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Olivet Nazarene University Case Study

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Olivet Nazarene University graduates to ShoreTel due to ease of use, up to $300,000 in cost savings, and its clear technology roadmap 

Olivet Nazarene University

Unable to scale

The growing university needed an easily scalable system to accommodate growth on multiple campuses across three states. IT looked at Cisco, Avaya, Mitel, NEC, Linked, and AT&T, all of which fell short in one area or another when compared to ShoreTel.

Infrastructure needed an upgrade

Six years ago, Olivet explored implementing Unified Communications, but lacked the infrastructure or the network needed to execute its plans. In addition, its stand-alone email system was unable to easily integrate with other features.

After the university did its due diligence, and ShoreTel became the obvious choice, Olivet needed to make some changes prior to implementation. “When we first looked at UC, we didn’t have the infrastructure or a robust network across all of our campuses. Now we do, and we were ready for a UC system. We did some monitoring and to make sure that voice data would have high priority. Our partner had the tools to study the traffic and there are some tweaks we had to make, but otherwise every aspect of the implementation went smoothly,” says Dennis Seymour, chief information officer at Olivet.

ShoreTel Communicator gets high marks from faculty

The university staff has been extremely satisfied with ShoreTel’s UC features, especially ShoreTel Communicator. “They love ShoreTel Communicator and so do I. We don’t need to print a phonebook anymore because our staff can go to either the ShoreTel Communicator or their phone and locate anybody they’re looking for on our system,” explains Seymour.

The mobility feature is another faculty favorite. Users just click on email and can listen to the voicemail anytime, anywhere, with the proliferation of iPads and smartphones. Transitioning to ShoreTel Conferencing is also on the radar. Once the university ends its current third-party contract this year, it will use ShoreTel Conferencing and expects to save $16,000 a year. Additional cost savings are estimated at $200,000 to $300,000 over the next three years due to ShoreTel’s significantly lower total cost of ownership.

Owning the latest telephony technology also helps the university recruit top talent. “The benefit of having the latest technology is its ease of use and productivity features. For example, we can videoconference and have a conference call with candidates across the country without the expense of flying there or bringing them on campus. And if faculty can come to an institution like ours and quickly get up to speed and use the technology, the more effective they’re going to be in administering to the students, which is the most important outcome of all,” says Seymour.

“THEY LOVE SHORETEL COMMUNICATOR AND SO DO I. WE DON’T NEED TO PRINT A PHONEBOOK ANYMORE BECAUSE OUR STAFF CAN GO TO EITHER THE SHORETEL
COMMUNICATOR OR THEIR PHONE AND LOCATE ANYBODY THEY’RE LOOKING FOR ON OUR SYSTEM.”

Dennis Seymour, Chief Information Officer
Olivet Nazarene University

ShoreTel is a textbook success story of using telephony to meet business goals

According to Seymour, ShoreTel was the right choice for Olivet and aligns with its strategic plans. The institution has initiatives to increase the number of online students by 5,000 over the next two years, which will require a lot of orchestration and communication.

“Having ShoreTel in place gives us the ability to respond in any way to any call and receive a call anytime anywhere, whether it’s from recruiters on the road or agile faculty in the field. It has streamlined processes and workflow. Users can get to their voicemail and communicate wherever they can get Wi-Fi or have data signal, and you wouldn’t even know if they’re on campus or off campus. It just keeps us connected,” says Seymour.

“ShoreTel had everything we were looking for. It was a lot easier to learn; it was less expensive; and maintaining the system was much simpler than any others we considered. I have 44 people on my IT team and seven people on the actual infrastructure team. But only three people were involved in the ShoreTel implementation. And right now there’s one person responsible for maintenance, and that’s not a full-time job. I tell everyone who asks that ShoreTel is a great UC system,” concludes Seymour.

"HAVING SHORETEL IN PLACE GIVES US THE ABILITY TO RESPOND IN ANY WAY TO ANY CALL AND RECEIVE A CALL ANYTIME ANYWHERE, WHETHER IT’S FROM RECRUITERS ON THE ROAD OR AGILE FACULTY IN THE FIELD. IT HAS STREAMLINED PROCESSES AND WORKFLOW. IT JUST KEEPS US CONNECTED.”

CHALLENGE:

  • Olivet was unable to scale its Siemens system to meet student population growth, and its two newer Avaya systems were prohibitively expensive to upgrade. Both also lacked modern, robust Unified Communications (UC) features.

SOLUTION:

  • Olivet chose ShoreTel’s VoIP UC system, and deployed 1,300 phones, due to its ease of implementation, user-friendly interface, and included UC features that saved an additional $75,000.

BENEFITS:

  • Easy for users to adopt
  • Ease of system management
  • Clear technology roadmap and cloud strategy
  • TCO savings of up to $300,000 over three years