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ShoreTel blows IP telephony field away in new Nemertes Research benchmark

IT professionals rate ShoreTel highest in every category for third straight year
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VOICECON - ORLANDO, FL, March 6, 2006 - ShoreTel Inc. today announced the results of an independent study by Nemertes Research, in which IT professionals for the third year in a row placed ShoreTel first - ahead of Avaya, Cisco, and Nortel. ShoreTel won by an even bigger margin than last year's, scoring near-perfect marks for its value, easy installation and troubleshooting, and overall performance.

Entitled "Convergence and Next-Generation WAN Technologies," the annual Nemertes benchmark is based upon exhaustive interviews with a representative sample of IT professionals. They are asked to score their IP telephony vendors across nine categories-value, technology, VAR expertise, management tools, customer service, solution experience, product features, ease of installation/troubleshooting, and overall performance. With only one exception, ShoreTel's lowest mark was higher than the highest mark given to Avaya, Cisco, and Nortel in any category.

What is ShoreTel doing that its competitors aren't? "IT executives say ShoreTel's products are easy to implement and use, and as a result, their overhead costs are low and the value is high," said Robin Gareiss, Nemertes Executive Vice President and Senior Founding Partner. "Additionally, ShoreTel's customer service, both from the company itself and its VARs, is solid. If there is a problem, ShoreTel helps the VARs resolve it. And ShoreTel follows up with all customers regularly to make sure they are satisfied."

"It's rare to have a single vendor dominate ratings in any technology category for three years in a row," added Gareiss.

Some sample comments from study participants:

Easy implementation

"ShoreTel installations are quick and painless."

Simplicity

"We had a couple of hours of training on ShoreTel and we were good to go. With Cisco, you need a Ph.D, practically."

Easy to operate

"A junior person has the skill level it takes to do daily administration of ShoreTel."

Value

"With ShoreTel's competitors, every time you want to add a feature, it's another $50,000."

"The Nemertes findings validate our mission to provide IP telephony solutions that are highly flexible, feature-rich, and reliable, and yet remain simple to implement, manage, and use," said John W. Combs, ShoreTel's president and CEO. "As Nemertes reports, we listen carefully to our customers and adapt and enhance our products and services accordingly."

Coinciding with the new Nemertes benchmark is the publication of independent studies from Synergy Research and Infonetics, both showing ShoreTel's growth significantly outpacing that of all other IP PBX vendors, including Cisco, Nortel, Avaya and Mitel.

About Nemertes Research

Nemertes Research is an independent research firm that quantifies the business impact of technology, providing objective, real-world insights that help clients optimize their IT investments. Nemertes works closely with a representative sample of 3,800 U.S. and European IT professionals who oversee budgets ranging from $100,000 to more than $1 billion, and who provide Nemertes with ongoing insight into the drivers behind their technology purchasing decisions. The Nemertes team has close, long-term relationships with these technology leaders, who hail from industries such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, insurance, entertainment, government, education, retail, and nonprofits.

About ShoreTel, Inc.

ShoreTel is the fastest growing IP PBX company worldwide and the leader in customer satisfaction. The company has shipped its groundbreaking solutions since 1998 and continues to outpace the rapidly expanding VoIP market with technological advances and sales that are doubling year over year. ShoreTel voice systems are designed to make businesses smarter, setting new standards for usability and manageability while reducing telecommunications costs. A uniquely distributed architecture extends enterprise-class voice services to every office and outpost, keeping employees fully connected wherever they go. A select, worldwide group of channel partners provide top-notch service and support. For more information, visit http://www.shoretel.com/ or call 1-877-80SHORE