Lemery Greisler Case Study
Leading law firm makes a case for ShoreTel VoIP to unify multiple offices
Two offices, two separate phone systems
Lemery Greisler had two separate phone systems in its Albany and Saratoga Springs, New York offices. The Vodavi and Merlin systems, while sufficiently carrying voice traffic, were unable to unify the two offices.
Bring together separate office locations
Lemery Greisler’s phone systems made it impossible to appear to the outside world as one unified company. For instance, if someone wanted to reach a specific attorney, sometimes they were directed to hang up and dial the other office telephone number—a process unacceptable to Lemery Greisler.
“Our previous analog systems made it hard to appear as a cohesive unit,” says Robert May, principal and founding member of Lemery Greisler. “We had two receptionists, two phone numbers, and two offices, but we wanted it to look to the outside world as one unified organization. We wanted the simplicity of an integrated system that would allow us to dial a four-digit extension to reach anybody and the ability to transfer calls in the same manner.”
Lemery Greisler investigated Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions to solve these issues and considered systems from ShoreTel and Avaya. After looking closely at both solutions, Lemery Greisler chose ShoreTel.
“When we saw the ShoreTel system and were given a demo, we couldn’t believe its functionality,” explains May. “Avaya’s solution was simply not as elegant. There are too many reasons to list for why we chose ShoreTel, but the integration with Outlook and the handset simplicity for nontechnical users were key components.” Jury decides in favor of ShoreTel’s elegant functionality
ShoreTel provided Lemery Greisler voice switches and a mix of ShoreTel VoIP and analog phones and SoftPhone licenses. “The installation went as planned and the new system was up and running without a hitch,” says May. “ShoreTel is just easy to implement. Nothing went as easily as this implementation went, and the potential for disaster was enormous. That’s saying a lot.”
The ShoreTel system provides integrated messaging for Lemery Greisler desktops, including unified messaging with Microsoft Outlook. This includes voicemail delivery to inboxes, directory dialing using contact lists, contact screen pop, and calendar integration.
“Users appreciate the fact that all of our voicemail is ported to email so that when they get a message, it pops up on the screen with the number, and the message can be played—and forwarded—directly from the PC,” states May. “Distributing voice messages is as simple as forwarding it via email to the right person or persons—which is quicker, easier, and guaranteed to be accurate.”
ShoreTel’s Follow Me Find Me feature allows Lemery Greisler to program its phones so that calls track them down on cell phones or another phone (home, hotel, etc.) when they are out of the office. “All of us at one time or another will be working from another location or office,” says May. “Follow Me Find Me is a powerful feature that keeps us in touch with our clients and raises the bar for customer service.”
Lemery Greisler employees can also easily program customized responses to meet their individual needs. With just a mouse click, they select from an array of call-handling options to manage incoming calls when in a meeting, working from home, or out of town. They can customize greetings, forward calls to another number, and specify how quickly voicemail should pick up calls.
“The ShoreTel system has allowed us to reduce the number of receptionists from two to one, which is a quantifiable savings,” says May. “And long wait times for clients calling in are a thing of the past.”
“WE HAD TWO RECEPTIONISTS, TWO PHONE NUMBERS, AND TWO OFFICES, BUT WE WANTED IT TO LOOK TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD AS ONE UNIFIED ORGANIZATION.”
Robert May, Principal and Founding Member
Simplified management makes IT ‘s job easier
Lemery Greisler uses ShoreTel Director, a browserbased management interface that allows the IT team to manage every site, including voicemail, automated attendant, and desktop applications. To add a new user, a system administrator simply clicks “add new” and enters the user’s name, which automatically updates the centralized database and every voice switch.
“Taking care of the ShoreTel system is easier than I had even anticipated,” states May. “You can see anything on the network from anywhere and changes are much easier to make. I had no idea how easy it would be at the time of purchase and I have been pleasantly surprised.”
While ShoreTel Voice Switches already exceed the telecommunications industry’s 99.999% reliability benchmark, ShoreTel has taken even further steps to ensure reliability. ShoreTel’s IP phone failover capability means that in the unlikely event of a ShoreTel Voice Switch failure, IP phones affected by the failure simply reconfigure themselves to use a different switch. “We really appreciate the fault tolerance that’s included in the ShoreTel solution,” explains May. “It means that even if something goes wrong with a T1, the office phones still work fine.””
ShoreTel puts everyone on the same page
The ease of use and seamless integration of the ShoreTel system means that Lemery Greisler is prepared for its future growth. The firm plans to swap out many of its analog phones with ShoreTel IP phones, and upgrade to the next release that will allow conference calls accommodating more than a few participants.
“The most satisfying benefit to having the new ShoreTel system in place is that we now present a single entity to people calling into the firm, which is very important from a business standpoint,” concludes May. “It’s important internally as well, making communications between the merged offices as smooth as if everybody is working within the same building. We weren’t sure we could achieve this unified integration—the costeffectiveness and simplicity of the ShoreTel solution allowed us to meet this objective.”
“THE MOST SATISFYING BENEFIT TO HAVING THE NEW SHORETEL SYSTEM IN PLACE IS THAT WE NOW PRESENT A SINGLE ENTITY TO PEOPLE CALLING INTO THE FIRM, WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT FROM A BUSINESS STANDPOINT.”
With two offices in two different locations, the firm wanted to present a unified front to its client base and potential customers. Having separate telephone numbers was confusing, and management was cumbersome.
ShoreTel provided Lemery Greisler with a complete VoIP telephone system, including switches, phones, and software, for both of its New York buildings.
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Simpler administration
- Productivity-enhancing features
- Unified presence