White Oaks Conference Resort Case Study
White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa installs ShoreTel Mobility and then replaces its Mitel phone system for resilient, cost-effective communications
ShoreTel Mobility extends UC
To align with the resort’s growing mobile device needs, White Oaks decided on ShoreTel Mobility for straightforward integration of smartphones and tablets with existing applications and infrastructure.
Cost-effective system with a short learning curve
White Oaks is known for its exceptional customer service and attention to details. “Going above and beyond for our customers is our starting point, so communications is critically important to ensure that our teams can quickly and easily resolve issues and provide excellent guest service,” says Adrien Carlyle, IT manager at White Oaks.
The resort installed ShoreTel Mobility to extend UC tools from the desktop to mobile devices for streamlining work environments and reducing costs. As a built-in component of the ShoreTel UC system, ShoreTel Mobility is able also to integrate with other IP PBX and UC systems, making it seamless to create anytime, anywhere communications.
ShoreTel Mobility combines a router that scales from 10 users to 5,000 with a Roam-Anywhere Client to natively integrate with the user interface of most mobile devices. In Canada, mobile devices rely primarily on GCM wireless networks, an alternate technology to CDMA 3G found primarily in the U.S. At White Oaks, ShoreTel Mobility is running on the existing WLAN, and is deployed on a variety of mobile devices.
Reservations about the existing phone system’s integration with ShoreTel Mobility
Although it had purchased ShoreTel Mobility to help with its mobile needs, the organization was experiencing many issues related to communications. “ShoreTel Mobility was the clear leader in the FMC space and met all our criteria. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to fully realize the benefits of ShoreTel Mobility because there were issues with the Mitel integration,” Carlyle says.
The IT department recently upgraded the Mitel platform to a newer model, while also consolidating two of the older PBX systems. One year after the deployment, problems began.
“We suffered two disk failures in which the RAID was completely corrupted and the system had to be reloaded from scratch. The restore had to be performed from a not-so-recent backup, resulting in more than six hours of system downtime and loss of configuration and user data—for each failure,” Carlyle explains.
Carlyle considered solutions from Avaya and Cisco. He also looked at ShoreTel and conducted a pilot on the system. “Avaya was by far the highest cost, and support charges put the system out of reach. The research we found cited Cisco as being notoriously complex and requiring special skills to administer. Neither offered open systems or the level of VMware support we needed. For us, ShoreTel won in every possible way over the competition. By far, it was the most cost effective option, with open standards, VMware support on the scale we need for meeting disaster recovery requirements, and interoperability with our existing fixed mobile convergence technology,” explains Carlyle.
Checking In to Greater Productivity and Capabilities with ShoreTel
White Oaks selected ShoreTel to optimize how the resort communicates and to capitalize on flexible cost-efficient technologies. “We chose ShoreTel to orchestrate a Voice over IP system that would be easy to use, easy to administer, and save us money,” Carlyle says.
The solution is built on ShoreTel’s simple-to-use platform and unique distributed architecture for nimble utilization and rock-solid reliability. The single-image architecture ensures 99.999 percent availability for mission-critical business continuity and minimizes IT administration costs. Users on the system have the flexibility to employ the softphone option from their desktop, and to use a phone extension that will forward to their smartphones. ShoreTel extends the life of the old Mitel phones still in place, too, which are now set to ring on incoming calls and enable extension dialing.
“FOR US, SHORETEL WON IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY OVER THE COMPETITION. BY FAR, IT WAS THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE OPTION, WITH OPEN STANDARDS, VMWARE SUPPORT ON THE SCALE WE NEED FOR MEETING DISASTER RECOVERY REQUIREMENTS, AND INTEROPERABILITY WITH OUR EXISTING FIXED MOBILE CONVERGENCE TECHNOLOGY.”
Adrien Carlyle, IT Manager
White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa
Carlyle and his team attempted SIP integration with the Mitel system, which did not work; then using T1 integration, had the ShoreTel solution fully implemented in one week. The Mitel system is being phased out over three years. In addition to displacing Mitel over time, White Oaks retired a Nortel PBX system that had been operating in the spa, and is keen on replacing existing Spectralink devices.
A Five-Star Rating for Savings and Reliability
White Oaks is capitalizing on the new superior level of communications. For every Spectralink device displaced with a smartphone on the ShoreTel network, the resort saves $300, which will add up pretty quickly to significant savings.
When asked if he had any other specific examples of how the ShoreTel implementation has bettered the business, Carlyle was quick to respond. “One thing our staff strives for is the use of a guest’s name when interacting with them. The ShoreTel system offers the longest display of caller ID information I’ve ever seen. Some of our guests have had long enough names to overrun the screens on the Mitel phones,” he says.
“There is so much going on, so many ways to take advantage of with the ShoreTel architecture and features. We have the ability to allow call center agents and other staff to easily telecommute. I can easily see an increasingly mobile sales team that engages customers consistently and effectively from the road instead of offices in the building. And while we have technical support services from ShoreTel, we’ve found the system is very easy to administer and we’ve already upgraded the system twice on our own without issue since installation.
Cost savings and reliability are probably the biggest benefits we derive from the ShoreTel environment, for our company, our operations. The resiliency, the simplicity, and impressive capabilities give us ongoing, day-to-day cost avoidance and greater peace of mind,” Carlyle concludes.
“COST SAVINGS AND RELIABILITY ARE PROBABLY THE BIGGEST BENEFITS WE DERIVE FROM THE
SHORETEL ENVIRONMENT, FOR OUR COMPANY, OUR OPERATIONS.THE RESILIENCY, THE
SIMPLICITY, AND IMPRESSIVE CAPABILITIES GIVE US ONGOING, DAY-TODAY COST AVOIDANCE AND GREATER PEACE OF MIND.”
- After repeated disk failures, RAID corruption, and costly downtime, White Oaks needed a replacement system with redundancy, SIP trunking, open APIs, and simplified IT administration.
- ShoreTel provided a UC solution that included ShoreTel IP phones, ShoreTel Voice Switches, and ShoreTel Mobility.
- Reduced device costs
- Significant cost avoidance, and lower support costs
- ROI on device hardware and reduced call charges
- Simplified anytime, anywhere communications