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City of Subiaco Case Study

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Case Studies

ShoreTel UC and Contact Center capabilities enable the City of Subiaco to meet customer service goals

City of Subiaco

Disparate systems hinder customer service

One of the City of Subiaco’s stated goals was to “be innovative and responsive, and maintain a strong customer focus.” Upgrading the telephony environment was identified as a major contributor to meeting this goal.

Needed a full-featured UC solution

The City of Subiaco was running a mix of legacy PABX systems and hosted PABX with no capabilities beyond basic telephony. The lack of features such as voicemail and call flow impacted customer service delivery.

“The provider of our hosted PABX was transitioning off the product, and most of our other PABXs were about 30 years old. If we needed changes made to our on-premise systems, we had to call out contractors, and on our hosted environment, we had to contact our provider – in both situations it usually led to significant delays,” says Paul Moll, IT manager, City of Subiaco.

“We had no call flow or queuing, no components for answering machines. And any moves, adds, changes, and deletes often required rewiring. We were looking to homogenize the management and maintenance of our telephony environment, and consolidate on one system,” Moll adds.

The city selected ShoreTel based on a combination of functionality, architecture, simplicity, and total cost of ownership (TCO).

“In terms of functionality, the ShoreTel Unified Communications (UC) and Enterprise Contact Center (ECC) solution offered everything we required. Additionally, the CAPEX and OPEX calculations we made for the ShoreTel solution provided the best TCO. ShoreTel’s architecture had the scalability we were looking for, and the management console gave us the ability to manage the environment ourselves. Also, a lot of the solutions we looked at had very complex licensing models. ShoreTel’s licensing was simple and easy to understand,” explains Moll.

ShoreTel UC delivers the functionality and TCO needed to meet Subiaco’s strategic plan

To complete the design and installation of the new UC and ECC solution, the city worked closely with ShoreTel and Communications Plus, a Perth-based ShoreTel partner. The design of the solution was based on meeting a number of business goals based on Subiaco’s Strategic Community Plan.

“The council had to be contactable at all times, especially at the numbers that were publicly advertised, such as its greenwaste service,” says Jahn Geldenhuys, senior systems engineer at Communications Plus. “So we spent time to understand call flows, set up workgroups, and create customer service rules that we could translate into system and technical design for both the UC and ECC solutions.”

In the design phase, workgroups, call routing and escalation processes were defined. Escalation, to director level if necessary, was built into the workflow, with voicemail integrated with the City of Subiaco’s Microsoft Exchange messaging.

As an example, the city’s greenwaste collection service is accessed via a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week telephone answering service. When residents require a collection, they can simply ring the collection service number, listen to the service requirements, and then leave a voicemail, which is routed to the appropriate workgroup queue. This has provided residents with access to a key service outside normal business hours without any additional resourcing from the council, and with the certainty that all voicemails will be responded to in a timely and efficient manner.

“IN TERMS OF FUNCTIONALITY, THE SHORETEL UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS (UC) AND ENTERPRISE CONTACT CENTER (ECC) SOLUTION OFFERED EVERYTHING WE REQUIRED. ADDITIONALLY, THE CAPEX AND OPEX CALCULATIONS WE MADE FOR THE SHORETEL SOLUTION PROVIDED THE BEST TCO.”

Paul Moll, IT Manager
City of Subiaco

The solution included ShoreTel Voice Appliances, including one at its disaster recovery site, which also offers N+1 redundancy for any hardware failures across the network. ShoreTel Director provided a single web-based interface to manage its UC and telephony network, freeing up IT resources to manage moves, adds, changes, and deletes internally.

In-house maintenance leads to cost savings

One of the main cost savings has been the reduction in expenditure on management and maintenance. “In terms of management and maintenance, we are now doing the majority of it in-house. The ShoreTel solution is very easy to use, especially with a single management interface,” says Moll.

Another major cost saving is due to the elimination of leased lines. Prior to the ShoreTel solution, every site had its own PSTN lines. Now it operates through the ISDN network. This has resulted in a significant reduction in line rental charges and, for the first time, calls between council offices are now made at no cost over its wide area network

The city promptly answers 99 percent of calls

With 99 percent of calls answered within predefined time limits, thanks to workgroups, Subiaco is meeting its goal to be innovative and responsive, and maintain a strong customer focus. With workgroups configured in the ShoreTel solution, if one staff member from that workgroup is on the phone, the call is automatically routed to another member of the workgroup. The city is also making use of the ShoreTel ECC reporting capabilities, generating statistics measuring calls handled, calls transferred, and calls abandoned. The reports also provide invaluable data on overall call volumes, which can help ensure that staffing levels meet peak demands.

Periods of peak demand, such as payment of rates or dog registrations, can also be handled easily by adding licenses and altering call flows, which can enable the city to provide greater customer support in a similar emergency by rapidly extending the number of contact center staff.

After completing the consultation and design phases, ShoreTel and Communications Plus completed the first phase of installation across six sites in a matter of days. “We now have a communications environment that is the platform for the council to meet its goals to provide great customer experience and service response,” concludes Moll.

“WE NOW HAVE A COMMUNICATIONS ENVIRONMENT THAT IS THE PLATFORM FOR THE COUNCIL TO MEET ITS GOALS TO PROVIDE GREAT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND SERVICE RESPONSE.”

CHALLENGE:

  • The City of Subiaco was dealing with a difficult-to-manage, costly, unscalable, and inflexible telephony environment, limiting its core strategy to be innovative, responsive, and maintaining a strong customer focus.

SOLUTION:

  • The City of Subiaco deployed ShoreTel solutions, including ShoreTel Voice Switches, ShoreTel IP telephones, ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center, and ShoreTel Communicator with Professional, Agent, Supervisor, and Operator Access licenses.

BENEFITS:

  • Single management console for UC
  • Reduced telecommunication and administrative costs
  • Increased responsiveness
  • Compliance with service guidelines