Hello ShoreTel Community,
I wanted to provide an update on ShoreTel’s direction for Instant Messaging and Presence.
We recognized years ago that IM would become strategic for most organizations. We acquired the core XMPP server technology to embed natively into our system. XMPP (compared to SIMPLE- SIP for IM) scales in a very economic fashion and thus fits perfectly with our low cost of entry and low TCO goals. To our knowledge, only three UC vendors have a true standard-based (SIP or XMPP) IM based server: Microsoft, Cisco and ShoreTel. This technology is key to be able to expand the basic IM functionalities with future federation standards. Most other vendors have to use to third party technology to deliver IM functionalities, most notably Avaya with their Avaya Presence Server partially built using OEM technologies from… Jabber, Inc, now Cisco.
ShoreTel 12 was the first release with built-in IM technology, in addition to audio conferencing and application sharing. This functionality offers a very cost efficient option to customers who want to boost collaboration without having to deal with Lync deployment complexity. A significant number of prospective customers looked at Lync for IM or collaboration, but the combination of our pricing structure, simple appliance-based model and integrated management led the majority of them to choose our built-in collaboration functionalities.
On the other hand, we addressed the Microsoft IM server install base by allowing our UC desktop clients to leverage an existing Microsoft IM infrastructure. So you can use our Communicator client for call control, visual voicemail, video, softphone and IM by leveraging the MS Lync server. We have been shipping this functionality since 2008. We intend to continue to invest in these two approaches: an IM open strategy with MS Lync or the alternative IM solution built into our UC system.
We announced ShoreTel 12.3 this week: it is designed to meet the growing demand from large organizations. It supports up to 10,000 concurrent instant messaging clients, 1,000 audio conferencing ports, and 500 Web conferencing ports.
More IM announcements will be made over the summer.