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BDO Canada LLP Case Study

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Case Studies

ShoreTel UC makes plenty of dollars and lots of sense for accounting and advisory firm BDO Canada LLP

BDO Canada Lip

Legacy system falling behind the times

BDO maintains high levels of customer satisfaction, and partners understand the importance of serving global clients as if they were right next door. Unfortunately, BDO's aging phone system was unable to support this mission.

Reliability and flexible system

With headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, BDO is one of Canada’s largest accounting services and advisory firms, and revenue depends on consistent client service, part of which requires a phone system that is reliable and flexible.

BDO professionals have to be reachable while they are working at client sites, for instance, when performing audits, seven days a week during tax season. But the firm’s patchwork of fragmented stand-alone phone systems made it difficult for clients and accountants to connect—particularly during this intense, deadline-driven period.

Without unified messaging, BDO’s professionals had to check voicemail constantly to avoid missing important calls. Calls couldn’t be forwarded to mobile phones or other offices, and mobile phones were sometimes out of range. And if professionals were working in another office, they had to navigate a different and completely separate phone system.

The firm decided that a voice over IP (VoIP) system would improve efficiency by putting all communications on the same page, extending the internal phone system to mobile devices and different locations, and simplifying interoffice communications. To achieve these goals, the company hired Claude Vezina, a 20-year telephone systems design and implementation veteran.

“The first step was to determine whether the company could accomplish its objectives with its legacy vendor,” says Vezina. “Once we established that the current vendor could not meet our needs, our local reseller Smart IP suggested that we take a look at ShoreTel. Right off, we liked what we saw."

ShoreTel’s process for issuing user licenses also suited the company’s dynamic assignments. “With ShoreTel, we can use the same license and there’s no added cost to transfer it. This all adds up to ease and convenience for the IT group,” says Vezina.

After a thorough financial analysis, BDO’s top-level executives concluded that ShoreTel offered the most cost-effective, feature-rich, and reliable solution, and decided to implement the ShoreTel system, with the initial deployment at the company’s national headquarters.

ShoreTel standardizes service levels across 99+ offices

Since the first implementation, BDO has continued to roll out the ShoreTel UC system to its additional offices throughout Canada, adding users and ShoreTel IP Phones. “ShoreTel lets us provide users with the same level of support and service in every office and even out of the office,” says Vezina. “Remote support is simple thanks to the ShoreTel Director web-based user interface. The IT support staff simply open up a browser and can make moves, adds, and changes—even from home.”

Versatile features add value

As a result of the ShoreTel deployment, the BDO IT team transformed the process for bringing new offices online. “Typically changing a phone system for a 150-person office takes a full weekend, working very long hours,” explains Vezina. “With ShoreTel, I can do all the setup in advance, and it only takes 20 minutes to bring up the ShoreTel phone system at the new location.” Simplified management not only frees valuable IT resources, it also helps reduce “call out” costs for third-party contractors.


Claude Vezina
BDO Canada LLP

In addition to simplified system management, the ShoreTel UC system also delivers productivity-boosting features in ShoreTel Communicator. This application integrates with Microsoft Outlook—a timesaving feature that lets BDO employees view and maintain voicemail messages, and use Microsoft Outlook directories to quickly identify phone numbers and place calls with a single click.

ShoreTel Communicator also includes Office Anywhere, which lets users reassign their extensions and work remotely from any device. “Features like Office Anywhere and Find Me let callers quickly connect to the right people, and four-digit dialing has streamlined communications between employees in different offices,” says Vezina.

Reliability the company can count on

Reliability is also important in this high-touch environment. “We have had zero major failures since the first ShoreTel installation,” says Vezina. “After experiencing regular outages with our old system, our partners used to worry every time we made a change or added phones.”

ShoreTel also helps BDO’s bottom line on the expense side of the balance sheet. “It costs about 25 percent less to install a ShoreTel UC system in a new office, compared with our previous vendor,” Vezina explains. “ShoreTel pricing means that we can plan for growth and organizational changes with confidence. Plus, you don’t need a lot of expensive post-implementation support and professional services. ShoreTel just works.”

In addition, ShoreTel significantly reduces toll call costs. "No matter where they are, staff can use Office Anywhere to place calls over the corporate network," Vezina says. "We’ve already seen considerable savings.”

All-around savings add to a better balance sheet

The ShoreTel system also trims down space usage, an important benefit for high-profile offices in expensive real estate locations. In one such BDO office, the ShoreTel system equipment freed an entire rack that had previously been needed for the old phone system.

ShoreTel also facilitated additional space savings by enabling BDO to expand its office hoteling program. Now, 20 people in one office share eight desks, optimizing office resources, while reducing the company's carbon footprint and real estate costs. Plus, ShoreTel's flexibility allows the company to easily centralize receptionists, rather than staffing every office with a dedicated receptionist.

“Each office has different requirements based on its geography and client needs,” concludes Vezina. “ShoreTel gives us the flexibility to address these different requirements and provide ubiquity of services and support—without having to be constantly moving around the country. ShoreTel has taken stress out of the phone system.”



  • As its workforce became increasingly mobile, BDO needed a phone system that ensured all client calls reliably reach the company’s accounting professionals wherever they were working.


  • A ShoreTel UC system included more than 1,500 ShoreTel IP Phones throughout the company’s 99 offices across Canada.


  • Seamlessly access a large remote workforce
  • High reliability
  • Advanced call handling
  • Lower TCO

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