At the Gillrie Institute we are involved in over 500 dealership technology deals every year. From large (public) to smaller single-rooftop dealerships, over 7,000 dealer partners have had us assist them with negotiating Dealer Management Systems (DMS), Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM), phone solutions (VoIP) and many others. Most dealers spend an enormous amount of effort finding the right DMS, but rarely do they apply the same diligence to the decision their dealership phone system. Since a dealer’s phone system is often his most effective interface with prospects and existing customers, having the right set of unified communication (UC) features is crucial for the dealer success or failure.
In the following list we will describe VoIP telephone systems that we see most frequently. Please note that we do not have any financial relationship with these vendors. Our advice is solely based on dealer feedback and real-life occurrence. No assumptions of suitability or quality are intended or should be construed. Call us with your questions or requests for additional information, including the best contact information for any of these vendors.
CDK Global Dealership Integrated Phone System (former ADP Dealer Services)
As one of only two DMS providers offering telephone communication, CDK has a long history in integrating DMS and voice services. While hosted Polycom and on-premise Cisco phones had been CDK’s flagship communication solutions in the past, CDK now concentrates sales efforts on the ADP Telephony in the Cloud (ATC) or CDK Voice Connect solution which is based on a hosted Cisco platform. It can deliver voice, video, presence, desktop sharing and chat features, regardless of the device that is used by the dealer’s staff (desk phone, mobile phone or tablet). The unique selling proposition for DMS phones is the integration with the dealer’s DMS and CRM that allows dealers to create a customer-centric workflow by utilizing window-pops for every call, automated notes in the customer history, and in-depth call reporting. Not only does CDK sell and service advanced unified communication equipment and features, but also supports dealers with dial tone through the Call Connect plans. Overall CDK’s phone offerings include the full range from equipment and extended warranty plans, feature-rich solutions with ongoing software updates, installation and professional services, hosting services / connectivity and even dial tone.
Reynolds Integrated Telephone System (RITS)
Reynolds and Reynolds (R&R) is the second largest domestic provider of DMS services. R&R is the only other DMS vendor besides CDK that combines deep integration with the DMS (R&R ERA) and CRM (R&R Contact Management), and enhanced phone features like information on-screen, and inbound and outbound call-tracking. Other features include emailing a voicemail, call distribution, interactive voice responses, automated afterhours attendants, and many more. A very popular feature with the R&R phone system is the MyRITS application that turns a mobile device into an extension phone. Dealers can access the system from any iPhone or Android device, and better engage with customers by viewing customer information including service, current vehicle, special order parts, F&I, and contact information. The Reynolds Integrated Telephone System or RITS is compatible with Polycom and Cisco phones.
As a California-based provider, Cisco Systems, Inc., has home operations in San Jose. Cisco is a market leader in unified communication systems and (wireless) network management. Cisco is also the preferred product of choice from CDK Global and R&R for phone solutions and network gear. Our 2015 Gillrie Institute Dealer Phone System Satisfaction Survey shows that every fifth dealer is utilizing a Cisco telephone product.
In general the Cisco Unified Communications Manager is a standard-setting platform which integrates many facets of telephony solutions such as IP Communications, mobility, conferencing, etc., and creates a comprehensive business solution for any size client. Cisco’s Business Edition packages are fully functional and simplified for midsized businesses, and Cisco boasts integrated SIP Trunking as well as newer developments such as their Jabber messaging app.
- Cisco Phone Number: 800-553-6387
- Cisco Website: www.cisco.com
Polycom is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Jose, California, which got recently acquired by private-equity firm Siris Capital Group LLC. in 2016. Polycom develops video, voice and content collaboration, as well as communication technology. Polycom is a popular choice for automobile dealers as shown in the 2015 Phone Vendor Satisfaction Survey conducted by the Gillrie Institute: every 8th dealer uses a Polycom phone system. One of the reasons why Polycom is the second most-popular platform after Cisco, is that CDK Global and R&R offer it as a less costly alternative to the CDK / R&R Cisco solutions.
The Polycom UC Software is a software platform for open standards-based communication including features covering Instant Messaging (IM), video conferencing, and voice communications.
- Polycom Phone Number: 800-POLYCOM
- Polycom Website: www.polycom.com
Avaya is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Based on our Gillrie Institute Dealer Phone System Satisfaction Survey in 2015, approximately 11% of auto dealers are utilizing Avaya systems in their dealerships. Avaya is a large company and is widely recognized as a result of long-standing presence in North America.
With a scalability of up to 2,500 users, Avaya IP Office (IPO), the company’s midmarket solution, is more than sufficient for dealerships wanting a single server system capable of covering communications across 150 sites. Some areas of strength are their strong contact center capability, high-end telephony systems, and top security.
As of January 2017, the telecommunications giant filed for chapter 11 Bankruptcy in order to reduce its debt.
- Avaya Phone Number: 866-GO-AVAYA
- Avaya Website: www.avaya.com
NEC, based in Tokyo, Japan, is a global provider for telephony and IT services. Though NEC has a much stronger presence in government, education, and health care industries, our Dealer Satisfaction Survey found that a full 9% of auto dealers are working with NEC products in their dealerships.
NEC has two different midsized solutions: the Univerge 3C, which translates well across all platforms, and UC for Enterprise (UCE), which was originally intended for larger-scale business. Univerge 3C is designed as a full software suite, whereas the UCE focuses on the telephony aspect with UC features added in.
The Mitel Corporation is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and has a robust brochure of unified communications systems. Following their merger with Aastra, Mitel is among the Top 10 vendors chosen by auto dealers based on the 2015 Phone Vendor Satisfaction Survey conducted by the Gillrie Institute. Dealers also shared that Mitel has one of the highest satisfaction scores in comparison to other phone system.
Mitel offers several Unified Communications (UC) systems, including MiVoice Business and MiCollab – as well as the MiVoice Business Express, which is a hybrid of the two for North American customers. Mitel demonstrates strong flexibility with cloud systems, refreshingly effective integration with third party solutions, and holds a desirable price point within the industry.
- Mitel Phone Number: 844-937-6483
- Mitel Website: mitel.com
Most people recognize Toshiba, out of Tokyo, Japan, as a well-known and recognizable brand of electronics such as computers and televisions across many markets. One of those markets is the unified communications field. Toshiba has been identified by dealers as a Top 10 phone system, as reported in the Gillrie Institute Dealer Phone System Satisfaction Survey in 2015.
Toshiba’s UC offerings are geared toward smaller business models in the midmarket area, and are more centered on telephony than most. They offer UCedge, which is built off of their own software and compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, as well as the Linux-based IPedge.
- Toshiba Phone Systems Phone Number: 877-704-7926
- Toshiba Phone Systems Website: www.telecom.toshiba.com
dealerTEL provides Automobile Dealers a complete communications suite including integrated Hosted VoIP (Desk Phones), Nationwide Mobile (Cellular), High Speed Internet, Call recording, Speech Analytics, CRM Integration and TruSafe Private Data Centers for the ultimate in connectivity and security. dealerTEL also offers host of exclusive additional communications enhancing products and services for dealerships. Their technology allows dealers to finally “marry” mobile phones with their Hosted VoIP phone system into a seamless, cost effective communications environment. The result is a dealership communications solution that guaranties that 100% of dealership Mobile calls and Desk phone calls can be recorded and published to the dealership’s CRM provider.
- dealerTEL Phone Number: 877.893.5022
- dealerTEL Website: http://beta.dealertel.com/
Grandstream Networks, Inc. is a private corporation headquartered in Boston, MA USA. It currently employs over 500 people around the world. Grandstreams SIP Unified Communications solutions serve the small/medium business and enterprises markets and have been recognized for their quality, reliability and innovation. Grandstream solutions allow dealers to lower communication costs, increase security protection, and enhance productivity. Their open standard SIP-based products offer broad interoperability throughout the industry. Grandstream has a complete portfolio of over 50 IP Unified Communications products.
- Grandstream Networks Phone Number: 617-566-9300
- Grandstream Networks Website: http://www.grandstream.com/
ShoreTel is based in Sunnyvale, California with regional offices in Germany, India, Australia, and the UK. Shoretel belongs to the Top 10 vendors utilized by dealers as indicated in the 2015 Dealer Phone System Satisfaction Survey provided by the Gillrie Institute. The report also unveiled that ShoreTel achieved the highest satisfaction score among all phone vendors. ShoreTel offers both premises-based and hosted telephony solutions.
The ShoreTel 14 premises-based system (delivered through ShoreGear voice switches), as well as the ShoreTel Sky hosted service are both praised for being easy to use and manage. They provide a reliable, simply implementable, and fully distributed system. Clients looking for a platform with a simpler interface in exchange for popular features will be pleased with everything ShoreTel has to offer.
- Shoretel Phone Number: 844-746-7383
- Shoretel Website: www.shoretel.com