ShoreTel, which made its mark in IP telephony by simplifying unified communications and reducing total cost of ownership, recently broke into the hosted VoIP business with the acquisition of M5. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix caught up with ShoreTel CEO Peter Blackmore to find out how integration of that company is going and where he is taking the company.
You’ve been CEO for almost two years now and the largest development in that period was the acquisition of hosted VoIP supplier M5. Why did you acquire them and what have you achieved since?
Last year in June we discussed with our board the changes in the market and the growth of VoIP in the cloud, and we agreed that ShoreTel, notwithstanding the continued strong growth in the premise, would need a cloud solution.
The issue was, do we buy or do we build? We knew we could build a cloud platform, but the time it takes to build it, scale it, get the data centers running, get new accounting systems that do very different sorts of billing than we do, it’s a three-plus year exercise. So we decided to buy.
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