Established in 1902, Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) comprises a forward-thinking staff and more than 3,500 students. The school offers more than 50 undergraduate areas of study, and regional centers for its graduate programs. PLNU is nationally recognized for its leadership in sustainability, and debate championships, as well as other significant achievements. The IT department at PLNU was operating a legacy Nortel PBX system that only provided a limited set of features, along with a small Cisco VoIP implementation that amounted to 20 percent of the total communication system. After maintaining the Cisco phone environment for six years, the VoIP equipment needed to be upgraded. Following a deeper evaluation of replacement costs and ongoing maintenance expense, the IT department at PLNU decided to re-examine its VoIP strategy. …more
ShoreTel received the highest rating based on an evaluation of its unified communications solutions in the SMB market from the independent information technology research and advisory firm, Gartner, in its report, titled, “MarketScope for Unified Communications for the SMB Market, North America.”
ShoreTel was the only vendor to receive a Strong Positive, the highest rating in this report.
The report looked at 11 vendors, and focused on the premise-based UC market in North America for SMBs, defined for this MarketScope as firms with 29 to 499 employees. The ratings were summarized in the chart below:
Figure 1. Vendor Ratings
Source: Gartner, MarketScope for Unified Communications for the SMB Market, North America, M. Fernandez, J. Lassman, 10 August, 2012
For the August 2012 report, Gartner conducted customer and partner interviews, analyzed UC RFPs from each vendor, conducted vendor interviews and carried out financial ratings of vendors.
In its criteria for evaluation, Gartner said in its report that SMB requirements differ from large enterprises.
“SMBs require UC solutions that are easy to install, configure and manage and that do not increase demands on an already lean IT staff,” Gartner said. “Additionally, SMBs require straightforward pricing and exhibit greater preference for UC solutions that have integrated user and management interfaces.”
Gartner defined the Strong Positive rating thusly:
“Is viewed as a provider of strategic products, services or solutions:
- Customers: Continue with planned investments.
- Potential customers: Consider this vendor a strong choice for strategic investments.”
To see Gartner’s policies and guidelines, click here
The discovery’s complete. RFPs have been issued, and answered, and the responses vetted. The consultant has made his or her recommendations, and along with the client, has narrowed the field of vendors that might be awarded a contract to solve the client’s business communications needs.
The next step: solution demonstrations.The demo is often the “make it or break it” point for a vendor’s bid to provide a unified communications solution to an enterprise in need of better business communications.
What are the factors that contribute to a demo’s success? Several caveats are consistent whether or not a consultant is engaged in the process. It’s obvious that being on time, rehearsing and ensuring that all equipment is prepped and working, providing comprehensive information, and being sensitive to the client’s needs and pacing are prerequisites. But when a consultant is directing the process, a VAR may want to modify their standard demonstration approach.
ShoreTel Diagnostics and Monitoring is a web-based tool that provides detailed information about performance and health of your ShoreTel system.
The clean interface of diagnostics and monitoring within ShoreTel 14 provides clear visibility and proactive monitoring of the quality of calls, bandwidth utilization, performance of system components, and other parameters of the system, with relevant information consolidated and collected in an easy-to-use format.
Let’s review Diagnostics and Monitoring in more details. …more
When real users of unified communications solutions are surveyed, ShoreTel leads the field for lowest total cost of ownership (TCO), according to a report from the independent research and analysis firm Aberdeen Group.
The firm surveyed 485 users of IPT (IP telephony) as well as legacy TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) from May to November 2012. The study covered the categories of initial capital costs, recurring costs, training cost, and planned versus unplanned downtime. Vendors in the survey were Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, Mitel and ShoreTel.
Although organizations of every size were surveyed, the majority, 74 percent, were categorized in the small-to-midsize enterprise (SME) sector.
The results were clear: …more
The latest release of ShoreTel’s unified communications solution, ShoreTel 14, was launched today. And with it, we’ve introduced the ShoreTel IP Phone 930D – a feature-rich cordless DECT phone solution ideally suited for those needing a full telephony feature set along with in-building roaming capabilities.
DECT stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications. It’s an industry standard that provides a device, such as a cordless telephone, with access to a fixed telecommunications network via radio. Unlike alternative cordless enterprise phones that sacrifice functionality and quality for mobility, ShoreTel users can step away from their desk without losing the ability to manage incoming inquiries or monitor shared extensions. The IP Phone 930D offers generous talk time and standby times that can easily cover a full day of calls. …more
What an exciting week in Las Vegas! That’s what one might say after a trip to the casino, but not this time. The action in Las Vegas was at the ShoreTel booth at Mandalay Bay, where we had a record number of guests in our booth – hundreds of people joined in our celebration of the launch of the ShoreTel Dock. For the first time, you can undesk your desk phone and use the devices you want with the ShoreTel Dock, not the desk phones you are provided in a company. Bring your own personal device to work, but leave your personal phone number at home and use your business number instead on your personal device. Use your iPad or iPhone to participate in a webinar, or be the host of a webinar – whether you are in the office, your home office, the airport or your hotel room. I had an opportunity to meet with industry analysts and press, customers and resellers – and show them how we’ve changed the game again. …more
For three days at Interop in Las Vegas this week, the ShoreTel booth was a buzz of activity as conference goers came by in droves to checkout the ShoreTel Dock, the much-discussed business grade docking station that turns Apple iPads and iPhones into desk phones when paired with ShoreTel Mobility. …more
San Francisco Giants CIO Bill Schlough spoke at Interop in Las Vegas Wednesday about how the ball club has pursued technology innovation to drive success and pointed to ShoreTel as a partner in that achievement.
“I gave ShoreTel a lot of love,” Schlough said of his keynote.
The Giants selected ShoreTel to provide unified communications at the team’s AT&T Parks four years ago and the relationship has prospered since.
In April, Schlough brought the Giants’ two, recent World Series Trophies to ShoreTel’s Sunnyvale’s headquarters to let the company’s employees get their pictures taken with them.
As the saying goes, “Three times a charm.”
Interop attracts the best and the brightest of the tech world and ShoreTel was there in full force at the opening Tuesday with an exhibit that featured the new ShoreTel Dock, the first and only enterprise-grade docking station that enables employees to undesk their desk phone. …more