Organisations Need to Adapt says ShoreTel

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IP communications vendor ShoreTel says that following Gartner’s prediction that the rise in virtual workplaces and meetings occurring across time zones will mark the nature of work in the next decade, organisations will need to adapt their IT infrastructures to accommodate this trend.

The company notes that the flexibility and increased functionality offered by mobile Unified Communications (UC) perfectly aligns with the needs of remote workers to stay connected at all times and communicate in a collaborative and flexible fashion.

Don Girskis, ShoreTel Sr. Vice President Worldwide Sales told Comms Business Magazine that the key issues surrounding the new working practices are, “How can channel partners introduce the benefits of mobile UC in supporting flexible working practices to their customers? How can they go beyond implementing individual technologies to offer an integrated mobile UC solution? And how can the channel add value and expertise to UC solutions for remote working?

Since their purchase of mobility pioneer Agito last year ShoreTel has been developing a strategy to help resellers grasp the opportunity.

“Why did ShoreTel buy Agito? Well IT directors had been telling us for some time that they needed to integrate their workforce mobile devices seamlessly in to their networks. Mobile call bills were big budget items and they needed a solution. We then had to make a ‘buy or make’ decision but had the opportunity to look at Agito.

Here we found a product that was platform (PBX) agnostic, carrier agnostic and device flexible. It could provide two big benefits for users; firstly reduce their mobile bills – especially when roaming as it works on a Wi-Fi connection and secondly it puts the power and functionality of the PBX on a mobile device – four digit dial plans, hold and transfer and conference calls for example.

Buying Agito has enabled ShoreTel to move upstream with Enterprise customers and resellers. For example, Didata, a big Cisco partner, is now selling our mobile integration solution as it works with that platform. Almost every customer is a prospect and typically ROI is within 6-12 months.

This represents a big opportunity for resellers. More and more young people, expecting and versed in mobile solutions, are joining the workforce and we need to plan for a different world in five years time.”

Girskis says that all ShoreTel staff, sales and technical, are now trained to support the application and that this month see the roll out of their reseller accreditation courses.

He concludes, “ShorTel has grown its revenues by 30% in the last three consecutive quarters with EMA experiencing 70% growth. Our strategy of introducing more high touch sales people, increasing marketing spend and accelerating our product road map is clearly working.”