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EMEA Customer Advocates: Interest in UCaaS is gaining momentum

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As we draw towards the close of 2014, it strikes me that in many ways this has been the year where we have seen a tipping point in the adoption of cloud computing by mid and large enterprises. According to Synergy Research Group, total UCaaS market revenues keep growing by over 30% year-on-year. Founder and Chief Analyst Jeremy Duke recently acknowledged that, “This is an exciting and disruptive market which is shaking up the old order in enterprise communications, enabling UC to be more broadly adopted in smaller offices and planting the seed for cloud deployments in mid-to-large enterprises.” This underlines the degree to which it has become a solution worthy of consideration by today’s small and medium enterprises.

L to R: Darren Pattie, UK & Ireland Sales Director; Don Joos, CEO; Mark Roberts, CMO

This was confirmed at the recent ShoreTel Customer Advocates Forum at our EMEA headquarters in Bracknell. We were fortunate enough to have our CEO Don Joos and CMO Mark Roberts join us and many of the customers present asked them about their views on ShoreTel’s hybrid solutions, and how they believed the market was likely to evolve in 2015.

In responding, Don and Mark gave deep insight into their vision for the company and a next generation platform and client which will be available to European customers in 2015. A range of different hosting options is an essential delivery method for business technology.  As Don said, “Variables exist as a part of our daily lives. A platform that accommodates and even embraces these are good. And a hybrid delivery model for the services that run off that platform is very important.”

In Europe many mid-sized businesses and smaller large enterprises that have already moved applications, like email and data recovery, to the cloud are now shifting their attention to communication, and in particular unified communication as a service (UCaaS). This is not surprising when you remember that they will reap the same type of proven benefits as they would from moving any other application to a cloud service model.

However, moving to a cloud solution is not always such a straightforward decision. Many companies have made significant capital investments in both existing solutions and the skilled IT professionals necessary to manage and maintain them. A hybrid solution can be a great stepping stone for many companies, enabling them to experience the benefits of cloud computing but with a solution that more closely aligns to their business requirements. Additionally, both private and hybrid cloud models allow room for that all-important customisation to deliver even greater benefits.

There is of course no right approach to cloud or hybrid: every business is different and needs to find what suits its requirements. For ShoreTel this is a vital point. Our approach to hybrid solutions is all about offering the best way for an organisation to consume services, wherever and whenever they choose. ShoreTel’s customers will be given the freedom to find the hybrid solution that best suits their requirements while at the same time living up to our ‘brilliantly simple’ and intuitive messaging.

Dean Mostert from Stephens Scown Solicitors – a top 200 UK law firm and a ShoreTel customer – was also at our Customer Advocates Forum. Stephens Scown Solicitors has already deployed ShoreTel unified communication as a service and Dean explained to the other customers present how his firm went about the deployment and the benefits they have seen. If you would like more information, you can find out more in this video.

The Customer Advocates Forum was a very successful event, rounding off another great year for ShoreTel in Europe. As we look to next year, the adoption of UCaaS will only continue to increase as even more companies look to a hosted model to deliver faster time to service. And our UCaaS offering will continue to reflect our customer centric approach. At ShoreTel we don’t replace old comms software, we replace old thinking!

To find out more about our fresh thinking and in particular our next generation platform, do give our EMEA sales team a call at: 01344 208800.