OK, We’re Proud: ShoreTel’s Website Named ‘Best in Class’
Last April, when the new ShoreTel.com website launched, the ShoreTel marketing team felt like we deserved an award simply by completing such a major task. But to actually win an award validates that all our hard work produced a best in class result. Just recently, ShoreTel’s website was awarded Best in Class in the Telecommunications and B2B categories in the Interactive Media Awards (IMA).
While we originally only submitted an entry to be considered in the Telecommunications category, the IMC judges panel recommended our site be automatically included in the B2B category “for reasons relating to quality and relevance,” the organization said.
The awards are held annually by the Interactive Media Council (IMC), an organization of Web designers, developers, advertisers and other professionals dedicated to elevating the Internet’s standards of excellence.
The ShoreTel.com website received an overall score of 494 (out of 500). Sites are judged on their design, content, feature functionality, usability and standards compliance. According to IMC, the Best in Class award—its highest honor—recognizes sites with “the very best in planning, execution and overall professionalism.” This year, there were 40 entries submitted in the Telecommunications category and 165 in the B2B category.
And, the organization told us, “only a fraction” of the sites submitted to its annual Interactive Media Awards competition earn the title each year.
This recognition is made all the sweeter by the fact that the website redesign began in September 2014, when Marketing was tasked with consolidating ShoreTel.com and the ShoreTel Sky website into a single presence. This challenging endeavor entailed merging two websites with very different approaches into a singular vision.
User Focus Pays Off
Given the amount of information we wanted to present—everything from product features to case studies to white papers, not to mention information on telecommunications trends and forecasts on our blog—this was no small feat. The site had to be designed so that users could easily find the information they’re interested in; the content itself had to be engaging, useful and fresh; and, of course, the site had to be technically bulletproof.
“It’s amazing what you can do when you have the right team working on a project,” observed Ed Chao, Web Marketing Manager at ShoreTel. Under deadline pressure, the project team catalogued and indexed thousands of Web pages, designed new templates and new graphics, revised content and wrote thousands of lines of code. “Oh, it was challenging,” Chao admits, “but by pulling together we launched the new ShoreTel.com in April 2015—on schedule.”
To earn the award, ShoreTel.com had to pass through a comprehensive judging system. “By adhering to the specific guidelines and criteria of this system our judges are able to maintain the highest degree of fairness, accuracy and integrity; competently and effectively evaluate entries; and, deliver clear results,” the IMC said.
Chao believes a big reason for the site’s success is its focus on providing information that’s wide-ranging, in-depth and digestible to ShoreTel’s customers and prospects. Whether they’re looking for detailed product support or case studies that can help them determine the right communications solution for their business, users can find what they need without having to wade through an inordinate menu structure or search process.
“We’re not about to rest on our laurels,” Chao said. “ShoreTel.com gets our full attention every day so we can make sure our audience always has access to the latest information. ShoreTel is all about bringing brilliantly simple products to market and the website’s another part of that.”