Businesses of all sizes and in all industries recognize the value of unified communications (UC). UC improves the speed of communication by improving collaboration and access to information. Connecting business processes with communications systems can drive even greater efficiencies by reducing delays and increasing the quality of information available.
Certain industries are rapidly adopting UC to improve collaboration and speed their business. Work becomes an activity, not a place you go. Workers, regardless of whether they are in corporate headquarters, branch offices, home offices, or between meetings, stay a productive part of the team.
Here’s a sampling of how different business segments and industries are leveraging UC in Kentucky and beyond.
Social media – In today’s social-media world, news travels fast. And that news is to use ShoreTel UC. Many of the leading social-media sites, including Yelp, MySpace, Yammer and Groupon, have selected ShoreTel to make their own communications brilliantly simple.
Similarly, Unified Technologies partnered with Louisville, Ky. based, TryItLocal.com, a discounted deals network offered in more than 50 U.S. cities, to upgrade their phone system to a ShoreTel VoIP platform.
Education – Higher education and K-12 school districts are leading adopters of UC. Budget shortfalls have hit K-12 schools hard, but they are looking to UC to create new efficiencies and improve communications among teachers, students and parents. For instance, schools can use automated calling to provide notices to students’ homes and make it easy for parents to check school lunch balances.
On university campuses, instant notices can alert faculty and students to emergency situations. Leading educational institutions, from Amarillo Independent School District to The College of William & Mary, rely on ShoreTel.Georgetown College, located in Georgetown, Ky., worked with ShoreTel partner, Unified Technologies, to implement a new phone system that allows their 800+ professors and administrative staff on-campus to connect simply and effortlessly. Georgetown’s President, Dr. William Crouch, Jr., said of the system and the implementation process through Unified Technologies, “It was important to us that we got the process right. One of the things in and academic institution is that we have 120 PhD’s on campus who are analyzing everything that we do. This is why it was important for us to choose the right system and to do this right.”
Unified Technologies also worked with Christian Academy School System located in the Louisville and Southern Indiana region on installing a phone system for their teachers and staff at four locations. A key feature of the new network at Christian Academy is an automated Emergency 911 first responder notification system that provides immediate notification to emergency responders and select administrators of the exact location and room where a situation is being reported. “I was very impressed that after our install we had 300 working phones and also no complaints from the students, parents and families we serve,” said Rob Hough, Director of Technology Services for the school system.
Event venues and entertainment – Many event venues are investing heavily in UC from videoconferencing to phone systems designed to make guests feel special and secure. Employees of the Winnipeg Convention Center use ShoreTel Mobility to turn their smartphones into a mobile extension of their PBX so they can make and receive calls wherever they might be.
The San Francisco Giants use ShoreTel to transform how its front-office staff, the media and fans connect at AT&T Park. See why Bill Schlough, CIO, San Francisco Giants says, “ShoreTel has hit a grand slam for the Giants!”
State and local government – State and local governments can improve their communications in support of quality of life, economic development, safety and emergency response efforts. Agencies can build more interactive relationships with citizens and business owners and provide resources to communities, towns and cities.
The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency was able to eliminate inefficient paper-generating processes with integrated fax capabilities that expedite housing certification and applications to improve customer service.
And in Frankfort, the Frankfort Plant Board which is the largest provider of electric, water and fiber optic cable-based telecommunications services for the capitol of Kentucky, the City of Frankfort, partnered with Unified Technologies to provide a better experience for its customers calling in for assistance. With the ShoreTel solution that Unified Technologies designed and recommended, the plant board will now be able to service its customers via telephone call, email or live chatting through the company’s web page.
Financial services – As banks and other financial services firms compete fiercely for customers, the ability to deliver high levels of customer service is critical. The use of presence and other UC capabilities lets workers quickly connect callers with the right subject-matter expert, no matter where they’re located.
Washington State Employees Credit Union, with a membership of more than 150,000 and with $1.4 billion in assets, uses ShoreTel’s call center features to improve member service and ensure calls are answered quickly even during peak times.
Unified Trust, a Lexington, Ky.-based wealth management services company, worked with Unified Technologies to upgrade their telecommunications system to a ShoreTel VoIP system. Jennifer Steed of Unified Trust says of the new system, “I am very happy with the ShoreTel System and all of the functionality. I am also very pleased with Unified Technologies for their continuous training and the level of service they provide.”
(Blog post reprinted from ShoreTel, Dec. 28, 2011 with Unified Technologies references added Feb. 21, 2012.)