The new capabilities will enable businesses to better handle BYOD and other trends while allowing employees to use a single device for both personal and professional calls.
ShoreTel is bringing its unified
communications applications to the mobile world, leveraging the capabilities it
gained in acquisitions of Agito Networks in 2010 and M5 Networks earlier this
ShoreTel executives for the past couple of
years have been pushing to extend the companys unified communications (UC)
solutions into the mobile space and into the cloud. Now the company is enabling
its cloud-based customers to leverage its ShoreTel Mobility voice and UC
applications on mobile devices, starting with Apple iPhones.
Support for other mobile devicesincluding
BlackBerry phones from Research In Motion and devices running Googles Android
mobile operating systemwill follow this summer, according to ShoreTel
With such trends as bring your own device
(BYOD) and an increasing mobile workforce ramping up in the enterprise,
employees increasingly are looking for ways to use their own personal mobile
devices for work. Businesses are looking to take advantage of the BYOD push to
increase employee productivity, though IT departments are concerned about the
management and security issues surrounding personal devices gaining access to
corporate data and networks.
Extending the ShoreTel Mobility capabilities
to mobile devices via the cloud is good for both the employee and the business,
according to Dan Hoffman, president of ShoreTels Cloud Division.
"The way people work has changed,
Hoffman said in a statement. Instead of fighting the trends of mobility and
bring your own device, we are empowering our clients to embrace them by
extending our cloud phone system capabilities to the device that users love the
mosttheir own. The solution represents a win-win, giving our customers the
ease of using the device that is already in their pocket and giving the
enterprise a way to reduce costs, while maintaining a consistent corporate
identity and caller experience."
According to ShoreTel executives, employees
will be able to use their own devices for both personal communications and for
business while keeping a separate identity for each. The same device will have
a business phone number and a personal one, letting the user maintain their
business identity while enabling the employee to keep control of the contact
information. Users can see whether a call to the mobile device is a personal
call or work-related.
In addition, leveraging the ShoreTel UC
applications is designed to be easy. For example, users wont need to learn a
new interface to access desk phones or UC applications on their iPhones.
ShoreTel Mobility also will automatically select the best available network,
whether its cellular or WiFi, and connect without the user having to do
Users going through ShoreTels M5 cloud will
be able to take advantage of the same applications that they can access through
business phones, including call transfer and four-digit dialing.
IT managers get visibility into workers
complete call historynot only from desk phones, but also business calls made
to the mobile device.
When ShoreTel officials announced the $11.4
million deal to buy Agito in 2010, they said the move would enable business
customers to use their smartphones as PBX phones, allowing them to be more
mobile. Agitos business was about helping businesses make their UC and voice
applications available on smartphones.
M5 Networks, which ShoreTel
bought in February for $146 million, offered a suite of hosted UC products.
ShoreTel made M5 its cloud division.