What is going on at ShoreTel now?

June 13th, 2013

I very seldom comment, in this technology blog, on company policy and just try to stay focused on VoIP.  This time I am speaking out as a ShoreTel Shareholder.You know, one of the people who bought into the $10 a share IPO (at about the time they were suddenly sued by Mitel for patent infringement)?  ShoreTel stock (SHOR) is now trading at $3.50 or so?  The company has been through at least three CEOs post start up. They are now scouting for yet another.  Every key executive in the non-Engineering side of the house has jumped ship.  What do you do when your key sales people go to work for a competitor, like Mitel?  What signal does that send to the market?

ShoreTel had a real lead on VoIP technology. They make excellent products. They have had, and still have, some really great people! Leadership, at this point, is lacking.There have been some clear mistakes!  Acquiring a “hosted PBX company” that cannot even use ShoreTel phones? Come on, I know I am a bit dense but really?   (Note: “Follow the Money”.)  The acquisition of the Mobility Router company, Agito Networks, made some strategic sense,  but there has been no real follow through.  (The secret weapon that was acquired from Agito was the SIP over TLS, which should have replaced the OEM VPN strategy ages ago, and built into ShoreTel phones and Gateways.)  Just like their OEM acquisitions of previous products like the conference server, this will end up being yet another boat anchor!

I was hopeful that someone would buy ShoreTel before it becomes another Altigen (ATGN)!  When I see Directors and the company’s own counsel filing Form 4s with the SEC, that does not sound very likely either.  ShoreTel was the iPhone/iPad but like those products, it has fallen behind. The competitors are moving in with updated solutions and it has lost its luster.  The adopted cloud strategy was a poorly placed wager on what could have been a winning strategy. They have missed the Virtualization market completely.   Actually, very sad indeed! Maybe Mitel (MITL) does have it right? Maybe these two companies will merge?  Why not, most of their executives have?

5 responses to “What is going on at ShoreTel now?”

  1. Karen Kelly says:

    Peter, Believe it or not after all these years I actually understand some of this Voip stuff and how it works. Good for you to sound off about the lack of leadership and vision of Shoretel. Once in awhile we all have to take a stand on things professional and even political, and you were very clear and articulate in doing so. After all, you were the pioneer in Voip since the NBC peacock was a teradactyl, and deserve to have the last word when it comes to Shoretel and all things Voip. Rock on, Karen Kelly
    A True Believer

  2. DrVoIP says:

    SHOR increased +14.36% today and is currently trading at $4.66. This performance was better than its Communications Equipment industry peers as they rose 1.07%.

  3. DrVoIP says:

    SHOR increased +2.55% today and is currently trading at $3.82. This performance was in-line with its Communications Equipment industry peers as they rose 0.59%.

  4. SHOR decreased -3.03% today and is currently trading at $3.52. This performance was in-line with its Communications Equipment industry peers as they fell 0.96%.

  5. Shoretel has only been a leader in marketing.
    Zultys, which is much lesser known than Shoretel and for better or for worse, concentrated on engineering instead of marketing. It is a far better, more elegant solution.

    It runs on Linux, all from a single box. It has its own session border controller, can handle phones over the Internet behind routers, does what Lync is only starting to do and costs less than Shoretel.

    I would like to have been able to support Shoretel, but unfortunately the service did not live up to the hype. Because of this, I decided to quit my dealership and because, as you say, I could not support my client base without selling hardware, I have had to give up valuable clients.

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