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ShoreTel Joins Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF)

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I am excited to announce ShoreTel is now a member of the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF), a non-profit alliance of worldwide technology leaders working together to fully realize the potential of unified communications.

UCIF is dedicated to enabling standards-based, cross-vendor interoperability of UC hardware and software across enterprises, service providers and consumer clouds and is designed to enable global businesses to be more productive.

ShoreTel is among the first IP telephony leaders to join the group. As UC systems have become more mature in the past few years, our existing and prospective customers are anxious to see new standards that will provide the best possible experience to their users. ShoreTel will bring a fresh perspective into the group working sessions.

Some vendors travel solely down the proprietary road – Cisco with their video strategy, for example. With their attempt to provide an all-Cisco solution, customers are starting to be aware of the additional hidden cost on the long term. This locks you into their pricing for the long term and costs more across the life of your solution. We are focused on working with our customers to leverage their existing investments with any third-party solutions that they see fit. We continue to give our customers the assurance that their existing and planned investments are protected and will deliver the value promised.

Our first area of focus at the UCIF will be around IM federations and video conferencing interoperability issues. Most public IM services are actually closed ecosystems and we hope to eventually create a force for openness. When it comes to video, we believe that video should be in every conference room, on every desktop and every mobile. Unfortunately, the current MCU technology is not scaling cost-effectively today so we hope to be able to work with Polycom, Microsoft, and Vidyo on accelerating the standardization around Scalable Video Coding (SVC), which will address the obstacles.