Liberty Hardware Case Study
ShoreTel VoIP saves $211,000 annually, simplifies system management, and enhances call center functionality for Liberty Hardware
Unable to see the big picture
Liberty Hardware’s existing telephone system, built on solutions from Avaya and Centrex, did not allow for the comprehensive analysis Liberty needed to do, and was cumbersome and costly to manage.
Help wanted: Easy-to-manage, cost-effective telephony
Liberty decided Voice over IP (VoIP) was the way to go and considered new systems from Avaya, Cisco, and ShoreTel. After thoroughly researching solutions, Liberty chose ShoreTel, citing ease of administration, cost-effectiveness, and architecture flexibility as the top reasons for its choice.
“ShoreTel met our business requirements at a fraction of the budget we had planned,” says Scott Zipp, Liberty Hardware’s senior manager of network services. “The ease of administration is unbelievable. You can easily manage every system, including remote sites. For example, changing the greeting can be done once and every site is updated automatically. Before, we had to go into each system and change it, which did not allow for uniformity and was time-consuming.”
In addition to appreciating the ease of administration and cost-effectiveness, the flexibility of the system was a plus for Liberty because it could have the benefits of the system at its smaller sites without needing an expensive system at each location.
“One of our offices is very small and serves just a few people,” says Cora Whitley, network engineer for Liberty Hardware. “With ShoreTel, we didn’t need a full-blown phone system for that location. We simply put a smaller ShoreTel Voice Switch in there with a couple of analog lines. Another system would have been much more expensive.”
ShoreTel saves money and simplifies management
Liberty Hardware has performed in-depth cost calculations and the company estimates that it will have saved over $211,000 in the first year of having its ShoreTel system in place. These savings include maintenance, toll charges, and management (moves, adds, and changes). “We estimate the ShoreTel system will have paid for itself in just over a year, which is a terrific return on investment,” explains Zipp.
Furthermore, with the ShoreTel system in place, all 500 Liberty Hardware employees worldwide are now on the same phone and voicemail system, able to reach any employee at any location via four-digit dialing and even dialing co-workers by name. Least-cost routing capabilities also allow Liberty to minimize costs by avoiding toll charges.
“With ShoreTel, we get the simplicity of four-digit dialing to reach co-workers and the cost savings of least-cost routing, which has improved our internal communications significantly,” states Whitley. “People are more inclined to communicate more regularly now, and not worry about long-distance charges.”
For Liberty, one of the most important factors in its decision to go with ShoreTel was ease of administration. Liberty uses ShoreTel’s ShoreTel Director, a browser-based management interface. Through the browser, Liberty Hardware can manage every site, including voicemail, automated attendant, and desktop applications.
Enhanced productivity and customer service
Integrated directly with Microsoft Outlook, the ShoreTel system provides employees with integrated messaging, such as directory dialing, contact screen pop, and calendar integration. ShoreTel Communicator gives employees the equivalent of a desktop PBX—a powerful, all-purpose tool for managing voice communications. With it, Liberty Hardware employees can quickly browse contacts and make calls from local directories or from Microsoft Outlook.
“THE EASE OF ADMINISTRATION IS UNBELIEVABLE. YOU CAN EASILY MANAGE EVERY SYSTEM, INCLUDING REMOTE SITES. FOR EXAMPLE, CHANGING THE GREETING CAN BE DONE ONCE AND EVERY SITE IS UPDATED AUTOMATICALLY.”
Senior Manager of Network Services
Liberty Hardware’s operator enjoys a high level of functionality with ShoreTel Communicator for operators, which provides critical information necessary for exceptional customer service. “Our operator loves the new ShoreTel system,” says Whitley. “She can transfer calls without having to memorize every extension and cell phone number—it’s a simple drag-and-drop. Now, she’s able to focus on more HR functions than she had been able to in the past because her phone system is so much more effective.”
Call Center Optimized
With ShoreTel, Liberty’s 20 call center agents are armed with key information and control, enabling a significantly higher level of personalized attention for callers. For example, before even answering an incoming call, a call-routing log displays the caller’s experience within the system to a call center operator so he or she has the information necessary to make the caller’s experience as pleasant as possible.
ShoreTel also provides advanced real-time management and historical measurement tools that enable Liberty Hardware supervisors to ensure agents are delivering consistent service. Performance and statistical information lets the company know how the center is performing and what needs to be done for further improvement. Finally, Liberty can easily cross-train call center agents, allowing trainees to listen in on the ShoreTel system and learn from other agents, whether the training agent sits in California or the United Kingdom.
“With all of the different time zones of our offices, ShoreTel has simplified and improved our call center operations,” says Whitley. “We can leverage time zones and direct calls between certain hours to certain locations, thereby extending our call center capabilities.”
Feature-rich ShoreTel receives accolades from users
“After we implemented the ShoreTel system, we received many compliments from customers about our customer service,” says Whitley. “Our internal employees also appreciate all of the capabilities, including the ability to route calls to certain numbers—like their cell phones—so they can work from wherever they need to.”
Whitley appreciates the dedication and expertise of both ShoreTel and their local resellers’ representatives. “In addition to helping us with the deployment and the application integration for our call center, we get tremendous support whenever we need it,” concludes Whitley. “For example, I called ShoreTel’s reseller in the middle of the night when I was bringing our England office online, and I got excellent support. I can only call other vendors within specific hours. We’re very happy with our decision to go with ShoreTel and look forward to continued enhancements to our phone system.”
“WITH ALL OF THE DIFFERENT TIME ZONES OF OUR OFFICES, SHORETEL HAS SIMPLIFIED AND IMPROVED OUR CALL CENTER OPERATIONS,” SAYS WHITLEY. “WE CAN LEVERAGE TIME ZONES AND DIRECT CALLS BETWEEN CERTAIN HOURS TO CERTAIN LOCATIONS, THEREBY EXTENDING OUR CALL CENTER CAPABILITIES.”
Liberty Hardware (part of the MASCO family) had a mix of telephone systems and was in the midst of an initiative to improve internal communications. A new, more feature-rich phone system was needed.
ShoreTel provided an end-to-end VoIP system, including ShoreTel Voice Switches and ShoreTel IP Phones, which integrated easily with existing telephone components to maximize corporate assets.
- Substantially reduced maintenance costs
- Lower toll charges
- Ability to manage the system in-house
- Integration with customized call applications