ShoreTel Rolls Out Connect HYBRID Sites for UC Deployments

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ShoreTel on Wednesday debuted Connect HYBRID Sites, which enables companies to mix and match Connect ONSITE and Connect CLOUD services and applications across multiple locations.

ShoreTel's Heather TenutoShoreTel says Connect HYBRID Sites allows companies to move at their own pace and as their business needs dictate to full- and mixed-cloud deployments. It can be configured multiple ways and across multiple geographies to fit with individual company growth and business models.

Heather Tenuto, ShoreTel’s vice president of worldwide channel programs and sales enablement, tells Channel Partners that the company’s partners now have a “solution for their customers who have on-premises today but want to explore the cloud.” The company has more than 1,000 global partners, including VARs, DMRs, service providers and MSPs.

“This will keep ShoreTel cloud-only competitors out of the account, which is a win for the partner and provides the customer with greater flexibility and choice,” she said. “Also, the partner remains the single point of contact with Connect HYBRID Sites — the customer will call their partner for support for cloud locations just like they do for onsite.”{ad}

Connect HYBRID Sites provides automated directory synchronization, a common dial plan that allows extension-to-extension dialing, caller ID and feature parity for the mixed deployment models, according to ShoreTel.

Tenuto said Connect HYBRID Sites gives ShoreTel’s partners an advantage in the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) market.

“Before, when customers looked to change their UC system it usually involved a ‘rip and replace’ — with Connect it’s easy to have a combination of cloud and onsite on the same system,” she said. “This is a unique offering for our partners.”

ShoreTel is “counting on partners to have discovery-based conversations with customers and to deploy solutions that create real tangible benefit with end users,” Tenuto said.

Michael Finneran, principal at dBrn Associates, and a regular Channel Partners contributor, said UCaaS has clearly been the growth area in UC.

“In its most recent quarter, ShoreTel’s overall revenues were essentially flat, but revenues for the hosted service were up 20 percent,” he said. “The hybrid offering can only help that as it ensures they can address all potential needs. With the ShoreTel Connect introduction they have rationalized their premises and cloud offerings, a problem that has plagued them since the M5 acquisition.”

Also, ShoreTel’s recent acquisition of Corvisa gives it a “stronger cloud-based contact center offering,” Finneran said.

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