Diggers Hotline Case Study
Wisconsin nonprofit Diggers Hotline implements ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center to cut complexity, reduce costs, and improve employee productivity
End-of-life Cisco VoIP and costly support
Diggers Hotline built its phone technology on a Cisco VoIP system, along with an ASC recorder solution for its contact center needs. Diggers Hotline’s support contract with another vendor was quite costly.
Digging for a more reliable, easy-to-manage system
In Wisconsin, the phrase “call before you dig” really means something. In fact, the state has a statute requiring that anyone planning to excavate in any capacity must first contact Diggers Hotline. This one-call center has helped millions of callers obtain information on the location of underground facilities and safe working distances from overhead lines, absolutely free of charge.
Today, Diggers Hotline handles around 500,000 call requests each year via incoming calls from professional excavators, utilities, and homeowners. Contact center representatives process a “locate ticket” for each incoming dig inquiry. The organization’s goal is to answer at least 80 percent of all calls within 30 seconds, but the team regularly exceeds that objective with service levels in the 90th percentile.
“Our company is based on communications—without it, we wouldn’t have a business. All calls from excavators doing projects in Wisconsin come in through our hotline to the contact center 24 hours a day, so reliability and ease of use are critical,” explains Mike Meyer, manager of IT services at Diggers Hotline.
“We were only relatively happy with the phone system in place, and then it went end-of-life and end-of-service, forcing us to deal with an upgrade or replacement solution. To move forward with Cisco as our vendor, we would first need to purchase all new Linux servers and then upgrade the Cisco software. The support agreement we had in place was very expensive. We realized we could buy a whole new system for around the same price, get more features and flexibility, and be better supported,” says Meyer.
Top priorities for a new VoIP platform included reliability, ease of use, simpler administration, and dependable support. Another consideration was that a replacement solution would still need to support hot desking, a technology that allows users to log in at any phone rather than having assigned seats and desktops. Meyer evaluated new solutions from ShoreTel, Avaya, and Cisco. During his research, he came across a third-party solution integrator, Converged Technology Professionals, a ShoreTel Certified Gold Partner and Customer Satisfaction Award winner.
“Diggers Hotline is actually required by Wisconsin State Statute to be operational 24x7. We needed to be able to design, implement, and cut over to a new communications solution without affecting the contact center’s ability to receive calls and manage the ticketing process. ShoreTel offered the reliability and simplicity we were looking for, as well as all the built-in cost efficiencies. Converged Technology Professionals took on this huge project with only 30 days to implement. The first time we talked to Joe Rittenhouse and Chris Frey at Converged, we knew that they would be able to deliver the project the way we needed. We really got something special with ShoreTel and Converged Technology—great partner and support, great technology and stability, and a great price,” explains Meyer.
“DIGGERS HOTLINE IS ACTUALLY REQUIRED BY WISCONSIN STATE STATUTE TO BE OPERATIONAL 24X7. WE NEEDED TO BE ABLE TO DESIGN, IMPLEMENT, AND CUT OVER TO A NEW COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTION WITHOUT AFFECTING THE CONTACT CENTER’S ABILITY TO RECEIVE CALLS AND MANAGE THE TICKETING PROCESS.”
Mike Meyer, Manager of IT Services
Diggers Hotline selects ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center based on lower overall costs and a better customer experience
Diggers Hotline selected a ShoreTel Solution that included ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center (ECC) for lower overall costs and a better customer experience. For highest voice clarity and reliability, ShoreTel IP Phones and ShoreTel Voice Switches are also part of the UC solution.
ECC provides a communications platform with built-in business intelligence, universal queuing, enterprise resource matching, and all the tools needed to create a powerful, flexible call center solution. Supervisors can view dashboards, create meaningful reports on the fly, and benefit from unified management capabilities. Presence features, screen pops with customer details, and a unified desktop simplify center operations, even during high call volumes.
ShoreTel’s open standards and highly available distributed platform provide for seamless integration with major business and custom applications, built-in redundancy and virtualization support for greater business continuity. Combined with advanced disaster recovery features in ECC, the ShoreTel UC system promotes greater uptime, and protection from WAN and system failures.
Putting the new ShoreTel platform into production required a swift cutover and no issues. “We went from introduction to implementation in 30 days. Diggers Hotline has a 24x7 call center with hot desking login for 100 agents. ShoreTel’s simplicity and architecture really contributed to our success,” explains Chris Frey, the solutions consultant at Converged Technology Professionals.
Uncovering significant cost savings with ShoreTel
Diggers Hotline now operates an exceedingly efficient, agile call center, with simple and intuitive collaboration features, and a highly reliable, scalable architecture at the core. Meyer recognizes that the organization now has a lower total cost structure, better functionality, and worry-free support.
“Any IT overhauls can be nerve wracking, but since we can’t afford downtime or cutover issues, the pressure grows. We definitely hired the right partner and we definitely chose the right UC platform for our goals. I was surprised how easy it was to get the ShoreTel system up and running,” states Meyer.
“WE’VE ABSOLUTELY SEEN SAVINGS—IN ANNUAL SUPPORT COSTS, IN MANAGEMENT TIME, AND OVERALL OPERATION OF THE PHONE SYSTEM.”
The organization has saved on its capital equipment budget, as well as operational expenditures, to lower the total cost of ownership. ShoreTel’s advanced multimedia capabilities and all-in-one contact center solution helps simplify round-the-clock business activities to improve productivity and reduce administrative demands.
“We don’t have the reliability issues or complications of the past, and can even make most of the changes ourselves. And we’ve absolutely seen savings—in annual support costs, in management time, and overall operation of the phone system,” concludes Myers.
Upgrade and support issues, and a sudden end-of-life notice, led Diggers Hotline to seek a more affordable, easy-to-manage VoIP system that could support 24x7 operations for its 100-agent call center.
Diggers Hotline implemented a ShoreTel UC solution in 30 days, which included ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center, ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel Voice Switches, and ShoreTel Professional Services.
- Lower total cost structure
- 99.999 percent availability
- Highly agile call center capabilities
- Integration with commercial and custom applications