Crosstalk with Select Telecom (Summer 2012)

Michael Bartolomeo of Executive Auto Group was getting fed up with the company’s current phone system. At almost 20 years old, the system was “failing piece by piece” and was a nightmare to maintain – with over 10 dealership and body shop locations across western Connecticut, Executive Auto Group’s communications solution was not a simple one. And as the former IT Manager (currently an Accounting Office Manager), Michael and current IT Manager Mark Simmons had their hands full trying to administer their complex and faulty system.

Eventually, it became clear that it was time to look at upgrading to a new phone system. As Michael recalls, “Our current solution was making it difficult to do business.” He did his research – “I looked at Cisco, Mitel… everything I could get my hands on, I did.” In the end, Executive Auto Group decided on a new IP-based Unified Communications (UC) system from ShoreTel. According to Michael, “We chose ShoreTel for the ease of administration, since we plan on doing most of it ourselves. Of everything we looked at, ShoreTel was by far the easiest to understand and administer, without question.”

Select Telecom installed the system at almost a dozen Executive Auto Group locations and trained the staff to use the phones and UC software. However, as might be expected for such a large project, there were a few hiccups along the way. As Michael explains it, “We came from a system with 3-5 park buttons and everybody’s phone was the same. Now it’s a lot more buttons and people are still learning how to use the system properly.” But with the help of Select Telecom VP Jerry Moscariello and Account Manager Danielle Morrissey, Executive Auto Group tweaked the system design to improve usability and further ease administration. “Jerry and Danielle were incredibly helpful – they came back multiple times until everything was just right.”

In addition, the nature of the automobile business added some additional complexity. “In the car business, we’ve got different types of personnel – some at their desk, some in the showroom. Once we had the system in place, the people in the office were good to go, but paging the salespeople – who were often away from their desks – was a little cumbersome with the standard paging solution.”

Executive Auto Group shared their difficulties with the team at Select Telecom, who designed a custom paging solution specific to Executive Auto Group’s business processes. “Select came up with an outside-the-box solution for paging which is much better than what we were doing originally. For that, we are very grateful,” Michael says.

By late July, the ShoreTel system had only been in place for a few weeks and Executive Auto Group was already starting to see the benefits in ease of administration that they’d hope to achieve. “We’re able to make changes to the system on the fly and there’s a lot that we can even do on our own now. We can immediately troubleshoot and in most cases don’t have to rely on a vendor to service the system. We absolutely could never have done that with our old system.”

If your company is ready for a simple but powerful UC solution like the one at Executive Auto Group, contact Select Telecom today for a free estimate on a custom-designed system that will enhance your business productivity and lower your costs.