Unified Communications Featured Article

ShoreTel's Connect Platform Supports Traditional, Cloud and Hybrid UC Deployments

August 24, 2015

Integrating the cloud and unified communications, in a flexible variety of configurations, is the goal of ShoreTel’s new Connect platform. The company has been a major player in the premises-based UC arena for years and has now found an innovative way to port that expertise to the cloud—without forcing customers to choose between on-premises or the cloud for their unified communications.

The cloud play stems from the company’s 2012 acquisition of rival M5, which was already offering UCaaS, albeit in a much different package than ShoreTel’s existing offerings. The result was the ShoreTel Sky services, which were based on M5’s offerings. But the company has stepped up its cloud play with the new Connect platform, letting users access business communications services onsite, from the cloud or, most importantly, through a hybrid configuration.

ShoreTel is putting a lot of stock in flexibility and choice with the new solution, which supports remote and on-site UC needs while still offering personalization based on user preferences. Connect also provides valuable customer insights and supports collaboration outside an organization.

The beauty of ShoreTel Connect is really in its diversity, letting companies slowly migrate to the cloud while keeping some features and functionality on-site. The result is simplified deployment, management, security and scalability of UC systems through a single platform and user interface.

“Built on our strong belief that ‘there has to be a better way,’ ShoreTel Connect helps customers determine how and when to move communications to the cloud and is pioneering hybrid options along the way,” said Don Joos, president and CEO at ShoreTel. “Whether you prefer to subscribe to a managed cloud service, invest in an onsite system, or deploy a combination of the two, there is a single UC solution that delivers the same user experience and outstanding capabilities to the entire team. ShoreTel Connect removes complexity and frees up resources, allowing customers to focus on their core business and not on the technology.”

The new solution is available in three deployment options, all delivered as a service. ShoreTel Connect ONSITE is owned and maintained by customers, while ShoreTel Connect CLOUD is fully hosted and managed UCaaS offering. The ShoreTel Connect HYBRID configuration lets onsite customers also choose to have some applications delivered through the cloud. The company has made ShoreTel Fax and the ShoreTel Scribe voicemail transcription service available now, with more services to follow.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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