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Cascade Community Credit Union Case Study

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Case Studies

Cascade Community Credit Union replaces Nortel BCM system with ShoreTel UC at 50% of the cost.

Cascade Community Credit Union

New branch stretches IT resources

Cascade Community Credit Union in Douglas County, Oregon, has 33 full-time employees and three branches. With construction on a fourth branch under way, it was an opportune time to upgrade telephony systems.

Lack of redundancy and administrative expenses left Cascade with little interest in the status quo

Dale Debs, CIO for Cascade Community Credit Union, and one additional IT resource are responsible for the IT needs across the multibranch organization. As of late, Debs has also taken on responsibility for construction of a new branch, leaving his small IT department stretched thin. With a new branch in the works, it was time to re-evaluate the credit union’s communication needs.

The credit union decided to conduct a vendor review for several reasons. For one, IT was unhappy with Nortel BCM redundancy capabilities. The remote switches could not be configured to continue working if the switching hardware failed. BCM switches at each branch didn’t solve the problem because they weren’t interoperable. Having a completely separate redundancy configuration at each location would have required a different set of extension numbers configured for each employee on each of the redundant systems. That solution was nearly impossible to deploy and very cost prohibitive.

“The Nortel system was an administrative nightmare trying to make redundancy capabilities that function to the point where you wouldn’t lose the entire phone system in all satellite branches in case of an outage,” says Debs.

ShoreTel pays dividends for Cascade Community Credit Union

Debs researched the capabilities of several UC telephony vendors. He was looking for a solution that would allow the small credit union to scale 10 times its current size without needing to switch systems. The team chose the ShoreTel system because it was the most scalable and reliable. From a financial standpoint, ShoreTel was about 50% of the cost when taking into account the extra labor cost to keep the Nortel system in sync.

“By the time you figure in the annual cost of what we paid for this system, the licensing, the support, and the decreased administrative duties, we’re saving half of what some of the other systems would have cost us. If you have 200 or fewer employees, it was a no-brainer. ShoreTel offers a significant advantage for smaller companies. With a lot of other systems, you had to have 500 employees before it would justify the cost of licensing and some of the optional features that they were offering,” remarks Debs.

The switchover from Nortel to ShoreTel was smooth sailing

The ShoreTel implementation was seamless, and employees were trained on how to use the system over several days. Debs and his team continue to attend periodic training updates to keep up with new system feature releases, so they can immediately train on the new features when updates are available.

The features ranked highest among Cascade Credit Union staff include the multiple lines and the ability to easily customize phone functionality to meet specific needs. Licenses that allow particular supervisors to manage the group of people they’re supervising have also been widely embraced. ShoreTel reporting put information such as the length of time agents have been on the phone and who answered the most calls available in real time, which makes it easier to assess employee performance.

“BY THE TIME YOU FIGURE IN THE ANNUAL COST OF WHAT WE PAID FOR THIS SYSTEM, THE LICENSING, THE SUPPORT, AND THE DECREASED ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES, WE’RE SAVING HALF OF WHAT SOME OF THE OTHER SYSTEMS WOULD HAVE COST US. IF YOU HAVE 200 OR FEWER EMPLOYEES, IT WAS A NO-BRAINER. SHORETEL OFFERS A SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGE FOR SMALLER COMPANIES. WITH A LOT OF OTHER SYSTEMS, YOU HAD TO HAVE 500 EMPLOYEES BEFORE IT WOULD JUSTIFY THE COST OF LICENSING AND SOME OF THE OPTIONAL FEATURES THAT THEY WERE OFFERING.”

Dale Debs, CIO
Cascade Community Credit Union

Users and IT give ShoreTel thumbs-up

According to feedback, everyone gives the system thumbs-up for excellent voice quality and an easy-to-use interface. Aside from full redundancy, unified communications capabilities and Outlook integration rate highly with the IT team.

“When colleagues ask about various telephony systems, I tell them to consider ShoreTel, especially the folks that are in organizations with 200 or fewer employees. ShoreTel has a huge advantage on price versus functionality in comparison to the other systems that we’ve looked at,” says Debs.

“WHEN COLLEAGUES ASK ABOUT VARIOUS TELEPHONY SYSTEMS, I TELL THEM TO CONSIDER SHORETEL, ESPECIALLY THE FOLKS THAT ARE IN ORGANIZATIONS WITH 200 OR FEWER EMPLOYEES. SHORETEL HAS A HUGE ADVANTAGE ON PRICE VERSUS FUNCTIONALITY IN COMPARISON TO THE OTHER SYSTEMS THAT WE’VE LOOKED AT.”

CHALLENGE:

  • With limited IT resources and a growing network of branches, Cascade Credit Union needed to eliminate the high maintenance expenses of a legacy telephony system and deploy an easy-to-administer solution with redundancy and up-to-date UC features.

SOLUTION:

  • The ShoreTel IP solution offered state-of-the-art phones, features, the most scalability, and high reliability. From a financial standpoint, ShoreTel was about 50% of the cost when taking into account the extra labor cost to keep the Nortel system in sync.

BENEFITS:

  • Affordable and scalable
  • Voicemail forwarding to email
  • Integrated and seamless redundancy
  • Reduced need for IT management