DOWNLITE Case Study
DOWNLITE rests easy with a ShoreTel IP solutionand ShoreTel’s 911Call Notification to enhance safetyfor its workforce
Replace PBX suffering fromperformance problems
With an older NEC PBX-based telephone system,the organization was faced with performanceproblems that were costing it downtime andmoney. In addition, often no parts were availableto fix what was wrong.
A robust, reliable, available, andscalable system
Bedding manufacturer DOWNLITE was growingfrom two facilities in Cincinnati to six—four in itsheadquarters city, a fifth in Indiana, and another inNew York. The company needed to find a phonesystem that would support its growth and connectall of its sites in a cost-effective way. It was obviousthe existing phone system could not meet thoseobjectives.
In addition to requiring a system that was morerobust, reliable, available, and scalable, MattFleming, network manager with DOWNLITE,noted that the organization wanted additionalfeatures that the older PBX-based systems couldnot provide. “We were looking for better 911capabilities,” says Fleming. “The old system wouldflash 911 and give the extension number but notthe location of the extension, which is a criticalpiece of information in an emergency situation.”
DOWNLITE issued a Request for Proposal toleading telephone system vendors. After months,the choice came down to two vendors for theirIP telephony solution: Cisco and ShoreTel. WhileShoreTel was much simpler to manage and itwas faster and easier to set up a new user, theenhanced 911 notification capabilities confirmedShoreTel as DOWNLITE’s choice.
“The E911 capabilities on the Cisco side requiredan additional applications server and additionalsoftware in the range of $20,000, and it requireda lot of complicated licensing,” explains Fleming.“While Cisco and ShoreTel were close in E911capabilities, the cost and complexity were fardifferent and ShoreTel was much more appealing.While it wasn’t the only reason we went withShoreTel, E911 certainly sealed the deal.”
DOWNLITE warms up to ShoreTelsimplicity and E911
Working as a cohesive team, ShoreTel, networkingfirm Foundry, and DOWNLITE’s integration partnergot the new network and IP telephony system upand running quickly and at a price that could neverhave been matched by Cisco.
“Comparing actual cost and complexity of theShoreTel/Foundry and Cisco systems was likecomparing apples and oranges,” says Fleming.“The ShoreTel and Foundry quote combined wouldfit on half a page, but Cisco needed eight pages. Itwas complex and overly complicated, and we alsohad a feeling that getting support would also becomplicated.”
E911 provides extra peace of mind
DOWNLITE uses ShoreTel’s E911 NotificationApplication, which provides internal notificationthat a 911 call has been placed, the name,extension number, and exact location of thecaller. The ShoreTel E911 Notification Applicationgives designated site administrators an extralevel of oversight and security by automaticallyalerting them with audible desktop screen popsand placing notification calls when a 911 event isdetected anywhere on the system.
Based upon these alerts, local site personnel canoffer emergency crews any assistance that maybe required. “The ShoreTel E911 NotificationApplication worked right out of the box—it tookour integration partner just a couple of minutesto set it up,” says Fleming. “With the old system,sometimes our internal emergency response teamwould spend five or ten minutes looking for wherea call came from. Those minutes could be criticalto the safety and security of our workforce.”
“WE WERE LOOKING FORBETTER 911 CAPABILITIES.THE OLD SYSTEM WOULDFLASH 911 AND GIVE THEEXTENSION NUMBER BUTNOT THE LOCATION OFTHE EXTENSION, WHICHIS A CRITICAL PIECE OFINFORMATION IN ANEMERGENCY SITUATION.”
Matt Fleming, Network Manager
Improved productivity andresponsiveness
All DOWNLITE employees are on a centralizedphone and voicemail system, managing theiremail and voicemail activity in one place. Theyare also using ShoreTel Personal Call Manager,a powerful, all-purpose tool for managing voicecommunications. With it, employees can quicklytype in a name, bring up a number, and make theircalls from local online directories—all with the clickof a mouse, right from the desktop.
“Customer service employees really like theShoreTel system because if they’re calling manycontacts, they just click to dial,” says Fleming.“ShoreTel is just so easy to use, you only have toknow the person’s name in order to locate and dialthe phone number.”
DOWNLITE is also using Operator Call Manager,which provides operators with critical informationnecessary for exceptional customer service. Withthis unprecedented level of information, operatorsnot only connect callers faster than ever, but cangive them the highest level of professional service.With knowledge about who is available and wherea caller has already been sent, the operator cantransfer using a simple drag-and-drop tool to themost appropriate person.
ShoreTel’s hunt group capabilities ensure thatlive calls are answered by having multiple peopleavailable to answer. With hunt groups, when aperson is on the phone or unavailable, calls arerouted to another extension, preventing callers fromunnecessarily reaching voicemail.
ShoreTel delivers line charge and management savings
DOWNLITE has been able to avoid having toupgrade its T1 lines to T3 lines, which wasin its plans had the old system remained.Additional savings come from ShoreTel’s ease ofmanagement and administration. DOWNLITE usesShoreTel Director, a browser-based managementinterface, to manage the system from anywhereon the network, from controlling or changingthe configuration of switches, to managing thevoicemail, automated attendant, and desktopapplications.
When a new user is added through ShoreTelDirector, the centralized database and switchesare automatically notified, a mailbox is created,and the dial-by-name and number attendant andonline directories are updated. Changes are just asquick and easy.
“SHORETEL IS JUST SOEASY TO USE, YOU ONLYHAVE TO KNOW THEPERSON’S NAME IN ORDERTO LOCATE AND DIAL THEPHONE NUMBER.”
DOWNLITE was outgrowingits aging PBX-based telephonesystem and needed a systemthat would scale easily, providereliability, and most important,provide internal emergencynotification when a 911 callwas placed.
ShoreTel provided acomprehensive IP telephonysystem, including ShoreTelVoice Switches and ShoreTelIP Phones. ShoreTel Director isused for end-to-end networkmanagement.
- Enhanced 911 call notification
- Ability to manage the systemin-house
- Scalable as the organizationgrows
- Higher end-user productivity