Hawthorne Residential Partners

Hawthorne Residential Partners, a real estate management company with multi-family housing in North Carolina, was at the end-of-life with its current phone system, and with the company growing rapidly, the system was unable to support the inevitable expansion. Knowing that a long-term solution was in need, the management company partnered with Tom Martin, Manager of Technical Operations at Service Telephone & Equipment Inc. to test and recommend a new business communications server that would provide a flexible solution and enhance call productivity.

In addition to having a communications system that could expand with the growth that was on the horizon, the company wanted—and needed—a communications system that could integrate into its current infrastructure. Additionally, Hawthorne Residential Partners wanted to set-up a remote management system to avoid the need to place a technician on-site every time an issue occurred. This ensures immediate service calls can be addressed anytime, anywhere without interrupting service, and simple activities such as system software upgrades can be handled easily, without incurring additional service fees. Easy maintenance had posed a problem in the past, so this too was a critical deciding factor in which business communications solution was selected.

After conducting an exhaustive pre-configuration test in its own facility, Service Telephone & Equipment installed a variety of Panasonic KX-NT553 and KX-NT556 series phones for Hawthorne Residential Partners in only two business days – without interruption to service. On the second day, the PRI’s were tested to ensure all incoming calls were being received, and the installation team hosted on-site customer trainings in small groups, which helped to tailor each session to meet each specific group’s needs. Most employees were interested in learning how to forward their desktop phone to their mobile devices and were glad to see that this was a feature they could now take advantage of, and due to the user-friendly interface, was easy to set-up themselves.

Once the system installation was complete, Hawthorne Residential Partners was pleased with the remote management capabilities—including being able to add new users from any location and flexible configuration from a single site via a web browser interface. Other key features of the handsets that the company enjoyed were the backlit display, HD Voice and easy access to unified messaging functions.

Since the deployment, the company has grown and is able to support 70 phones lines with the implementation of the Panasonic KX-NT553 and KX-NT556 phones, each equipped with dual GB Ethernet ports. As the company has continued to expand into a new space, the new phone solutions save them money on infrastructure cabling which has resulted in the team being able to fully utilize the features of the phones without disruption. "It’s worked great, and we’ve experienced no downtime in productivity," said Barry Morrow, IT Manager for Hawthorne Residential Partners.

Additionally, with the new browser-based programming and remote connectivity it allows for much faster service response times. "Of course, it saves costs and that’s a huge part of the success story, but overall it’s just a comprehensive robust system … it’s the little things that count," says Tom Martin.

Hawthorne Residential Partners has also enjoyed the HD voice and unified messaging functionality through the handsets via a web browser interface that allows for flexible configuration and expansion into multiple sites. Users are pleased they can program their own phones and manage their voicemails via email.

Barry Morrow concluded, "The ease of management, the cost and the way it integrated into our business has been extremely valuable."

Challenges

Hawthorne Residential Partners was preparing for company expansion and needed a system that was easy to maintain and could support new growth. The previous phone system was at its end-of-life with little to no flexibility, so an IP-based phone solution for increased flexibility and better operational efficiency was needed.

Solutions

After installing the Panasonic KX-NS700 platform and KX-NT550 series phones, employees enjoyed streamlined features and saw increased efficiencies. Additionally, the ability to remotely manage the system was a big plus-up that saved the company both time and money.

Results

Since the installation, Hawthorne Residential Partners has not experienced any downtime and call response times are faster than ever. With now more than 70 phone lines deployed, the company has seen an increase in productivity, allowing them to respond to incoming calls and requests in a timelier manner. The upgrade proved to be successful in cutting costs and allowing for the system flexibility the company needed.

The ease of management, the cost and the way it integrated into our business has been extremely valuable.
Barry Morrow, IT Manager, Hawthorne Residential Partners