Unified Communications Featured Article

Unified Communications: Comparing Avaya and ShoreTel Solutions

October 26, 2011

ShoreTel UC systems are a wiser, more economical choice than those of Avaya – concludes a new white paper from ShoreTel.

The white paper – “Unified Communications: Comparing Avaya and ShoreTel Solutions” – explains that when it comes to using Unified Communications (UC), businesses and other organizations should choose “complete, integrated solutions that are simple to use, easy to manage  and deliver a low TCO [total cost of ownership.]”

“The ShoreTel UC system meets those requirements, delivering a comprehensive solution with numerous advantages over Avaya UC products,” the white paper said. “By selecting ShoreTel UC, businesses can capitalize on the benefits of UC without adding costs or complexity.”

UC solutions, if used and selected properly, will lead to improved productivity, mobility, and lower the cost of business communications, the white paper said. For example, the Avaya UC platforms were “adapted from legacy technology and assembled piecemeal,” the white paper claims. “The result is a complex solution that can require extensive time and resources to manage.”

“By contrast, the ShoreTel UC system was designed from the ground up to provide a single, all-in-one solution that integrates a full range of communications capabilities including voice, video, and instant messaging, plus advanced tools for mobility, presence detection, and collaboration,” the white paper said. “The ShoreTel UC system is a single platform that can scale easily from 10 to 10,000 users to accommodate employee growth, the addition of new sites and expansion to new geographic regions, all within the same environment. It provides a seamless, integrated environment for users and a unified, easy-to-manage solution for IT administrators.”

“Avaya products require more time and a higher skill level to deploy than the ShoreTel UC system,” the white paper adds. “Learning to deploy and manage Avaya products is no easy feat. For example, administrators implementing an Avaya Aura solution must follow 52 pages of steps to configure Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking. Collectively, the manuals for Avaya IP Office administrators have more than 1,700 pages, requiring significantly more reading than the single 600-page administrator guide for the ShoreTel UC system.”

The ShoreTel UC system can be deployed much more quickly, the white paper claims. ShoreTel UC requires only a single headquarters server and can be deployed through a simple, browser-based console. With Avaya, administrators may need expensive training courses to operate and manage the solution, the white paper said. Industry estimates for Avaya downtime predict yearly per-server outages of up to several hours. Upgrading Avaya is time consuming and costly, the white paper said. ShoreTel upgrades are faster, simpler, and less expensive. The ShoreTel UC system has a single user interface—ShoreTel Communicator, which provides simple access, the white paper said.

Also, the ShoreTel UC system has the lowest TCO in the sector. Avaya platforms have multiple-server requirements. But ShoreTel UC needs one headquarters server and one converged conferencing appliance, the white paper said.

“Taking into account the full range of costs associated with unified communications solutions—from capital costs and implementation to training costs and electricity— the ShoreTel solution can deliver a TCO that is up to 60 percent lower than the Avaya,” the white paper said.

In over 20 straight quarters, ShoreTel also received customer satisfaction ratings higher than 90. In addition, Nemertes Research ranked ShoreTel the highest firm for “overall customer satisfaction for the past seven years, based on feedback from 1,400 customers,” the white paper said. Also, ShoreTel was ranked higher than Avaya in every category, ShoreTel adds.

Ed Silverstein is a unified communications contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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