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January 23, 2007

Tiger Woods Foundation Looks to Break Par with ShoreTel VoIP

By Erik Linask, Associate Editor,
Internet Telephony magazine

The focus of many IP Communications solutions providers has shifted to the SMB market — those businesses with anywhere from ten to 250 users, or more, depending on the specific vendor, mostly because the segment presents a tremendous opportunity, having been notoriously underserved for years. In addition to traditional businesses looking to upgrade or replace existing systems, there is a large sub-segment that is particularly keen on finding a solution that is both feature-rich and cost-effective, namely, the non-profit sector. Not only do NPOs have requirements similar to other businesses, but they also must contend with very small budgets and cannot afford to waste time or money on less than optimal solutions.
ShoreTel is one communications solutions provider that has made a name for itself providing easy to use enterprise class solutions to the SMB market at an affordable price point — precisely what the Tiger Woods Foundation (TWF) and Tiger Woods Learning Center (TWLC) were looking for when they chose ShoreTel (News - Alert) for their new telephony solution. With ShoreTel, TWF and TWC have the reliability and functionality to effectively manage their communications and create a more efficient working environment.
The Tiger Woods Foundation was founded in 1996 by Tiger and his father, seeking to help youths visualize and attain their maximum potential through community-based programs. The Tiger Woods Learning Center spans 14 acres and is the physical embodiment of Tiger’s vision for offering youths an interactive educational program to educate and help develop a sense of accountability and independence, ultimately leading to increase higher education opportunities and participation.
 Naturally, with such a formidable task as managing such a program on a national scale requires only the best support infrastructure, which is where ShoreTel stepped in. The new system, according to TWLC’s executive director Kathy Bihr, is both flexible and easy to administer, allowing the organization to focus on its work rather than system administration and training.
The endpoints, themselves, are easy to install and understand — intuitive is how Bihr described them — so that new users are quickly and easily able to integrate the benefits of IP technology into their everyday lives, including mobile staff.
“Many of our staff are busy in the field with charity and related events.  ShoreTel’s ‘Find-Me Follow-Me’ solution and the convenience of being able to retrieve voice mail as an email attachment have proven very handy to these folks,” said Bihr.

In addition to field workers, on-site teachers also win, as they are able to move across campus, yet remain close to their extensions using ShoreTel’s Extension Manager. Additional customization features further enhance the communications capabilities of the organization, allowing them to spend less time worrying about how to communicate and more time actually communicating, leading to less time communicating and more time focused on the task at hand.
InhouseIT, a channel partner, efficiently and seamlessly replaced the Foundation’s existing legacy system with a new state of the art ShoreTel system, which would be capable of supporting the growth of the organization and provide a unified communications platform for the staff.  

“We know we’re improving our customers’ communications infrastructures when we install ShoreTel,” said Troy Hickerson, co-CEO, inhouseIT.  “The training we conducted as part of the set up at the Tiger Woods Foundation went off without a hitch largely because the technology is so user-friendly.  ShoreTel’s system, coupled with our experience in telecommunications installations, make a great pairing all around.”
Trillion, another ShoreTel partner, installed the system at the TWLC in Anaheim.
You can learn about all the benefits IP Communications can bring to your business, as well as see all the latest product and service offerings this week at INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO. Join the industry’s foremost experts, who will be on hand to discuss the various options that are available and answer you specific questions as you prepare to deploy a new telephony system or enhance an existing one.
Erik Linask is Associate Editor of INTERNET TELEPHONY. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert), he was Managing Editor at Global Custodian, an international securities services publication. To see more of his articles, please visit Erik Linask’s columnist page.


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