Is It Time for ShoreTel Users to Upgrade?

When you buy a phone system, you probably hope you can stretch your investment as far as possible. Traditionally a business phone system was a large layout of cash upfront and the maintenance was cumbersome, requiring at times its own engineers to configure and maintain. In 1996, phone manufacturer ShoreTel made big waves when it brought to market a simple yet powerful and easy to use phone system.  In time ShoreTel, like other phone manufacturers, came to market with hybrid and cloud versions to their well-liked and known on-premises solution, finally being scooped up by their biggest competitor Mitel in September 2017.

For many current ShoreTel users, their phone systems continue to work and provide the stability they expected when they bought the system. But like all thing’s technology, new features, new advancements in the cloud, and collaboration have been added to the newly aligned ShoreTel (now Mitel) portfolio that adds up to big advantages for businesses. They can now use their online presence and communication stack to serve customers, equip every expanding remote staff, and compete on a national, even global scale. Additionally, Mitel announced that they will no longer continue to support legacy ShoreTel 14.2 or some older switches after September 30, 2020, driving a sense of urgency for many businesses still on the ShoreTel platform.

Was the ShoreTel/Mitel Merger Beneficial to ShoreTel Clients?

Considering the merger took place more than three years ago, we don’t find it necessary to linger too long on the topic, but it is important to understand the benefit of these two forces merged together.

The joining of forces catapulted Mitel into the top three rankings for size, offering, and market share. The merger also created both public and private business phone cloud options as well as on-premises options for the small-to-medium-sized business (especially under 500 employees) who, prior to cloud advancements were limited to more expensive and enterprise options.

What Does End of Life Mean for ShoreTel Users?

ShoreTel end of life simply means that the replacement parts and support of the ShoreTel 14.2 or prior versions will no longer be supported by the manufacturer. Technology partners like KTS Networks will continue to service their clients but will be unable to obtain ShoreTel replacement parts from Mitel after the September 30 cut-off date.

What is Mitel Connect?

Mitel Connect platform provides ShoreTel users with an easy to upgrade path to a complete unified business communication service that delivers seamless voice, collaboration, and contact center solutions from a single provider. By combining intuitive user experience and flexible service plans with Google Cloud’s proven reliability, the Mitel Connect system makes every aspect of in-house, public, or private cloud communications and collaboration simple to use and manage.

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One Size Never Fits All

While the internet and smart devices have touched or radically changed the way we socialize with others and consume information, the way we consume “technology” is still not a one size fits all game. One of the truly amazing aspects of Mitel Connect is the three distinct and innovative ways these advanced communication platforms are implemented.

  1. MiVoice Connect brings together all of the communications and collaboration tools into one simple interface that is housed and managed by your team on-site. Quickly and easily find contacts, check their availability and connect with them via phone, IM, video, desktop sharing, or conference calling, without having to open a separate window or log in to new applications.
  2. MiCloud Connect (built on Google Cloud) moves communication and collaboration to the cloud with confidence. Featuring collaboration to make teams more productive, enhanced customer experience tools, global presence, and improved business intelligence with integrations, you can connect your business communications in the cloud.
  3. MiCloud Flex is just that, flexible. Not every business can move to the cloud for compliance and security reasons, but they still want to take advantage of key cloud features such as triage capabilities, ring groups, CRM integration, and data redundancy. A private cloud environment provides the on-site controls of self-management combined with advanced features only found in the cloud.

What are the advantages of upgrading from ShoreTel 14.2 to Mitel Connect?

Mitel provides a wide range of business phone systems and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) to businesses of all sizes. The service is designed for companies with office settings and a mobile workforce and serves up voice, instant messaging, screen sharing, video and audio conferencing, file sharing, contact center, business app integration, and other capabilities from a single interface.

At a glance, here are some of the new features in Mitel Connect:

  1. New bundled licenses  
    • Get Mobility licenses
    • Softphone and remote worker included
    • CRM integration for several CRM solutions
  2. Collaboration features
    • Web/Audio bridge allows for peer to peer desktop sharing
    • Conduct group conference calls or chats
    • I.M. “Chats”, Group Chats and the ability to set up a meeting or send a Voice Mail to your given group
  3. Remote Work
    • Softphone connection without a VPN
    • Remote workers can connect IP phones at home
    • Great for agents and employees who have to work from home
  4. One pane of glass view featuring
    • Drag and Drop to transfer and conference calls
    • Updated look
    • “Soft Dial pad” (for those dreaded 10-digit PIN Numbers)
    • Call History and Voice mail control
  5. Google, Microsoft & CRM IntegrationRuns on MACs and Windows ShoreTel Upgrade
  6. Tighter Outlook integration with an events calendar
    • Simple navigation and ease of use for end-users
  7. Enhancements in Administration software
    • Compatible with multiple browsers
    • Built-in search tools
    • Additional monitoring tool
  8. Integration with Mitel’s advanced 6900 series phones … just to name a few!

Wondering What’s in Connect? Click the Mitel Most Asked Questions for a more comprehensive list of what’s included in the Mitel Connect Upgrade.

“KTS Network Solutions was responsible for getting us the right equipment and instrumental in helping us get our wide-area network circuits up to speed. They were top-notch in terms of simplifying the installation, so we didn’t experience a whole lot of hiccups. I really can’t speak highly enough of them. KTS Network has been phenomenal.” — Jim Sillasen, IT Director, VoIT

What’s next?

If you need assistance with upgrading to Mitel Connect and do not have a partner, or if you are considering migrating to the cloud and want to know what providers are best suited for your specific needs, please contact us and we will be glad to discuss partner support services for cloud or onsite solutions.

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