The value of a single phone system was clear to PremierWest Bank, a fastgrowing community bank in Oregon and Northern California. “We had a mishmash of different phone systems at our branches,” says Cameron Frasnelly, Network Manager at PremierWest Bank. A single dial plan across PremierWest’s 40 branches reduces costs and increases employee productivity and customer usability. Having a single phone system that IT can manage itself improves customer service and eliminates reliance on costly systems integrators.

PremierWest Bank is a fast-growing community bank serving Southern Oregon and Northern California. The bank applies its knowledge and experience of sound community banking — along with a mortgage division, finance company, and investment services — to reach a wider community of customers. As its banking offices multiply, so does its commitment to providing exceptional customer service in each community. In such an environment, the value of a single phone system — and a single standard of service — is clear.

“We had a mishmash of different phone systems at our branches.”
– Cameron Frasnelly, Network Manager, PremierWest Bank.

The Challenge

PremierWest Bank initially signed on with Cisco, but found itself enduring a year of poor voice quality, increased costs, and rampant technical problems. Aware that the system would have to be replaced outright, the IT team determined that in addition to uniting the bank across one single, reliable system, the right solution for them would be the one that was easy to manage in-house. As part of the search for a new IP phone system, the bank invited ShoreTel and Mitel to send evaluation units — but not technicians.

“Complexity was the number one nightmare — on top of the high cost and a poor use of our WAN resources.”
– Cameron Frasnelly, Network Manager, PremierWest Bank.

The Solution

Two hours after the bank’s team opened up the ShoreTel box, they were placing local calls. A few hours later, least-cost routing was running over ShoreTel switches located 80 miles apart. PremierWest Bank decided to roll out ShoreTel’s IP phone system to all 40 of its branches, which serve more than 300 employees. The bank expects substantial telecom savings resulting in a two-and-a-half year payback. Other benefits include:

  • Least-cost routing will, when fully deployed, save at least $2,000 per month. An extra $1,000 a month will be saved by installing a single number for voice and fax for all branches.
  • An open, distributed system, ShoreTel is highly reliable and easily managed, with no single point of failure, delivering the reliability and availability essential for any financial institution.
  • ShoreTel Core Software includes a powerful voice messaging system that features user-configurable call handling options and find-me routing. The voice messaging system can be accessed visually from ShoreTel Call Manager or the user’s Microsoft® Outlook® inbox.
  • ShoreTel Director, the system’s browser-based management interface, allows the IT team to configure phones from any computer with a browser, even if the phone is in Northern California and the ShoreTel server is in Oregon.
  • The system, which looks and behaves like a single, unified platform, scales with plug-and-play simplicity, enabling employees to communicate quickly and easily with each other regardless of their location.

“With ShoreTel, we were up and running in hours.”
– Cameron Frasnelly, Network Manager, PremierWest Bank.

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