SYDNEY, Australia, December 5, 2008 - ShoreTel, Inc., (NASDAQ: SHOR), a leading provider of Pure IP Unified Communications (UC) solutions, today announced that leading Brisbane real estate agency Blue Realty, a Harcourts franchisee, saved an estimated 30 percent on monthly telephony calls and maintenance costs, as well as additional savings for moves, adds, and changes (MAC).
The ShoreTel leading-edge UC system was rolled out to 50 employees at its three-branch real estate and property management business and has created the scalability required to support the company's growth plans.
The deployed ShoreTel UC system comprises ShoreGear 40/8 and ShoreGear 90 BRI switches as well as 61 elegantly designed ShorePhone IP560 and IP212 telephones. It replaced a Panasonic system that lacked easy-to-learn-and-use features and time saving benefits needed by Harcourts' sales people to improve productivity and efficiency.
The easy-to-use and easy-to-maintain ShoreTel UC solution enables Harcourt's Blue Realty to increase productivity and provide improved mobility for its sales consultants, who typically work from different locations. The single image ShoreTel UC system also allows the busy realtor to add-on additional users - up to 10,000 on a single system - at no cost apart from the costs of telephones, and with minimal handling fees.
In the search for a more reliable and stable telephony system, Harcourts reviewed a number of different technologies. With the help of IT&T services and solutions specialists, ITT Communications, Harcourts staff selected the ShoreTel UC system for its low total cost of ownership and exceptional reliability and stability - key criteria for this growing real estate business that requires a highly robust communications system for staff who work across three branches and are often away from the traditional office.
"We gained cost savings from the moment the ShoreTel system went in," said Harcourts Blue Realty customer service manager, Gerry Gorry.
"The ShoreTel UC system has created an estimated 30 percent cost savings in our monthly telephony calls and maintenance costs as well as the costs of having to move, add, and change telephones. Importantly, all calls to and from our branches are now completely free. Cost savings like these make a real difference to the business' bottom-line," he added.
The ShoreTel UC system provides visibility across all of Harcourts Blue Realty branches. It enables sales and administration staff to nominate where and when they take calls, use different ringtones to identify the type of incoming call, and route messages to different locations. They also have a window on call history and data, and can monitor and control call traffic, account for call costs, and create and modify user groups associated with specific marketing campaigns.
"Our sales people have found the ShoreWare® Call Manager feature a genuine resource that helps them make their business day more productive," Mr. Gorry said.
"The ShoreTel UC system provides full information about incoming calls and call history so you have access to a variety of details about the caller and their interests before you take a client's call. It also enables users to type in a call recipient's name and make the call using a desktop computer without ever having to touch the handset. It is a simple click to dial process."
Mr Gorry said the high costs and inability of the Panasonic system to create any sort of scale going forward was a barrier to the company's growth plans. "The big issue was that we had no insight into what was happening with our calls. We had no way of knowing how, where and what to rein in," he said.
Also, the lack of a seamless telephony system across the three branches was a barrier to staff feeling they were part of one organization and one team. "Calling each other within the branches using the traditional telephone was dead money," he added.
Tony Warhurst, ShoreTel Managing Director for SE Asia, said Harcourts Blue Realty is just one company out of growing number that are realizing a lower total cost of ownership and exceptional reliability with the ShoreTel UC system.
"The ShoreTel UC system offers a very attractive price for companies such as Harcourts Blue Realty," he said. "It meets the needs of small and midsize businesses and larger enterprises that are looking for a robust telephony solution that is simple to use and can be managed in-house. And most importantly, it provides money-saving opportunities, such as the ability to make calls between branches completely free of charge."
Hamish Haggitt, Principal of telephony specialists, ITT Communication, said the estimated 30% savings in call costs and maintenance made the ROI for the ShoreTel system a compelling business case.
"An additional bonus has been the productivity lift, free inter-branch call costs, and an easy-to-use, flexible telephony system that works for users," explained Mr Haggitt. "Harcourts has a significant resource that will promote its growth into the future."
ShoreTel's primary distributors in Australia are Aria Technologies and WhiteGold Distribution, and in New Zealand, Connector Systems.
About ShoreTel, Inc.
ShoreTel, Inc., (NASDAQ: SHOR) is a leading provider of Pure IP Unified Communications solutions. ShoreTel enables companies of any size to seamlessly integrate all communications - voice, video, messaging and data - with their business processes. Independent of device or location, ShoreTel's distributed software architecture eliminates the traditional costs, complexity and reliability issues typically associated with other solutions. ShoreTel continues to deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction, ease of use and manageability while driving down the overall total cost of ownership. ShoreTel is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices in the United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia and Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.shoretel.com or call 1-877-80SHORE.
At Harcourts Bulimba/Morningside, Carina/Carindale and Harcourts Blue Property Management you are dealing with a trusted and established family business and we are fiercely proud and protective of our reputation. Our main point of difference in the market place is our commitment to providing a higher level of ethical service. With over 50 years of experience, a proven track record in the local area and backed by an international organisation, we are a team worthy of our clients' trust. Visit http://www.bluerealty.harcourts.com.au
Harcourts is the fastest-growing real estate group in Australasia. Its total focus is firmly on the future. We are constantly asking how we can improve our systems. How we can offer our clients even higher levels of personal and professional service. And how we can train and equip our people to achieve the best possible results for their clients. Currently with over 450 offices and 3000 property professionals throughout New Zealand, Australia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Singapore and Zambia (plus future plans to expand into additional international markets), Harcourts has four key factors which have contributed greatly to its ongoing success... the strength of the Harcourts brand, our superior business and information systems, proven marketing tools and strategies plus our incredibly talented, skilled and committed people. Visit http://www.harcourts.com.au/
About ITT Communications
Incorporated in 1994, ITT Communications is an award-winning supplier of voice, cabling & integrated telephony solutions. With over 1,400 customers nationally, ITT has an enviable reputation for installation, project management and service to enterprise through to SMBs. ITTs business services include consultancy, installation and maintenance, and training. ITT forges long term mutually beneficial relationships with its clients. This is achieved by deploying best-of-breed products and delivering measurable cost savings, efficiency and productivity benefits, backed by genuine traditional business service. ITT's commitment to its clients underpins its service approach: "If you have a problem, we have a problem". Proof of its total service commitment is demonstrated by its first ever client in1994 remaining a valued client. For more information visit: http://www.ittcoms.com.au