In early 1980, Northern Telecom decided to transition their business to a distributorship model. Phil Burkett, then Northern Telecom Branch Manager for Chattanooga, saw an opportunity to become the first Nortel distributor. Along with two business partners, Burkett purchased the East Tennessee operation from Northern Telecom and CRI was formed on April 1, 1980.
In subsequent years, Phil bought out his partners and became the sole owner. He placed an emphasis on providing the best equipment and service in town. This focus allowed CRI to grow our business and continually attain new customers throughout the Southeastern United States.
From Nortel to ShoreTel: Helping businesses find their voice
For nearly 30 years, CRI was exclusively a Nortel vendor that focused on being the best in the business at selling, installing and maintaining telecommunications systems. In 2007, we transitioned our focus to the ShoreTel line because it offers the easiest, most reliable, cost-effective and “Brilliantly Simple” products on the market. In our first year as a ShoreTel distributor, we became one of their top 10 distributors in the world.
CRI has always been the leader in the voice world. While many IT companies have struggled to get into the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) business, it was an easy transition for us. Changes in the industry and the convergence of voice and data have also given us new opportunities in additional applications—such as contact centers, unified messaging, conferencing, networking and mobile communication.
An Industry Leader: Your business communications partner
Today, CRI has grown to more than 50 employees through and we now have direct sales and service offices in Knoxville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Huntsville and Chattanooga. Thanks to technology, we are now selling, installing and maintaining systems nationwide.
Although the industry and the technology have changed, CRI’s attention to detail and customer satisfaction have not. We still offer the best equipment and service in town. After three decades in the industry and supporting more than 100,000 desktops nationwide, CRI remains your trusted business communications partner.