Monumental Sports Case Study
Monumental Sports trades away legacy PBX to draft ShoreTel for winning Unified Communications
Retiring aging PBX
The company had an aging PBX system in place that was inflexible, limited in its features, and increasingly difficult to administer. And with no more product support available, Monumental Sports was in need of a winning score.
Scouting for the best UC talent
Monumental Sports owns and operates three professional sports teams and the popular Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., and manages other venues.
Hosting hundreds of events annually, ensuring seamless communications throughout its facilities is critical to success.
Monumental Sports considered possible Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions from Avaya and Cisco, and then contacted IPC, a leading IT solutions provider. The team at IPC convinced Monumental Sports to take a look at ShoreTel Unified Communications (UC). “They came out with a ShoreTel system basically in a suitcase. They were the only vendor who could demonstrate right in front of us how the system worked, how it was managed, and show us the phones actually in use. That was impressive,” says Gordon Armstrong, senior director of IT at Monumental Sports.
After further evaluation of ShoreTel in comparison to the other vendors under consideration, Armstrong signed with ShoreTel and IPC. “We were surprised when the pricing came
in very low compared to the other vendors,” explains Armstrong.
ShoreTel and Monumental Sports design a winning team
ShoreTel can deliver on the promise of UC by seamlessly integrating voice, video, instant messaging, and data for the desktop and mobile devices. The ShoreTel IP platform features a fully distributed and scalable architecture with N+1 redundancy for five-nines availability. Intelligent core software provides all the essential capabilities, including voice routing, automated attendant, unified messaging, call accounting and reporting, robust workgroup routing, and other advanced telephony features.
Acting as general manager of the solution, ShoreTel Director is a web-based management tool that adds comprehensive visibility into the system. It coordinates out-of-the-box integration with Microsoft Outlook so that Monumental Sports staff can effectively manage communications in real time, instantly accessing calendars and directories, and proficiently handling incoming calls.
Also a key member of the team is ShoreTel Salesforce.com Call Center Adapter. Monumental Sports is using Salesforce.com Call Center Adapter to unite call routing and handle all business communications within one application via the use of ShoreTel Softphone on the sidebar of any Salesforce.com web page. The adapter is easily customized to create integrated call reports, which are fully linked with Salesforce.com data. Users can click on any hyperlinked phone number field on account records or individual contact information to place calls, and inbound calls will trigger Salesforce. com screen pops for real-time collaboration and faster call resolution.
“We have about 220 events a year — that’s 220 nights when we have anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 people in our building. Thanks to IPC and ShoreTel, our staff can keep in touch with each other as well as the fans who come to our events,” Armstrong explains.
IPC managed installation and training of the ShoreTel implementation. After IPC trained all 500 Monumental Sports employees on the system, it was time to plan the cutover from the old PBX. With such a busy event schedule, Armstrong wanted to ensure the new system went live on a day when nothing was scheduled. The cutover was squeezed into a day before a big event, so there was zero room for error. IPC handled the implementation cutover without incident, and the ShoreTel system was up and running by the end of the day.
“BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF OUR WORK, WE HAVE A LOT OF SEASONAL EMPLOYEES, SO WE’RE ADDING AND DELETING USERS AND MOVING PHONES A LOT. BEFORE, WE HAD A SEPARATE PHONE SYSTEM, A SEPARATE VOICEMAIL SYSTEM, A SEPARATE EMAIL SYSTEM, AND A SEPARATE CONFERENCING SYSTEM.”
Gordon Armstrong, Senior Director of IT
ShoreTel keeps scoring winning points It has been two years since the ShoreTel system was deployed at Monumental Sports. To put points on the scoreboard, sports teams must have a winning strategy and the right people executing plays. IPC and ShoreTel help Monumental Sports continue to score winning points with extensive flexibility and unified communications.
Staff members who work at remote facilities, but come to the Verizon Center for events, no longer worry about missing calls. Now they can simply log into any available phone to accept calls, access voicemail, and use other features on the ShoreTel system.
“Because of the nature of our work, we have a lot of seasonal employees, so we’re adding and deleting users and moving phones a lot. Before, we had a separate phone system, a separate voicemail system, a separate email system, and a separate conferencing system. And we had to manage every user within each system. With the ShoreTel solution, everything is combined into one interface and users have one login. That’s what really excited us about the system,” says Armstrong.
From an administrative point of view, Armstrong also cites the ease of management in comparison to the old PBX. He had two IT staffers with extensive training on the old system just so they could add and change phones. “My lower-level help desk people are now able to add and delete phones, change services, and add features with no problem at all. It’s the easiest interface of any of the three voice systems we looked at,” he says.
For ongoing needs, Monumental Sports relies on world-class support through the IPC TechFirst. “IPC is very knowledgeable and their TechFirst response center is right on. If I ever have a problem, I give them a call — which in truth is very rare because the system works so great. I think in two years I had to call them maybe four times, mostly for information about upgrades and how to enable certain features. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m a pretty happy customer. Working with ShoreTel and IPC has been a great experience. The system works perfectly for us,” concludes Armstrong.
“MY LOWER-LEVEL HELP DESK PEOPLE ARE NOW ABLE TO ADD AND DELETE PHONES, CHANGE SERVICES, AND ADD FEATURES WITH NO PROBLEM AT ALL. IT’S THE EASIEST INTERFACE OF ANY OF THE THREE VOICE SYSTEMS WE LOOKED AT.”
With an aging PBX system no longer being supported, and a bustling business heavily reliant on seamless communications, Monumental Sports needed a more unified phone system that delivered flexibility.
The ShoreTel UC solution included ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel Director, and Salesforce.com Call Center Adapter.
- Real-time call management
- Faster call resolution
- Integrated call reports
- Lower TCO due to ease of management