The City of Mount Dora Saves Big with ShoreTel
For local governments, the need to improve efficiency and cut costs is often a priority and sometimes a necessity.
This was no different for the City of Mount Dora, Florida, who in 2011 knew it was time to upgrade its telephone system. It had one of the first VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems, but that was a decade old and support from the manufacturer was about to end. Plus, the city needed to move into the modern world with Unified Communications.
At the city council meeting on May 3, 2011, city IT Manager Johnna Shamblin laid out the case to replace two separate phone systems with one integrated UC system. The right system, said Shamblin, would reduce complexity, cut management expenses and decrease maintenance costs. It would centralize management of the system but allow distributed call control so no single point of failure could shut down the system. It would prove “extremely reliable and resilient,” according to the city council report.
Shamblin recommended the ShoreTel UC VoIP system. She had found that top industry analyst reports gave ShoreTel high marks: ShoreTel ranked the highest in Gartner’s 2010 MarketScope for Unified Communications for the SMB Market in North America, and ShoreTel ranked the highest in the Nemertes 2010 PilotHouse Awards:IP Telephony Products as well.
“The ShoreTel voice communications system is a superior platform that includes new features and capabilities that will help the City reach its objectives for greater accountability, easier management, improved efficiency, and lower operating costs, the city council report noted.
The proposal was approved and the system was installed. Now one central phone system serves the Mount Dora police dept., fire dept., public works and utilities, libraries, parks and recreation, planning and development, human resources, finance, city manager and the city clerk’s office.
What’s perhaps more important is that city employees are very happy with the new system. They can manage their calls, voicemail and Instant Messaging from a single program – ShoreTel Communicator -- on their computers. They also praise the ability to create conference calls with more people than before and to look up names and numbers using the directory on the phone itself. The IT department is pleased with the fact that it can now make configuration changes through a much simpler point-and-click process.
The fact that the city expected to save an estimated $140,000 over five years was also a huge benefit.
The City of Mount Dora wants to bring the city employees’ mobile phones into the system as well. When out of the office, employees want to use their business numbers, not their personal cell phones, for city business. So the city is now making plans to install ShoreTel Mobility. When they make a business call from their cell phone, their calls will go through their office system and display their office extension rather than their private cell number.
To many people, the phrase “government efficiency” may seem to be an oxymoron. By deciding to move its phone system into the 21st Century, the city of Mount Dora has shown one way to increase efficiency for critical government services.
To learn more, read the Mount Dora Case Study