Positive Feedback Rolls In for ShoreTel Connect
After more than two years of development and planning, ShoreTel rolled out ShoreTel Connect, our largest and most significant launch in company history.
ShoreTel has spent the last year meeting with customers and working with partners and employees to prepare them for this launch. ShoreTel Connect successfully landed in the market with showers of accolades for its sleek user experience and flexible deployment options.
ShoreTel Connect features one common platform, two ways to deliver (as-a-service or product), and three ways to deploy: onsite, cloud and hybrid. As a single platform and user interface, ShoreTel Connect can be configured multiple ways for the cloud, onsite and mixed or hybrid options to fit with individual company growth and business models, ensuring that what companies select today will grow with them as needs change.
In the first 30 days since launch, ShoreTel Connect is already gaining traction and buzz. Rich Costello, senior research analyst at IDC said, “The new common platform enables ShoreTel to offer customers what they want: a choice of premises, hosted, or hybrid solutions with a consistent user experience across a common software stream.” Costello added that ShoreTel Connect also “makes UC&C easier for its channel partners to deploy and support as well as for customers to migrate from one model to another.”
On Twitter, Channel Partners (@Channel_Online) included ShoreTel Connect in its August Top 10 list of new products and services to sell, citing its “clean, unified interface that lets employees collaborate with partners and customers outside the company.” Channel Partners also liked how the ShoreTel Connect client supports a full complement of UC features, with an emphasis on mobility.
Blair Pleasant, president and principal analyst of COMMfusion and co-founder of ucstrategies.com, notes how ShoreTel Connect with its hybrid options can provide the 18 to 24 month ROI that CIOs are looking for now. “ShoreTel is doing the right thing by offering a single, common platform for cloud and premises, as well as hybrid,” she said.
Pleasant also mentioned the impact of ShoreTel Connect in the channel, noting that resellers have many opportunities as businesses move to the cloud. “As organizations look to the cloud for their communications solutions, channel partners have no choice but to embrace the cloud,” she said. “ShoreTel is trying to make this transition as painless as possible for customers.”
Kudos for the Client App
Early feedback from users of the ShoreTel Connect client report that it offers a natural, collaborative user experience and puts enterprise communications on par with personal communications. The ShoreTel Connect client app makes collaboration simple and consistent across various deployment types.
“We’ve had a really good experience with the ShoreTel Connect client. Users like the slick design and especially how it expands as needed,” said Miguel Abreu, New York superintendent at Black Box Network Services, a ShoreTel Connect beta user. “The ease of use of the client is great—there is no need for extensive training.”
Users can escalate a conversation from an IM to a call, to an online meeting, and then to a web desktop share and video. Browser-based, the app allows collaboration among internal teams, while also enabling external users to engage and collaborate in the same experience without the need for plug-ins, multiple application windows, passwords, or complex set-up.