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Markem-Imaje Case Study

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Case Studies

Markem-Imaje labels ShoreTel as the best UC system for global deployment

Competitive pressures make communication critical

Communication is critical, especially in a market where global competition is tough. After the Markem and Imaje merger, its aging telephone systems no longer supported new features and communications technology.

Finding a platform that supported call centers across borders.

After the integration of Markem and Imaje, CIO Frans Laverman began looking for a new communications platform that supported call centers across borders, required minimal IT staff in each region, and could share services and applications regardless of location.

“We wanted the ability to share call centers across borders and still allow people to call local numbers,” explains Laverman. “Not only is this important for customer service, but we wanted to share distributed internal resources and expertise, too.”

Before the integration, Markem and Imaje evaluated a number of competitive products. After seeing ShoreTel demonstrations and testing the ShoreTel UC system, they decided that ShoreTel offered high-quality features, the lowest total cost of ownership, and the ease of system management and support throughout its network of offices.

“Markem was already using ShoreTel at about 15 of its offices,” said Andy Cheung, director of network infrastructure at Markem-Imaje. “The ShoreTel ease of installation reduces support needs. The system is highly reliable and we felt ShoreTel’s fresh approach was a good fit with our own culture of technology innovation.”

ShoreTel consolidates the global network.

Markem-Imaje decided to standardize on the ShorePhone® IP 230 telephones, deploying more than 2,100 phones across its offices. About 25 sites have ShoreGear® T1 or ShoreGear E1 voice switches in combination with existing analog devices. The company also deployed a 32-port ShoreTel Converged Conferencing solution and ShoreWare® Contact Center.

IT staff training was conducted during the initial system installation in Keene, New Hampshire. After half a day, Cheung and his technical specialist were able to deploy an additional 15 locations in less than five months.

“The ShoreTel UC system is so simple to administer that I can deploy a site for between 40 to 60 users in less than four days,” says Cheung. “Plus, I don’t need to engage IT teams in other countries to help with the phone system because ShoreTel makes it easy to manage from a central location, and its plug-and-play deployment supports global growth.”

Markem-Imaje is using ShoreWare Contact Center in the Keene, New Hampshire office, which has 32 agents. The ShoreWare Contact Center enables the company to process calls throughout the U.S. and put them through to the appropriate agents in the various offices.

“Not only have we been able to establish a regional call center, but ShoreWare Contact Center enables us to measure the quality of service, monitor queues, and keep track of issues like abandoned or missed calls,” explains Laverman.

Additional features such as work groups, hunt groups, and automated call distribution help Markem-Imaje ensure that calls are answered quickly and by the most appropriate person. Supervisors also use the reporting capabilities provided in work groups to improve the efficiency of their operations. Every extension now has voicemail, even in the smaller locations, which previously did not warrant the additional expense of a PBX system.

“WE HAD A MUSEUM PATCHWORK OF OLD TELEPHONE SYSTEMS THAT WERE COSTLY TO MAINTAIN, AND RESULTED IN HIGH CALLING COSTS ACROSS THE COMPANY. SHORETEL’S
LEAST-COST CALL ROUTING REDUCES THE COST OF MAKING INTERNATIONAL CALLS, WHILE OPTIMIZING THE RESOURCES WE HAVE AT EACH LOCATION. TO BE A GLOBAL, AGILE COMPANY, WE NEED GOOD-QUALITY COMMUNICATIONS, AND SHORETEL HAS GIVEN US THAT EDGE.”

Frans Laverman, CIO
Markem-Imaje

“Some of our smaller offices are now using ShoreTel’s analog interface with a weatherproof intercom system and hunt groups to answer the door,” says Laverman. “And the visibility into our call flows that we now have with the ShoreTel system means we can optimize these types of features to best suit the needs of the individual offices and the workers in them.”

ShoreTel Converged Conferencing improves cross-functional collaboration.

Prior to the ShoreTel deployment, the Keene, New Hampshire office was using WebEx and other third-party conference bridges, which were resulting in high costs throughout the company. ShoreTel Converged Conferencing is now used both internally and externally for audio conferencing.

“We have just upgraded our conference bridge and will further enable more features, which will provide more interactive, cost-effective collaboration, and we’re also expanding it to our European office as well,” says Cheung. “Like many companies, we’re encouraging employees to reduce travel costs and ShoreTel Converged Conferencing will help us deliver this. Computer-based training from ShoreTel will simplify user training and help adoption of the advanced features.”

Most Markem-Imaje employees are also using ShoreWare Personal Call Manager, integrated with Microsoft Outlook. This powerful desktop application enables employees to dial from Microsoft Outlook directories, instantly access a history of calls, and manage call flows by assigning extensions to mobile or other devices to ensure important calls are not missed.

“There are still many employees who like to use the telephone, and like the elegant, ergonomic design of the ShorePhone IP 230 on their desks,” remarks Laverman. “However, unless I’m mobile, I only use ShoreWare Personal Call Manager from my PC now. It’s so easy to navigate, screen and manage calls, and being able to keep and file voicemail messages on my PC helps me better prioritize and return calls quickly.”

ShoreTel provides global peace of mind.

With so many offices in so many different locations, trunk outages are not uncommon and in the past were a main source of disruption to customer service. But ShoreTel’s distributed architecture has enabled Laverman and his team to install redundant ShoreTel Voice Switches with automatic failover to ensure five nine availability. This configuration is unique to the ShoreTel architecture, and helps ensure that both incoming and outgoing calls continue to be processed even when a trunk line is lost.

“This degree of reliability is unprecedented in the history of both companies,” says Laverman. “Not only are we able to share resources across borders, but we can share peace of mind, too.”

 “We had a museum patchwork of old telephone systems that were costly to maintain, and resulted in high calling costs across the company,” concludes Laverman. “ShoreTel’s least-cost call routing reduces the cost of making international calls, while optimizing the resources we have at each location. To be a global, agile company, we need good-quality communications, and ShoreTel has given us that edge.”

CHALLENGE:

  • World manufacturer of product identification and traceability solutions, Markem-Imaje, needs to consolidate its global network of phone systems on one easy-to-manage, highly available, and cost-effective UC system that scales quickly and easily for growth.

SOLUTION:

  • ShoreTel delivered more than 2,100 ShorePhone IP 230 telephones worldwide, running on ShoreGear® T1 or ShoreGear E1 voice switches in combination with existing analog devices, a 32-port ShoreTel Converged Conferencing solution, and ShoreWare Contact Center.

BENEFITS:

  • Ease of deployment
  • Reduced maintenance time and costs
  • Easy-to-use remote collaboration
  • Disaster recovery capabilities