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City of Camarillo Case Study

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Case Studies

City of Camarillo elects ShoreTel VoIP due to its extensive features and lower TCO

Customer service suffered due to aging system

Camarillo’s aging PBX system was at the end of its useful life and was increasingly costly and burdensome to maintain. Camarillo constituents bounced between voicemail boxes and endless elevator music, which led to dissatisfaction.

The search for a state-of-the-art VoIP solution

Camarillo began the process of looking for a phone system for its new state-of-the-art library that was under construction. This presented a perfect “green field” opportunity for testing a new phone system. If test results were good, Camarillo could confidently adopt the new system across all its operations.

Voice over IP (VoIP) was the clear choice for the savings and functionality Camarillo needed, says the city’s director of general services, Richard Petropulos.

As the team evaluated systems from ShoreTel and other suppliers, it was particularly impressed with ShoreTel’s extensive features. “ShoreTel was the most cost-effective system and it was visibly easy to implement, manage, and use,” says Petropulos.

After evaluating several ShoreTel resellers and reviewing proposals, Camarillo selected Lanair Group LLC to help implement the ShoreTel UC system and provide ongoing support. “Lanair has done a great job in helping to ensure the smooth running of the project,” comments Petropulos. “In addition to ShoreTel’s cost-effectiveness, a longterm service and support relationship is vital for the city. Lanair stepped up to the plate.”

ShoreTel’s IP solution deemed a showcase for best practices in training and support

The new ShoreTel system proved to be the most seamless implementation of a major product Petropulos had experienced in his career, and was a showcase for best practices in training and support.

“Our network infrastructure needed to support additional VoIP traffic,” says Rod Owen, City of Camarillo network administrator and implementation team member. “A network assessment pinpointed the upgrades needed to our data network, and we were able to put those in place before the system went live,” he adds.

Training end users and ensuring widespread system adoption was also a priority. The challenge was how to best design training for workers in many different functions, with different levels of experience, and who, while they wanted new features, also wanted the system to work in a familiar way.

ShoreTel cuts annual phone system cost by half and saves Camarillo $4,500 on service calls

Since the city’s 156 employees were well prepared for the new system, cutover was seamless. “We knew we made the right decision. No one had any complaints, and all the feedback we received was positive. Everyone loved the ShoreTel system, and nobody wanted to go back,” states Petropulos.

The ShoreTel system also helped reduce the city’s operating expenses, cutting annual phone system costs in half, and eliminating about $4,500 in service calls needed to keep the legacy system running. “Whatever the future brings in terms of expansion, making changes is so much easier and faster now,” says Petropulos. “We don’t have to call service people out anymore. We can handle these tasks ourselves, and get them done immediately.”

Productivity improvements are realized in every department

ShoreTel allows each department to have a custom toolbar — in effect, giving each department a system tailored to its needs. In the finance department, for instance, the toolbar shows the entire department staff. To determine someone’s availability, staff simply hover the cursor over the name, and the presence information in the ShoreTel Call Manager is displayed. To speed the transfer, the system is set up for one-click dialing or oneclick transfer.

“BECAUSE IT’S EASY TO ADD NEW EXTENSIONS, IT’S EASY FOR PEOPLE TO MOVE INTO NEW JOBS AND CROSS-TRAIN WITHIN A DIVISION. BEFORE SHORETEL, CROSSTRAINING REQUIRED US TO SET UP A NEW PHONE SYSTEM FOR THE ‘DISTRIBUTED’ DEPARTMENT. SHORETEL ELIMINATES THAT KIND OF WORKAROUND.”

Richard Petropulos
Director of General Services
City of Camarillo

This visibility also works well in customer service, where supervisors can always see call activity and agent availability. ShoreTel also makes it easy for managers to have assistants screen calls, allowing call monitoring to be configured directly on the phone.

ShoreTel’s ease of integration also boosts city productivity by converging communications in a single system. Integration with GFI Faxmaker delivers faxes directly to email, eliminating the paper chase. Microsoft Outlook integration yields additional advantages by delivering voicemail to email. Camarillo has also integrated ShoreTel with VXTracker, using ShoreTel’s call detail records (CDR) for call accounting, tracking, and billing for outside contractors.

Reliability and Performance for the Most Demanding Communications

Downtime is a thing of the past in Camarillo city offices, thanks to redundant ShoreTel switches and distributed voicemail servers at each location to handle outages and switchovers automatically. ShoreTel’s workgroups and hunt groups ensure that callers reach the people they need in public facing departments such as public works, utility billing, finance, community development, and the city manager’s office.

Some of the city’s most critical communications are emergency calls. Here, too, ShoreTel has delivered outstanding results. The system automatically notifies selected security and emergency personnel at their desktops, compressing response time and speeding help.

ShoreTel delivers a win for Camarillo on every level

The ShoreTel UC system delivers more than simply streamlined communications for the City of Camarillo. “Because it’s easy to add new extensions, it’s easy for people to move into new jobs and cross-train within a division. Before ShoreTel, cross-training required us to set up a new phone system for the ‘distributed’ department,” explains Petropulos. “ShoreTel eliminates that kind of workaround.”

Reliability and availability are critical to running the City of Camarillo, and ShoreTel is up to the task, concludes Petropulos. “The reason we’re satisfied with ShoreTel is simple. The system meets our needs and works well, all at an attractive price point. We have a powerful, intuitive system that our staff loves. Add in exceptional service, and it adds up to a big win for the city in every respect.”

“THE REASON WE’RE SATISFIED WITH SHORETEL IS SIMPLE. THE SYSTEM MEETS OUR NEEDS AND WORKS WELL, ALL AT AN ATTRACTIVE PRICE POINT. WE HAVE A POWERFUL, INTUITIVE SYSTEM THAT OUR STAFF LOVES. ADD IN EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE, AND IT ADDS UP TO A BIG WIN FOR THE CITY IN EVERY RESPECT.”

CHALLENGE:

  • Replace an aging PBX with an IP-based communications system to improve performance, reduce costs, enhance reliability, and unify communications across all local government offices.

SOLUTION:

  • ShoreTel UC system was deployed across five municipal sites and included: 225 ShoreTel IP Telephones, models 230, 110, 115, and 560; and ShoreTel VoiceSwitches, models 24A, 50, 60, T1, and 220T1A.

BENEFITS:

  • Competitive pricing delivered rapid ROI
  • Distributed architecture offers high availability
  • Streamlined business processes
  • Features that expand the city’s ability to serve citizens