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ShoreTel CEO: Midmarket Adoption Among Several Keys to Acceleration

ShoreTel's Don Joos

Edward GatelyShoreTelOne Global Partner Conference — ShoreTel has come a long way from being “just a phone company,” with its delivery model evolving from onsite to cloud, and from ownership to subscription.

That’s what Don Joos (pictured above on stage), ShoreTel’s president and CEO, told more than 1,000 partners during Tuesday’s kickoff of the ShoreTelOne Global Partner Conference in Orlando, Florida. He talked about his company’s transformation beyond UC and focus on acceleration.

“ShoreTel is focused on making interaction simple on every level,” he said. “We make interactions simple and I want us to do it better than anyone else.”

Joos talked about several points of acceleration, including taking an agile software approach, releasing smaller changes on a more regular basis, taking ShoreTel Connect – its business communication platform – internationally, driving channel scale and increasing midmarket enterprise adoption.

“We are uniquely positioned because midmarket is where our install base is,” he said. “The install base is a strategic asset. Not everyone has an install base to leverage.”{ad}

Imperatives for “moving up the S-curve” include becoming globally relevant, “picking the countries and the markets where we can win and leverage our assets,” optimizing for the “mobile workstyle,” and making it “brilliantly simple for customers and partners to engage with us,” Joos said.

When ShoreTel acquired Corvisa early this year, it provided a communication platform allowing ShoreTel to become “a provider and an enabler,” he said. The company can now target three different customer profiles: those who need “a provider of a solution”; those just wanting pieces of it and an environment to build their own offering; and someone “who says I have a great idea, I just need the environment to build it and route to market,” he said.

Creating a platform business model and allowing UC interactions in an Internet of Things (IoT) world are about “jumping the S-curve,” Joos said.

“Our focus is still to be more than just a phone company,” he said. “We must be able to toggle between near term and long term.”

David Petts, ShoreTel’s senior vice president of worldwide sales and customer success, said two major changes his company has made involve development methodology and organization processes.

“Sixty-five percent of our business is professional services,” he said. “Now customers are buying for the experience and convenience. If we don’t have a way to differentiate the experience, they can get it anywhere.”

ShoreTel partners are telling the company “we must continue to become a …

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… consultative solution-focused sales company,” Petts said. Feedback shows partners are “aware of the need to change to meet market demands and how new services can make them money,” he said.

“They, too, are making changes and demonstrating responsiveness to change, (figuring) out what new value they can provide to customers,” he said.

Also at the conference, ShoreTel and StarLeaf announced they have worked together to integrate video collaboration for multiple users with ShoreTel Connect CLOUD. A ShoreTel conference now can be audio or video with multiple users.

ShoreTel Connect CLOUD users can schedule a meeting from within the Connect client that includes a link to join a video conference with multiple users. Users, including ShoreTel Connect ONSITE and external participants, are then able to join the video conference with one click from within the Connect client.

“StarLeaf and ShoreTel each provide unique value propositions for customers that want to move to the cloud for all their communications needs,” said Mark Loney, StarLeaf’s CEO. “With thousands of people relying on ShoreTel’s cloud communications solutions every day, our relationship will support those customers who want to fast-track the adoption of video throughout their business, while benefiting from a seamless environment that delivers ease of use, centralized management and low cost of ownership.”


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