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ShoreTel Inc. announced Wednesday that it has completed development of the technical solution for its ShoreTel Connect hybrid premises-to-cloud offering; beta testing with customers and reseller partners will begin this summer.
Upon completion of the testing phase and rollout, customers will have the option to choose premises- or cloud-based UC solutions and applications, but also the ability to include both in an integrated solution. For example, ShoreTel's premises-based customers will be able to consume and deploy UC applications, such as mobility, voice-mail transcription or fax services via the cloud on a subscription basis.
ShoreTel expects to make the first ShoreTel Connect applications available beginning in early 2014. Examples include mobility, conferencing, contact center and others.
"With our top-rated premise solution as well as our hosted ShoreTel Sky solution, we are looking to innovate in the space between these solutions and offer the best of both," said ShoreTel CEO Peter Blackmore in a November 2012 blog announcing the initiative. "We are the only business communications provider who is perfectly positioned to put UC apps in the cloud and make them available to premise-based customers."
In spring 2012, ShoreTel purchased cloud UC provider M5 Networks, which became the foundation for its cloud offer ShoreTel Sky.
"ShoreTel Connect will offer a path that allows the enterprise to enable specific cloud-based applications or services that will augment their existing premise-based solution," Blackmore explained in his November blog. "The two different delivery models are no longer an either/or equation. The customer can achieve the best of both."