SUNNYVALE, CA, May 5, 2008 - ShoreTel, Inc., (NASDAQ: SHOR), a leading provider of Pure IP Unified Communications solutions, today announced that plastics supplier A. Schulman has replaced the phone systems in ten North American facilities with a ShoreTel distributed unified communications (UC) solution. The easy-to-install, easy-to-maintain ShoreTel solution allowed A. Schulman to leverage its wide area network (WAN) for voice communications, resulting in reduced long distance costs, enhanced communications, and improved employee productivity and collaboration.
A. Schulman is a leading international supplier of proprietary and custom-formulated high-performance plastic compounds, color concentrates, and additives that improve the appearance and performance of plastics in a number of specialized applications. The phone system at the company's headquarters had reached its end of life, and the systems at nine other North American facilities were also outdated.
In its search for a solution, the company wanted call routing, call reporting, a common telephony and voicemail platform for all facilities, and 4-digit dialing. A. Schulman looked at Cisco and Avaya, but chose ShoreTel because of its superior features and distributed architecture, and because ShoreTel and its reseller, CDW, delivered a project proposal that showed it understood A. Schulman's current and future needs.
"We were convinced early on that ShoreTel was the smartest choice," recalled John Broerman, director of information technology at A. Schulman. "We set up a ShoreTel test system in just two hours, while it took the competitor's professional services team a week to get theirs set up properly. Also, I have never experienced such positive reference calls as the ones I made to existing ShoreTel customers. In the end, the ShoreTel implementation was one of the smoothest I have ever been involved with, and we were able to come up with an easy, cookie-cutter approach for each additional facility."
A. Schulman has deployed 600 ShorePhone™ IP telephones and 24 ShoreGear® voice switches at ten sites, eight in the U.S. and two in Canada. At each office, all that was required was to determine the number of phones and switches and then deploy the system. The entire deployment took only four months, and training was easy. Added Broerman, "We used a third-party training vendor that we liked even though the trainer had never used the ShoreTel UC system. But it took her just two weeks to learn the system and develop her program, and she quickly trained all 600 users. She said learning the system was easy because what typically takes several steps on the competitors' solutions can be done in one step on ShoreTel."
Among the many features of ShoreTel's solution, A. Schulman employees especially like the single directory for the entire company, 4-digit dialing, and the ability to use Personal Call Manager to place calls quickly by clicking on a name to dial the office or cell phone number. The company's 15-person order fulfillment call center uses ShoreTel's workgroup and hunt group applications to set up proper routing and escalation of calls, employ a different call routing scheme after hours, and ensure customers can quickly talk to a real person by sending calls to the next member of the hunt group if a call is not answered within a few seconds.
ShoreTel's UC system management features allow A. Schulman's office manager to easily add new users and perform moves, adds and changes without calling for a technician, and employees moving from one location to another simply take their phones with them and plug them back into the network. ShoreTel's built-in redundancy ensures high availability, and because the phone system is now on the data network, phone communications are incorporated into the company's regular disaster recovery planning and testing.
Moving forward, Broerman plans to use the call management and mobility features of ShoreTel to enable virtual offices, enabling approximately 75 associates to work out of their homes while retaining all the ShoreTel capabilities they would have in the office. Broerman also plans to integrate ShoreTel with the company's CRM application to make customer data available on incoming and outgoing calls.
"Businesses fighting for a competitive edge need a unified communications system that makes their people more productive while lowering overall costs," said Steve Timmerman, vice president of marketing at ShoreTel. "But it's important to choose a solution that doesn't create a bigger problem than it solves. As A. Schulman demonstrates, ShoreTel delivers on the UC promise with a solution that's easy to deploy, easy to manage, and easy to use, delivering significant ROI from the start."
About ShoreTel, Inc.
ShoreTel, Inc., (NASDAQ: SHOR) is a leading provider of Pure IP Unified Communications solutions. ShoreTel enables companies of any size to seamlessly integrate all communications-voice, video, messaging and data -with their business processes. Independent of device or location, ShoreTel's distributed software architecture eliminates the traditional costs, complexity and reliability issues typically associated with other solutions. ShoreTel continues to deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction, ease of use and manageability while driving down the overall total cost of ownership. ShoreTel is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices in the United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia and Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.shoretel.com or call 1-877-80SHORE.