City of Pensacola Case Study
The City of Pensacola deploys ShoreTel UC with ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center to improve cost efficiencies, internal operations, and citizen services
Outdated PBX system
The city had been relying on a combination of PBX systems and stand-alone phone lines across the organization, many of which had become antiquated and reaching end-of-life.
Lower costs ease administration burdens
The city had aging PBX systems and stand-alone phone lines. “The PBXs didn’t provide anything close to a unified system, and we were spending way too much time on adds, deletes, and moves. What we really needed was a Voice over IP (VoIP) system that would lower our costs and provide capabilities for easier administration and better functionality,” says Brenda Kahalley, communications manager for the City of Pensacola.
The city sent out a request for proposal to vendors. Key requirements for the VoIP solution included manageability, an easy upgrade path to new technologies, and demonstrated capabilities for an efficient service, support, and delivery system for equipment, network, and administration.
“We looked at ShoreTel, Cisco, AT&T, and Avaya. Proposals included both hosted and non-hosted solutions. We chose ShoreTel mainly for its lower TCO and product ease of use,” explains Kahalley.
Kahalley designated Verteks Consulting to handle the ShoreTel implementation. Specializing in VoIP systems and computer networking, Verteks is also a ShoreTel partner. “Our Verteks team provided the expertise we needed to implement ShoreTel and educate us on how best to take advantage of the components and features—what a great job,” says Kahalley.
ShoreTel UC enables the city to improve services
The ShoreTel UC Solution included ShoreTel ECC, more than 600 ShoreTel IP Phones, and 677 ShoreTel licenses to cover 32 locations. ShoreTel is built on a single scalable IP platform with redundant distributed architecture and 99.999 percent availability for mission-critical communications. Intelligent core software delivers voice routing, automated attendant, unified messaging, call accounting and reporting, and important workgroup features.
ShoreTel is managed through a single, Web-based interface, known as ShoreTel Director, and applications can be accessed from anywhere on the network. The outcome is highly reliable, flexible, and simplified business communications.
ShoreTel IP Phones were installed for most of the city’s office desks and conference rooms. Crystal-clear audio quality and high-fidelity, full-duplex speakerphones facilitate a new level of clarity for the city’s callers. The city replaced older Polycom phones with ShoreTel Conference Phones, which have advanced microphone technology, backlit touch color display, haptic feedback, and must-have telephony tools for prompt call management.
The city used ShoreTel ECC to stand up three contact centers. Designed to capitalize on ShoreTel’s virtual call center technologies, ECC provides a fully integrated business communications system with universal queuing, enterprise resource matching, and customizable call routing. It also supports email and Web contacts, outbound campaigns, and routing of voicemail and fax to individual email addresses.
“We found the Enterprise Contact Center to be so easy to implement. If we need another one, we have that capability readily available to us. And it works seamlessly with our Telrex call recording and monitoring software,” states Kahalley.
“WHAT WE REALLY NEEDED WAS A VOICE OVER IP (VOIP) SYSTEM THAT WOULD LOWER OUR COSTS AND PROVIDE CAPABILITIES FOR EASIER ADMINISTRATION AND BETTER FUNCTIONALITY.”
Brenda Kahalley, Communications Manager
City of Pensacola
Having the right business IP platform means easy integration with important applications and environments. ShoreTel has already been integrated with the city’s Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Server environments. The IT department uses Cisco networks and manages VMware virtualization environments. “We use VMware for most of our servers, and are looking at possibly virtualizing our ShoreTel hardware in the future,” she explains. ShoreTel applications are validated and certified for virtualized deployments.
ShoreTel UC saves Pensacola $80,000 a year
Since deploying ShoreTel across its organization, the City of Pensacola has been able to expand some of its services and improve the quality of its communications. “ShoreTel has opened up so many possibilities for us to improve service delivery. The city now has a UC system that makes it easier to stay connected, to respond to citizen needs, and to maintain a high level of efficiency. We will continue expanding until all city facilities have ShoreTel phones,” Kahalley says.
The IT department purchased ShoreTel Support to ensure the organization runs smoothly with ongoing services to make the most of the ShoreTel system.
“With ShoreTel, we can literally do in minutes what used to take hours. And when wiring buildings, we no longer need to provide separate phone and network jacks. Our end users now have a more robust system that makes it easier to provide the best service to our citizens and customers. The integration with Outlook means they can dial numbers directly from their PCs and talk to people without ever touching the phone,” explains Kahalley.
From a cost-savings perspective, Kahalley cites reduced operating costs, with fewer PRI lines, no PBX maintenance, a reduction in landlines needed, and the standardization of phone types across the organization. “The city is able to realize a net cost savings per year of $80,000 over our previous phone system operating expenses. The ROI has been greater than we’d estimated because we’ve been able to deploy the ShoreTel system to locations that weren’t able to have network service previously. We’ve greatly expanded the ability to provide service to small offices that couldn’t justify a PBX system in the past. Cutting out single line expenses has also been a significant cost saver,” Kahalley adds.
The city plans to expand the ShoreTel system into additional areas and expects to save another $10,000 a year. “We have upgraded our network to 10GB and will be considering the 1GB desktop ShoreTel phones in the future. We’ve improved service, quality, and cut costs. We’ve simplified communications for end users, citizens, and administration. It’s all good, real good,” concludes Kahalley.
“THE CITY IS ABLE TO REALIZE A NET COST SAVINGS PER YEAR OF $80,000 OVER OUR PREVIOUS PHONE SYSTEM OPERATING EXPENSES. THE ROI HAS BEEN GREATER THAN WE’D ESTIMATED BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO DEPLOY THE SHORETEL SYSTEM TO LOCATIONS THAT WEREN’T ABLE TO HAVE NETWORK SERVICE PREVIOUSLY.”
The City of Pensacola was grappling with multiple, outdated, and end-of-life PBX systems across 31 municipal sites. The lack of unified communications increased complexities, cost inefficiencies, risks, and resource demands.
A ShoreTel UC Solution resulted in lower TCO and ease of use across the organization when the city switched to ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center (ECC), ShoreTel IP and Conferencing Phones, and ShoreTel support.
- Higher ROI than expected
- Cost savings of $80,000 annually
- Improved service delivery
- Lower TCO with fewer PRI lines and less maintenance