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Plans Underway to Celebrate ShoreTel’s 20th Anniversary

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ShoreTel's 20th Anniversary

In human terms, a 20-year-old is still considered relatively young. But in the fast-changing world of technology, a communications company’s ability to thrive and grow for two decades is quite an accomplishment and frankly, a reason to celebrate.

And that’s exactly what ShoreTel employees will be doing on Friday, Sept. 16 – a day before the company’s official 'birthdate' of Saturday, Sept. 17 – as office locations around the world will hold anniversary gatherings to celebrate all that’s been accomplished since ShoreTel’s founding in 1996.

A Look Back at ShoreTel’s Early Beginnings

In light of the upcoming anniversary, CEO Don Joos recently shared a short history on the founding of the company, as well as thoughts on where the communications industry is today and what to expect in the future.

“ShoreTel’s history actually began a few years before the company was incorporated with the ShoreTel name in 2004,” explained Joos. “Our founder, Ed Basart, was implementing a communications project and, in his frustration, kept thinking ‘there’s got to be a better way to do this’. “

Out of that frustration, ShoreTel was born with the company’s entrance into the IP telephony market in 1996. Twenty years later, ShoreTel’s offerings have expanded beyond IP business phone systems to also include unified communications and contact center solutions available from the cloud, onsite or a hybrid of both. In addition, ShoreTel also now offers Summit, a fully hosted voice and SMS communications platform.

ShoreTel Today & Tomorrow

“We’re still grounded in Ed Basart’s original idea of a better way of doing things,” said Joos. “But in today’s digital world, we’ve expanded upon the idea by working to make interactions simple.”

Whether those interactions are between people (e.g., a phone call), between a person and a machine (e.g., using a self-service IVR menu to pay a bill) or machine-to-machine (e.g., an invoice system that automatically sends a text message to remind a customer of a payment date), the goal is the same – to make everyday interactions for both businesses and their customers as effortless as possible.

“We’re at a really exciting time within our industry right now,” said Joos. “The customer needs are continuing to evolve, and I think we are well-positioned to help them grow, help them innovate and help them fulfill their requirements.”

Looking to the future, Joos believes that as companies strive to improve the customer experience and use it to differentiate their business, communications solutions such as those offered by ShoreTel will take on increasing importance.

“You’re always going to have customers that just need a complete, bundled solution and what we provide today is a perfect fit for them,” said Joos. “But what we’re seeing more and more is enterprise customers who are really looking to mix and match – they want to buy certain things from us, but they also want to be able to develop their own ‘secret sauce’ that will make them innovative and unique in the marketplace.”

Joos noted that ShoreTel’s ability to speak to both needs – providing both solution components along with a platform that enables customization and the ability for businesses to differentiate themselves – will enable the company to thrive.

“It’s a unique position that we have and one that we will undoubtedly be able to expand upon,” said Joos.

Here's to the future, and all the opportunities it will offer to customers, partners and employees alike. Happy 20th Anniversary, ShoreTel!