Datacard Case Study
A global ShoreTel deployment provides a transformational communications boost for Datacard in Asia-Pacific
Growth results in disjointed telephony
After consulting with its regional operations and an extensive evaluation process, Datacard decided to implement a standardized, global telephony environment based on a single-image ShoreTel UC infrastructure.
Upgrade functionality, decrease costs
With annual revenues of approximately $400 million and 1,400 employees worldwide, the company has a service and support network that covers more than 120 countries. Datacard’s secure ID and card personalization solutions are used to issue millions of financial cards and identification documents each day.
Datacard’s Asia-Pacific telephony environment, like many organizations, had “grown mostly through osmosis,” explains Angus McDougall, regional vice president for Asia-Pacific Datacard. And, in a number of offices, its telephony systems were aging rapidly, so there was a compelling reason for the organization to move to the new ShoreTel global standard.
Also, Datacard Asia-Pacific has a heavily matrixed organizational structure across the region, with every department having a presence in almost every location, making internal communications a major challenge and telephony one of Datacard’s biggest line items on its monthly expense statement – with high call volumes among countries and back to the head office in the U.S., all charged at long-distance rates.
ShoreTel VoIP is in the cards for Datacard
Datacard’s initial deployment was sparked by an office relocation in Singapore. As part of the office move, Datacard didn’t just replace its phone system with ShoreTel; it replaced its entire networking infrastructure with new equipment.
While in part a requirement to run ShoreTel Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic, Datacard saw the telephony upgrade project as the ideal opportunity to refresh its networking infrastructure across Asia-Pacific.
“Ordinarily, if we wanted to go out and replace the entire network infrastructure, our return on investment timeframe was going to be much longer and the investment much harder to justify. However, because we completed the network upgrade as a ShoreTel rollout, the entire ROI timeframe is much shorter – because we actually have business benefits coming directly out of it,” explains Hasnain Atique, IT analyst at Datacard.
Datacard is using a single ShoreTel UC image from its US headquarters’ ShoreTel UC solution. The company has deployed ShoreTel IP phones across its regional operations and Professional Access licenses for the ShoreTel Communicator desktop UC client. A range of ShoreTel Voice Switches have been deployed according to site requirements, and three ShoreTel Distributed Voice Services (DVS) servers are providing Datacard with redundancy across the region.
Datacard has also deployed ShoreTel VPN Concentrator in Singapore, creating a VPN tunnel back to the Singapore PABX to make international charges at a significantly reduced cost. That has allowed Datacard’s staff to set up a ShoreTel handset at home to become an extension of their office desk phone.
“As a U.S.-based company, we tend to do a lot of conference calls at odd hours. Having phones at home allows our people to dial into those calls. Rather than using their mobile phones, or local and international calling cards from their homes, we are able to make use of this technology in a very cost-efficient fashion for the company,” says McDougall.
“The experience with ShoreTel’s implementation partners has been very positive. And the local ShoreTel management made themselves very available for any issues day or night. If we have a genuine emergency, it’s nice to know that we can get somebody on the phone and they will respond,” McDougall adds.
“THE EXPERIENCE WITH SHORETEL’S IMPLEMENTATION PARTNERS HAS BEEN VERY POSITIVE. AND THE LOCAL SHORETEL MANAGEMENT MADE THEMSELVES VERY AVAILABLE FOR ANY ISSUES DAY OR NIGHT. IF WE HAVE A GENUINE EMERGENCY, IT’S NICE TO KNOW THAT WE CAN GET SOMEBODY ON THE PHONE AND THEY WILL RESPOND.”
Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific
ShoreTel UC delivers ROI in six months Datacard had a very simple and clear cost reduction benefit by deploying ShoreTel. “The driving reason for upgrading to ShoreTel was to cut down the long-distance calls between offices,” says Atique.
Datacard is expecting to see an ROI within six months of deployment at each of its office locations from the cost savings on its monthly phone bills alone.
Datacard is also predicting further cost savings on conference calls as it increases its use of ShoreTel’s conferencing facilities, and reduces its reliance on third-party conferencing providers.
While the ShoreTel solution is meeting Datacard’s requirements in cost savings, the company is benefiting from a range of less “tangible” benefits. ShoreTel UC has delivered some really powerful cultural benefits. McDougall cites India as an example. “Having the ShoreTel system in place has brought the Indian business closer to the rest of the Asia-Pacific organization. It’s just very simple to pick up and dial a ShoreTel extension and get somebody in India, whereas previously it was challenging for a number of reasons,” explains McDougall.
With the Asia-Pacific business operating across a number of different time zones, countries, languages, and cultures, the improvements in communication are having a profound impact. “Overall, ShoreTel tends to facilitate voice communication – which I’m a huge fan of. I think that we tend to rely too much on email,” says McDougall.
Datacard Asia-Pacific is primarily using ShoreTel ECC for reporting and to gather information about call patterns, but is planning to move it to a full customer-centric, contact center capability, integrated with its Oracle CRM application, when the company deploys ShoreTel in its eight offices across Japan.
“OVERALL, SHORETEL TENDS TO FACILITATE VOICE COMMUNICATION – WHICH I’M A HUGE FAN OF. I THINK THAT WE TEND TO RELY TOO MUCH ON EMAIL.”
“We are planning to have a common contact center platform globally for our customer service, to provide a 24x7 access capability for our customers anywhere in the world. They can call a local Datacard toll-free number and be patched through to a customer service representative who could be in London, Minneapolis, or Singapore,” McDougall concludes.
- Datacard decided to upgrade to a global standard ShoreTel Unified Communications (UC) and Enterprise Contact Center (ECC) platform. For Datacard’s Asia-Pacific region, wrestling with an aging network, the decision was a welcome one.
- Datacard Asia-Pacific has deployed 900 ShoreTel IP phones and ShoreTel Professional Access Communicator licenses, ShoreTel Voice Switches, a ShoreTel VPN Concentrator, and ShoreTel Distributed Voice Services (DVS) servers.
- ROI in six months due to reduced call costs
- Productivity gains and culture improvements
- Audio conferencing cost savings
- Improved regional and global communications