Simplicity is one of the reasons ShoreTel emerged on the corporate communications scene and became a dominant player in a market once virtually owned by the likes of Avaya, Nortel, Cisco and Mitel. The company has also done a great job evolving its platform to keep up with the times. In 2011 TMCnet broke the news about ShoreTel Mobility for example – extending the ability of your communications system to live on your mobile device (see video below).
Cant't get enough of these? Here is a complete catalogue of ShoreTel interviews and keynotes produced by TMCIn 2013, the company showed us ShoreTel Dock – a great way to further integrate the phone and mobile. In their opinion, this product overcame the the challenges of bringing these two once-disparate worlds together.
More recently – this past November in fact, Mark Roberts, CMO of ShoreTel spoke with me about how the company’s products are Brilliantly Simple – which also happens to be their tagline. “It’s in our DNA, it’s the way we think about it, those are the conversations we have internally,” he exclaimed. He added, “I think that’s what differentiates us.”
In the above interview we discussed ShoreTel Connect – the modern looking and simple UI which embodies their ethos of simplicity. He went on to say Connect is the ideal way to overcome the challenges of disparate cloud and premise-based solutions.
In other words, the company internally once had to deal with this problem as they purchased cloud communications company M5. Over time, they unified what became ShoreTel Sky with their premise solution.
In an exclusive interview today, I asked how he feels they compare against the competition which I broadly categorized as premise players such as Avaya and Cisco, cloud vendors such as 8x8 and RingCentral, hybrid providers like Mitel and finally, the new wave of competitors which come from the messaging world – such a Slack. Although not 100% the same, I feel a company like Switch – recently renamed DialPad also fits in this last category.
Mark emphasized the company is very well positioned as the player which has a unified front-end to cloud or premise-based solutions. This allows them in his words to provide the best solution for the customer. He emphasized that cloud players push their type of solution and so do premise players. ShoreTel Connect allows as he says for users to move from premise to cloud as needed in a seamless way without users needing to know which solution is powering their conversations and UC experience. In other words, UCaaS and premise-power become irrelevant to the UC user.
In addition, he went on to say they continue to invest in the company. Most recently with the purchase of UCaaS provider Corvisa which brings many benefits. For example they get 100 highly skilled UCaaS workers, a SIP trunking solution which allows resellers to rely on one less vendor, ownership of ShoreTel Flex, a sophisticated contact center solution and an API and SDK.
The bottom line is the company believes it has the best solution to tackle any implementation challenge and with more sophisticated tools for advanced contact centers under their belt, they can really compete head-to-head against the best-in-breed premise and cloud vendors with the added flexibility of migrating users easily between platforms.