Top Five Reasons to Choose ShoreTel over the Competition!
ShoreTel is easily one of the top manufacturers of Unified Communications (UC) product in the USA, and across the world. With offices in Austin, London, Bangalore (India), Manila (Philippines), Singapore, and Sydney, ShoreTel is truly a global player. Along with Cisco and Avaya, these three manufacturers account for over 80% of the VoIP phone system market.
So what sets ShoreTel apart and why does CSM recommend ShoreTel to our customers in Florida and Texas? The reasons are many, and in fact differ for each individual situation. However, it is possible to pinpoint at least five top reasons that seem to be at least a factor in every installation:
- Ease of use ShoreTel really is easy to use. Here at CSM we like to say that it “works just how a telephone should.” While buyers often think this should be the case with all VoIP products, this is actually not true at all! Most VoIP telephone systems were designed by data people, not phone engineers. This means that rather than operating how a standard telephone would work, they essentially took computer software and bolted telephone features on top. This creates a situation where terminology is different for the users and features typically have additional steps. If a user is coming from a Nortel, Comdial, AT&T Partner or other legacy phone system, this is an important consideration. With ShoreTel, their tagline is “Brilliant Simplicity” which really shines in their ease of use. “Transfer” really means transfer, “hold” really means hold, and when I press my “Voice Mail” button I am connected to the voice mail. Beware! Do not take this simplicity for granted. If you are evaluating different systems, ask for a demo in your office. ShoreTel vendors will always oblige, in fact we crave onsite demos!
- Communicator Software With Avaya, in order to take advantage of the user PC integration software, I need to have the license, Professional version voice mail, and a few other miscellaneous considerations. ShoreTel, however, includes Personal Communicator for every user, allowing them to have the functionality of visual Voice Mail, Contact status, and call control, all from a PC or Mac. There is only one voice mail with ShoreTel, so that is not a consideration. Further, the Personal Communicator software works on nearly every recent PC or Mac version. There is even a Web based version that can be used if a user’s workstation does not meet the requirements.
- Ability to utilize pretty much any data switch Obviously this statement comes with some considerations, but generally, it is true. If an IT manager prefers HP to Cisco, no problem. Looking to save some money and use less expensive Dell or Netgear product? Sure! That is fine. With Cisco, you of course use Cisco network gear since the software resides on the Cisco switches. Oh, and by the way, if you have discontinued Cisco switches, those should work as well. Don’t upgrade them until you want or need to!
- Scalability With many manufacturers, there is a small business version, medium business, and enterprise system. Siemens, Cisco, and Avaya all subscribe to this model. Generally, the phones can migrate to the larger system (but not always- I’m looking at you Cisco SPA phones!), but when a customer outgrows the smaller version, the hardware needs to be replaced. Licenses may or may not transfer to the new phone system. ShoreTel however has the same system from 2 phones all the way up to 20,000. There is the SBE software for 100 users and under, but if a company outgrows that, it is simple a software change costing less than $2,000, which is small change compared to a forklift replacement. All phones, licenses, and features migrate; of course, this is because it is not a replacement or upgrade, it is a simple software key addition.
- Management In today’s world, many medium sized businesses, let’s say with 100 and under employees, do not have an onsite IT staff. This function is outsourced to other contractors. ShoreTel addresses this by making an incredibly easy to use management interface, called ShoreTel Director. This software is accessed via the web so it can be used from pretty much anywhere. It is also simple to use and filled with “help” information on any subject which is context sensitive to where you are in the software. Changing a name or defaulting a voice mail password is literally “two clicks and save.” We will train anybody you like, from the Reception, an Office Manager, or even the company owner, so that they can make basic changes, thereby letting you take control of your ongoing costs. No need to call the data guys now!
These top five features for ShoreTel are really just the beginning. We never even touched on or got into free and included mobility options, bring your own device (BYOD), Workgroups (contact center), language support, redundancy, and many more. CSM sells and gives support for ShoreTel and Avaya phone systems for the business phone system market, contact CSM today to learn more about ShoreTel or schedule a demo.