FHP O-Cedar Case Study
ShoreTel UC helps global manufacturer FHP O-Cedar clean up with savings
New facility needs modern phone system
Stefan Roehrig, director of IT at FHP O-Cedar, knew that a progressive, integrated business communications solution was needed to unify the consolidation at headquarters.
A comprehensive UC solution
Although many top telecommunications companies were vying for FHP O-Cedar’s business, ShoreTel presented a comprehensive UC solution that addressed all of the manufacturer’s key concerns. “Staying with our previous system was not a viable alternative. Because we were going into a new building, we’d already been evaluating many PBX systems and had contacted local partners and direct manufacturers to assess what’s out there. We even researched VoIP options online,” says Roehrig.
FHP O-Cedar first learned of ShoreTel through a local reseller partner, Advanced Telecommunications of Illinois. “We received a call from Mike Bergin who had seen a newspaper article that mentioned hundreds of jobs coming in with our new headquarters moving to town. He quickly introduced us to the ShoreTel system,” Roehrig explains.
From there, Roehrig conducted TCO analyses and criteria comparisons for potential vendors. “ShoreTel came in just about 15 percent below its nearest competitor, Cisco, on TCO. With ShoreTel, we were able to get a very attractive communications system that met all of our criteria—lower TCO, progressive technology that’s simple to operate, and excellent local support,” states Roehrig.
Furthering its long-standing commitment to sustainability, FHP O-Cedar was also delighted to learn that ShoreTel UC systems have significantly lower energy consumption and carbon footprints than other top-tier IP telephony vendors. Studies show a strong correlation between green performance and TCO, and ShoreTel’s TCO advantage confirms this research.
ShoreTel UC shines with green performance and lower TCO
FHP O-Cedar deployed a ShoreTel UC system comprising ShoreTel IP Phones and ShoreTel Voice Switches of various models. ShoreTel Director provides single-console management, and ShoreTel Call Manager fully integrates with Microsoft Outlook. The solution also includes wireless access points on campus for reliable connectivity. The value of the wireless connectivity is to enable workers on the warehouse floor to be mobile and still remain reachable quickly regardless of location through ShoreTel’s four-digit dialing.
Since Roehrig and his team designed a new network, they had the opportunity to ensure that ample capacity and performance were available for the new voice over IP (VoIP) system. ShoreTel uses a fully distributed architecture and is purpose-built with no single point of failure, so switches and phones remain at the ready even if disconnected from network servers. For additional redundancy and reliability, Roehrig divided the equipment between two server rooms with switches in each room for failover.
“We were most impressed with the support and preparation from Advanced Telecommunications for the ShoreTel implementation. Everyone was very organized, the implementation was well structured, and the ShoreTel system was easily configured to meet our users’ needs rather than requiring users to adapt,” explains Roehrig.
One of the prerequisites was to deploy features found in ShoreTel Call Manager software. “We began testing ShoreTel Call Manager integration with Microsoft Outlook among a pilot group of end users. End users liked the voicemail access features available through their remote devices, allowing them to better and more quickly respond to important calls when not in the office,” Roehrig adds.
“SHORETEL CAME IN JUST ABOUT 15 PERCENT BELOW ITS NEAREST COMPETITOR, CISCO, ON TCO. WITH SHORETEL, WE WERE ABLE TO GET A VERY ATTRACTIVE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM THAT MET ALL OF OUR CRITERIA—LOWER TCO, PROGRESSIVE TECHNOLOGY THAT’S SIMPLE TO OPERATE, AND EXCELLENT LOCAL SUPPORT.”
Stefan Roehrig, Director of IT
Freudenberg Household Products (FHP)
FHP O-Cedar is also taking advantage of ShoreTel workgroups and hunt groups. Workgroups provide capabilities to aid agents in the FHP O-Cedar call center with routing, queuing, and monitoring calls, while the hunt groups ensure that calls are proficiently answered in each department or area. Hunt groups use a compound calling-tree framework that rings a cluster of telephone lines in preset order until one is answered.
“Our end users like the sound quality of the phones, and the system as a whole has been very easy and quick to figure out, even if someone has not had training. So far, we’ve been able to add new users, change ACD menus, assign phones, and more,” says Roehrig.
Mopping up savings with integrated IP communications
Since cutting over to its ShoreTel infrastructure, FHP O-Cedar has seen immediate improvements. In addition to the ShoreTel UC system’s 15 percent lower TCO, FHP O-Cedar expects a return on investment in less than one year. “Plus, we recognized that had we continued with our existing phone vendor, we ran the risks of reliability and parts availability. With ShoreTel’s distributed architecture and redundancy, those risks went away,” says Roehrig.
Since ShoreTel’s distributed architecture and userfriendly interface provide reliable, simplified, and unified business communications, FHP O-Cedar has also improved calling times and overall efficiency, and can connect wirelessly with mobile workers in the warehouse.
“Due to ease of use, four-digit dialing, faster execution, and having calls immediately directed to their correct destinations, we’ve been able to reassign the duties of our receptionist because of the time this saves us,” explains Roehrig.
To continue its success with integrated IP communications, FHP O-Cedar is currently testing ShoreTel Softphone for VoIP on desktops and laptops, has plans to implement ShoreTel in the Arkansas branch office, and is planning widespread integration with Microsoft Office Communications Server.
“As we fully roll out the ShoreTel Call Manager integration with Microsoft Outlook, the traveling sales team and management staff will benefit from having voicemail notifications and the .wav files available wherever they are. There’s great value in being able to extend ShoreTel’s enterprise IP telephony across our current product portfolios,” concludes Roehrig.
“OUR END USERS LIKE THE SOUND QUALITY OF THE PHONES, AND THE SYSTEM AS A WHOLE HAS BEEN VERY EASY AND QUICK TO FIGURE OUT, EVEN IF SOMEONE HAS NOT HAD TRAINING. SO FAR, WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO ADD NEW USERS, CHANGE ACD MENUS, ASSIGN PHONES, AND MORE.”
- After consolidating several facilities and functions, FHP O-Cedar wanted to ensure excellent customer service with a powerful and reliable communications system that reduced total cost of ownership.
- The ShoreTel UC solution is co-located in two server rooms in the main building to ensure reliability, and includes ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel Voice Switches, and integrated wireless.
- 15 percent lower TCO than its competitors
- ROI within one year
- Integrated email, voicemail, and mobile
- Improved calling times and staff efficiency