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CVUK Case Study

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After shopping around for a scalable IP solution, retail recruiter CVUK decides ShoreTel is the perfect candidate

CVUK Case Study

Flexible IP system to replace PBXs

CVUK decided that replacing the existing PBX system, initially at its London head office, with something more flexible and scalable, was essential.

An IP solution with exceptional call management and greater ease of use

As part of improving the service it provides, CVUK decided to review one of the most important elements of the business – its phone system. The company established a shortlist of requirements that the new system would have to meet to make a real difference to the business.

“As well as enhancing and unifying our communications, we had the unusual requirement of wanting to take existing phones off the desk,” says Vanessa Elias, managing director at CVUK. “Having a clear, tidy desk is important to me, and it’s important in this business to create the right impression.”

The existing system lacked control, such as the ability to handle incoming calls smoothly. An alternative that featured better call management and greater ease of use was clearly needed. Another key consideration was a phone system that offered integration with Candidate Plus, a specialized software suite for recruitment consultancies in use throughout CVUK’s operations.

The old system, furthermore, was reaching the limits of expandability. “It was threatening to make expansion plans difficult for us, and it was definitely operating right at the edge of its capabilities,” adds Elias.

To help select the best option to meet these needs, CVUK approached Building Zones, a firm well experienced in the deployment of telephony solutions. “We were asked to evaluate a number of different vendors,” says Jason Green, chief technology officer with Building Zones. “We looked at Cisco, Avaya, and ShoreTel. ShoreTel’s products were more cost-effective and provided the required feature set, so we chose them.”

CVUK employs ShoreTel due to its advanced feature set and cost-effective products

At the heart of the new system was the ShoreTel Voice Switch, which offered call management and the ability to unify communications across multiple locations, increasing employee productivity and enabling customer satisfaction.

Also part of CVUK’s new setup was the ShoreTel-E1 switch, which provided high-density connectivity, used by many organizations for international applications.

CVUK also now has the ShoreTel SoftPhone desktop utility in use with 35 of its employees, allowing them to make or receive calls on their desktop or laptop PC regardless of location, freeing up space by taking the place of their traditional handset. SoftPhone means that these employees no longer have to be tethered to a phone line to check voicemail or perform other telephony tasks.

Three administration personnel use a ShoreTel IP Phone, which is designed for small businesses and branch offices and has all the features that a user would expect on a much larger telephone system.

The critical management control element was provided by ShoreTel Director software, a browser-based network management tool that provides a single management interface for all voice applications. The software is designed to bypass the complexity of running multiple PBXs, voicemail systems, automated attendants, and ACD systems—all with their multiple management interfaces.

“WE LOOKED AT CISCO, AVAYA, AND SHORETEL. SHORETEL’S PRODUCTS WERE MORE COST-EFFECTIVE AND PROVIDED THE REQUIRED FEATURE SET, SO WE CHOSE THEM.”

Jason Green, Chief Technology Officer
Building Zones

Integration with the Candidate Plus application delivers results

Elias says that the new system has delivered results in many different ways, and has proved a winner with employees despite some initial doubts. One of the major efficiency gains since ShoreTel’s IP telephony system was deployed has come from the integration of the new phone system with Candidate Plus.

“Candidate Plus has been central to the operations of CVUK since we started,” Elias explains. A key reason ShoreTel was chosen ahead of other vendors was the ease with which it integrates with other applications.”

“There’s no more keying numbers in—it’s all very quick. It also prompts the user to keep better records of their conversations with candidates and clients, and that prompt now an integral part of the contact process. ShoreTel has enabled us to achieve this key milestone in our strategy to implement unified communications and enhance the efficiency of our business processes.”

Elias is also enthusiastic about the flexibility and freedom that the SoftPhone element has delivered. “There’s so much you can do with SoftPhone that you can’t do with traditional phones,” she says. “It makes working from home a lot easier. Not many of us work from home at the moment, but something we’ll be able to do more of from now on.”

She says there’s also an important customer service dividend from making it easier and more seamless to get through to CVUK staff, regardless of where they are.

ShoreTel IP enables CVUK to improve productivity and cut costs

Elias says that while there have definitely been savings on the cost of phone calls since getting into IP telephony, the real benefits she has measured so far are in improved productivity. “I can see at a glance exactly what calls have been made by whom,” she says. “It’s a good thing in a company like ours, where phone use is so central to what we do, to be able to judge the productivity and performance of the people using the phones.”

Asked to name her favorite features of the new system, Elias describes the integration with Candidate Plus as “absolutely amazing,” adding, “I also like having hold music, which we didn’t before, plus the ease of dialing. It’s also great to know who’s calling you before you pick up, and it’s really easy now to divert calls. It’s definitely lived up to expectations so far.”

“CANDIDATE PLUS HAS BEEN CENTRAL TO THE OPERATIONS OF CVUK SINCE WE STARTED,” ELIAS EXPLAINS. A KEY REASON SHORETEL WAS CHOSEN AHEAD OF OTHER VENDORS WAS THE EASE WITH WHICH IT INTEGRATES WITH OTHER APPLICATIONS.”

CHALLENGE:

  • To replace an old PBX system that was nearing the end of life with a more flexible and scalable solution that offered better call management, improved integration with key software, and more streamlined desk space.

SOLUTION:

  • An IP-based system focused around ShoreTel hardware and software, which offers future expansion possibilities.

BENEFITS:

  • Cost savings
  • Smaller desktop footprint
  • Increase productivity  
  • Tools to measure performance

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