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Mobile Communications: An Odds-on Favorite for Business

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Businesses can cut costs and increase reliable communications with UC mobility features. An industrial parts distributor, a European government agency and a Canadian resort explain why their businesses need mobile.

The mobile lifestyle is here to stay. Grandmothers and middle schoolers use mobile phones in their personal lives, and businesses are embracing mobile devices to stay connected to employees, customers

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Businesses can cut costs and increase reliable communications with UC mobility features. An industrial parts distributor, a European government agency and a Canadian resort explain why their businesses need mobile.

The mobile lifestyle is here to stay. Grandmothers and middle schoolers use mobile phones in their personal lives, and businesses are embracing mobile devices to stay connected to employees, customers, and partners. In our drive to stay in touch, the average mobile worker carries 3.5 mobile devices, according iPass Mobile Workforce Report.

With all these mobile devices and communication options, executives are missing strategic calls because people call the wrong phone. Sales people lose sales because they forget to pick up a voicemail. Employees want and need one phone number and a single voicemail box, no matter how many devices they use to communicate. Businesses are finding that single-number convenience—and significant costs savings—with unified messaging’s mobility features.

Distributor drives productivity with mobile engine

AP+M, a turbine engine parts distributor reaped big financial rewards when it moved to a ShoreTel UC platform. The Boynton Beach, Fla.-based company cut its international roaming costs by 25 percent. More than a third of the company relies on ShoreTel Mobility features, and the platform allows them to make free phone calls overseas via Wi- Fi, and it automatically finds the most cost-effective way of routing calls, which helps cut international roaming and long distance costs.

As a distributor, mobile has always been a part of the company’s business.

“Being able to communicate with customers is critical to our success. Our executives and staff are very mobile these days, both in country and overseas, and we need to ensure that customers can reach us quickly and easily, no matter what or where,” says Angelo Fraioli, the vice president and controller for AP+M.

Everyone at AP+M uses iPhones, and the company’s receptionist had to manually forward incoming calls to workers in the field.

Migrating to ShoreTel eliminated all the call-forwarding hassles.

“Because all staff members now have their own extension and the ability to forward phones calls, we no longer need the switchboard,” says Fraioli.

The company moved the receptionist to a more strategic role in the organization, which netted out to an annual savings of $45,000.

Belgian agency embraces freedom to work from anywhere

The Belgian Federal Public Service Social Security Agency adopted mobility as part of an effort to redefine its cultural vision to focus on digitizing its record system, overhauling the IT infrastructure and remaining client-oriented. Modular, “clean desk” workspaces—eliminating assigned offices—was one outcome of the transformation. Agents were free to work where they wanted to work, and 91 percent decided to telecommute. As the telecommuting workforce mushroomed, a new challenge emerged. The more mobile agents were pushing the cost of cellular phone service higher and contacting people on the first try was happening much less often.

The agency turned to ShoreTel Mobility to cut cellular service costs and give the staff a reliable, robust point of contact.

“Everyone now has one mobile device with a single enterprise number and a softphone,” says Kris Bouten, the product and infrastructure manager for Belgian FPS social Security.

The employees use a mix of Apple iOS devices and Nokia mobile phones. Agents can use their mobile phones as they would the desk phone or softphone. They have UC and PBX functionality, including one enterprise number and voicemail, extension dialing, conferencing, and directory query.

The agency also solved its higher phone bills. With VoIP calling over Wi-Fi and 3G/4G networks, users cut their cellular costs drastically.

“We measured the cost savings on our mobile roaming charges, and we measured the reachability and flexibility of workers in terms of productivity and staff retention. The calculations showed we were able to quickly reach a return on our investment, and we created a better, more agile place to work,” says Bouten.

Communications is at the heart of excellent guest service

The White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa, located near the stunning Niagara Falls, is known for its luxury accommodations and exceptional guest service. And at the heart of that guest experience is an extraordinary attention to detail and the ability for the hotel staff to communicate easily.

“We provide an environment of quiet luxury,” says Adrien Carlyle, IT manager at White Oaks. “Going above and beyond for our customers is our starting point, so communications is critically important to ensure that our teams can quickly and easily resolve issues and provide excellent guest service.”

Hotel staff can easily communicate, no matter where they are on the property, with White Oaks’s ShoreTel phone system and ShoreTel Mobility. Before deploying ShoreTel, the hotel had an aging Mitel phone system that crashed multiple times, causing unacceptable downtime. Cell reception on the property was unreliable as well. With ShoreTel, staff can depend on a brilliantly simple, rock-solid reliable phone system.

“Managers are able to make and take calls easily when outside the office, and appreciate that they can quickly communicate with their teams when needed by simply dialing extensions,” says Carlyle. “Users are easier to reach, they like have their desk extension on their mobiles, and the mobile flexibility makes everyone happier and more productive.”

Mobility at work

This diverse set of organizations is enjoying the cost savings and improved communications of mobile features on their UC platforms. No matter the size of the business or its industry, mobile is very likely to be a part of the business strategy.

In 2012, comScore research showed that 93 percent of the US population had a mobile phone and 50 percent of those were smartphones. Those numbers will continue to increase and businesses will put those mobile phones to work. According to a recent study from J. Gold Associates of mobility in the enterprise, only 2% of companies surveyed say they have no plans to create a mobile strategy. ShoreTel has a robust set of mobility features that will help your mobile workers stay connected and productive while reducing expensive cellular costs.

About ShoreTel

ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOR) is a leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems and unified communications solutions powering today’s always-on workforce. Its flexible communications solutions for on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments eliminate complexity, reduce costs and improve productivity.

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