Bell Gully Case Study
After selecting ShoreTel, a 173-year-old law firm had a fully implemented Unified Communications solution in just eight weeks
Communications is fundamental to the firm’s success
Bell Gully’s service is founded on being available, responsive, commercial, solutions-focused, and cost-effective. Its people talk through issues, listen carefully, and keep listening, making a high-quality communications system essential.
Phone system replacement became a top priority
Operations Director Jason Wild joined Bell Gully in November 2011 and was given a mandate to improve the quality of supply and service delivery. The ultimate goal was to move IT from just delivering operational or transactional services to become a value-adding internal business partner.
One of Wild’s immediate concerns was Bell Gully’s telephony system. “We had a very old system, heading up for 15 years old. There had been an item on the CAPEX budget for about six years to replace it, but it had never made it to the top of the list,” comments Wild.
Previous justifications for a new phone system had not been compelling enough to gain traction with the partners. According to Wild, articulating the risk associated with a core business system that was end-of-life, no longer manufactured, and essentially unsupportable, was key to raising the priority of the project.
In response, Bell Gully fast-tracked the phone replacement project, and it became a priority for the business. Unfortunately, that risk to the business then became reality in mid-2012, when it became untenable to continue to support the existing PBX.
All the evidence points to ShoreTel as the smart choice
Bell Gully approached the project in two stages. The IT department spoke to the vendors about their particular technologies, and evaluated the technical features and benefits of each solution, then put a group of partners and secretaries in front of the different technologies to evaluate them.
ShoreTel and a partner were asked to present a solution to Bell Gully’s business user group. “They did an excellent job talking to us about our business, not just trying to sell features to us,” says Wild. “Their presentation was based around realistic business scenarios. Given that his was a group of nontechnical people, they found it very engaging,” remarks Wild.
After evaluating the vendor technologies and the capabilities of the service providers, Bell Gully selected ShoreTel. “One of the key drivers for the ShoreTel system was the simplicity of the architecture and how quickly the system could be implemented,” says Wild.
“From assigning the business, through to the design of the system, procurement, configuration and installation, it was less than eight weeks,” says Wild. “That was actually quicker than at least one of the other vendors could get the kit into New Zealand. That speed of response was quite astounding.”
The jury sides with ShoreTel’s resilient UC system
Requiring a resilient voice network, Bell Gully deployed ShoreTel voice appliances in both its Auckland and Wellington offices. A ShoreTel 220E1 Voice Appliance and four ShoreTel 90 Voice Appliances have been implemented, with a fifth ShoreTel 90 Voice Appliance providing N+1 redundancy.
Sixty PRI trunks were installed in Auckland plus 30 PRI trunks in Wellington, incorporating Bell Gully’s existing WAN to deliver savings through least cost routing. Desk phones were standardized across the organization, with ShoreTel IP230 handsets deployed to all staff.
"WE HAD A VERY OLD SYSTEM, HEADING UP FOR 15 YEARS OLD. THERE HAD BEEN AN ITEM ON THE CAPEX BUDGET FOR ABOUT SIX YEARS TO REPLACE IT, BUT IT HAD NEVER MADE IT TO THE TOP OF THE LIST.”
Jason Wild, Operations Director
Enhancements to user and group productivity were delivered to all users through the ShoreTel Communicator UC client. Additional functionality was enabled for 56 personal assistants, with Operator Access licenses and 14 internal service agents with Workgroup Agent Access licenses. ShoreTel Mobile Access Communicator was also purchased.
User productivity was further enhanced with the supply of wired and wireless headsets, including acoustic enhancement for the hearing impaired. This was very cost effective without the need for handset lifters and expensive cabling.
“We used to worry about it on a daily basis – every time someone wanted us to make a change on a phone, we’d be in there thinking, ‘We could lose our phone system doing this change.’ That risk has just gone away. We have N+1 redundancy across our two sites,” comments Wild. “If something goes wrong in Auckland, we can run our phone system from Wellington and vice versa.”
Bell Gully has also benefited from the ease of system administration. “When we are moving people around, you don’t have to change anything. You just pick a phone up and plug it in, and it works. The integration with Active Directory makes it a lot easier to get user credentials into the system and bring data across from other systems,” says Wild.
Each year, Bell Gully welcomes a group of trainees who come in to work for a short period of time over the university holidays — then go away and come back as law clerks, once they qualify. Wild’s team used to spend several weeks getting the phones ready for the interns. Now it takes less than two days.
Bell Gully is also a frequent user of voice conferencing, a service that had been provided externally and is anticipating a substantial savings from no longer third-party conference providers.
Future plans include adding mobility functionality
Now that Bell Gully has a stable, risk-free phone system, it is looking to exploit the potential of ShoreTel UC and is planning to explore desktop video conferencing. Bell Gully is also considering integration of ShoreTel UC with the firm’s LexisNexis InterAction customer relationship management (CRM) system to extend telephony functionality into the application or the application’s Microsoft Outlook plug-in. But one major strategic direction for Bell Gully is mobility.
“Mobility is a big push for Bell Gully going forward. Extending the desktop phone functionality out to the mobile device is something we’d like to look at,” concludes Wild.
“MOBILITY IS A BIG PUSH FOR BELL GULLY GOING FORWARD. EXTENDING THE DESKTOP PHONE FUNCTIONALITY OUT TO THE MOBILE DEVICE IS SOMETHING WE’D LIKE TO LOOK AT.”
Bell Gully’s existing telephone system was at least 15 years old, and its replacement had been discussed for a number of years. But in mid-2012, Bell Gully recognized that the phone system was a significant business risk and required urgent replacement.
Requiring a resilient voice network, Bell Gully deployed ShoreTel voice appliances, including one unit with N+1 redundancy. ShoreTel IP230 handsets were deployed to all staff and ShoreTel Communicator was rolled out to provide enhancements to user and group productivity.
- ShoreTel resiliency
- Rapid deployment
- Less time on administration