ShoreTel, a unified communications (UC) vendor that offers VoIP services, customer relationship management (CRM) integration, cloud PBX phone systems and other enhancements in business communication, has fundamentally changed for the better, according to CEO Peter Blackmore. According to eChannelLine, Blackmore spoke about the company's improvements to an audience of 1,300 at the company's recent conference in Orlando.
Blackmore explained changes in the industry and the need for vendors and providers to adapt. He also spoke about the need for cloud integration, as well as changes in sales, mobility and the cloud capabilities of ShoreTel Sky.
"The CTO has usually decided before what they want anyway. We want to offer them more – a hybrid with PBX on premise and applications in the cloud where they are simpler to provision. The secret is to make it seamless. The end user has to feel completely in control." said Blackmore, referring to ShoreTel Sky's hosted VoIP service.
Blackmore highlighted the company's efforts to increase awareness and improve its reputation as it seeks to make UC better for clients, partners and end users. He discussed how having a vision for the future will help usher in success, noting that there will likely be more developments in the next 48 months than there have been in the past 10 years. ShoreTel has changed the way it approaches sales, making the role of the sales relationship simpler and more efficient.
Hybrid cloud UC growing in popularity
Hybrid cloud approaches to UC, such as the ones that ShoreTel offers, are catching on in enterprises, according to Computerworld. Although many businesses keep their UC solutions on-site, they are beginning to move to third-party hosted services. The news source reported that a move to the cloud may be more beneficial to some industries than others.
"But if you're in a high-demand environment like a bank or trading floor where they’ve got lots of client requirements, that's going to be more expensive than a very basic user like a university student population that might use Google apps," Geoff Johnson, an analyst at Gartner, told Computerworld. Johnson also noted that mobile services are the least developed aspect of UC. Also explained was the fact that small and medium-sized businesses can more easily move their UC services to the cloud.
Johnson told Computerworld that 95 percent of enterprises keep their UC services on-premise, but he explained that this is changing as technology develops and advances. Although security was once the primary obstacle to deploying cloud solutions, this is no longer the case. "[Companies] realize that the large-scale service providers' security environment is generally more secure than they could provide for themselves," Johnson told the news source.
Vendors like ShoreTel are taking advantage of the changes in the market, creating solutions that can complement new developments in the industry. UC strategies, CRM, VoIP services, cloud PBX and the advanced features of enhanced business communication services can benefit businesses as they seek to remain competitive in the age of the customer.