JT Packard Case Study
JT Packard deploys ShoreTel IP Unified Communications and streamlines operations, realizes savings, and enhances productivity
Outdated system is no longer supported
JT Packard had an NEC PBX-based telephone system that was quickly becoming outdated and lacking in features. Parts were no longer being supported and the system was reaching end-of-life. It was time to look into an entirely new system.
Ease of operation, lower long-term costs
JT Packard is the nation’s largest independent service provider of network-critical power equipment. According to Kevin Mengelt, chief information officer for JT Packard, “We wanted to reduce overall phone system costs—both operational and usage costs. We also wanted new features—we wanted to eventually integrate a new system with Salesforce.com, and we wanted the ability to see direct dial numbers, conduct conference calls on our own, and display caller information on the computer screen. We weren’t able to do any of these things before.”
Mengelt and his team evaluated Avaya, Cisco, Nortel, and ShoreTel, and winnowed the list to Cisco and ShoreTel. They considered cost, architecture, scalability, and ease of use closely. Cisco dropped its price considerably and even met the ShoreTel price. But the team knew that in ongoing costs, ShoreTel would be less expensive over time.
“Upfront costs are not all that matter,” says Mengelt. “We did a total cost of ownership analysis and ShoreTel came out on top. We knew we’d save money over time with ShoreTel. The ShoreTel architecture was simpler than Cisco’s, so it was less costly to expand and grow the system.
ShoreTel was easier to operate, which results in lower costs. It’s easier to set up users, which lowers general support costs. And ShoreTel met our needs in terms of features. It was also more robust, resulting in fewer failures and outages, and a more reliable system.”
ShoreTel UC gives workers a power boost
With the ShoreTel system, all JT Packard employees are on a centralized phone and voicemail system, using four-digit dialing to reach employees at any location, even when they’re working from home. And Microsoft Outlook® is integrated with employee computers for directory dialing, contact screen pops, and calendar integration.
The ShoreTel system’s Office Anywhere feature allows JT Packard employees to choose the device they work from – for instance, a cell phone or home phone – and that device assumes the identity and capabilities of his or her regular office extension.
“Office Anywhere indicates JT Packard is calling, even if the call is being placed from a worker’s home office,” says Mengelt. “It obviously protects privacy and enhances security measures, which we instill.”
JT Packard also uses ShoreTel Softphone for some of its users who work out of their homes. A flexible choice for mobile workers, Softphone also eliminates the need for an actual handset. SoftPhone extends the capabilities of a user’s desktop extension to any computer, even a laptop over a wireless network, so they can enjoy transparent access to enterprise telephony features while on the road or working from home.
ShoreTel Communicator for Operators has also been well received. “For our receptionists to be able to see the status of each person being called allows them to handle important calls faster and easier, and it also ensures that callers are connected to the right person who can help them quickly,” says Mengelt. “The receptionists are also freed up to multitask, with all this information available at their fingertips.”
“WE WANTED TO REDUCE OVERALL PHONE SYSTEM COSTS—BOTH OPERATIONAL AND USAGE COSTS. WE ALSO WANTED NEW FEATURES—WE WANTED TO EVENTUALLY INTEGRATE A NEW SYSTEM WITH SALESFORCE.COM, AND WE WANTED THE ABILITY TO SEE DIRECT DIAL NUMBERS, CONDUCT CONFERENCE CALLS ON OUR OWN, AND DISPLAY CALLER INFORMATION ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN.”
Kevin Mengelt, Chief Information Officer
Simplified conferencing and management empowers users and IT to do more
JT Packard is using ShoreTel’s Converged Conferencing solution, a 24-port ShoreTel Conference Bridge. “Now we can initiate conference calls in minutes, and simply send out an invitation right beforehand,” said Mengelt. “We don’t have to rely on a costly outside service to do this for us. We were spending $3,000 to $4,000 per month on conference calling before ShoreTel. Now it’s covered with the ShoreTel Conference Bridge.”
Finally, ShoreTel’s workgroup capabilities enable JT Packard to consolidate various inquiry calls to one number, and calls are routed to the next available call center staff member. The company has five such call centers set up for departments, including sales, customer support, parts, and information technology. Call center staffers can easily sign in and out of the workgroup, and agents have access to tools that measure current call volume so they can better manage their time.
With ShoreTel’s Escalation Notification, a call into the company’s support line will not go unanswered because the feature allows the transfer of a message until it has been actually picked up.
“Escalation Notification ensures that calls into our after-hours tech support are picked up by the person on call or a backup representative, and the system will keep calling until if finds an available support representative,” says Mengelt. “That’s a crucial element of our business—around-theclock availability.”
JT Packard uses ShoreTel Director for system management, troubleshooting, and planning. “The ShoreTel IP Unified Communications system is amazingly easy—it was amazingly easy to install and it’s easy to maintain,” says Mengelt.
Poised for the Future
JT Packard plans to integrate its ShoreTel system with Salesforce.com to further enhance customer service and productivity. The company also has an SQL database with additional customer information that will be integrated with the ShoreTel system. “The ShoreTel system offers us all the features we needed to make significant changes and improvements, yet it’s easy to use,” says Mengelt.
“I like the fact that we can track inbound and outbound call history. Now we are able to route the most important calls to the right agents. That capability alone has made a tremendous difference in streamlining our operations. When you add to that the features that affect everyone’s productivity, like dialing by name and four-digit dialing, you just can’t beat the improvements.”
“WE WERE SPENDING $3,000 TO $4,000 PER MONTH ON CONFERENCE CALLING BEFORE SHORETEL. NOW IT’S COVERED WITH THE SHORETEL CONFERENCE BRIDGE.”
Faced with an outdated PBX based system, JT Packard decided to deploy an IP Unified Communications system that would reduce overall costs and provide added features, such as four-digit dialing and conference calling, among others.
ShoreTel provided the power supply company with ShoreTel Voice Switch and ShoreTel IP Phones, as well as ShoreTel Director for end-to-end management.
- Easy to manage, scale, and use
- Lower TCO
- Eliminated $3,000 to $4,000 a month in call costs
- Workgroups enhanced customer service