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More on the ShoreTel, Agito Deal

October 22, 2010 12:21 PM | 0 Comments

A girl can't even take some time off these days without missing news of an acquisition. While I was enjoying some R&R yesterday in the dentist's chair, ShoreTel revealed its plans to buy Agito.


For $11.4 million ShoreTel gets an enterprise mobility platform that will enable users to communicate on any device at any location and using any network.


Bringing mobility into the fold is important for companies like ShoreTel given smartphones, laptops and, increasingly, tablets are becoming the key tools employed by business users. With the Agito acquisition in its pocket, ShoreTel will be able to provide PBX functionality on a variety of popular wireless endpoints including the BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, and Nokia and Windows Mobile smartphones.


As discussed in the October issue of Unified Communications Magazine, which should post on TMCnet by the end of this month, Synergy Research's latest data reported in the quarter shows ShoreTel grew market share once again in the June quarter to 8.2 percent in the U.S. pure IP market and 5.6 percent of the U.S. IP telephony market. ShoreTel sold approximately 96,000 end user licenses in the quarter, with more than 800 new customers added in that period.


The company is making gains both in the U.S. and abroad by going up market, and winning more and larger contracts.


ShoreTel started out selling to small businesses, but now also has medium and large enterprise users. The target is opportunities involving between 20 and 10,000 users. It recently sold it first contact center in EMEA in excess of 1,000 lines.


International now represents 10 percent of ShoreTel's business, and that's growing. The company has seen the best success in Australia and Europe. As part of its most recently reported quarterly financials ShoreTel revealed it had record high international revenues of $5 million - about 12 percent of four quarter total revenues. That represents a 130 percent year-over-year increase.


ShoreTel wins and retains customers by delivering what Gavin says are simple and straightforward solutions to their unified communications problems.


"The whole notion of brilliant simplicity is what we focus on," he says.

While the move to 4G networks would at first glance seem to indicate wireless service providers should have adequate capacity to meet mobile bandwidth demands for years to come, sources at the CTIA show earlier this month in San Francisco told me that those networks will be flooded quickly by mounting usage and bandwidth-hungry applications like video.


Dave Gibbons, Opanga CEO, was among the sources who told me this. Opanga at CTIA was demonstrating its video delivery optimization solution, which prepositions content on end devices. That way, service providers will be able to offer customers the content of their choice for something like $1 a month, and preposition that content on devices so networks don't get overloaded, he said.


"We just think that has to happen," he said, adding that it is now in trials with service providers in the Americas.


Another company, Eden Rock Communications, sells a real-time coordinated multimode resource optimization solution called Eden-NETT. It's a controller that talks to thousands of base stations to get information about what's happening on each channel, Chaz Immendorf, president and CEO, told me. He said that allows the company's solution to deliver to wireless service providers a map of how best to allocate radiofrequency at any time. This solution can provide capacity improvements on the order of 40 percent for LTE networks, he added.

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