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Financial company Improves responsiveness to Callers


Cascade Financial Group is a local financial services company specializing in securing the financial futures of individuals. The company has 29 Employees some of which work remotely.  Most of the company’s customers are individuals, who appreciate it when a live person answers the phone to  answer questions about financial situation. “Our business depends on the phone system,” says Todd Hooper, VP of Operations of CFG.

CFG needed a better way to communicate more effectively with co-workers and clients.  Projects were getting delayed due to missed calls resulting in voicemails that would go hours without checking.  The Previous phones system didn’t allow the receptionist to handle calls efficiently, and when calls came in for remote workers, the client would have to wait for a call back.

With the busiest time of year, Tax Time, fast approaching, CFG needed  a solution that would provide their customers the best possible customer service.


 “Based on CFG’s business needs—reliable phone service, the ability to reach employees in other offices—we recommended an IP telephony solution based on Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express and Cisco Unified IP phones, and an integrated voicemail solution based on Cisco Unity Express,” says Jerry Mull. Other than the Cisco Unified IP Phones and a couple Linksys routers, the only equipment needed for all three offices is one Cisco Integrated Services Router, which provides integrated IP telephony, voicemail, and automated attendant capabilities in a single platform when nobody is available to answer the phones. Now voice calls and pages travel over the same IP network that CFG uses for its business applications.  The remote workers share the same voice system, connecting with a VPN that encrypts the voice traffic for security.  It took just a few minutes to train employees how to use the new features, such as transferring calls to employees in other offices, putting calls on hold, and parking calls, which means placing a call on hold at one extension and continuing the conversation from another.


Callers receive faster service. “Now if and advisor is out of the office, the call can be forwarded to his cell phone.  The result is a much happier customer.  “Now we have integrated messaging  which means when a call does  go to voicemail we can handle it much more accurately because it now shows up in our email inbox as an attachment>” says Hooper.

Another benefit is now our remote users are on the system.  When a call comes in, the receptionist simply transfers the call as if it was going to an extension down the hall.  Not only is this fast and convenient, but is saves money because the call goes over the internet and not over the land line.

The company can move, add, and change telephone extensions at no cost. Previously, CFG had to pay the phone company whenever an extension was moved or changed. “Our new Cisco Unified communications system is very portable,” says Hooper. “You can move a computer or phone to any location in the building and simply plug it in—without paying a service provider.” Management and support are much simpler now. “We only need to manage one Cisco device, the Cisco 2821 Integrated Series Router, which reduces management and support costs,” says Hooper.


CFG is a growing company and anticipates moving to a larger space or opening a second office. The Cisco Unified Communications system has the capacity for as many phone lines and additional telephones as the company anticipates ever needing and adding another location would be simple. “Cisco was the best choice for CFG  because Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express does everything the company needs—without requiring a large investment,” says Hooper.  He  concludes, “We are ready for the future because our Cisco Unified Communications system has the features and reliability we need today as well as capacity to add new lines as we grow.”

Executive Summary

· Cascade Financial Group

· Financial Services

· Cascade Michigan

· 25 employees


Business Challenge

· Improve responsiveness to clients

· Increase employee productivity

· Connect remote workers


Network Solution

· Deployed Cisco Unified Communications system at main location

· Securely integrated remote workers using a VPN


Business Results

· Improved customer satisfaction by reducing response time for customer inquiries

· Increased employee efficiency by reducing missed calls

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