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Protégé Partners Case Study

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Hedge fund firm Protégé Partners bets on ShoreTel Sky for better reliability, features, and service

Protégé Partners

Piecemeal architecture and poor service resulted in a disconnect

Protégé Partners hedge fund manages more than $2.2 billion. It had an existing hosted PBX, Cisco Call Manager, that it attempted to convert into a multi-tenancy cloud architecture, but it wasn’t working.

Need to transition from Cisco Call Manager to a more reliable solution

While the idea of a multi-tenancy cloud architecture was ambitious, the Cisco solution is intended for on-premises installation within a company’s network to service only that customer. Problems were inevitable.

“There were a lot of issues with reliability,” says Alex Zagajewski, IT manager at Protégé Partners. “Their customized product frequently went down, features became unavailable, and customer service was lacking.”

“We had problems with international service because of the cut-rate provider our partner was using. The system offered no mobility options or remote access to applications for our staff that works from home. They need to have access to their voicemail and be able to make and receive calls without having to sit in front of their phones. Productivity and satisfaction rates suffered,” remarks Zagajewski.

Customer service was always an issue with Protégé Partner’s previous provider. Recurring issues with an old circuit made the phones unreliable, yet the provider continued to patch it instead of replacing it. “We don’t do much direct trading, so we are always on the phone,” explains Zagajewski. “For us, telecom is a critical, integral part of our business. Not having phone service even for an hour can translate into significant issues.”

Unfortunately for Protégé Partners, its previous telecom provider not only ignored its requests to replace the circuit, but Zagajewski says it never reviewed its products, reliability, or feature set When the contract was finally terminated, the provider’s CTO called Zagajewski to inform him of a more reliable platform it had rolled out two years ago yet somehow had never discussed previously as an option. “I knew we needed to find a better provider and solution but didn’t want to make a huge investment in equipment,” says Zagajewski. A hosted VoIP system seemed to be the answer.

ShoreTel Sky provides a true, industry leading VoIP solution

When Zagajewski began his search for a true, cloud-based VoIP solution, ShoreTel Sky was a top contender. “The more I looked at ShoreTel Sky, the quicker I realized that their turnkey solution offered what our other provider was unsuccessfully trying to piece together,” he says. “The ShoreTel Sky cloud architecture and phones require no heavy upfront investment, are feature rich, and can be installed quickly. Even better, I don’t have to maintain them anymore.”

Some of the many popular features among Protégé Partners users are Find Me Follow Me, ShoreTel Scribe voicemail-to-email, ad hoc conferencing, and remote access to all phone resources. Remote access enables staff to work from virtually anywhere and provides Protégé Partners with a reliable disaster recovery plan. If the office isn’t accessible or the infrastructure is disabled for any reason, employees can use their soft phones and Web portal without having to have a physical VoIP phone. Business runs as usual.

“THE MORE I LOOKED AT SHORETEL SKY, THE QUICKER I REALIZED THAT THEIR TURNKEY SOLUTION OFFERED WHAT OUR OTHER PROVIDER WAS UNSUCCESSFULLY TRYING TO PIECE TOGETHER. THE SHORETEL SKY CLOUD ARCHITECTURE AND PHONES REQUIRE NO HEAVY UPFRONT INVESTMENT, ARE FEATURE RICH, AND CAN BE INSTALLED QUICKLY. EVEN BETTER, I DON’T HAVE TO MAINTAIN THEM ANYMORE.”

Alex Zagajewski, IT Manager
Protégé Partners

Accessibility is important to Zagajewski, particularly since he supports 35 staff members on a 24x7 basis. “Our previous provider’s only mobility option was to support Cisco Wi-Fi phones, which lacked functionality and were too expensive to issue to the staff,” says Zagajewski. “Find Me Follow me works anywhere and is so affordable, the entire company can utilize the feature. When my desk phone rings, my cell rings at the same time, making me much more available…making us all more available to each other and to our customers.”

The online portal is another feature Zagajewski uses daily. Instead of contacting support with every administrative need, the online portal enables him to do most of the work. He saves time and his customers receive faster service, which translates into higher satisfaction rates.

Protégé Partners now has better call quality, more features, greater reliability, and improved customer service

Protégé Partners feels more confident in its communications capabilities, both internally and externally, with better call quality, more features, greater reliability, and improved customer service. Staff members can be productive despite their physical location and Zagajewski doesn’t have a complicated, aging phone platform to support.

“Honestly, getting the extra functionality was gravy compared to the improved reliability we receive with ShoreTel Sky,” says Zagajewski. “We needed a phone that worked, a phone that would enable us to do our jobs better. When so much of your business relies on personal communication, phones are everything. You don’t realize how important it is until you don’t have good ones. The difference in our level of service to our customers and with each other is remarkable.”

While Protégé Partners continues to grow, it hasn’t forgotten the importance of giving back. Philanthropy is part of its culture, and finding ways to share its success is personal. Every charity it selects means something to someone in the company. “We are good at what we do at Protégé Partners,” says Zagajewski. “But we are even better when we use our success to make a meaningful difference in the world.”

“HONESTLY, GETTING THE EXTRA FUNCTIONALITY WAS GRAVY COMPARED TO THE IMPROVED RELIABILITY WE RECEIVE WITH SHORETEL SKY. WE NEEDED A PHONE THAT WORKED, A PHONE THAT WOULD ENABLE US TO DO OUR JOBS BETTER.”

CHALLENGE:

  • Protégé Partners was using hosted PBX, Cisco Call Manager, but reliability was an issue when the customized product frequently went down, features became unavailable, and customer service was lacking.

SOLUTION:

  • After reviewing vendors, Protégé Partners chose the ShoreTel Sky cloud architecture. The solution and phones require no heavy upfront investment, are feature rich, can be installed quickly, and require little, if any, IT maintenance.

BENEFITS:

  • Turnkey solution
  • Reliable disaster recovery plan
  • Ad hoc conferencing
  • ShoreTel Scribe voicemail-to-email