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Cornerstone Solutions Case Study

Case Studies

ShoreTel replaces underperforming major carrier VoIP system and second time around is a charm

Cornerstone Solutions

Small staff needs to work remotely

Although based in Boston, Cornerstone services customers all over the country. During bad weather and other events, employees did not have the phone capabilities needed to work remotely.

Untangle the mess that another carrier created

ACornerstone Solutions was looking for VoIP technology that would provide mobility capabilities, as well as more robust features. Its previous carrier assured Cornerstone it would be an “easy” transition. But within days of the implementation, Dom Pernai, president of Cornerstone Solutions, says that “ineptitude,” “laughable,” and “disaster” were more accurate descriptions of his experience.

“The VoIP never worked the way they said it would,” Pernai explains. “They couldn’t get even the basic services to work, such as voicemailto-email transcription, extension dialing, or call forwarding to cell phones. Even worse, they started billing us immediately even though it took them a year to get the system functioning. Our salesperson told us to ignore the bills until he fixed the issues, but we had a collection agency routinely hassling us.”

The inability to read voicemails in an email resulted in missed opportunities and delayed communications, since many of the Cornerstone Solution employees were traveling and finding it difficult to find time to listen to voicemails.

Pernai was exhausted from spending so much of his time with the carrier and the collection agency rather than managing the company. He knew something had to be done. He complained to one of his trusted IT support partners, who instantly recommended ShoreTel Sky.

The colleague told Pernai how ShoreTel Sky allowed them to keep their business operating on their desk phones when Chicago was hit with a blizzard that shut down Cornerstone Solutions for nearly two days. Pernai realized that with ShoreTel Sky, he could have a truly remote workforce. He called ShoreTel the same day.

ShoreTel Sky delivers robust, reliable solution at a fraction of the cost

Pernai concedes he was nervous to initiate another transition because of his experience with the former carrier, but during his first call with a ShoreTel Sky account manager, he knew he was in good hands. “Stephen Cook easily and eloquently mapped out how the ShoreTel Sky system would work and helped us implement it flawlessly. I have never encountered better customer service than I did with Stephen,” says Pernai.

“It was a nightmare trying to get the carrier to release our phone numbers, but Stephen stayed with them, and us, every step of the way without ever losing his patience. He was, and continues to be, phenomenal,” adds Pernai.

Because the phones simply plug into an Internet router, getting the phones up and running took only minutes. If employees need to work from home, they bring their phone home with them and plug it into their home Internet router. They can also choose to route incoming calls to their cell phones without displaying their personal cell number. Not only does this capability enable the employees to work from virtually anywhere there is an Internet connection, but they can transfer calls to one another despite their locations.

Pernai is especially pleased with the ability for employees to receive emails transcribed from voicemails, something that failed with the previous carrier. Other functions include the user-friendly Web portal to customize preferences, such as configuring the number of rings an office/home office phone will ring before it goes to a cell phone. “I was in Hong Kong once and was able to work from my hotel using my soft phone without customers realizing I was out of the office,” says Pernai. “That kind of connectivity opens up a whole world of opportunities.”

“RARELY AM I ABLE TO INTRODUCE ROI ON DAY ONE,” ADMITS PERNAI. “BUT BECAUSE OF SHORETEL SKY, OUR EMPLOYEES CAN WORK FROM HOME, ENABLING US TO DOWNSIZE OUR OFFICE SPACE AND REDUCE OFFICE EXPENSE OVERHEAD BY TWO-THIRDS. ADDITIONALLY, OUR PHONE EXPENSE HAS DROPPED 50 PERCENT EACH MONTH COMPARED WITH WHAT WE WERE SPENDING WITH OUR OLD CARRIER.”

Dom Pernai, President
Cornerstone Solutions

The Internet connectivity also permits Cornerstone’s employees to better communicate. For example, one employee, who works from a home office, has poor cell coverage in her house. Muddled phone conversations of the past are now clear using the ShoreTel Sky phone plugged into her Internet router. Employees can also use fourdigit extension dialing.

Immediate ROI, true mobility, and reliability

“Rarely am I able to introduce ROI on day one,” admits Pernai. “But because of ShoreTel Sky, our employees can work from home, enabling us to downsize our office space and reduce office expense overhead by two-thirds. Additionally, our phone expense has dropped 50 percent each month compared with what we were spending with our old carrier.”

Cornerstone Solutions has yet to call for ShoreTel support because the system has never failed. No matter where an employee is, the quality and reliability of the phones remains constant. “With a more dispersed workforce, we can provide better geographical coverage,” says Pernai. “I am amazed at how something as basic as a phone system has so dramatically transformed our business.”

“WITH A MORE DISPERSED WORKFORCE, WE CAN PROVIDE BETTER GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE,” SAYS PERNAI. “I AM AMAZED AT HOW SOMETHING AS BASIC AS A PHONE SYSTEM HAS SO DRAMATICALLY TRANSFORMED OUR BUSINESS.”

CHALLENGE:

  • For years, Cornerstone Solutions used analog phones provided by a major U.S. carrier. When the carrier offered to transition the company to its new VoIP platform, Cornerstone Solutions was on board. Unfortunately, the service was a disaster.

SOLUTION:

  • Although apprehensive about VoIP, Cornerstone Solutions decided to bring in ShoreTel Sky and give a hosted VoIP platform another try. The quality, reliability, and ROI transformed Cornerstone’s business.

BENEFITS:

  • Immediate ROI
  • Mobility for remote workers
  • Reduced office expense by two-thirds
  • 50 percent reduction in phone costs