ShoreTel IP Telephony System Improves Responsiveness, Saves Money, and Simplifies Telephone System Management

Founded in 1859 in Adrian, MI, Adrian College is a private, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences related to The United Methodist Church. With 1,250 students, it is a traditional four-year, residential college. The college has 21 buildings including residence halls that feature voicemail, Internet and cable TV access in all student rooms, as well as a 24-hour student center, a planetarium, an observatory, the Merillat Sport and Fitness Center, and the Shipman Library.

“We wanted to find a solution that would take advantage of the dark fiber that was already installed.”
– Steve Stempien, Director of Information Systems, Adrian College.

The Challenge

In early 2006, Adrian College was saddled with an outdated PBX-based telephone system that was unreliable and offered very little in the way of features. The college also had copper lines that were getting old; plans were on the table to utilize some fiber optic cable connecting all of its buildings. The college received proposals from a number of vendors, including Cisco, Nortel, and ShoreTel.

“With the old system, if someone dialed 911, it would only show the emergency team that the call was coming from Adrian College. Now the ShoreTel system shows which residence hall and room number the call is coming from. That’s a huge safety benefit.”
– Steve Stempien, Director of Information Systems, Adrian College.

The Solution

Seeing a ShoreTel demo, which had a system up and running in 10 minutes, impressed the college’s IS team. Citing its ease of management and ability to incorporate existing infrastructure equipment, Adrian College chose ShoreTel. ShoreTel and its reseller, AmeriNet, provided Adrian College with three ShoreTel T1, 12 ShoreTel 60, four ShoreTel 40, and 38 ShoreTel 120 Voice Switches connecting 42 of its buildings. A voicemail server was also deployed, as well as 320 ShoreTel IP Phones. With over 1,235 extension licenses in use, including analog phones and IP telephones, students can bring their own phones from home to be hooked directly into the ShoreTel system. Other benefits include:

  • With the ShoreTel system in place, all employees are now on the same phone and voicemail system, even dialing coworkers by name.
  • The system’s hunt groups capability improves customer service by ensuring that incoming calls are answered by a live person, and do not roll over to voicemail.
  • Ease of implementation enabled the college to meet an accelerated deployment schedule. Maintenance tasks are simple and quick with the Web-based interface of ShoreTel Director.
  • Students and staff may now call 911 directly, minimizing the time to reach the right resources in emergency situations.
  • The college saves an estimated $8,000 per year on line charges. With the ShoreTel T1 Voice Switches in place, costs for leased lines were reduced 30 percent; the system’s PRI support adds to savings.

“We were able to bring up the ShoreTel system in our stadium in just a couple of hours. The college just purchased a few new buildings around campus, and with ShoreTel, it will be no big deal to tie these into the system.”

– Steve Stempien, Director of Information Systems, Adrian College.
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