a short history
One of the largest and most popular providers in the world when it comes to premises-based, cloud, and hybrid unified communications and telephony solutions, ShoreTel is an award-winning solution for collaboration. Their systems are simple, yet innovative, which has given them the unique ability to lead the industry in aspects such as the lowest overall cost of ownership and customer satisfaction.
ShoreTel combine application integration, business phones, mobility solutions, collaboration tools, and contact centre applications in an attempt to empower employees and organisations with the solutions that they need to connect, collaborate, and create no matter what device they use, or where they are.
Because of this, ShoreTel users have the freedom to enjoy a wider range of productivity solutions. Importantly, the solutions provided by ShoreTel have been designed to grow, scale, and evolve as needed, allowing companies to subscribe to whatever business communication options they need without any risk to initial investments.
The History of ShoreTel
Located primarily in Sunnyvale, California, ShoreTel has regional offices throughout the globe, including headquarters in Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Australia.
ShoreTel first entered the market for IP telephony during 1996, with its first installation taking place in 1998, and since then it has become a worldwide leader for IP-based solutions for business communications. Founded as “Shoreline Communications” in September of 1996, by Mike Harrigan and Edwin J. Basart – co-founders of “Network Computing Devices”, ShoreTel shipped its first products in 1998, and took ownership of its name during 2004.
ShoreTel have taken a range of innovative steps during their evolution to meet the ever-changing needs of growing enterprises, meaning that they now deliver a proven solution for communications to a base of rapidly growing and excited users. The first public offering developed and introduced by ShoreTel in July of 2007 raised approximately $75 million, and the company was listed with the symbol “SHOR” on NASDAQ.
By the 21st of October, 2010, ShoreTel announced that they would be acquiring Santa Clara-based enterprise mobility solution “Agito Networks” for about $11,4 million. By the 1st of February, 2012, the company had moved onto purchasing M5 Networks for around $146 million. The acquisition was fully completed in March 2012, with M5 services branded as “ShoreTel Sky” and incorporated into the cloud division of ShoreTel.
Thanks to their new acquisitions, ShoreTel could introduce new services to their collaboration offerings, including conferencing and instant messaging. By August 2013, Don Joos had been appointed chief executive and president, after joining the company from Avaya in April 2011.
The success of the company was obvious by June 30th, 2014, when the company had $56.1 million in cash, short-term investments, and cash equivalents, with no sign of any outstanding debt. However, the company continued to evolve with new innovative products. For instance, the Connect Common UC Platform was launched during August of 2015, and in January 2016, the company acquired Corvisa as a solution for providing third-party app integration, and SIP trunking.
By the end of February 2016, ShoreTel Connect Hybrid Sites was made available – an offering of hybrid cloud and on premise services. As of the end of March, 2016, the company had approximately $100 million in cash, short-term investments and cash equivalents, with no indications of any outstanding debt.
The ShoreTel Portfolio
The driving feature behind ShoreTel’s communication solution portfolio was to create purpose-built solutions that removed the complications and barriers present in other solutions. Designed for easy integration regardless of whether companies wanted to upgrade to unified communications, replace old systems, add new office branches, or modernise centres for communications, ShoreTel’s systems are perfect for efficiency. The company believed that the fewer resources that were consumed by the phone system, the more room companies had to work on improving and growing their business.
Solutions are available in a range of deployment types, including cloud phone systems, onsite phone systems, and hybrid systems. The ShoreTel collection of technologies include:
- IP phone systems for VoIP communication services
- Unified Communications such as instant messaging, presence solutions, email, voice messaging, calendaring, audio and video conferencing, and desktop sharing.
- Collaboration solutions that bring all of the different collaboration requirements of a business into one, simple and easy-to-use application.
- Mobility options in the form of the ShoreTel Connect Mobility app, which allows businesses to integrate employee tablets and smartphones with their existing phone system securely, and cost-effectively.
- Contact centre solutions for small to large businesses.
- Applications integration to provide simpler solutions for managing business engagement across a network.
- Virtualisation options through ShoreTel Mobility Routers, voice switches, and service appliance hardware.
- SIP Trunking.
- CPaaS systems which allow for the embedding of communication technologies like SMS and voice within existing applications.
ShoreTel have also won a range of industry awards over the years thanks to their word-class product portfolio – known for innovation and performance. Awards include the Telecommunications Vendor of the Year designation, Frost & Sullivan Unified Communications & Collaboration Company of the year 2013, and Best in Unified Communications and Collaboration award by Network World Asia.