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Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors Case Study

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Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors is sold on ShoreTel IP Unified Communication’s ability to improve the bottom line

Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors

Mixed bag of phone systems

During periods of contraction, Prudential Fox & Roach employs an acquisition strategy to grow the business. Many acquired offices had old PBX phone systems, many of which were no longer supported and lacked available parts.

Cost-effectively standardize on a single solution

Like all full-service home companies, Prudential Fox & Roach must constantly react to the expanding and contracting real estate business and has a constantly changing workforce. The company also acquired other firms, which left it with a hodgepodge of phone systems.

“We needed to standardize on a single voice system and wanted a solution that could be cost-effectively deployed in each new office and make it quick and easy for us to adapt to constant staff changes,” says William Friemann, vice president of operations, security, and compliance.

Prudential Fox & Roach looked at new PBX-based systems from Avaya, Fujitsu, and more, as well as hosted IP services from a number of carriers, and IP UC solutions to bring in-house. According to Friemann, ease of installation, management, and administration was one of the organization’s top criteria, along with cost of ownership, support and training from the vendor, and a wide set of user features. He was familiar with the ShoreTel UC system from a previous position, and looked closely at it again.

“I knew about ShoreTel’s architecture, capabilities, and customer satisfaction levels, and recognized it would be the perfect solution for Prudential Fox & Roach,” he says. Friemann’s colleagues soon became fans of the system as well, and the ShoreTel UC system was selected.

ShoreTel’s IP UC solution helps Prudential Fox & Roach stay ahead of the competition

Liquid Networks, a trusted systems integration partner of ShoreTel, provided Prudential Fox & Roach ShoreTel IP Phones and a ShoreTel voicemail server for its main co-location site in Philadelphia. Seven of the organization’s offices all have a ShoreTel Voice Switch plus a ShoreTel T1 voice switch that connects to the co-location site for access to the voicemail server. Five more offices are scheduled to come online.

Connecting people faster for increased productivity

With the ShoreTel UC system in place and ShoreTel Communicator, integrated with Microsoft Outlook®, all Prudential Fox & Roach agents are now on the same phone and voicemail system and are using four-digit dialing to reach colleagues.

The ShoreTel UC system provides them with integrated messaging, such as directory dialing, contact screen pop, and calendar integration. This means voicemail shows up in their email inboxes, desktop call control agents to control the way their phones work, and features like Find Me allow them to have calls track them down wherever they are—at their desk, on their cell phone, or at home if they choose.

“It’s easy for agents to forward their ShoreTel IP Phones to their wireless phones so they can respond to important calls,” explains Friemann. “It also ensures clients reach people, not voicemail. In real estate, that’s imperative. It’s also a great benefit in this field to be able to dial by name and not have to remember phone numbers. It’s all about connecting quickly with people—more quickly than the competition.”

Connect customers to the right agents for faster sales

In addition, Prudential Fox & Roach is using a ShoreTel Operator Communicator for its receptionists, which provides them with the critical information necessary for exceptional customer service. For example, when the phone rings, a call-routing log displays the caller’s experience within the system to the receptionist. Before transferring callers, the call-transfer screen displays information about who is available—they have information on every agent’s presence so call-routing decisions can be based on each person’s status.

“WE NEEDED TO STANDARDIZE ON A SINGLE VOICE SYSTEM AND WANTED A SOLUTION THAT COULD BE COSTEFFECTIVELY DEPLOYED IN EACH NEW OFFICE AND MAKE IT QUICK AND EASY FOR US TO ADAPT TO CONSTANT STAFF CHANGES.”

William Friemann, Vice president of Operations,
Security, and Compliance
Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors

“ShoreTel makes our agents more productive, ensures our customers receive prompt attention from a live human being, and the whole experience is more upscale,” states Friemann. “ShoreTel Operator Communicator presents a very professional image to our clients.”

ShoreTel’s self-service results in big savings

Prudential Fox & Roach uses ShoreTel Director for end-to-end management of the ShoreTel UC system. ShoreTel Director is a browser-based management interface that provides easy access to the system from anywhere on the network, enabling easy management of everything, including voicemail, automated attendant, and desktop applications. It takes seconds to add a new user and the system automatically updates the centralized database and every voice switch. At the time the new user is added, a mailbox is automatically created, the automated attendant dial-by-name and number feature is updated, and online directories are revised. Changes are made just as quickly.

The flexibility of the ShoreTel UC system also is perfect for Prudential Fox & Roach’s business. Because offices often change just as the market does—expanding and contracting in size in cycles—the ability to centrally maintain the system without having to fly IT staff members to make changes is attractive.

ShoreTel’s IP Unified Communications solutions also fit nicely with Prudential Fox & Roach’s strategy of growth by acquisition. “ShoreTel’s solutions are so easy to deploy and manage, and we have developed a reliable, cookie-cutter approach to setting up each new office,” concludes Friemann. “We do it ourselves, and there are no cabling costs. ShoreTel Director lets us do all our own moves, adds, and changes, eliminating truck rolls and lowering our phone system management costs to near zero. Most important, when we open a new office, we can typically deploy the system in one day and then do training the next, so that office can be productive faster and start generating leads and new business faster than ever before.”

“MOST IMPORTANT, WHEN WE OPEN A NEW OFFICE, WE CAN TYPICALLY DEPLOY THE SYSTEM IN ONE DAY AND THEN DO TRAINING THE NEXT, SO THAT OFFICE CAN BE PRODUCTIVE FASTER AND START GENERATING LEADS AND NEW BUSINESS FASTER
THAN EVER BEFORE.”

CHALLENGE:

  • Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, with more than 70 offices, had many disparate phone systems, some of which were no longer receiving vendor support. The organization needed to cost-effectively standardize on a single voice system.

SOLUTION:

  • ShoreTel provided a comprehensive Pure IP Unified Communications (UC) solution for the organization, including ShoreTel Voice Switches, voicemail servers, and ShoreTel IP Phones.

BENEFITS:

  • Quick implementation
  • Ease of administration
  • Ability to manage in-house
  • Reduction of third-party outsourcing fees