I recently posted about ShoreTel, verticals, and a baseball game between the Giants and Dodgers.
There are few things oranger than a ShoreTel event at a Giants game in San Francisco.
The Giants won! It was a nice game ending 6-4. Blow-outs are no fun, but in the bottom of the 9th, the Dodgers were on base so extra innings were a possibility. All things equal it’s nice when the home team wins.
Secondly, and this is very important, ShoreTel isn’t kidding when they talk about their raving customers. I got to spend some time with Bill Schlough, SVP and CIO of the Giants. I had initially assumed he was a ShoreTel employee. When we met, he was extolling the virtues of teh ShoreTel system and was wearing a ShoreTel jacket. Such exuberance over a technology vendor isn’t uncommon when it’s a vendor’s own employee, but it is a bit rare with actual end-user customers. ShoreTel talks a lot about their customer satisfaction and industry leading Net Promoter Scores, but nothing hits “home” like a customer you mistake for a member of the marketing department.
Schlough shared that MLB clubs share and compare various operating benchmarks. The Giants were leading the MLB with the highest telecom costs, and that’s considered an error. The incumbent technology was Centrex (big error), so Schlough began looking to trade-up. He already had a good relationship with Cisco that provided all the Wi-Fi infrastructure for the stadium. He also looked at other majors like Avaya and Nortel, but in the end he decided to call ShoreTel up from the minors.
This was five years ago when ShoreTel was a $128.7 million firm (FY13 was $313.4 million or 143.6% growth).
I asked Schlough where the Giants are now on that comparison list, and he claimed he didn’t know, “When the GM shares those lists with me, it’s usually a bad thing.” Suspicion though is quickly erased after listening to him talk about his experience with ShoreTel. The Giants not only saved $400,000 annually by switching from Centrex to ShoreTel, but now also realize $50,000 a year in net new revenue by providing voice services to stadium vendors.
Competitive jostling aside, Schlough was genuinely pleased that the Dodgers recently opted to also go with ShoreTel. Ralph Esquibel, Vice President of Information Technology for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was also in attendance. His system is brand new, and he seemed pleased with his decision to replace his abandoned NBX system. Esquibel recently cut-over 750 phones in one day – still surprised how smoothly it went.
Check out my fantasy baseball stadium slide show below for more information.