Brimbank City Council Case Study
Brimbank City Council delivering community first approach to service delivery, assisted by ShoreTel Unified Communications
ShoreTel Connect UC and Contact Center: the communications and collaboration platform for Brimbank’s digital transformation agenda
Brimbank City Council (‘Brimbank’) is the second largest municipality in Melbourne, encompassing 25 suburbs between 11 and 23 kilometres west and north-west of the Melbourne CBD. Brimbank’s region has undergone considerable growth over the past decade, with that growth rate expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
In 2015 Brimbank embarked on a business transformation strategy to digitise its records management, systems and processes, offer customers online and self-serve alternatives for the majority of the transactions and interactions with the Council, to establish a ‘community first’ approach that focuses on improving customer experience.
At the same time, Brimbank has been dealing with an ageing and disparate PABX system that was nearing end of life, had only offered basic telephony features and was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and manage.
First Major Deployment of ShoreTel Connect in Australia
In late 2015 after a rigorous tender process, Brimbank chose to roll out a ShoreTel Connect Unified Communications, Contact Center and Mobility solution. Despite only seeing the beta version of ShoreTel Connect (as the product had yet to be officially released during the evaluation period), Brimbank decided to deploy the new solution, based on its enhanced user experience and functionality.
At the time, Helen Morrissey, Director Corporate and Community Relations, Brimbank City Council said, “ShoreTel’s desktop client and handsets will be really intuitive to use for our employees. The concertina design of the ShoreTel Connect desktop client is an efficient use of screen space and the features are simple-to-use: we were really impressed. Given ShoreTel Connect was just released, it made sense to choose the new platform.”
“WITH SHORETEL, THE SIMPLE STUFF IS SO MUCH EASIER TO DO, LIKE TRANSFERRING A CALL WITH JUST ONE CLICK.”
Manager Media and Communications
Brimbank City Council
With a deployment to 29 sites for over 700 users to be completed by the end of February 2016, Brimbank became the first large-scale implementation of ShoreTel Connect in Australia. The council’s goal is to see a higher level of customer service responsiveness across the organisation with ShoreTel’s collaboration features, sophisticated contact centre functionality and the extension of rich UC to mobile devices.
An Ambitious Deployment Schedule
Brimbank is currently in the midst of considerable change and transition.
In addition to undergoing a comprehensive digital transformation program and a revamp of its customer service operations, the Council has undertaken a massive capital works project for new headquarters in the suburb of Sunshine, the Brimbank Community and Civic Centre.
The new centre is a landmark building for Brimbank, offering a ‘one-stop shop; for all Council services, a new public library stretching over two floors, and meeting rooms with Smart TV and WiFi available to the community for hire after hours.
With the new building due to open before the end of the financial year, Brimbank set a hard date to complete the ShoreTel deployment by the end of February 2016. This would ensure that the new unified communications (UC) solution was fully operational to allow the Council’s team plenty of time to prepare for the relocation of approximately 400 staff to the new headquarters three months later.
Brimbank worked on a phased, site-by-site deployment to meet the tight deadline set for a fully operational solution.
Brimbank cut over a number of new sites each week, conducting training sessions on the new ShoreTel system at those sites on Tuesdays and Wednesdays before deploying the new phones and software to users on Thursdays. The training covered basic telephony features and also more advanced applications including instant messaging, conferencing and web sharing.
“User acceptance was a critical factor in the success of the project, so we placed a big emphasis on training every user in the new ShoreTel system,” said Rebecca Solomon, Manager Media and Communications, Brimbank City Council.
“The planning undertaken for the project was meticulous, so we didn’t forget anything, and we trained over 600 staff in the new ShoreTel solution over the course of the deployment.”
With ShoreTel Connect fully operational and stable by the end of February, Brimbank was able to focus on its head office relocation project, successfully relocating 400 staff to its new building in Sunshine in July.
“In preparation for the office move, we asked everyone to label their ShoreTel phones. When staff sat down at their new desks in our new office, the phones just worked and our people were operational immediately on their same extensions,” said Solomon.
UI Generating Productivity Gains
Brimbank set itself a project goal for efficiency gains from the deployment of UC, and is beginning to see the benefits from ShoreTel Connect’s advanced user interface (UI) and the ease of use of the telephony features.
“With ShoreTel, the simple stuff is so much easier to do, like transferring a call with just one click,” said Solomon. “We’re still at the basics in terms of functionality – call forwarding, voicemail, presence, conferencing and instant messaging – but we can see the continuing opportunities to increase in efficiency.”
“SHORETEL IS FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ADAPT TO THE DIFFERENT WAYS IN WHICH OUR STAFF PREFER TO PERFORM TASKS.”
Manager Media and Communications
Brimbank City Council
Conferencing has improved Brimbank’s business relationships and engagements with suppliers. For example, ShoreTel has made it much easier to bring together the various stakeholders required for the fortnightly work in progress conference calls with the Sydney-based web development company that has built a completely new website for the Council.
Solomon also highlights the ability for staff to use ShoreTel handsets in a more traditional telephony style, as an alternative to the desktop client.
“ShoreTel is flexible enough to adapt to the different ways in which our staff prefer to perform tasks.”
Enhancing Customer Experience
ShoreTel Connect Contact Center has been deployed for Brimbank’s customer service team both at head office, and to agents in the Council’s three distributed customer service centres. That provides Brimbank with the opportunity to scale up to meet peak demand, providing queue management and integration with call reporting and billing, and call recording solutions.
An ongoing focus for Council is realising the benefits that presence plays as part of Brimbank’s UC solution. As staff become familiar with the technology Brimbank is seeing improvements in call handling times and resolution rates.
“We are currently using the voice channel, but on the horizon we will be looking to expand the capabilities of our customer response team to incorporate email, SMS and web chat,” said Solomon.
Brimbank will also shortly be rolling out ShoreTel Connect Mobility, extending the functionality of UC to remote and travelling staff. The Council will be deploying Mobility first to its leadership team, then to its field-based staff. That will enable staff to better collaborate across the extent of Brimbank’s widely dispersed operations.
With new PCs rolled out across the organisation, Brimbank staff now have access to in-built cameras. This will see the Council looking to fully leverage its WAN with the possibility of adding video communications to its ShoreTel UC solution in the near future.
“We are excited by the potential integration opportunities open to us with our new ShoreTel solution. We have plans to undertake additional training for our staff to encourage further take up of ShoreTel’s advanced UC features, and we will continue to implement new capabilities on ShoreTel to achieve our transformation goals,” concluded Solomon.
To implement a unified communications and contact centre solution as part of a broader digital transformation agenda, enhancing the Council’s delivery of services to its community, achieving greater efficiency and improving overall customer experience.
Brimbank City Council implemented ShoreTel Connect Onsite for unified communications across 29 sites for over 700 staff with future plans to introduce mobility. ShoreTel Connect Contact Center, integrated with call recording, call reporting and billing, is empowering Brimbank’s distributed customer service agents, and multi-modal communications is planned to increase the capabilities of the service team.
- Improve visibility and communications across distributed workforce
- Greater reliability and functionality of core telephony
- Supporting digital transformation and customer service agenda
- Increasing staff productivity and efficiency
- Leveraging existing networking infrastructure for voice, data and video