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Installing and maintaining a new voice and phone system to support growing need

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Installing and maintaining a new voice and phone system to support growing need
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Installing and maintaining a new voice and phone system to support growing need

The Background

Established in 1925, Gunster is a full-service Florida law firm that provides counsel to leading businesses and individuals. It is known as Florida’s law firm for business and has 11 offices throughout the state. Gunster is a firm that prides itself on individualized service and thoroughly understanding its clients’ business. The firm earned national rankings in multiple areas in the 2013 “Best Law Firms” rankings from U.S. News & World Report and is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of 250 largest law firms.

An Outdated Voice System

Gunster had an aging telephone and voicemail system that was discontinued and no longer supported by the manufacturer. Deborah Bittle, Senior Help Desk Analyst and Telecom Analyst, knew she had to invest in a new system. The firm could have purchased an upgrade/support package from the manufacturer, but it was extremely expensive and did not include new equipment. A second option was to purchase a completely new system from the original manufacturer, also an expensive proposition. A third option was to look at systems from other manufacturers, which Ms. Bittle did.

Requirements For A New Voice System

In looking at new voice systems, Gunster had a few requirements. First, Ms. Bittle wanted a system with centralized management, which she didn’t currently have. The firm was experiencing rapid growth, and a strong, easy-to-use management tool was essential to support all sites from one desk.

Second, Gunster wanted a system that would give it the same high-quality clarity as it currently had, which was also essential for its client communications. The firm prides itself on providing the absolute best service, and its phone system needed to do the same. No degradation of voice clarity and quality was acceptable.

Another requirement included a system that gave the firm a platform for growing into future technology. Lastly, the firm wanted a system that was cost-effective.

A Client-focused, Cost-effective Solution

In doing research, Ms. Bittle reviewed proposals from multiple vendors featuring many different types of systems. Ultimately, she chose the solution proposed by Black Box. “I think we won the job because we really listened to what the client wanted,” said Black Box Sales Manager, Paul Feller. “We didn’t push technology. We listened to what their concerns were and designed a system that met their needs.”

The Black Box solution is an IP telephone system from NEC, which is flexible enough to support digital telephones. It includes a strong LCR (Least Cost of Routing) to manage calls between offices with four-digit dialing, and in-skin voice mail with flash technology instead of a hard drive that can fail, and centralized management from one site.

Most importantly, the new NEC system was very cost effective. It was equal to the cost of upgrading the original system and keeping the old phones, and was actually 30% less than the cost of a new system from the original manufacturer.

The new system consists of more than 1000 ports throughout the firm’s offices. In addition, Black Box is also providing all support for the new system.