Derive Technologies Case Study
ShoreTel-hosted VoIP solution kept Derive up when Hurricane Sandy took the power down, cutting off landline communications
Technology infrastructure consultancy aids New York hospitals thanks to Shoretel
Derive Technologies ™ is a technology infrastructure consultancy that has served the needs of worldwide, nationwide, and New York metropolitan area organizations for more than three decades. Its principal business-technology practices surround data center architecture and business continuity, virtualization, cloud computing, application lifecycle support, workforce mobilization, security, and end-user device lifecycle. Its Tier One Alliance Partners include Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Cisco, and Apple. Bill Eggers is vice president of Derive Technologies, leading the healthcare and public sector.
To deploy a cloud-based VoIP system that would offer more functionality at a lower cost
When Derive Technologies relocated offices, it willfully left behind a 20-year-old legacy PBX phone platform that provided little in the way of modern technology. As a company focused on innovation, it was time for Derive Technologies to transition to a hosted, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone system. VoIP technology freed Derive from the constraints of traditional landlines and offered a lower-cost, lower-maintenance, smaller-footprint, and more functional solution.
Derive Technologies chose to partner with ShoreTel to provide the VoIP phone system, and a year later, as Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc in the Northeast, the company was thankful for its decision. As power went down across multiple states, many companies with traditional landlines found themselves not only in the dark but unable to communicate with one another, partners, vendors, or customers for weeks. Credit card machines were inoperable, Internet access was impossible, and millions of dollars in sales were lost.
ShoreTel VoIP enabled Derive to help hurricane victims when they most needed support
The ShoreTel Sky cloud solution enabled Derive users to log into their phone system from any phone and enter into a portal to listen to voicemails, as well as quickly construct phone preferences, such as forwarding calls to cell phones and the Find Me Follow Me feature. Most Derive Technology employees enabled these features prior to the hurricane, allowing those with cell coverage during and after the storm to take the reins and keep the company operating when others without power or cell coverage had no option.
“The cloud-based ShoreTel IP phones became a lifeline for those of us fortunate enough to have power and/or cell coverage,” says Eggers. “Having full, remote access into the phone system allowed us to find the reachable Derive employees that could respond to urgent technical needs, bringing up customer data centers and addressing business continuity systems. We could also change settings so calls would not ring a person who we knew wasn’t reachable; instead, their phones would automatically ring their fallback. Being able to manage the business remotely in such a crisis meant we could continue to do what we do best – help our customers, especially when they needed us most.”
ShoreTel UC functionality and support gave Derive a clear advantage during the disaster
Most employees at Derive Technologies had been significantly affected by the aftermath of the storm, with flooded homes, fuel shortages that prevented them from refueling generators, and no power or water. Weeks after the storm, 10-15 percent of its workforce was still dealing with these issues.
“It was a team effort to help our burdened employees get back on their feet and get Derive Technologies running at full speed again,” remarks Eggers. “It was an unusual phenomenon to lose both of our facilities and have power down as long as we did. ShoreTel-hosted VoIP phones offer so much more functionality than landlines and can help organizations plan for the unexpected.”
“IT WAS AN UNUSUAL PHENOMENON TO LOSE BOTH OF OUR FACILITIES AND HAVE POWER DOWN AS LONG AS WE DID. SHORETELHOSTED VOIP PHONES OFFER SO MUCH MORE FUNCTIONALITY THAN LANDLINES AND CAN HELP ORGANIZATIONS PLAN FOR THE UNEXPECTED.”
Bill Eggers, Vice President
Although ShoreTel has distributed facilities for disaster recovery, many of those facilities were in the large area affected by the storm. Still, ShoreTel did its best to remain available to customers desperate to get back online. “I was able to reach ShoreTel to make a few changes we couldn’t do on our own, mostly because we weren’t trained yet on the features, such as modifying hunt groups and adding approved profiles,” says Eggers. “We now understand how important those features can be, and will further leverage the many features of the system.”
“I think we were all caught off-guard with the severity of the hurricane and the extent of the power outages,” comments Eggers. “Without the ability to forward calls to cell phones via ShoreTel Sky Mobility, it would have been devastating for our company. Most of what we do is service related. Our group’s largest involvement is with the major hospitals in New York. With their power outages, it was vital for us to get people to those sites to provide technical support. Without the VoIP phone system, there would have been no way to communicate with the hospital or our staff.”
“BEING ABLE TO MANAGE THE BUSINESS REMOTELY IN SUCH A CRISIS MEANT WE COULD CONTINUE TO DO WHAT WE DO BEST – HELP OUR CUSTOMERS, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY NEEDED US MOST.”
With a 20-year-old legacy PBX lacking even the most basic telephony features, Derive was eager to upgrade to a more sophisticated system during its transition to new offices.
ShoreTel cloud-based VoIP phone system ensured business continuity during a natural disaster and kept the company operating when others without power, Internet access, or cell coverage had no option.
- Lower cost
- Lower IT maintenance
- Rich UC functionality
- Business continuity