Coos County Family Health Services Case Study
ShoreTel’s VoIP solution is the best medicine for improving Coos County Family Health Services communications and productivity
Unify communications across multiple locations
CCFHS wanted a system that would span all of its four locations throughout New Hampshire and allow employees the simplicity of four-digit dialing between locations.
VoIP solution that provides ease of use
CCFHS had a number of different telephone systems, all of which were being rapidly outgrown, and the organization was also in the midst of acquiring another medical practice.
The organization began to investigate Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony solutions. After thorough research, speaking with customer references, and seeing product demonstrations, CCFHS chose ShoreTel, specifically for the solution’s ease of use and management, feature robustness, and workgroup capabilities.
“ShoreTel beat the competition on ease of administration, first and foremost,” says Sally Wheeler, director of information systems for CCFHS. “In addition, ShoreTel had fewer ongoing support costs, whereas with one of the other IP telephony vendors, everything had to be changed, including all of our switches, and the ongoing costs were going to be even higher. The other vendors simply were not able to offer everything that ShoreTel could offer. ShoreTel fit nicely into our WAN plans.”
Ease of use puts ShoreTel ahead of the competition
In addition to valuing the cost-effective, easy-to-manage features of the ShoreTel system, CCFHS also appreciates the fact that it now can deal with one organization, ShoreTel’s local integration partner, for all of its LAN and WAN needs.
ShoreTel provided CCFHS with ShoreTel Voice Switches and about a half-dozen ShoreTel IP Phones and more than 160 of its existing analog phones. CCFHS was pleased that it did not need to change to IP-based phones right away. The entire transition to the ShoreTel system, carried out in phases, took just over a week.
Management Burdens Eased
ShoreTel Director, ShoreTel’s browser-based management interface, allows the organization’s information systems personnel to access the system from anywhere on the network. Through this browser, every site and feature can be managed, including voicemail, automated attendant, and desktop applications. When a new user is added, an administrator simply clicks “add new” and enters the user’s name. Then the centralized database, voice switches, and mailboxes are created and automatically updated—all within seconds.
“The best thing about the ShoreTel system is its ease of use and administration,” says Gary Lamontagne, hardware support specialist for CCFHS. “Even at the beginning, during the product demonstration stage, ShoreTel looked easier than the competition. With ShoreTel, we can easily support it in-house, which saves us time and money.”
Rich features empower operators
ShoreTel’s Operator Call Manager gives CCFHS powerful information and control features that help operators provide very personalized attention and assistance to callers. For example, before even answering a call, a call-routing log displays the caller’s experience within the system. Before transferring callers, the call-transfer screen shows which employee is available so operators can avoid sending callers to extensions that are busy. With this unprecedented level of information, CCFHS operators connect calls faster and give clients the highest level of professional service.
“With Operator Call Manager, our operators have so much information at their fingertips before even picking up the phone,” explains Wheeler. “In addition, there’s a choice from the auto-attendant menu that allows a caller to simply
“THE BEST THING ABOUT THE SHORETEL SYSTEM IS ITS EASE OF USE AND ADMINISTRATION. EVEN AT THE BEGINNING, DURING THE PRODUCT DEMONSTRATION STAGE, SHORETEL LOOKED EASIER THAN THE COMPETITION. WITH SHORETEL, WE CAN EASILY SUPPORT IT INHOUSE, WHICH SAVES US TIME AND MONEY.”
Gary Lamontagne, Hardware Support Specialist
Coos County Family Health
leave a prescription refill request, which frees our operators for other more time-sensitive calls.”
Employee productivity is enhanced
With the ShoreTel system in place, all CCFHS employees are now on the same phone and voicemail system, using four-digit dialing to reach employees at any location and dialing co-workers by name. The least-cost routing capabilities also allow the organization to minimize costs by avoiding toll charges.
ShoreTel Personal Call Manager is integrated tightly with CCFHS employees’ Microsoft Outlook and provides unified messaging, such as directory dialing, contact screen pop, and calendar integration. Email and voicemail can be managed right from the desktop. With the ShoreTel solution, employees spend less time navigating complex telephone systems and more time performing critical CCFHS tasks.
“Employees think Call Manager is terrific,” states Lamontagne. “They like things such as the ability to get information about the incoming call, conference call on the fly, and go back and forth between calls easily. The ShoreTel system is much more intuitive than a regular telephone system, which means it’s a lot harder to make a mistake and maybe disconnect someone, which is unacceptable in our industry.”
More efficient call routing and better customer service
Because ShoreTel broadly supports workgroups, CCFHS was able to organize its departments to be more efficient and enhance customer service. With ShoreTel, CCFHS now uses a number of workgroups for different departments, including triage, front office, domestic violence assistance; and women, infants, and children (WIC) workgroups.
“With ShoreTel, if all of the operators are busy at one time, there is an option for a caller to wait on hold until someone else is available, rather than simply leaving a message,” says Wheeler. “This is a customer service advantage, and while they are on hold, messages are playing through the system with important and beneficial medical information.”
“SHORETEL HAS MET ALL OF OUR REQUIREMENTS AND WE’VE BEEN VERY HAPPY WITH THE SYSTEM. HEALTH CENTERS ARE VERY LEERY OF JUMPING INTO VOIP, MAINLY BECAUSE OF CONCERN OVER VOICE QUALITY. WE’VE FOUND THE VOICE QUALITY OF THE SHORETEL SYSTEM TO BE VERY GOOD, AND WE’RE HAPPY WE MADE THE SWITCH TO VOIP.”
Benefiting from an overall improvement in system health
CCFHS is happy with its choice of ShoreTel for its telephony needs. The organization plans to make ongoing system improvements. “ShoreTel has met all of our requirements and we’ve been very happy with the system,” concludes Wheeler. “Health centers are very leery of jumping into VoIP, mainly because of concern over voice quality. We’ve found the voice quality of the ShoreTel system to be very good, and we’re happy we made the switch to VoIP.”
Coos County Family Health Services (CCFHS) was faced with disparate phone systems throughout its locations. The old PBX system was lacking in features and users couldn’t transfer between locations.
ShoreTel provided CCFHS with voice switches and ShoreTel IP phones. CCFHS is using its existing analog phones with the system until there is time and budget to replace them with IP phones from ShoreTel.
- Ability to perform system management in-house
- Unified employee communications
- Advanced productivity features
- Higher call-routing accuracy