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Only Fools and the Dead Don’t Change

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Yesterday is the last day we used the name “M5.”  For me, it is a bit bitter sweet.  I couldn’t be happier that we are part of the ShoreTel family and that we are fully embracing the brand.  But, together with the rest of my team, I’ve spent the last twelve years focused on all things M5, so it is just a little bit sad.   The good part is that I won’t have to keep making up answers to the question “how did you get the name M5?”  (Here’s my favorite from a number of made-up answers.)

Brand was one of the major reasons to combine with ShoreTel.  We’re both known as upstarts that compete by delivering an exceptional customer experience.   We both have lots of fans, and great workplaces.  But M5 was known to a small circle in the industry.  ShoreTel has built a brand recognized on a global stage for building a top three company in the premise phone system market.  Since we stand for the same things, it made sense to combine and leverage one name.  Besides, we didn’t want the kids to be confused.

I was concerned about the process of coming up with a name for our family of cloud-based products and services.  What would we come up with?  I was resigned to “ShoreTel Cloud” but the experts showed me 82 different companies in our space with “cloud” in the name.  “Sky” hit us all at the same time.  It represents something beyond the clouds with limitless possibilities. It’s bright, short, alliterates with “ShoreTel” and it was available.   The word cloud aptly describes our technology.  The word sky describes our potential.

The truth is, M5 meant nothing at start.  It will take some time to build the stories and the meaning around “ShoreTel Sky.”  We started off the new brand with ShoreTel Sky kites on the desk of each employee.  We’re also launching our new web portal –portal.shoretelsky.com, one of many projects enabled by the combination.   It takes more than paper and string to get a kite off the ground.  It takes a little bit of work as well, but it’s amazing to watch them soar.  I’m looking forward to getting ShoreTel Sky up in the air…