DayMen International Case Study
Integrated Mitel IP Unified Communications brings global offices together
Relocation prompts search for better telephony
The German office needed to relocate following the outsourcing of warehouse functions, so it was faced with the prospect of moving an old phone system, which nobody liked, or finding something new.
More flexibility and features in an IP UC system
DayMen International designs and distributes photographic equipment, which includes high-quality products for both amateurs and professionals. Headquartered in Canada, the company has U.K. operations, as well as offices in Germany, Australia, the U.S., and a sales team in Switzerland.
“Before we discovered IP telephony, our German office was already working closely with the U.K.,” says Darren Kirby, international IT manager at DayMen.
The IT systems of the two offices were integrated, but the German and U.K. phone systems were run separately, offering no centralized management of voice communications.
“The phone system in the U.K. was based around a Panasonic PBX, with an old Avaya setup in Germany,” says Kirby. Already alert to the possibilities that a move to an IP unified communications (UC) solution might bring, Kirby started to explore options.
“At first we were only looking to replace the German system with a traditional PBX with an IP module,” he says. “We evaluated all the usual suspects – Avaya, Siemens, Mitel. Then by chance I was talking to our U.S. office, which was using an IP UC system from Mitel.”
Further investigation showed that not only was the Mitel IP UC system feature-rich, and designed with no single point of failure, but it could also be attached to a wide area network and work with other products on that network.
“The level of integration that was possible with applications like Microsoft Outlook appealed to me a lot,” explains Kirby. “We like to use technology to create efficiencies and keep our headcount down. This looked like a system that we could put into new sites around the world with no difficulty.”
Mitel connects multiple sites with one simple IP UC solution
DayMen’s new Mitel IP UC system works across all geographies where the company is active, offering complete feature transparency and replacing the need for multiple PBXs, voicemail systems, automated attendants, and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) systems.
“Mitel’s partner did a lot of work off-site, so when the new system arrived, it pretty much was a case of plug-and-play,” says Kirby. “The U.K. was up and running first. A morning’s work, and we had 28 users ready to go.”
Kirby’s wish list for the new system was quite detailed, saving money a key priority. “We were particularly attracted to the Mitel SoftPhone feature, which I thought would help stop our export director running up £600 in mobile bills every time he goes to Russia,” says Kirby.
Mitel’s SoftPhone feature turns a desktop or laptop computer into a telephone regardless of location. As an optional feature of Mitel Personal Call Manager, mobile workers can gain access to their complete telephony environment while at home or traveling.
“A number of our people in the U.K. work a lot from home,” says Kirby. “The beauty of the system is that with broadband in the home, these people can be dialed directly and the caller is unaware they are not in the office. It’s just fantastic to be able to give out a single number that is routed to wherever you are. There’s a definite customer service upside.”
“THE LEVEL OF INTEGRATION THAT WAS POSSIBLE WITH APPLICATIONS LIKE MICROSOFT OUTLOOK APPEALED TO ME A LOT. WE LIKE TO USE TECHNOLOGY TO CREATE EFFICIENCIES AND KEEP OUR HEADCOUNT DOWN. THIS LOOKED LIKE A SYSTEM THAT WE COULD PUT INTO NEW SITES AROUND THE WORLD WITH NO DIFFICULTY.”
Darren Kirby, International IT Manager
The hoped-for cost savings on cellular calls have materialized, says Kirby: “We’ve cut right back on mobile costs, from abroad in particular. I went to Germany last week and didn’t use my mobile once. All my calls went over the Internet.”
The investment in Mitel IP is well received by users
“The new system has been well received by users,” says Kirby. “We gave them only an hour’s training, then sent them on their way. Mitel and the reseller partner conducted the training. My dealings with Mitel have been very positive. They all seem very knowledgeable and professional.”
Administration is also simple. “The Web interface you use for the administration side is very straightforward. It’s a world apart from the old Panasonic interface,” explains Kirby.
“I’m well known for being critical of things I don’t like,” says Kirby. “If I’m unhappy, I always say so. But I have to say that the Mitel system has done everything we wanted it to.”
He describes DayMen as “a business with quite complex needs,” adding, “For example, we want a single number for our Swiss staff that will route back to the right place according to whether the caller wants customer services in German, French, or English. We’ve achieved that with a single interface for new Swiss customers, but with the business handled between two different countries. That’s quite impressive.”
Kirby says that since the initial U.K. and German rollouts, the Australian office has moved to a Mitel IP UC system, which will be integrated with the U.K. “Canada is about to move and the U.S. is thinking of upgrading to a newer Mitel system from the one they currently have,” he says. “Soon we’ll have one system for all needs.”
Kirby says he plans to make fuller use of the Mitel system’s ease of integration with IT systems. “Here in the U.K., we’re about to put a Wi-Fi system into our warehouse operation, which will integrate with the Mitel IP telephones. This is just one of the ways in which our initial Mitel investment is still paying us back,” concludes Kirby.
“MY DEALINGS WITH SHORETEL HAVE BEEN VERY POSITIVE. THEY ALL SEEM VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND PROFESSIONAL.”
The need to replace old PBX technology with a more flexible and fully featured IP Unified Communications system with a view to increased customer satisfaction, better productivity, reduced expenditure, and improved employee communication.
The new system, based around the Mitel IP Unified Communications solution, integrates and facilitates communications among multiple offices around the world and with a network of third-party dealers.
- Improved customer service
- Cost savings
- High user satisfaction
- Minimal training