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Working in a variety of countries and now in my new post in Australia, I can safely say that there are some definite trends to be seen across markets. Businesses worldwide warm to solutions that provide the kind of value they can touch and feel. So a solution that demonstrates increased workforce productivity by integrating IP voice and collaboration resources into a UC system at low OPEX makes sense.

Since our first installation in 1998, ShoreTel has maintained a deeply held conviction that our IP-based voice solutions can provide businesses with a tangible way to improve productivity at the lowest overall total cost of ownership in the industry.

The global marketplace continues to warm to this view. UC adoption rates in Australia will grow this year at a rate of 13 percent, according to a recent study by analyst firm IDC. Even stronger growth is expected in certain sectors, including education, health and government, as well as retail/wholesale sectors, where UC adoption in 2009 is forecast to grow by 22 percent. For most businesses in Australia it is a case of when UC will be adopted, not if.

It is a similar growth story in New Zealand where we recently signed an agreement with Communications Exchange to serve as our second national distributor alongside longtime partner, Connector Systems. This development expands our footprint in New Zealand and opens up opportunities for our market-leading technology.

ShoreTel continues to gain incredible support from its partners. We believe the expertise and experience of value-add distributors and resellers is critical in delivering telephony solutions that best meet the needs of customers. As a result, ShoreTel only selects partners that share our commitment to delivering the best customer experience with UC, and who demonstrate an ability to support our aggressive growth targets. We recognise that these partners provide their customers with a surety on service and value. ShoreTel believes these relationships are paramount.