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Higgs & Sons Case Study

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Case Studies

Higgs & Sons used ShoreTel ‘s UC system to consolidate communications, enhance remote access, and provide better customer service

Higgs & Sons

Law firm rules in favor of an upgrade

The law firm’s legacy telephony system occasionally limited its ability to interact effectively with customers and staff. Its IT network also suffered due to an incorrect configuration and its WAN running at full capacity.

A cost-effective system to federate workers

After upgrading the network, the firm evaluated different IP-based communication systems from Mitel, Cisco, and ShoreTel, inviting partners to submit proposals and give product demonstrations.

The evaluation process identified the ShoreTel Unified Communications (UC) system as the best solution. “We opted for the ShoreTel UC system as it not only proved to be the most scalable and easy to manage, but also offered an all-inclusive cluster licensing,” says Stephen Brown, IT director for Higgs & Sons. “Competing systems hosted modularized licensing, strapping additional costs on for features, whereas the ShoreTel licensing model bundled all features, necessary hardware, and supporting costs together, and proved to be the most cost-effective system.”

By standardizing on the ShoreTel UC system, Higgs & Sons consolidated communications across its offices, enhanced remote access, and ensured that client inquiries are dealt with quickly and effectively.

Federating the workforce

Solar Communications worked with Higgs & Sons to identify areas where ShoreTel’s UC solution could federate its disparate workforce. Higgs & Sons’ existing fragmented system prevented clients and partners from connecting easily. ShoreTel’s advanced calling options, including caller ID name and number, enabled calls to be pre-screened and routed to the appropriate person.

By integrating voicemail capability, Higgs & Sons users also can retrace missed calls. Voicemails can be accessed locally, using a telephone or PC, or remotely via telephone or computer connections, ensuring users can follow up with missed calls, irrespective of their location.

Due to the demanding nature of the job, Higgs & Sons workforce is often off-site with clients, or travelling between offices. ShoreTel Communicator with mobile access offers employees the same communications tools and integration with Microsoft Outlook as though they are at their desk phone.

Higgs & Sons staff can now accept calls, view voicemails, and use Microsoft Outlook directories to identify phone numbers and make calls in a single click. Clients can now reach all employees, regardless of location, while all users can collaborate easily and quickly to ensure fast response to client and partner enquiries.

“We have witnessed increased productivity of our employees as a result of receiving full remote access to calls, voicemail, and email services,” Brown explains. “Staff are no longer afraid of missing important client calls if they step away from the office. Everyone has access to the same capabilities whether they are at their desk, at home, or with a client.”

ShoreTel’s distributed, scalable UC system offers 99.999% availability

ShoreTel and Solar Communications worked together to ensure the installation was performed smoothly, meeting with Higgs & Sons weekly to discuss the project’s progress. The existing array of hubs, cluttering Higgs & Sons server room, was removed and replaced with a compact, featurerich system.

“COMPETING SYSTEMS HOSTED MODULARIZED LICENSING, STRAPPING ADDITIONAL COSTS ON FOR FEATURES, WHEREAS THE SHORETEL LICENSING MODEL BUNDLED ALL FEATURES, NECESSARY HARDWARE, AND SUPPORTING COSTS TOGETHER, AND PROVED TO BE THE MOST COSTEFFECTIVE SYSTEM.”

Stephen Brown, IT Director
Higgs & Sons

“Solar’s honest, open attitude, coupled with technical expertise and product knowledge, ensured a trouble-free deployment,” adds Brown. “Due to the size of this project, the implementation was complex, and Solar was invaluable in guiding us through the different phases, overcoming any issue that arose.”

Higgs & Sons revenue depends on constantly superior client service, so enhanced disaster recovery was at the forefront of the firm’s mind when implementing the new system. The
ShoreTel UC system is a completely distributed, scalable solution layered on the IP network with no single point of failure—offering Higgs & Sons the 99.999 percent availability required for mission-critical operations.

ShoreTel simplifies communications

By leveraging all voice calls over IP, Higgs & Sons has simplified communications across the company. The ShoreTel UC system lets the IT staff move and manage numbers across the organization, and scales easily as the company continues to grow.

“The ShoreTel UC system is both intuitive and easy to use,” says Helen Hill, head of front of house at Higgs & Sons. “We have quickly adapted to the new system and are able to make full use of all its features without the need for any specific technical knowledge.”

Higgs & Sons has taken back control of its phone system and now has a solution suited to its business needs. Integrating staff across Higgs & Sons offices has simplified internal communications and ensured that the firm offers the personal service demanded by its clients. ShoreTel’s UC system has federated Higgs & Sons’ workforce and ensures its staff never misses a call.

“WE HAVE WITNESSED INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY OF OUR EMPLOYEES AS A RESULT OF RECEIVING FULL REMOTE ACCESS TO CALLS, VOICEMAIL, AND EMAIL SERVICES. EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO THE SAME CAPABILITIES WHETHER THEY ARE AT THEIR DESK, AT HOME, OR WITH A CLIENT”

CHALLENGE:

  • As its workforce increasingly relies on remote access, Higgs & Sons needed a system that offered increased visibility and ensured all client calls reached the partners, irrespective of their location.

SOLUTION:

  • A ShoreTel UC system with ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel Voice Switches, ShoreTel Communicator with mobile access, and ShoreTel Converged Conferencing.

BENEFITS:

  • Advanced call handling
  • Consolidation of communications across offices
  • Access to ShoreTel from mobile devices
  • Single-image system eases management