ShoreTel Version 14.2 is “Virtually there”!

January 9th, 2014

We have previously argued that ShoreTel should shed the hardware business and focus on software development only.  Just our opinion and personal hangup!  We believe that unless you have the Market Capitalization of an Apple, it is hard to walk both sides of the street and do both Hardware and Software!   Even Microsoft, does only Software!     Well ShoreTel may in fact be moving to Software only through the introduction of a family of “virtual” machine offerings.   Though versions prior to Version 14.1 offered some level of Server virtualization,  ShoreTel deployments would still require lots of those “Orange” ShoreGear switches.

On January 28th ShoreTel will begin to ship the first release of Version 14.2 and all components of the ShoreTel architecture will be virtualized!   This means that you don’t need those “Orange” boxes unless you are connecting to analog or digital trunk lines!   ShoreTel Switches including Conferencing servers will be available as OVA files for VMware deployments.    ShoreTel will begin to offer  a virtual phone switch, a virtual service appliance and a new family of virtual SIP Switches with complete PRI parity.  The ShoreTel compatible Ingate SIParator will also be available as a Virtual Session Border Controller.   Licensing can be significantly reduced to a phone or trunk license, now how kool is that?

The ShoreTel virtual phone switch will support between 250 and 1000 phones based on calculated VM resources.  The virtual phone switch will will support all ShoreTel features including backup automated attendant, make-me-conferences, hunt groups, bridged call appearances and extension monitoring.  Pricing is estimated at 8-15% below the cost of another “Orange” box and you can mix and match virtual and real boxes! The virtual SIP trunk switch is estimated to be some 50% below “Orange” box costs!  The virtual service appliance will offer IM and Web conferencing from 50-200 simultaneous sessions.  Instant Messaging is now without charge from ShoreTel when implemented on a virtual server,  just your usual VMware hardware costs!

We consider this the strongest move that ShoreTel has made in its product line, since it moved from analog phones to SIP handsets!  Though ShoreTel is following the examples of others like CISCO Version10, we see this a the right next step in the process for ShoreTel product development.   With the enterprise world solidly focused on virtualization and the rapid but steady migration from TDM to SIP, a Virtualized ShoreTel is an essential element of a successful business continuity and disaster recovery program.    ShoreTel is starting to look an awful lot like a pure software company and we think that is not only “brilliantly simple”, but very smart.

– DrVoIP

4 responses to “ShoreTel Version 14.2 is “Virtually there”!”

  1. Ryan James says:

    Wow, what great news. I’m a ShoreTel user/admin here in the office and we’ve had a lot of issues with the orange switches crashing/locking up for no good reason. Unplug the switch and wait 10 seconds and plug it back in and all is back to normal. Not good for a call center for sure!

    Building a new DR site now and iv we can move a virtual ShoreTel box there to work as a back up that would be great over getting more switches.

    I hope you post more on this once it launches, I see to only find out interesting information from here and never from my ShoreTel partner. Sigh. They have still not even told us about version 14, let alone 14.1 or .2! ECC is old too now, going to have to call them and rattle some chains I guess.

  2. Eric Cullum says:

    In ShoreTel’s own words, the below is how they explained Virtualizing UC 1 year ago. Seems like they are confused about VMWare and UC:

    Virtual servers introduce administrative complexity
    Scaling virtual environments requires extensive planning
    Virtual environments may rely heavily on WAN for branch offices

  3. John Dillon says:

    Hmmm….Virtually There….where have I heard that before?? 🙂

    Hi Peter – I hope you are doing well!

    Cheers – John

  4. Zach Middleton says:

    This is great news for a company looking to develop a cost-effective DR plan! It is encouraging to see that Shoretel is willing to adapt to market changes and needs!

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