ShoreTel to Release Common Platform Much Earlier Than Planned

ShoreTel will release its common software in April, “much earlier” than planned, CEO Don Joos told analysts on Thursday.

The business IP phone systems maker has been working on a platform that will give all users – on-premises or cloud-based – the same experience and applications. It further will allow on-premise customers, of which there are more than 3.5 million, the ability to move to cloud at their own pace. 

“Development has been progressing quickly,” Joos said during ShoreTel’s fiscal first quarter earnings call.

As a result, the common platform will enter the alpha development stage in December, he added.

“I am now confident that we will launch the common platform in April, much earlier than I previously indicated,” Joos said.

Channel partners will be instrumental in helping end users understand “this important change,” he added.

“We will enable our go-to-market teams and channel partners to effectively position, quote, sell and support our business transformation to a unified toolset in a common support structure regardless of the customers’ choice of deployment model,” said Joos. “Essentially, we are migrating to be a company that is even easier to do business with.”

Thanks to the common platform approach, ShoreTel expects its hosted revenue rates to pick up and recurring revenue “to become an increasingly greater percent of total revenue,” Joos said. That’s key for a company accustomed to bringing in money on an up-front basis.

News of the common platform came as ShoreTel reported profit of $366,000 in its fiscal 2015 first quarter on revenue of $90.4 million, and as the company fended off a hostile takeover attempt from rival Mitel. ShoreTel has turned down the $540 million proposal, much to Mitel’s chagrin, and, earlier this week, hired Blackstone Advisory Partners LP and Fenwick & West LLP to weigh its options.


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