To its clients, Metro Offices is a telecommunications provider. Telecom is among the services Metro Offices provides to more than 1,200 companies at nine locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Those services range from office and meeting space and phone and Internet services to front desk receptionists and administrative services. They’ll even pick up their clients’ dry cleaning.
Trying a series of phone system providers brought Metro Offices nothing but challenges, said Director of IT Operations Elizabeth Langley. “We had a Nortel legacy system we kept putting Band-Aids on to get us through our contract,” she said. “Then we switched to a Cisco system based on reputation of quality, which turned into an even bigger nightmare.”
Complicating matters even further was the fact that many clients need office space for only a few months, so Metro Offices was having to make frequent changes to the phone system.
“Our clients could not leverage any of features, the user interface experience was poor, and on the back end it was very difficult to administer changes, add-ons, and any modifications because we are not Cisco-certified engineers.”
“As we were searching for a new solution, it was critical that we find a system that included a user-friendly front-end interface for our clients and ease of management to administer changes. It needed to be feature-packed. Costs were also a big factor. Fonality met all of our needs,” Langley said.
The front desk coordinator at each Metro Offices location has to answer the phone for about 200 different companies, each with their own unique needs and directions on how to manage their calls. “There is tremendous amount of pressure for us to answer the call quickly, effectively, batch the call, and be in tune with every single company’s requirements.”
With Fonality, call routing rules can be set to keep with the organization’s expectation of 10 seconds. Otherwise calls are distributed to other centers.
Metro Offices chose a Fonality solution that linked together all nine of its locations together for more effective internal communications. Adding to or modifying the Fonality system was simple using the Web Admin panel, which doesn’t require a certification to understand.
“The Fonality Heads Up Display has been invaluable to improving our communications across the entire company,” said Bill Garnett, chief knowledge officer at Metro Offices.
“The ability to see if someone is available or on the phone, send them a quick instant message, and transfer calls easily through HUD is something we depend on daily. HUD centralizes all of the most frequently used communication tools like phone, voicemail, email, instant messaging, conference bridges and employee presence so you can see when colleagues are available, regardless of where their office location is.”
“The most important thing we provide our clients is ubiquitous mobility. We want our clients to be able to connect with their clients and prospects anytime, anywhere in the world,” said Garnett.
“The reality is that when our customers are evaluating us against our competitors, communications and telephony and IT infrastructure are important criteria.” He said, “Our clients are huge fans of call routing and call forwarding, so they never miss calls. The voicemail to email is also a favorite feature, one we didn’t have before.” Whether clients are in the office or on the road, they have the ability with Fonality to communicate with the same capabilities.”
Garnett said, “When we buy technology, it can’t be a loss-leader. The phone has to be a profit center for us. That was difficult with the huge capital expenses of our previous systems. With Fonality, we’ve been able to prove the business case and get into a cost-recovery mode.”
He added, “We’ve been very impressed by Fonality’s responsiveness and quick resolution. That helps us respond to our customers and exceed their expectations, which is what we always try to do.”
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