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The ShoreTel Dock: Why it “Rocks” from Sydney to Seattle

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“What would it take for you to use an international award-winning ShoreTel Dock?” demanded Ed.

“Ummm…well, someone needs to give me one,” I responded.

“30-pin or lightning adaptor?” Ed asked.

“I’m actually in the process of powering up my brand new, pink iPhone, so I guess it would be the lightning adaptor. I love my new, pink iPhone,” I said.

“I’m sending you a Dock. Let me know what you think.”

I guess I hadn’t totally offended the product management team with my feedback about our visual voice mail application, because with that, my very own ShoreTel Dock made its way from Corporate HQ in Silicon Valley to North Sydney, Australia. So Edward Wright, senior director of product management – here’s what I think.

It rocks.

But not just for the reasons that the ShoreTel product team would have you believe. It’s the little, practical improvements to the way you work, that you don’t realize are slowing you up, until they’re no longer a problem.

For example, there is a black hole in my house where odd socks and iPhone power cords go to die. I’m forever running out of battery and there is never a charger around when I want one. Not anymore. I dock my phone when I arrive in the office and it’s always powered up when I leave.

I’m also prone to losing things in the clutter on my desk. When you’re working on 7 different projects, with books and files and a couple of day old tea cups taking up space, a sleek iPhone (even a pink one) can be easily misplaced. Not if it’s sitting in a ShoreTel dock. A place for everything, and everything in its place said my Grandmother. She would have loved a Dock.

And my friends will be surprised to hear this, but it has been said that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I swear when I’m cranky, but will cheer at the top of my voice when we’ve had a win. (The ShoreTel Dock winning three Gold Stevie Awards in APAC anyone?) And sometimes, there are times when slamming down a phone in exhilaration or frustration is just something a person needs to do. Ever tried to slam down an iPhone to hang up on a call? Its beautiful gorilla glass wasn’t designed to take that level of punishment, and a discrete touch of a sensitive little button doesn’t cut it. However – my Dock has a handset, and that baby can take all the slamming that my enthusiasm for life can throw at it. Yep – another benefit that hasn’t made the ShoreTel Dock official spec sheet.

That said, usually when it comes to the business of actually using the phone, a phone, any phone; I do prefer if I don’t have to hold it. I need my hands to do other things while I’m talking. Gesturing, typing, taking notes – none of these things are easy if one hand is stuck holding a phone. I also don’t like being connected. I need to be able to walk around to make a cup of tea, walk into or out of a meeting room, or just move around to help me think. The Dock holds my phone and is Bluetooth enabled, so that I can wear my headset and have the same level of freedom that a mobile phone should deliver, but generally doesn’t if you have to physically hold it. Ed can talk about his enterprise-grade voice quality and being able to use the muscle memory you have from a regular desk phone with his Dock, but if I can’t have my telephonic freedom, it means nothing.

So thanks product management, I love my award-winning ShoreTel Dock and I’d like to keep it. (You should get one too.)