CPL Case Study
Ireland’s largest recruitment specialist saves money by consolidating four sites with a ShoreTel IP Unified Communications system
End-of-life system needed replacement
With its existing PBXs reaching end-of-life, CPL seized the opportunity to look for a solution that would lower costs and offer users productivity-enhancing features.
IP UC system with advanced functionality
Prior to installing the ShoreTel® UC system, CPL had a separate PBX in each building, which translated to a high maintenance overhead, as well as costly toll charges for calls among the offices.
CPL needed a new communications system. Reliability and advanced functionality were key criteria in the company’s search. “We had two Toshiba Strata digital PBX systems, which were becoming expensive to maintain, primarily because there was little support available for them,” explains Brona Kernan, IT director at CPL. “We needed to find a new phone system that not only worked across all our offices but was also simple to manage.”
IP unified communications: assessing the options
After evaluating options, it soon became apparent that ShoreTel’s UC solution was the only system that met CPL’s requirements for functionality, management, and ease of use.
“The majority of IP communications solutions available had legacy technology that required multiple PBXs and consequently didn’t offer us the unified system we were looking for,” says Kernan.
The ShoreTel UC system proved to be the complete opposite. Built from the ground up as an IP UC solution, its unique architecture means that it offers the benefits of a true single-image distributed system, with simplified management through a single interface “Nearly all the other solutions we looked at carried a lot of PBX baggage, which is really limiting. Conversely, as a pure IP system, ShoreTel was so much more flexible and efficient—it is truly next-generation,” adds Kernan.
CPL employs ShoreTel’s next-generation UC system
CPL began using ShoreTel’s UC system in one location. Following the success of the trial, CPL rolled out the ShoreTel UC system to the rest of the Dublin offices. With the server hardware already installed, it was simply a case of adding ShoreTel Voice Switches and ShoreTel IP Phones throughout the headquarters where required.
The speed and ease of the rollout further reinforced with CPL that it had made the right choice. “The transition to the ShoreTel UC system was very straightforward and was completed in just one morning,” states Kernan.
In addition to the standard PBX functions included in the ShoreTel UC system, CPL staff is also using the ShoreTel Call Manager application, which enables employees to manage voice communications directly from their computers. The built-in interoperability between ShoreTel and Microsoft Exchange has also enabled CPL to use Active Directory and Outlook® contacts as a centralized address book for phone and email.
CPL’s new ShoreTel UC system works seamlessly across all the CPL offices as a single image, replacing the need for multiple PBXs, voicemail systems, automated attendants, and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) systems. All the voice traffic is now carried over the existing data network, so there is no longer a need for a separate telephone network.
Reaping the rewards of ShoreTel UC
The most significant benefit for CPL has been the cost savings from having all four offices on a single phone system. Not only has this saved CPL money on calls between offices, but it has also saved on external calls to mobile phones.
“NEARLY ALL THE OTHER SOLUTIONS WE LOOKED AT CARRIED A LOT OF PBX BAGGAGE, WHICH IS REALLY LIMITING. CONVERSELY, AS A PURE IP SYSTEM, SHORETEL WAS SO MUCH MORE FLEXIBLE AND EFFICIENT—IT IS TRULY NEXT-GENERATION.”
Brona Kernan, IT Director
CPL uses a CorPorate Network (CPN) microcell to connect its phone system directly to the mobile carrier’s network (Vodafone). ShoreTel’s least-cost routing feature means that when anyone on the ShoreTel UC system dials a mobile number, the call is routed to the CPN and made as if it is a mobile-to-mobile call, which costs less than a fixed-to-mobile call.
“Due to the nature of our business, a large percentage of outbound calls are to mobile phones. Now all of the offices can be connected to the CPN, and we have saved in the area of 20 percent on calls to mobiles,” explains Kernan.
The simplicity of the system has also been a major plus for CPL. ShoreTel’s centralized, browser-based ShoreTel Director enables the system to be administered from one interface, and system maintenance can be performed in-house. Furthermore, the combination of the ShoreTel Personal Call Manager software and the centralized address book means that staff can work more efficiently, finding their colleagues’ details more quickly and using the call log to keep track of inbound and outbound communications.
Netforce was the ShoreTel reseller chosen by CPL to design, implement, and support Shoretel’s UC phone system. “CPL’s ShoreTel UC system has been a resounding success. We are working closely with ShoreTel to leverage the system to empower additional competitive advantages for the CPL organization,” says William Clutterbuck, director of Netforce.
“The service from Netforce can be summarized in one word: brilliant. Our advice to anyone considering upgrading to an IP-based UC system is to be sure to select an organization that knows the technology and is committed to making it work the first time. In our experience, the Netforce and ShoreTel partnership delivered totally on this commitment,” says Paul Carroll, co-founder and director of CPL.
“It’s the flexibility of having an all-IP system which really keeps reaping benefits for us. And the ease of deployment has really changed the pace of the rollout to our other remote offices. We plan to extend the system to our operations in Slovakia, allowing for seamless call transfer, and there is also the potential for closer integration between the phone and IT systems, by adding voice functionality to our HR application,” concludes Kernan.
“IT’S THE FLEXIBILITY OF HAVING AN ALL-IP SYSTEM WHICH REALLY KEEPS REAPING BENEFITS FOR US. AND THE EASE OF DEPLOYMENT HAS REALLY CHANGED THE PACE OF THE ROLLOUT TO OUR OTHER REMOTE OFFICES.”
CPL had no integrated telephone system across the company and housed a separate PBX in each building, resulting in high maintenance costs. And since calls between offices had to travel via the public phone system, communication costs were rising.
CPL deployed ShoreTel’s IP Unified Communications (UC) solution to consolidate its four sites under a single, reliable, and centrally managed voice and data communications network.
- Significant cost savings and efficiency gains
- Centralized management
- Elimination of costly service contracts
- 20 percent savings on calls to mobile phones