Oakland starts migration to IP Unified Communications with some of its city offices and plans to bring more online over the years.

Oakland is one of California’s most strategic locations for companies seeking to move goods and ideas over air, water, land, or cyberspace. Oakland has a diverse mix of traditional and new economy companies, all of which are attracted to its excellent quality of life, comparatively lower business costs, extensive fiber-optic infrastructure, world-class seaport, and highly skilled labor pool. The city employs more than 5,000 people in 114 facilities including city hall, two administrative annexes, the Oakland Museum of California, a municipal service center, an emergency operations center, an animal shelter, and a family criminal justice center.

“As with most city budgets, ours gets stretched very thin.”
– Robert Glaze, CTO, City of Oakland.

The Challenge

In 2003, the city had a Meridian PBX-based phone system with approximately 1,700 analog telephones. The system had been installed starting in 1989 and was becoming outdated; at times, the system underwent significant failures. Complicating that, much of the Cabletron and Cisco network equipment was also nearing end-of-life.

“With our past history of natural disasters, disaster recovery is an important factor in our technology solutions. The failover of the ShoreTel system is a perfect fit for us and will be beneficial whether we have to relocate one building to another city building or a few buildings to temporary buildings. We can keep our communications system up and running.”
– Robert Glaze, CTO, City of Oakland.

The Solution

In March of 2005, ShoreTel provided the City of Oakland with ShoreTel T1 and 120 Voice Switches, along with more than 1,500 ShoreTel IP Phones, chief among them model 560s. Since the initial deployment, several more switches have been installed, and the city now has approximately 2,000 IP phones deployed in eight locations. At the same time, the city also deployed its new networking equipment from Enterasys, a ShoreTel partner. This partnership simplified the resolution of any issues with both the network and the phone system. Other benefits include:

  • Distributed architecture of the system gives the City of Oakland a solid disaster recovery plan, so calls can still get through during such an occurrence.
  • The system is easy to scale and manage, so the city is able to make its own changes and additions rather than outsourcing these activities, saving time and money.
  • The system, which looks and behaves like a single, unified platform, scales with plug-and-play simplicity, enabling city employees to communicate quickly and easily with each other regardless of their location.
  • Enhanced productivity with a built-in suite of versatile, real-time tools that put flexible features, telephony and IM control, and collaboration services at employees’ fingertips.
  • Group-based call routing option enables city managers to set up automatic call distribution (ACD) to an informal team; in just seconds, the service options that citizens require are in place.

“The integration of the ShoreTel system with Microsoft® Outlook® is great. Everything I’ve heard is positive about it. People just love it.”
– Robert Glaze, CTO, City of Oakland.

READ THE PDF SUCCESS STORY