Protravel Case Study
Protravel checks in with Mitel Sky to improve productivity and lower costs
Outsourcing makes sense for travel giant
Protravel International has annual sales near $1 billion, nearly 1,000 employees, and supports a network of 22 branch locations throughout the U.S. and Europe, as well as hosted agents across the country.
Upgrade obsolete and unreliable phone system
Protravel’s antiquated PBX phone systems were not only highly unreliable but difficult to service and support. The company was also paying thousands of dollars per month for hundreds of unused and inactivated phone lines. “Protravel hired me to help them upgrade their entire technology network,” says Lou Moran, chief technology officer at Protravel. “I had specific ideas about what I wanted the phone systems to be but didn’t want to run it in-house; I wanted to outsource the phones to experts whose primary focus is on continually providing modern phone technology.”
Mitel Sky offers users flexibility, ease of use, and mobility
When another vendor failed to fulfill promises to bring Protravel’s phone system up to date, Moran called Mitel. “Mitel had a good reputation and were local, so I wanted to give them a try,” says Moran. “They blew me away with their presentation. They didn’t try to sell me the phones. Instead, they sold me on their project management. They knew more about phones than anyone I’d met, and I felt their smart model could scale to fit our organization.”
Moran chose simple IP phones that were easy to customize and highly reliable. Mitel sent experts to each Protravel location to train agents on how to take advantage of all of the phone features. Some of the most beneficial features Mitel provided Protravel were four-digit extension dialing and call transfers, which enabled the company to connect offices and agents as never before. “During a travel shutdown because of a volcano, we were able to keep an airline on the line for 18 hours, transferring them from agent to agent,” explains Moran. “We never could have done that with our analog phones.”
Protravel agents now can be truly mobile, enjoying the same reliability and office-quality phones in their homes or anywhere they travel, without changing their phone numbers. In the U.K., several of the phones are designed so callers believe they are calling New York, no long distance required. Agents can move offices without changing their numbers. And in case of a disaster, people in the endangered location can simply move to a different site and the phones ring as if nothing has changed.
State-of-the-art phone system improves productivity, attracts agents, and lowers costs
Protravel is reaping the benefits of consolidating the phones under one provider and supplying agents with rock-solid technology. While much of the travel industry has suffered due to the economy, Protravel continues to grow, in part because of the reliability of its lifeline – the phone system. In fact, the Mitel Sky phones have been so popular, the company actually uses them as a recruiting tool for prospective agents. “Many of our incoming agents have grown up in a technologically advanced culture and expect that same innovation where they work,” comments Moran. “Our Mitel Sky phones have improved productivity and helped us to recruit the best people in the industry.”
“WE ARE A TRAVEL COMPANY, NOT A PHONE COMPANY. PHONES ARE WHAT SHORETEL DOES, AND THEY DO IT BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE. I FEEL LIKE WE HIRED A PHONE DEPARTMENT INSTEAD OF A VENDOR.”
Lou Moran, Chief Technology Officer
An unexpected benefit of the new phones has been the reduction in monthly expenses. Moran says the bill for the entire company is less than the bills used to be for a single office. For him and his CFO, a consistent monthly bill makes budgeting much easier, especially when they know they aren’t paying bills for unused lines.
Moran is thankful he doesn’t have to think about phones but instead can focus on driving the company forward. The support he continues to receive from Mitel allows him to do just that. “We are a travel company, not a phone company,” he says. “Phones are what Mitel does, and they do it better than anyone else out there. I feel like we hired a phone department instead of a vendor.”
Protravel was operating with antiquated PBX phone systems from multiple vendors. It was expensive, unreliable, and difficult to support.
When another vendor failed to fulfill promises to bring Protravel up to date on its phone system, Protravel called Mitel. The company chose simple phones that were easy to customize and highly reliable.
- 4-digit extension dialing
- No International long-distance charges
- Disaster recovery
- Recruiting tool for new agents