RMH Group Case Study
RMH Group implements ShoreTel Collaboration to engineer increased productivity and trim external conferencing costs
VoIP system with new features and cost savings
The company had an older Nortel Meridian system that was complex, expensive, and antiquated. To address these issues, The RMH Group wanted to implement a VOIP solution to take advantage of new features and cost savings.
Right platform to integrate with hospitality systems
To help select the right unified communications solution to meet its specific needs, Troy Kuskie, IT manager at The RMH Group, worked with Teleco of the Rockies (aka BKO, Inc.).
Kuskie wanted to implement the new system as easily and painlessly as possible, so that the transition wouldn’t interrupt any of the firm’s engineering projects. “A wide range of demographics work here,” says Kuskie. “We have young engineers just out of school who use their cell phones almost exclusively and then seasoned veterans who still use desk phones.The selected communications solutions had to fit with our environment.”
Reliability was also an important factor. ShoreTel offers N+1 redundancy, where each switch is a peer, and the system load is shared across all switches. If one switch fails, its load would be redistributed across the remaining switches, allowing all users to continue to use the system. “We really wanted a solution that would be transparent to our users. If for some reason the system went down, it would need to have the capability to transfer the traffic without manual intervention,” explains Kuskie.
The RMH Group evaluated solutions from Cisco, Avaya, and 3Com. “ShoreTel was our first choice because it’s simple to implement and use. Although we saved money with the purchase (compared to a competing system), we didn’t have to sacrifice anything because ShoreTel offered more than the competitors,” states Kuskie. “And we didn’t want to choose a lower-end solution that wouldn’t be able to meet future needs.”
“On the IT side, we didn’t want to bring in a system like Cisco where we would have to rip and pull out a lot of our built-up infrastructure just to support it,” says Kuskie. “The new solution had to fit into our existing IT framework. In addition, we didn’t want to have to buy another expensive and complicated software package.”
ShoreTel helps increase productivity
ShoreTel Communicator delivers productivity data and voice tools that fully interoperate with The RMH Group’s existing applications. ShoreTel Communicator has a presence feature that shows the phone status of another user (on the phone, in a meeting, or out to lunch), so a user knows whether it’s best to contact them via phone call, instant message, or email. “Our employees really like knowing when someone is available so they can get a hold of them. They also really like the alerting feature.
Someone might create a buddy group for a project, and then they can see who is busy and who isn’t with presence,” explains Kuskie.
Saving on hefty monthly charges with ShoreTel integrated collaboration
Kuskie emphasizes that facilitating ongoing communication is one of the biggest challenges engineers face. “Our projects involve many people, so being able to communicate effectively is key,” says Kuskie.
“A WIDE RANGE OF DEMOGRAPHICS WORK HER. WE HAVE YOUNG ENGINEERS JUST OUT OF SCHOOL WHO USE THEIR CELL PHONES ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY AND THEN SEASONED VETERANS WHO STILL USE DESK PHONES. THE SELECTED COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTIONS HAD TO FIT WITH OUR ENVIRONMENT.”
Troy Kuskie, IT Manager
The RMH Group
Although the firm’s audio conferencing service costs varied, Kuskie says that using a hosted services solution from another vendor has resulted in hefty monthly charges. “We are definitely saving money by not paying for a third-party solution for our conferencing, plus we are seeing other benefits as well,” explains Kuskie. “We can now hold internal conferences. For example, if mechanical and electrical team members need to collaborate, they can quickly and easily create a conference call right from their Microsoft Outlook calendar.”
The RMH Group also uses conferencing to host internal webinars for training purposes in the field. Each presentation is captured to allow employees to flexibly view the training sessions at a later time or date.
Success matters; so does how you get there
Successfully managing the business means effectively communicating without barriers or borders. Organizations want reliable and flexible tools to cost-efficiently communicate, collaborate, and conference, from anywhere at any time, on any network, using any device.
ShoreTel and HP have joined together to deliver best-of-breed UC and networking solutions. ShoreTel’s unique distributed voice architecture and premises-based VoIP platform, combined with highly scalable, resilient, and agile HP Networking infrastructure, deliver an end-to-end UC that is critical to today’s modern multimedia and mobility needs.
Organizations need to eliminate costly complexity and want the freedom to leverage these best-ofbreed opportunities. To ensure the lowest possible costs for VoIP solutions, ShoreTel TCO Advantage calculates the percent of TCO reduction delivered from a ShoreTel UC implementation compared with UC vendor alternatives. HP Networking is committed to open standards and bringing efficiencies to network operations to considerably reduce infrastructure investment, maintenance, support, and overall TCO. The integrated ShoreTel and HP Networking solution architecture offers an unbeatable choice for lowering capital and operational costs while dramatically improving how communications are managed and delivered for the business.
Improved Collaboration and Communications
Since installing its UC solution powered by ShoreTel technologies, The RMH Group has been able to dramatically simplify collaboration and communications. Employees are rapidly adopting the collaboration tools, including the easy setup for voice and desktop sharing sessions, and they appreciate the seamless integration with Outlook.
For administrators, the ease of management is significant with integrated functionality, a single plug-and-play ShoreTel appliance, and intuitive Web interface for universal changes and centralized at-a-glance control.
“THE SHORETEL UC SYSTEM HAS ENABLED US TO TAKE BACK CONTROL OF OUR PHONE SYSTEM. EASE OF USE HAS ENSURED USERS ARE NO LONGER BOGGED DOWN PERFORMING ROUTINE TASKS, SUCH AS MOVING AND ADDING USERS, AND CAN GET ON WITH THEIR APPROPRIATE JOB ROLES.”
“The ShoreTel Conferencing functionality is so simple to use. I had it up and running and tied into our Microsoft Outlook application in less than 30 minutes,” says Kuskie. “ShoreTel is easy to use right out of the box and doesn’t require a lot of training. It really is brilliantly simple.”
The RMH Group wanted to implement Integrated Collaboration to increase productivity, use advanced features, and trim external conferencing costs.
The RMH Group implemented a ShoreTel Unified Communications (UC) solution that included ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel Voice Switches, ShoreTel Communicator with Professional Access, ShoreTel Conferencing, and ShoreTel Instant Messaging.
- Integration with Microsoft Outlook took less than 30 minutes
- Streamlined conferencing capabilities
- Eliminated the need for unique phone numbers and pass codes
- Increased productivity via presence and IM