Greene Boillet & Wheeler Case Study
Leading law firm makes a case for Mitel IP telephony to enhance client service and reduced management costs
Retiring a legacy telephony solution
Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, based in Santa Monica, California, decided that it was the right time to look for IP telephony to replace its outdated Meridian PBX system.
Finding the right technology for current and future needs
The law firm needed to replace its outdated Meridian PBX system, which was being phased out by the vendor. Greene Broillet & Wheeler began looking for a solution that was easier to manage and would meet all its current and future needs.
“I decided to start with our integration partner, and see what their recommendations would be for a new system. I knew about (Voice over IP) but not the way our partner does. They were really excited about Mitel and gave us a demo and customer references. I also wanted to look at Meridian’s VoIP solution and Cisco’s system,” says Ken Stone, Greene Broillet & Wheeler’s information systems manager.
Stone and his colleagues received and studied proposals from all three vendors. With priority placed on ease of use and management, lowering their total cost of ownership, and a robust feature set, Greene Broillet & Wheeler chose Mitel.
“The bottom line was that Mitel was going to save us money from the beginning, with the cost of the system and right through the years because it’s so easy to manage in-house,” remarks Stone. Bill Krovetz, executive director with the firm, adds, “Mitel was also built from the ground up to be VoIP—it’s not just an altered version of an old solution. The sound quality of the phones was the icing on the cake, and we went with Mitel.”
The verdict was Mitel’s VoIP solution due to ease of management and lower TCO
Mitel, with the help of its local integration partner in Torrance, California, provided Greene Broillet & Wheeler with three of its ShoreGear® 120 voice switches, two ShoreGear T1 switches, and more than 65 ShorePhone™ IP phones. A dozen or so of the phones are used as a phone bank for charitable or political causes. They are stored when not in use.
Greene Broillet & Wheeler also has a 12-port ShoreGear Conference Bridge, which delivers high reliability and integrates smoothly with the rest of the Mitel system. The ShoreGear conference bridge is an embedded appliance built on the Linux operating system and supports any number of conferences with up to 12 ports.
“The quality of sound on the Mitel system is great, which is important since we have a lot of conference calling going on at the firm,” comments Stone. “We save money because we handle our own conference calls internally, and it’s easy for anyone to set up—they don’t need to put in an IT request to set up a call.”
Immediate Productivity Gains
Integrated directly with Microsoft Outlook, the Mitel system provides employees with integrated messaging, such as directory dialing, contact screen pop, and calendar integration. ShoreWare® Personal Call Manager™ enables users to manage all of their communications—voice mail, email, faxes—centrally on their desktop.
“Employees really like the convenience of seeing voice mail and email together, and having caller ID history logs is crucial to our business,” says Stone. “With Mitel, even if they’re working at home, people still have the ability to view email and voice mail in one place by signing into the system. It saves time and improves productivity by not having to make an extra call to hear voice mail.”
“WITH SHORETEL, EVEN IF THEY’RE WORKING AT HOME, PEOPLE STILL HAVE THE ABILITY TO VIEW EMAIL AND VOICE MAIL IN ONE PLACE BY SIGNING INTO THE SYSTEM.”
Ken Stone, Information Systems Manager
Greene Broillet & Wheeler
With Personal Call Manager, employees can quickly browse contacts and make calls from local directories or from Microsoft Outlook. The Mitel system is also integrated with Greene Broillet & Wheeler’s full client database, which includes previous clients from years past. If a former client from the database calls into the law firm, the screen will be populated with information about that person, including telephone numbers, address, etc.
Personal Call Manager’s graphical interface provides easy access to sophisticated features, including on-the-fly conferencing, transferring, and managing multiple calls. Voice mail messages can be stored, allowing users to play them on multimedia PCs, and archive them for legal purposes.
Greene Broillet & Wheeler also uses Mitel’s hunt groups, which allows multiple call routing options to ensure that live calls are answered by having primary and backup operators. With hunt groups, when a person is on the phone or unavailable, calls are routed to another extension, preventing the firm’s clients from unnecessarily reaching voicemail. Greene Broillet & Wheeler also has a hunt group set up for faxes.
“We use hunt groups to route fax calls because it is imperative that we successfully receive faxes,” says Stone. “We have eight incoming fax lines. To ensure that all faxes are received, we have them in a hunt group so that calls roll over until they hit a fax machine that isn’t busy. Mitel also allows us to get these faxes via email so receptionists can forward them to the right person.”
The verdict is in—another satisfied Mitel customer
For Greene Broillet & Wheeler, one of the most important factors in its decision to go with Mitel was ease of administration. The firm uses Mitel’s ShoreWare Director, a browser-based management interface that allows a network administrator to launch a Web browser and gain access to ShoreWare Director from anywhere on the network. Through the browser, Stone or a colleague can manage every site, including voice mail, automated attendant, and desktop applications.
To add a new user, Stone or a colleague simply clicks “add new” and enters the user’s name, which automatically updates the centralized database and every voice switch. Once the new user is added, a mailbox is created, the automated attendant dial-by-name and number feature are updated, and online directories are revised. The entire process takes just a few seconds. The administration of moves and changes is just as simple and can even be done remotely.
“One of the most significant benefits of the Mitel system is that we can now handle maintenance and support issues in-house and they’re taken care of as quickly as I can handle them, which is usually very fast,” says Stone. “Before Mitel, it could take days or a week to get things done because I had to call a vendor and wait for their schedule to free up. Maintaining the Mitel system is easier and less expensive.”
Since the Mitel system was implemented, people at Greene Broillet & Wheeler are very happy with it, according to Krovetz. “It’s been easy to learn and some people are even asking about more advanced features, which means they appreciate how it enhances productivity,” adds Krovetz. “Right from the beginning, the Mitel rollout was a positive experience. We’re able to do things with Mitel that we couldn’t do with our old system. Our firm is a very satisfied Mitel customer.”
“RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING, THE SHORETEL ROLLOUT WAS A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE. WE’RE ABLE TO DO THINGS WITH SHORETEL THAT WE COULDN’T DO WITH OUR OLD SYSTEM. OUR FIRM IS A VERY SATISFIED SHORETEL CUSTOMER.”
Greene Broillet & Wheeler was faced with an outdated system that was going to be shelved by the vendor. At the time, the law firm decided to look at VoIP systems to increase functionality and simplify management.
Mitel provided the firm with a comprehensive solution, including ShoreGear voice switches, a ShoreGear conference bridge, and ShorePhone IP telephones.
- Cost saving on system management
- Easier and less expensive conferencing
- Improved customer service and productivity
- Voice message archiving