First Security Bank Case Study
First Security Bank deploys ShoreTel and shaves 80 percent of maintenance and usage costs
Separate systems and vendors at each branch
Each branch was responsible for its own telephony solutions. Branch managers were selecting vendors, voice services, and installation partners. It was very costly and highly inefficient, especially as the bank grew.
Scalable, high-performance VoIP
Communication is essential in any relationship. “The tools we use to communicate with customers are crucial to our success, as fewer persons are actually coming inside the bank to transact with us,” says Brody Walker, vice president and IT manager at First Security Bank. “To simplify communications, I brought voice communications under the responsibility of IT. Our system needed to be overhauled and centralized so that we could guarantee our customers reliable and efficient methods of interacting with First Security.”
Banking on a better way to communicate
“We were running on old, expensive, and outdated phone technology. To build a cohesive, efficient system across the bank enterprise, it was essential that we start with a central management interface for all systems. A new VoIP solution had to be easy for our employees to use and for my staff to manage. I wanted to ensure that IT would be able to install, configure, and maintain the system, and that moves/adds/changes would be simple for our help desk staff to perform,” he explains.
The IT team considered Nortel and Avaya as conventionally proven systems, installing two Nortel sites and two Avaya sites. For a fifth location, Walker wanted to try ShoreTel. “I heard about the ShoreTel solutions and was intrigued enough to begin a relationship. I charged one of my engineers with the responsibility of observing the installs by each vendor, and evaluating the complete installs from beginning to end, so we could determine the future of VoIP for First Security,” says Walker.
While the engineer had previous experience with Nortel, he noted that there was no central management console, there were configuration spreadsheets to build and import, and the overall install was cumbersome. Regarding the Avaya system, the engineer had difficulty shadowing the system installer who was flitting from telnet console to command prompts, clearly not installing a centralized management console.
The engineer had no issue following the ShoreTel installer from TeleComp, a ShoreTel Certified Champion Partner. He noted that TeleComp was able to perform all configurations via ShoreTel’s web-based console, and that the web-based application was very intuitive.
“We tested three VoIP vendors, and hands down, the winner was ShoreTel. The ease of use, the scalability, and the answer to our need for centralized, unified IP-based communications—it was all there,” says Walker.
ShoreTel balances simplicity and efficiency
First Security Bank selected a ShoreTel UC Solution. ShoreTel’s unified communications platform distributes intelligence over a unique and scalable architecture, and delivers complete visibility into the system for progressive telephony and plug-and-play growth.
The bank also engaged the ShoreTel Enterprise Service Program for comprehensive ongoing support, which includes 24-hour telephone technical assistance; advanced hardware replacement; downloadable software patches, updates, and upgrades; admittance to web-based instructor-led courses; and unlimited secure access to the ShoreTel Web portal.
ShoreTel Communicator provides the bank with a fully integrated and flexible interface that simplifies communications for customers and employees. The bank’s operators and receptionists can use Communicator with Operator Access to deliver high levels of personalized service, while Communicator with Professional Access grants more advanced aspects of interaction such as instant messaging, Softphone, and high-quality video for call handling.
“WE WERE RUNNING ON OLD, EXPENSIVE, AND OUTDATED PHONE TECHNOLOGY. TO BUILD A COHESIVE, EFFICIENT SYSTEM ACROSS THE BANK ENTERPRISE, IT WAS ESSENTIAL THAT WE START WITH A CENTRAL MANAGEMENT INTERFACE FOR ALL SYSTEMS.”
Brody Walker, Vice President and IT Manager
First Security Bank
“Our employees are finding the ShoreTel system very simple and effective. Regardless of location, they are able to rely on a uniform solution that streamlines communication. When customers call, the ShoreTel system makes it very easy to find the right person the first time,” states Walker.
First Security Bank implemented its ShoreTel UC Solution with the help of TeleComp. To train end users at smaller locations, Walker had his team perform on-site training at the time of installation. For the larger branches, he outsourced the training to TeleComp.
“The TeleComp team really made sure that we had a cost-effective and reliable solution—the right solution for us. They were keen to help us lower bottom-line expenses while ensuring we also could accomplish our business objectives,” Walker says.
First Security Bank makes a statement with ShoreTel UC
First Security Bank is now depositing savings on time, costs, and complexities. With an all-in-one solution from ShoreTel that addresses the bank’s need for operational efficiency and customer service, Walker is already looking to the future again. “We have a standardized VoIP framework for the company, which means a single system to know how to support. We’re in the process of integrating SIP technology in our enterprise, which is much cheaper than our existing PRI for connecting the VoIP to PTSN. It’ll also leverage disaster routing should an outage occur,” he explains.
One big project that was recently completed at First Security Bank was virtualizing its ShoreTel server. By deploying ShoreTel into First Security Bank’s virtualized environment, the requirement for physical phone servers shrinks, as do the related power, cooling, and space consumption costs. “Migrating to the virtual environment has provided us dynamic resource allocation to the ShoreTel Director,” explains Walker.
Banks have a rigid habit of counting and calculating things. At First Security, Walker has been totaling the savings since deploying ShoreTel across the enterprise. He measured the return on investment by comparing the current cost of remaining legacy services with the ShoreTel solution for any given location, and looking at the cost of monthly carrier fees for local services. “For the branches we’ve completed, we’ve seen savings upwards of 80 percent. It has made for a significantly short ROI. The bank’s CEO is definitely interested in our project completion, which will boost savings even more,” concludes Walker.
“FOR THE BRANCHES WE’VE COMPLETED, WE’VE SEEN SAVINGS UPWARDS OF 80 PERCENT. IT HAS MADE FOR A SIGNIFICANTLY SHORT ROI. THE BANK’S CEO IS DEFINITELY INTERESTED IN OUR PROJECT COMPLETION, WHICH WILL BOOST SAVINGS EVEN MORE.”
First Security Bank needed to modernize outdated PBX telephony and unify communications across disparate branch offices.
First Security Bank selected a ShoreTel UC Solution that comprised ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel Voice Switches, and ShoreTel Communicator with Professional, Operator, and Personal Access.
- Operational efficiency saves 80 percent
- Quick ROI
- Improved responsiveness to customers
- Easily perform MACs in-house