After an in-depth probe into potential telephony systems, including Cisco, Mitel, and Microsoft Lync, the law firm selected ShoreTel.

“We were looking for greater efficiencies, for seamless and flexible communications, and a newer, fresher way to collaborate for better results. We chose ShoreTel. And for a 60-month purchase, we calculated ROI at 26 months—impressive,” Michel adds.

Law firm advocates ShoreTel for ease of use, simplicity, TCO, disaster recovery, and cost savings

Burr & Forman selected a ShoreTel UC Solution that included ShoreTel Communicator with Professional and Mobile Access, ShoreTel Conferencing and Instant Messaging for effective conferencing and chat tools, and ShoreTel Web Dialer for online click-and-dial ease. To deploy optimum performance across the installation design, Burr & Forman enlisted ShoreTel Implementation Services.

The ShoreTel implementation included 700 licenses across all eight offices for 525 users and multiple conference rooms, with particular emphasis on use of the ShoreTel core software and softphone capabilities. To help ensure the deployment was a success, Burr & Forman leveraged ShoreTel Implementation Services, using ShoreTel’s proven installation methodology.

Detailed discovery and design ensured that the solution met customers’ business requirements. An experienced and certified engineer deployed the solution flawlessly. Training was delivered for both end users and systems administrators to ensure that Burr & Forman leveraged the solution in an optimum fashion. “The ShoreTel Implementation Services team did an amazing job for Burr & Forman. We were so impressed that the system was designed and operational in only six weeks,” exclaims Michel.

Burr & Forman currently has many of its employees using the softphone in ShoreTel Communicator and plans to grow this number substantially in the next five years. A softphone is a software program that turns a PC into a phone, rather than using dedicated hardware.

“We are focused on phasing out physical phones over time. We don’t plan to replace any telephones, and are encouraged by users who are successfully moving to the softphone. Fiscally, it makes sense, because we don’t need to keep paying for phones when the softphones are the way to go and already purchased. The ShoreTel softphones free mobile users from always being tethered to their desks,” Michel says.

The ShoreTel platform is built on a unique, fully secure, and scalable open architecture. Easier to deploy and manage than status quo competitor products, ShoreTel hardware is highly reliable and has no single point of failure for unmatched availability. ShoreTel Core Software facilitates extensive unified communications, including feature-rich applications, voice routing, automated attendant, unified messaging, call accounting and reporting, and robust workgroup routing functionality.

“WE WERE LOOKING FOR GREATER EFFICIENCIES, FOR SEAMLESS AND FLEXIBLE COMMUNICATIONS, AND A NEWER, FRESHER WAY TO COLLABORATE FOR BETTER RESULTS. WE CHOSE SHORETEL.”

David S. Michel, CIO
Burr & Forman

Evidence of Real-Time Business Intelligence

ShoreTel Communicator makes the case for better business communications with real-time intelligence tools to simplify daily interactions and provide advanced call management. With an intuitive interface available across diverse environments, ShoreTel Communicator helps busy organizations like Burr & Forman move seamlessly among voice, video, and instant messaging, from desktops and mobile devices.

“People are able to connect faster and easier and smarter. We are looking forward to fully leveraging all the features in Communicator, such as presence, so our employees can truly collaborate. We will also use the ShoreTel Conferencing to improve collaboration between our teams in different offices,” Michel continues.

Case closed: ShoreTel reduces long distance usage charges by 80 percent

Since deploying its ShoreTel UC solution, Burr & Forman has proved the case for unified communications. “In addition to the ROI, we are seeing 80 percent cost savings on long distance usage charges, and we’ve been able to substantially cut our training and the support costs,” Michel notes.

To help ensure Burr & Forman has the support it needs when it has questions, it purchased a five year ShoreTel Enterprise Support contract. The ShoreTel Enterprise Support Program is designed for customers that wish to have a direct service relationship with ShoreTel, and is well suited to customers like Burr & Forman that have hundreds of users across multiple sites.

The Enterprise Support program includes technical support, online access to resources, tools and training, and free upgrades, including major releases. Other support programs are also available. For customers needing a personalized, high-touch service, Enterprise Support Advantage may be the answer.

Michel acknowledges ShoreTel’s pervasive flexibility and ease of use for meeting users’ diverse work needs, and the ability for rapid disaster recovery with N+1 redundancy, as essentials for any contemporary communications plan.

“Now we have one system to help us collaborate so much better we’ve expanded our capabilities for reducing workloads, while saving money. ShoreTel has changed how people work at Burr & Forman. We now have tools in place to help us work more effectively and increase productivity,” he concludes.

“NOW WE HAVE ONE SYSTEM TO HELP US COLLABORATE SO MUCH BETTER WE’VE EXPANDED OUR CAPABILITIES FOR REDUCING WORKLOADS, WHILE SAVING MONEY. SHORETEL HAS CHANGED HOW PEOPLE WORK AT BURR & FORMAN. WE NOW HAVE TOOLS IN PLACE TO HELP US WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY.”

CHALLENGE:

  • Disparate phone systems and voicemail applications in every office hampered seamless and cost-efficient communications, and did not meet the diverse needs of users.

SOLUTION:

  • A ShoreTel UC Solution replaces Cisco, Mitel, and Nortel systems with a cohesive, scalable solution, including ShoreTel Communicator, ShoreTel Conferencing Instant Messaging, ShoreTel Web Dialer, ShoreTel Implementation Services, ShoreTel Training, and ShoreTel Enterprise Support.

BENEFITS:

  • Return on investment in 26 months
  • 80 percent cost savings on long-distance charges
  • High availability and rapid disaster recovery
  • Architecture to support an all-softphone deployment