ShoreTel Teams With HP, Ingram Micro on UC for SMBs

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SHORETEL CHAMPION PARTNER CONFERENCE — The big news coming out of ShoreTel’s event in Orlando on Wednesday is the company’s new partnership with HP and distribution giant Ingram Micro to jointly market unified-communications products and services to small and medium-size businesses.

The new offerings are sold through Ingram Micro’s channel-partner network. They include ShoreTel cloud services, and HP routers and POE switches.

Ingram has been selling the ShoreTel on-premises offering for four years, and is now certified to offer ShoreTel Sky, the company’s all-in-one cloud-hosted VoIP service.

“We have been working closely with Ingram Micro and HP – as a member of the HP AllianceOne Network partner program – to offer premises solutions to our joint customers, and now this is the next evolution in our relationships,” said Sam Koury, vice president of channels and strategic alliances at ShoreTel. “This collaboration between leading solutions will provide the SMB marketplace a brilliantly simple way to address their core communications needs. Users will gain high value, productivity enhancing tools that make a difference in today’s always-on workplace.”

“Unified Communications-as-a-Service is a growing sales and ongoing service opportunity for channel partners who specialize in the IT needs and business outcomes of SMBs,” said Eric Kohl, executive director of Ingram Micro Advanced Solutions. “By working closely with HP and ShoreTel, we’re able to bring to market a tightly integrated, seamless, end-to-end hosted IP telephony and UC solution that is built for SMBs and easy for channel partners to market, sell and support.”

Dubbed HP Networking for ShoreTel Solutions, customers buy ShoreTel Sky and then choose from an HP switch or both an HP switch and router, depending on their needs.

HP Networking for ShoreTel Solutions will become available in the third quarter.

A recent report from MarketsandMarkets predicts unified-communications-as-a-service (UcaaS) to reach a value of more than $23.3 billion by 2019, nearly double what it was worth in 2014 ($13.1 billion). As more SMBs adopt UCaaS technologies, the door opens wider for channel partners who want to sell it and expand their businesses.

Meantime, ADTRAN made some ShoreTel news of its own, earning ShoreTel Innovation Network interoperability certification for its NetVanta switch portfolio.

The Huntsville, Alabama-based company says the integration of its offerings with ShoreTel’s phone system gives VARs, MSPs and carriers fast access to VoIP services that are easy to use and reliable in any business networking environment.

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