ShoreTel will expand its mobile UC portfolio and gain access to more Fortune 1000 companies with its $11.4 million acquisition of Agito Networks.
ShoreTel is expanding its unified communications capability by buying Agito
Networks and creating a product that lets users communicate anywhere, from any
device and on any network.
ShoreTel officials, who announced Oct. 21 that the company is
buying Agito for $11.4 million, said the deal also will enable ShoreTel to
reduce mobile and long-distance call costs, and let businesspeople use their
smartphones as PBX phones.
ShoreTel offers UC capabilities with its line of IP business
phones, including voice, video data and mobile communications. Officials say
the company's open and distributed IP architecture helps drive the cost of its
offerings below those of competitors such as Cisco Systems and Avaya.
Agito's products will expand what ShoreTel can offer in the
mobile space, where Agito was helping businesses extend their UC capabilities
and voice onto smartphones.
Agito's RoamAnywhere Mobility Router is designed to create a
fixed mobile convergence platform that brings together WLANs, carrier cell
networks, IP telephony and location technologies, enabling customers to use
their mobile phones as they would their desktop devices.
Using mobile phones as PBX extensions is becoming increasingly
important as more workers become mobile and use cell phones as their primary
phones, according to ShoreTel officials.
ShoreTel will now be able to offer native support for such
smartphone and tablet PCs as Research In Motion's BlackBerrys, Apple's iPhone
and iPad, Nokia devices, and handsets that run Windows Mobile. Such support should
lessen the integration issues that arise for businesses as more employees move
to mobile devices of their choosing.
"This is a key strategic investment that creates a
significant differentiator for ShoreTel in enterprise mobility," interim
ShoreTel CEO Don Girskis said in a
statement. "Dependence on smartphones continues to skyrocket, but many
workers still struggle with poor coverage areas, inferior call quality,
expensive international roaming fees and limited feature sets."
Integrating Agito's technologies with ShoreTel's UC system will
"free users to use any network (WiFi or cellular), leveraging the power of
the desk phone, and taking advantage of industry-leading call quality and call
controls from their smartphone," Girskis said. "This not only has a
positive impact on productivity, but it also positively affects the bottom line
with significant savings on mobile and international usage fees."
Businesses, the company said, will see improved employee
production, reduced communications costs-Agito's technology saved some
companies up to 80 percent on their mobile and international calls, according
to ShoreTel-heterogeneous PBX support that now includes mobility in ShoreTel's
Legacy Migration Program, and greater security.
Through the deal, ShoreTel will get all of Agito's IP and distribution
network, and it will hire some Agito employees. ShoreTel also will get greater
access to Fortune 1000 customers, according to company officials.