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Wisconsin Counties Association

Madison, WI

Aside from the outstanding technology - I know the technology is important - what’s more important is the team behind the technology, because technology is just a piece of equipment without a good team. ESG has proven over and over that they know what they’re doing, they work with people who know what they’re doing, and they do it well.

Ann Marie Austin, Operations Manager
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Project Scope

Located in the shadow of the State Capitol building, the Wisconsin Counties Association is a governmental organization that services Wisconsin’s counties regarding legislative issues. Because of its need to stay in touch with membership and legislators, having a reliable communications platform is essential for WCA. Ann Marie Austin, WCA’s Operations Manager, recently sat down with ESG to discuss her experience.

ESG: How did the WCA come to choose ESG?
Ann Marie: We shopped a total of five vendors and in the end we were really impressed with the phone system itself and the technology, and more importantly the ESG team. They were quick to respond, very helpful and very knowledgeable. So when we presented our challenges for customizing and other requests, ESG never said “no,” they said, “Our team will research it and get back to you.” And to this day we have been able to implement everything that we requested.

ESG: What was impressive about the Mitel 5000 system?
Ann Marie: We loved the looks of it and the touch screen, and the fact that it’s digital and we can flip through the pages. Also, the ease of it was impressive. It is very, very easy to use.

ESG: What process did you use to pick your phone vendor?
Ann Marie: Initially it was pricing, to be honest. I categorized them by price, but then I went further and categorized based on the technology and the kind of technical support that backs the technology. For us, having a relationship with the technical team is extremely important. ESG assured us they would always be there, and have proven that from day one.

ESG: What separated ESG from the other vendors?
Ann Marie: ESG has been coming to the WCA conference, so it was important to know they support some of our counties and come highly recommended. Supporting a company that supports our counties was important. Secondly, what separated ESG from everyone else was the one-on-one attention we received and how they shared their knowledge with us and answered our questions honestly.

ESG: Has WCA seen increased efficiency in day-to-day business?
Ann Marie: Yes. The voicemail to email feature is huge for our Lobby team and our Executive Director. Also, being able to pass off a call to your cell phone as you’re walking out the door, and conferencing people in easily have been extremely beneficial. From that perspective, we have been more productive because everything is now so easy to manage. We have also saved money, as ESG helped us get a better rate with our internet and voice service provider.

ESG: How has your on-going experience been?
Ann Marie: It has been very, very nice. We haven’t had any technical issues—it has been more like, “we would like to add this feature,” or “how do we change this feature?” The technical team has been outstanding in returning my calls and answering my emails right away, and even training me on the admin side so I can go in and tweak the system myself.

ESG: What would you say to a person looking to work with ESG?
Ann Marie: Aside from the outstanding technology—I know the technology is important—what’s more important is the team behind the technology, because technology is just a piece of equipment without a good team. ESG has proven over and over that they know what they’re doing, they work with people who know what they’re doing, and they do it well.