I joined ShoreTel as managing director, EMEA, this past October, and was invited to meet the board in Sunnyvale, California. Playing it safe, I dressed-up but was surprised to discover a relaxed group of senior executives. A “compliment” about my tie broke the ice and set me thinking about the parallel between Silicon Valley and ShoreTel.
Famed for its technology start-ups, Silicon Valley has a well-established reputation for a no-nonsense way of doing business and lack of corporate baggage, which is similar to ShoreTel’s all-in-one telephony solution that is purpose-built from the ground up for IP. The complexity that plague customers of competitive systems with their various legacy or bolted-together technology, which are inherently complex, are entirely absent from ShoreTel’s Unified Communication solution.
It wasn’t a surprise when an Aberdeen Group study declared ShoreTel’s Unified Communication solution as the easiest to use and the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) in the industry. The unique, open distributed architecture of ShoreTel’s solution integrates seamlessly with existing business applications and processes. Enterprises can scale with ease by simply plugging in an additional switch – without the need to rip and replace infrastructure.
Going a step further, ShoreTel has put its money where it counts most by instituting a lowest TCO guarantee program. If a TCO analysis shows that ShoreTel’s TCO is higher than a competitor’s, it will lower its prices to beat the competition, regardless of the competitor’s price.
ShoreTel operates in an intensely competitive market, batting against highly entrenched players. But by offering brilliantly simple Unified Communication (UC) solutions and by putting the needs of customers ahead of everything, it has disrupted the market. Last year, we grew our customer base to 20,500, and continue to make inroads with enterprise customers.
Since joining ShoreTel in the autumn, I have been on the road mostly – meeting key executives, understanding the concerns of our partners and distributors. One thing that stands out most is the enthusiasm partners, customers, media have for ShoreTel. It is a company that has potential for significant growth and I’m very excited to be at the helm of the EMEA region, helping it expand further.