Alabama's CB&S Bank switches on ShoreTel IP comms platform

Source: ShoreTel

ShoreTel®, Inc. (Nasdaq: SHOR), a leading provider of Pure IP Unified Communications (UC) solutions, today revealed details of a successful deployment of a ShoreTel distributed unified communications solution at Alabama's CB&S Bank. The ShoreTel UC solution has helped the multi-site bank improve customer service through a centralized call center, reduce costs through least-cost routing and in-house system maintenance, and increase staff productivity through features that facilitate collaboration.

Usually touted for cost savings and enhanced functionality, unified communications solutions now provide a wider range of benefits and are the solution of choice for banks looking to ensure business continuity and improve customer service, resource management, and overall performance. Saddled with disparate and aging PBX phone systems that were difficult to manage and not scalable, CB&S Bank, with 40 locations and more than 300 employees, recognized the advantages of unified communications and explored solutions from 3Com, Altigen, Cisco and ShoreTel. Based on call center features, ease of use and management, fail-over capabilities and more, the bank chose ShoreTel.

"Not only was the ShoreTel system more cost-effective than the rest, it offered us the ease of use and intuitiveness we were hoping to find," said Jeremy Scott, IT Manager with CB&S Bank. "ShoreTel also offered more standard features than the other vendors and proved to be more reliable." With ShoreTel, the bank now has an easy-to-manage, centralized call center that routes calls made to any branch to the next available call center staff member, eliminating the need for a receptionist at each location. Added Scott, "We're presenting a unified front to our customers and prospective customers. And like everything about ShoreTel, it's easy to set up and change workgroups."

Working with ShoreTel's Tampa, Florida-based partner DataComm Networks Incorporated, CB&S Bank has deployed more than 520 ShorePhone(TM) IP telephones and 40 ShoreGear® voice switches, including three ShoreGear T1 voice switches for high-density trunking to support Primary Rate Interface (PRI) signaling. Additional benefits of the ShoreTel solution include:

-- Ease of use: From using the telephones to managing the entire system, ShoreTel's ease of use is unmatched in the industry. ShoreTel allows CB&S Bank administrators to perform moves, adds and changes in seconds instead of waiting two or three days for a service call. Even len l. Even bringing on a new branch or location can be done within hours.

-- Integration: Tightly integrated with Microsoft Outlook®, the ShoreTel distributed unified communications solution offers features that create a more productive and collaborative workplace. Integrated messaging, directory dialing, contact screen pops, and calendar integration make bank employees more efficient so they can spend more time on critical tasks. Employees can also set up and record conference calls any time they want without paying for an expensive conference hosting company.

-- Reliability: ShoreTel met CB&S Bank's high standards of reliability. ShoreTel's call control software is distributed to every voice switch, eliminating any single point of failure. Should any ShoreGear voice switch ever fail at a site, the phones automatically fail over to the other switches at that site.

-- Cost efficiency: CB&S Bank is also saving significant time and money through the simplified, browser-based management of the system. Least-cost routing capabilities allow the bank to avoid toll charges. For example, a call from the Russellville, Alabama headquarters to a customer in Falkner, Mississippi, is routed through the company's data lines to the Falkner branch and then out to the customer, bypassing toll charges.

"CB&S Bank turned to ShoreTel for a reliable, easy-to-manage phone system that could also be used to create a centralized call center," said Steve Timmerman, vice president of marketing at ShoreTel. "ShoreTel delivered far more. With the product's outstanding features and ease of use, ShoreTel's unified communications solution is driving down overall communication costs, enhancing customer service, and helping employees be more productive and collaborate more effectively with their colleagues."

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