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ShoreTel Launches an Anti-Complexity Movement

ShoreTel’s Brilliantly Simple Technology and Growing Market Share Validate Its Approach to Helping Customers Beat Complexity in IP communications
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SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 13, 2010 –ShoreTel® (NASDAQ: SHOR), the leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems with fully integrated unified communications (UC), today announced an anti-complexity movement targeted at battling  unnecessary and costly complexity in the IP Telephony industry. In addition, ShoreTel, which has successfully made simplicity the cornerstone of its approach to technology for more than a decade, attributes its increasing market share and industry accolades to growing customer recognition that “complexity costs money.”

In a stinging rebuke of the larger, entrenched IP telephony vendors, ShoreTel denounced the common vendor practice of piecing together solutions from multiple proprietary technologies because these solutions end up costing customers more in the long run in the form of high costs for maintenance, upgrades, support and training. Rather than simplifying their solutions, these vendors seem to embrace complexity because it protects their position and helps guarantee a continuous revenue stream by making it harder for customers to break free from vendor lock in.

By contrast, ShoreTel designed complexity out of its system from the very beginning. ShoreTel engineered a solution from the ground up that was optimized for IP-based communication and collaboration, and includes easy-to-use management and end-user features that fully integrate voice, video, data, and mobile communication. As a result of ShoreTel’s efforts to eliminate complexity and thereby reduce costs, ShoreTel is able to offer a one-of-its kind lowest total cost of ownership guarantee.



  • In a recent whitepaper titled “IT complexity: Danger or Opportunity,” Roger Sessions calculates that each year the U.S. loses $1.3 trillion dollars to IT failures. That equates to $108 billion per month lost to the US economy – almost 9 percent of the U.S. GDP. Session says the culprit is almost certainly IT complexity.
  • ShoreTel continues to capture market share worldwide and in the U.S. for IP telephony systems and IP phones, according to the Synergy worldwide and U.S. market share report for June 2010.
  • ShoreTel has received the highest overall score every year independent research firm, Nemertes Research, has evaluated IP Telephony.
  • A recent survey of IT professionals conducted by ShoreTel revealed that nearly 81 percent of respondents expressed a desire to simplify their communications system.
  • Many organizations now recognize that most major vendors have pieced unified communications systems together through acquisitions and add-ons, and that this amalgamation increases complexity and drives up cost.
  • ShoreTel offers the lowest TCO in the industry and guarantees it, in large part because the system is easy to manage and use.  The brilliantly simple solution includes ShoreTel’s unique single-image, distributed software and embedded switch-based call routing architecture, all of which result in structurally lower product capital costs, network upgrade costs, and implementation and training costs. A ShoreTel system also has lower costs for maintenance, MACs (moves, adds and changes), system management, and energy consumption. All these benefits help free IT resources and let staff focus on the business, not IT.
  • ShoreTel is upping the stakes in the battle for IP telephony mindshare and market share by building its advertising messaging around the call to beat complexity, and prompting businesses to ask, “When did complexity become the norm?”  If other vendors take up this challenge, their customers will be the real beneficiaries.



 ObjectWatch: “IT simplicity is a key business asset. It enables efficiency, agility, and scalability. Complexity is an IT killer. It causes delivery delays, cost overruns, and is the single greatest source of business frustration with IT.”

- Roger Sessions, CTO of ObjectWatch and author of “IT complexity: Danger or Opportunity” whitepaper 

 Current Analysis: “Since its inception, the global unified communications marketplace has been burdened by a level of complexity that has confused potential customers and slowed the technology’s acceptance and implementation. The vendor(s) that is able to simplify the business case, as well as the actual implementation and ongoing operation of UC systems will stand to reap large rewards in the form of market penetration.” 

- Ken Landoline, Principal Analyst, Unified Communications and Contact Centers 



 “The manager on the ship simply plugged in a ShoreTel phone, told me the MAC address, and I was able to activate the phone using ShoreTel Director in my Seattle office. We were able to activate the guest’s phone right away. In the past, the same operation required sending a technician to the ship and paying travel costs and hourly labor rates. Now it takes ten minutes and requires no one but our own on-board staff.”

-          Jonathan Lockwood, Technology Manager, Glacier Fish Company, Seattle


“It’s so easy to drop or add a switch at a site that we were able to set up a nine-phone office with one switch in less than a day. The level of ease and flexibility of the ShoreTel system is driving us to look at ways to further enhance productivity by integrating communications features with our enterprise resource planning system. ShoreTel truly has proven to be the pick of the crop.”

-          Jim Lyle, Communications Administrator, Ready Pac


 “It costs about 25 percent less to install a ShoreTel UC system in a new office, compared with our previous vendor. ShoreTel pricing means that we can plan for growth and organizational changes with confidence. In our experience, when you say it will cost ‘x’ dollars to install the ShoreTel system, that’s what it will be. Plus, you don’t need a lot of expensive post-implementation support and professional services. ShoreTel just works.”

-           Claude Vezina, National Telecom Manager, BDO


"Staying in touch with our 100,000+ members and key influencers is vital to the success of our initiatives. Not only is the ShoreTel system highly reliable, but because it's intuitive to learn and manage, we don't need to track down and hire highly qualified staff to run it like we would with other systems. Deployment costs were lower than competing products, licensing costs are less and we've been able to free up IT staff to work on other projects. Overall, ShoreTel's low TCO means we're saving money and operating more efficiently."

-           Chaim Yudkowsky, CIO, American Israel Public Affairs Committee  


 “We compared the ROI of ShoreTel to the old system—the savings of time, support, maintenance and costs is 42 percent. And metrics from the new distributed call center show a 78 percent decrease on call wait times and call completions. We used to have trunking in one location, with a modem and POTS line at each site. The old PBX system limited our communications options and required us to factor in support and maintenance costs. With ShoreTel, deployment is easy and we have room to grow—we can add switches, extensions, entire branches, simply and quickly. And we’ve eliminated the POTS lines, which saves $11,000 annually.”

-           Colleen Jakes, Director of Information Services, TopLine Federal Credit Union



“ShoreTel focuses exclusively on IP-based unified communications, designing a system from the beginning that was specifically for IP networks. The result is a brilliantly simple all-in-one solution built on an open architecture that is appliance-based instead of server-based. This means the ShoreTel UC system is fundamentally more reliable than other kinds of systems, and easier and less costly to deploy, manage and scale. We challenge other vendors to join us in the Anti-Complexity Movement and offer customers simpler solutions that are less costly and more reliable, and we encourage customers to reject unnecessary complexity and demand simplicity from their vendors.”

– Kevin Gavin, Vice President of Marketing, ShoreTel




  • ShoreTel Anti-Complexity Movement
  • ShoreTel Corporate Overview
  • ShoreTel Customer Success Stories (videos and case studies)
  • ShoreTel Features
  • ShoreTel Awards


 About ShoreTel, Inc.

ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOR) is the provider of brilliantly simple Unified Communication (UC) solutions based on its award-winning IP business phone system. We offer organizations of all sizes integrated, voice, video, data, and mobile communications on an open, distributed IP architecture that helps significantly reduce the complexity and costs typically associated with other solutions. The feature-rich ShoreTel UC system offers the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) and the highest customer satisfaction in the industry, in part because it is easy to deploy, manage, scale and use. Increasingly, companies around the world are finding a competitive edge by replacing business-as-usual with new thinking, and choosing ShoreTel to handle their integrated business communication. ShoreTel is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices in Austin, Texas, United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia and Munich, Germany. For more information, visit