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Sotera Defense Solutions Case Study

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Case Studies

Sotera Defense Solutions decides the ShoreTel Sky VoIP solution is the most robust, extensible, affordable, and customizable solution in the industry

ShoreTel comes to Sotera’s defense during an emergency relocation

Sotera Defense Solutions (Sotera) is a mid-tier government contractor with 10 sites and telephony systems, each individually managed. Aside from inefficiency issues, other problems led the company to upgrade to ShoreTel Sky.

Standardize with a more reliable, advanced phone system

The list of problems was becoming lengthy. For one, the company was experiencing dropped calls that required a manual system reboot with each occurrence. The phone system was also proving to be time-consuming and expensive to configure and maintain. And it wasn’t easy to use. Making changes to items, such as passwords, directory names, and user assignments, required involving the IT or facilities departments. When the company experienced an emergency with a call center-type site, and needed to relocate to headquarters without much notice, it offered the perfect opportunity to consider a new telephony solution

To keep its existing phone numbers, it was critical for Sotera to set up a VoIP phone system. “We didn’t have time to expand the existing IP phone system at the headquarters and we couldn’t lose the phone numbers,” says Tony Hakes, Help Desk supervisor and junior system administrator. “We knew a VoIP system was the only way to make it happen. We had to seek out a provider capable of meeting our tight deadlines and give us a standardized, reliable system the entire company could use.”

ShoreTel’s hosted VoIP installation is on time and provided a significant cost savings

Sotera researched several providers, but only ShoreTel could provide a company-wide phone system quickly and affordably. “ShoreTel came to the table faster, with plans for a rapid deployment and significant cost savings,” says Hakes. “The ShoreTel Sky system was the most robust, extensible, affordable, and customizable solution we found.”

An example of the flexibility of the system was illustrated with an issue Sotera was having with Sotera’s video teleconferencing needs in the boardroom. The room was configured in a way that required an analog phone, but since Sotera was standardizing its entire phone system, it didn’t want to add exceptions. ShoreTel was able to convert the IP signal to analog, integrating it with the phone that conferences in with Sotera’s parent company.

ShoreTel Sky also provided Sotera with reporting capabilities customized to fit its needs. Sotera’s call center has target goals with the number of calls each person makes, how often he or she is on the phone, and how many callbacks he or she receives. The phones make it easy to track those metrics, as well as call recording and barge, so management can train and incent employees more effectively.

Other features Sotera uses are voicemail-to-email so users can easily receive voicemails on their mobile phones when away from the office. ShoreTel Sky’s Phone Assistant manages incoming calls, offering access to a complete company directory that indicates who is on a call or available, and enables users to easily make changes to their profiles and passwords.

“WE HAVE A LARGE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES WHO TRAVEL FROM SITE TO SITE. THEY ENJOY THE FACT THAT THEY CAN TAKE THEIR PHONE NUMBERS WITH THEM SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO RELY ON CELL COVERAGE OR FORWARD CALLS TO A DIFFERENT NUMBER. USERS SIMPLY LOG INTO A PHONE AT ANY OF OUR SITES AND IT’S AUTOMATICALLY PROGRAMMED FOR THEM.”

Tony Hakes, Help Desk Supervisor and Junior
System Administrator
Sotera Defense Solutions

Fax-to-email has been a significant cost savings for Sotera as well, eliminating the need for multiple physical machines and expensive fax fees. Find Me/Follow Me, call forwarding, conferencing up to six lines, and 4-digit extension dialing are also heavily used.

“We have a large number of employees who travel from site to site,” says Hakes. “They enjoy the fact that they can take their phone numbers with them so they don’t have to rely on cell coverage or forward calls to a different number. Users simply log into a phone at any of our sites and it’s automatically programmed for them.”

More features, lower costs, and no hassles

The ShoreTel phone installation was a phased plan, coinciding with network upgrades at each Sotera facility. Despite the previous carrier delaying release of Sotera phone numbers, ShoreTel has been able to program the phones quickly and get each site on board within the allotted timeframe.

“The ShoreTel phones are more reliable and have improved communications across the company,” says Hakes. “From a management standpoint, the system is much easier to administer and more cost-effective to maintain, enabling users to personalize options and perform basic administration tasks so my department can focus on more business-critical issues.”

“SHORETEL CAME TO THE TABLE FASTER, WITH PLANS FOR A RAPID DEPLOYMENT AND SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS. THE SHORETEL SKY SYSTEM WAS THE MOST ROBUST, EXTENSIBLE, AFFORDABLE, AND CUSTOMIZABLE SOLUTION WE FOUND.”

CHALLENGE:

  • Sotera Defense Solutions had 10 facility sites, each with a complex, time-consuming, and expensive conglomeration of IP and analog phones.

SOLUTION:

  • Only ShoreTel could provide a continuous, company-wide phone system quickly and affordably.

BENEFITS:

  • Rapid plug-and-play installation
  • Voicemail-to-email capability
  • Rich reporting features
  • Reliable and scalable