Turning Phone Services into

By Ron Miller  |  Posted 2005-10-17 Print this article Print

Profit"> When Infineon first purchased the ShoreTel system, Grafals said, some people from Planit Solutions came to a staff meeting right after the system was installed and trained the 40 permanent employees on how to use the ShoreTel system. Grafals said that after some initial training, the system was fairly easy to understand and use. Shortly after, Planit Solutions staff discovered that Infineon was paying for hundreds of telephone lines it was no longer using. The impact added up to serious money.
"Our telecommunications were [costing us] a couple of hundred thousand a year. We had permanent lines running all over the facility for sanctioning bodies and TV stations and race crews," Grafals said. "There was little control over where the phone lines went or whether we could reuse existing phone lines."
Lewis said he told Grafals that instead of spending all this money, Infineon could turn it around and start making money from telephone services. "After [they hired us], we really started looking at the infrastructure of the POTS [plain old telephone service] lines that were costing them incredible amounts of money. [We told Infineon], they could get rid of [all these extra lines] and turn this into a profit center, so instead of [event participants] ordering service from the local phone company, they can order lines from Infineon," Lewis said. Grafals said Infineon now has ShoreTel ports located throughout the property and can turn phone lines on and off as needed, and Planit Solutions manages the whole process for Infineon. This has enabled Infineon to kill hundreds of phone lines. She said that anyone who needs phone service for an event is directed to the Infineon Web site to order the lines. Planit Solutions monitors this site and sets up phones wherever they are needed on the Infineon property. With the help of Planit Solutions, Grafals said, she has been able to manage the phone lines more efficiently to the point that she has cut telecom costs between 2003 and 2004 by more than $70,000. She said she expects that number to go up as more event participants use Infineons telecom services. Ultimately, Grafals said the ShoreTel phone system and the relationship Infineon has established with Planit Solutions has resulted in improved efficiency, and it has given her better control over telecom, turning what once was a costly expenditure into a profit center. Ron Miller is a free-lance writer in Amherst, Mass. Contact him at ronsmiller@ronsmiller.com. Case file
  • Customer Infineon Raceway
  • Location Sonoma, Calif.
  • Organizational snapshot Professional automotive racetrack, part of the NASCAR professional racing circuit
  • Business need Outdated phone system that needed to be replaced in a hurry, as the busy race season was approaching, and the bulk of ticket sales was traditionally done by telephone
  • Technology partner Planit Solutions, Petaluma, Calif.
  • Recommended solution Install VOIP system from ShoreTel; train Infineon personnel on new system; transfer new phone system to new building when complete; analyze telecom infrastructure; suggest ways to cut telecom costs
  • ROI Infineon was able to turn telecom from a cost center that cost $200,000 per year into a profit center that resulted in more than $70,000 in savings between 2003 and 2004
  • Lessons learned Infineon realized it was paying far too much money for telecom than it needed to; with the help of Planit Solutions, it was able to turn off hundreds of open telephone lines and make money by providing telecom services for event participants, rather than having the local telephone company do so Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.


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