Burr & Forman Case Study
Burr & Forman deploys Mitel UC across eight offices to increase productivity and collaboration and benefits from softphone technology
Disparate phone systems try law firm
Burr & Forman needs to ensure effective communications, regardless of location or technology. But having separate phone and voicemail systems, inhibited the firm’s ability to smoothly collaborate across locations.
Single telephony platform easy and inexpensive to maintain
Burr & Forman has two types of employees: one group used to physical phones at the desk and a newer generation that prefers instant messaging and softphones. “We wanted an easier approach to share information, especially for lawyers who travel to depositions, hotels, meetings, and such.
Having disparate communications systems is just too expensive and hard to maintain, and really limits what capabilities can be introduced,” explains David S. Michel, chief information officer at Burr & Forman.
To find a more cohesive business IP strategy, Michel contacted CDW, a Mitel partner. After an in-depth probe into potential telephony systems, including Cisco, Mitel, and Microsoft Lync, the law firm selected Mitel.
“We were looking for greater efficiencies, for seamless and flexible communications, and a newer, fresher way to collaborate for better results. We chose Mitel. And for a 60-month purchase, we calculated ROI at 26 months—impressive,” Michel adds.
Law firm advocates Mitel for ease of use, simplicity, TCO, disaster recovery, and cost savings
Burr & Forman selected a Mitel UC Solution that included Mitel Communicator with Professional and Mobile Access, Mitel Conferencing and Instant Messaging for effective conferencing and chat tools, and Mitel Web Dialer for online click-and-dial ease. To deploy optimum performance across the installation design, Burr & Forman enlisted Mitel Implementation Services.
The Mitel implementation included 700 licenses across all eight offices for 525 users and multiple conference rooms, with particular emphasis on use of the Mitel core software and softphone capabilities. To help ensure the deployment was a success, Burr & Forman leveraged Mitel Implementation Services, using Mitel’s proven installation methodology.
Detailed discovery and design ensured that the solution met customers’ business requirements. An experienced and certified engineer deployed the solution flawlessly. Training was delivered for both end users and systems administrators to ensure that Burr & Forman leveraged the solution in an optimum fashion. “The Mitel Implementation Services team did an amazing job for Burr & Forman. We were so impressed that the system was designed and operational in only six weeks,” exclaims Michel.
Burr & Forman currently has many of its employees using the softphone in Mitel Communicator and plans to grow this number substantially in the next five years. A softphone is a software program that turns a PC into a phone, rather than using dedicated hardware.
“We are focused on phasing out physical phones over time. We don’t plan to replace any telephones, and are encouraged by users who are successfully moving to the softphone. Fiscally, it makes sense, because we don’t need to keep paying for phones when the softphones are the way to go and already purchased. The Mitel softphones free mobile users from always being tethered to their desks,” Michel says.
The Mitel platform is built on a unique, fully secure, and scalable open architecture. Easier to deploy and manage than status quo competitor products, Mitel hardware is highly reliable and has no single point of failure for unmatched availability. Mitel Core Software facilitates extensive unified communications, including feature-rich applications, voice routing, automated attendant, unified messaging, call accounting and reporting, and robust workgroup routing functionality.
“WE WERE LOOKING FOR GREATER EFFICIENCIES, FOR SEAMLESS AND FLEXIBLE COMMUNICATIONS, AND A NEWER, FRESHER WAY TO COLLABORATE FOR BETTER RESULTS. WE CHOSE SHORETEL.”
David S. Michel, CIO
Burr & Forman
Evidence of Real-Time Business Intelligence
Mitel Communicator makes the case for better business communications with real-time intelligence tools to simplify daily interactions and provide advanced call management. With an intuitive interface available across diverse environments, Mitel Communicator helps busy organizations like Burr & Forman move seamlessly among voice, video, and instant messaging, from desktops and mobile devices.
“People are able to connect faster and easier and smarter. We are looking forward to fully leveraging all the features in Communicator, such as presence, so our employees can truly collaborate. We will also use the Mitel Conferencing to improve collaboration between our teams in different offices,” Michel continues.
Case closed: Mitel reduces long distance usage charges by 80 percent
Since deploying its Mitel UC solution, Burr & Forman has proved the case for unified communications. “In addition to the ROI, we are seeing 80 percent cost savings on long distance usage charges, and we’ve been able to substantially cut our training and the support costs,” Michel notes.
To help ensure Burr & Forman has the support it needs when it has questions, it purchased a five year Mitel Enterprise Support contract. The Mitel Enterprise Support Program is designed for customers that wish to have a direct service relationship with Mitel, and is well suited to customers like Burr & Forman that have hundreds of users across multiple sites.
The Enterprise Support program includes technical support, online access to resources, tools and training, and free upgrades, including major releases. Other support programs are also available. For customers needing a personalized, high-touch service, Enterprise Support Advantage may be the answer.
Michel acknowledges Mitel’s pervasive flexibility and ease of use for meeting users’ diverse work needs, and the ability for rapid disaster recovery with N+1 redundancy, as essentials for any contemporary communications plan.
“Now we have one system to help us collaborate so much better we’ve expanded our capabilities for reducing workloads, while saving money. Mitel has changed how people work at Burr & Forman. We now have tools in place to help us work more effectively and increase productivity,” he concludes.
“NOW WE HAVE ONE SYSTEM TO HELP US COLLABORATE SO MUCH BETTER WE’VE EXPANDED OUR CAPABILITIES FOR REDUCING WORKLOADS, WHILE SAVING MONEY. SHORETEL HAS CHANGED HOW PEOPLE WORK AT BURR & FORMAN. WE NOW HAVE TOOLS IN PLACE TO HELP US WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY.”
Disparate phone systems and voicemail applications in every office hampered seamless and cost-efficient communications, and did not meet the diverse needs of users.
A Mitel UC Solution replaces Cisco, Mitel, and Nortel systems with a cohesive, scalable solution, including Mitel Communicator, Mitel Conferencing Instant Messaging, Mitel Web Dialer, Mitel Implementation Services, Mitel Training, and Mitel Enterprise Support.
- Return on investment in 26 months
- 80 percent cost savings on long-distance charges
- High availability and rapid disaster recovery
- Architecture to support an all-softphone deployment