The more complex technology gets, the clearer the message from users – they want simplicity and ease of use. They don’t want technologies that aren’t intuitive and rely on support infrastructures for effective implementation.
Take the iPhone, for instance. There have been more than 40 million units shipped, and none of them includes a user manual. That, in and of itself, is remarkable, and it only underscores the message ShoreTel (News - Alert) has been telling for a number of years now: It’s about simplicity.
I caught up with ShoreTel’s Bernard Gutnick, senior director of Product Marketing at ShoreTel, who acknowledged, “People have been brainwashed into thinking phone systems have to be complicated – that’s simply not the case.”
In fact, the idea of simplicity in the communications platform is what ShoreTel has brought to market, extending it now to its fixed mobile convergence offering via its recent acquisition of Agito Networks (News - Alert), filling a gap in its portfolio that allows it to compete in a wider range of deployment scenarios.
“People love the simplicity, especially when it comes to the mobility element,” added Gutnick. “It becomes almost addictive.”
ShoreTel will be taking the simplicity of its solutions to yet another level when it releases ShoreTel 12, which will include tools for instant sharing and collaboration and easily switching communications modes – for instance, moving from chat session to voice call to a full-blown UC session – bringing simplicity to the work of real-time communications.
According the ShoreTel, despite the growth of hosted and SaaS (News - Alert)-based solutions, many businesses are looking to further extend the value they receive from their existing, familiar technology and are not discarding their equipment.
That falls squarely in line with the need for simplicity and intuitiveness, which, while once a requirement for only the small business market in which ShoreTel began, now has helped the company grow into the enterprise market, as well.
In fact, only about one quarter of its customers have fewer than 100 lines, and nearly a third have more than 500. It explains why Gutnick says they see a lot of Avaya and Cisco as they engage potential clients – and why they are winning many of those head-to-head deals.
Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf