Conceptus Case Study
ShoreTel UC transforms Conceptus’ inflexible and outdated phone environment into a modern solution to simplify and extend global interactions
Legacy system started to fail
Conceptus’ AltiGen legacy telephone system could no longer keep up. With the Versailles office opening up, the medical device company needed seamless and reliable business communications.
An easy-to-manage solution
Growing its employee base by about 10 percent each year, and its revenues by nearly 30 percent annually, Conceptus needed a highly reliable, versatile, and easy-to-manage communications solution to support business expansion.
More than half of the company works from the field conducting sales calls and support, while the rest of Conceptus employees work at the corporate offices, which include a call center for order entry, customer service, and sales. One of the major issues the company faced was that field sales staff was experiencing increasing difficulty accessing corporate staff.
“Our vision for an effective unified communications (UC) solution is to enable the staff to communicate at any time, from any place and on any device they choose,” says Jeff Letasse, vice president of IT and business systems at Conceptus. “From a business perspective, this means ensuring we have the technical capabilities to interact with customers, suppliers, and each other, whether through email, instant messaging, chat, conferencing, or voice.”
Finding the right mix of technology and teamwork
To ensure a new telephony solution would integrate seamlessly with the Microsoft Office Communicator (MOC) interface, Letasse requested a short list of prospective system vendors from Microsoft. Near the end of his investigation, a timely phone call from ShoreTel reseller 3GC Group introduced the ShoreTel system into the evaluation process as the best solution for meeting both telephony and integration requirements.
“ShoreTel offered the deepest integration with the Microsoft Office Communicator Server, the best price by 20 percent, and the feature set to champion our goals. Beyond the functionality and longevity of a UC system, we had to have a cooperative spirit and execution abilities between the vendor, Microsoft, and the implementation team. With ShoreTel, Microsoft, and 3GC Group, we felt like we had the right mix,” Letasse explains.
ShoreTel Unified Communications is just what the doctor ordered
The ShoreTel UC system included ShoreTel IP Phones in the corporate office. Staff members in the field who rely on cellular telephones or softphone technology now use direct inward dialing (DID) to connect into the ShoreTel system, which helps avoid long-distance charges, and ensures that they reach the right person.
ShoreTel Voice Switches deliver voice over IP (VoIP) telephony with unparalleled reliability and availability, helping to extend the system capabilities and secure access to remote IP phones and SIP service providers. The switches also provide support for the existing analog telephones used in conference rooms. ShoreTel’s switch-based platform helps keep the phone system up and running, even in case of a network failure, while the open distributed architecture simplifies interaction with existing infrastructure.
“We’re very satisfied with the ShoreTel implementation and our ability to move forward with the promise of Unified Communications,” Letasse continues. “ShoreTel gave us the freedom to unify how our company communicates. Everyone can interact with the same corporate branding look and feel no matter what device they are using.”
“OUR VISION FOR AN EFFECTIVE UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS (UC) SOLUTION IS TO
ENABLE THE STAFF TO COMMUNICATE AT ANY TIME, FROM ANY PLACE AND ON ANY DEVICE THEY CHOOSE.”
Vice president of IT and Business Systems
Integrating with Microsoft Products
The ShoreTel system was seamlessly integrated with Microsoft products wherever possible, including Microsoft Office Communicator Server and interface, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Exchange.
Employees using both Microsoft Office Communicator and ShoreTel Communicator illustrate one example of the transparency between systems to place and route calls. Using the Microsoft Office Communicator screen, employees can right-mouse-click to initiate a voice call or leave voicemail through the ShoreTel system, which connects directly to the intended recipient or cycles through any hunt groups or workgroups in place for expedient calling.
“We integrated a call-recording application with ShoreTel and plan to deploy the Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration, too. ShoreTel makes this easy with a built-in integration structure that facilitates caller-ID pop-up screens from the CRM system and also allows us to tie together both CRM and phone system metrics,” Letasse explains.
ShoreTel increases communication options and reduces costs
The ShoreTel system has helped dramatically increase communications options and connectivity to the international offices. “With ShoreTel and Microsoft, we have enabled UC and conferencing,” says Eric Simmons, director of IT operations and ERP systems for Conceptus. “This powerful combination allowed us to complete an ERP software implementation in our sales office in France with minimal travel expense. We saved $20,000 in the first three months.”
“We can hold highly effective daily tactical sessions or weekly project meetings with people in different places. We can call France using four-digit dialing or the conferencing options or roundtable software—there are so many ways to connect and to save money at the same time,” Simmons adds.
Enjoying the Freedom of Unified Communications
With highly efficient and easy-to-operate communications, Conceptus has eliminated the need for external pay-as-you-go tools and has reduced conferencing costs by 50 percent or $30,000 annually. “And we cut travel requirements for staff because it’s so easy to collaborate with our integrated tools. We are more efficient as a company, and efficient communications lead to better and faster results for our customers,” Simmons says.
Phone system reliability has also improved at Conceptus. Since implementing ShoreTel, the company has not experienced any communications downtime. “ShoreTel provides a highly reliable and scalable solution, with switch-based and open distributed architecture, and N+1 redundancy, for five-nines availability across multiple sites and geographies,” says Letasse.
“Overall, the implementation of our ShoreTel solution has catapulted a sense of freedom across the entire organization,” concludes Letasse.
“AND WE CUT TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS FOR STAFF BECAUSE IT’S SO EASY TO COLLABORATE WITH OUR INTEGRATED TOOLS. WE ARE MORE EFFICIENT AS A COMPANY, AND EFFICIENT COMMUNICATIONS LEAD TO BETTER AND FASTER RESULTS FOR OUR CUSTOMERS.”
The legacy AltiGen phone system capacity was not sufficient to accommodate corporate growth and office expansion, or offer the additional benefits of integration with Microsoft Office Communications Server.
Conceptus implemented a ShoreTel UC system integrated with Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) and included ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel Voice Switches, ShoreTel Communicator, and ShoreTel Director.
- Deep integration with Microsoft OCS
- Reduced conferencing costs by 50 percent
- Savings of $30,000 annually
- High availability with no downtime