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Cloud Communications Making Inroads Across Australia

ShoreTel Hosted Voice achieves rapid partner uptake and strong customer demand

ShoreTel® (NASDAQ: SHOR), the leading provider of brilliantly simple unified communications (UC) solutions and phone systems, today announced that approximately 50 percent of its current Australian channel partners have formally signed up to sell the company’s new cloud service, ShoreTel Hosted Voice (SHV), and ShoreTel has had interest from more than 60 new channel partners looking to sell SHV.ShoreTel Hosted Voice was launched in April 2016, offering Australian organisations a fully managed IP telephony hosted solution including voicemail, unified messaging, click to dial, mobility and conferencing services, with optional services available such as contact centre, call recording and toll-free numbers.

There are three ways for partners to sell ShoreTel Hosted Voice in Australia - as an Approved Partner, an Enabled Partner, or a sub-agent of a ShoreTel Cloud Services Distributor -- Dicker Data.

“We have received intense interest in ShoreTel Hosted Voice from our Australian partners since we launched the new service just over two months ago. Our partners are experiencing increased customer demand for cloud-based unified communications – or ‘UCaaS’– solutions. Several partners have now closed their first SHV deals, these contracts were all signed and delivered within 2 weeks of quoting,” said Frederic Gillant, vice president of Asia Pacific at ShoreTel.

“Given this is a completely new service, new contracts have been executed and our channel partners have completed a 1-day intensive SHV training course, so it’s fantastic to see the level of responsiveness from our partner community.”

One of the first partners to sign up for ShoreTel Hosted Voice was Simply Ask Simon, an Adelaide-based IT consulting business. The company is a recent ShoreTel partner, joining the program to sell ShoreTel’s onsite solutions in November 2015. Simply Ask Simon has already closed 3 new SHV customers, and is on the cusp of attaining Silver Partner status within the Champion Partner Program, within the first month of selling.

“ShoreTel Hosted Voice is one of the only cloud-based services in Australia that gives customers the full feature set of unified communications in one package,” said Simon Buckingham, managing director, Simply Ask Simon. “An increasing number of our customers are adopting flexible working practices, and the ShoreTel Hosted Voice solution supports that environment by extending the full UC feature set to remote, mobile and home-based workers. It also has the built-in redundancy and business continuity capabilities that were previously only available from higher-end UCaaS solutions.”

He added, “Just like our customers who are looking for predictability around their operating costs, as a business we operate primarily on a monthly recurring revenue model so the ShoreTel Hosted Voice pricing structure suits us perfectly.”

Simply Ask Simon has already signed up a number of new customers for ShoreTel Hosted Voice. One of those customers, McArdle Freight, is scheduled to have its new unified communications (UC) system installed and fully operational in July.

McArdle Freight
Based just outside Adelaide and with four depots in regional centres in South Australia and Northern Territory, McArdle Freight operates across some of the most remote parts of the country.

The company has relied on a traditional PABX telephone system for head office, with separate phone lines into its four branches. However, with the majority of McArdle Freight’s team on the road or out of the office, the company has been heavily reliant on its mobile fleet and the cellular telecommunications network.

Working with Simply Ask Simon, the implementation of ShoreTel Hosted Voice will give McArdle Freight a single telephony system across its five sites and also extend the network’s reach to the company’s highly-mobile workforce.

As part of the ShoreTel Hosted Voice package, McArdle Freight has commissioned a dedicated data connection, which provides guaranteed quality of service for voice traffic. This dedicated network will also provide McArdle Freight with the throughput and service levels it needs to move the majority of its business applications and services over to the cloud, saving considerable costs on managing and operating its own IT infrastructure.

“In addition to the communications features we now have access to with ShoreTel Hosted Voice, the main benefit for us is the guaranteed performance of our data connection, particularly the fast upload speed. That means we can operate our accounting system as a cloud-based application, and look to move more of our applications over to the cloud. That will give our staff easier and more flexible access to the systems that run our business,” said Tamara McArdle, Office Manager, McArdle Freight.

McArdle Freight has provided its team with an allowance to purchase their own mobile phones as part of a BYOD (bring your own device) policy and will be installing a mobile app on each device, giving all staff the same UC functionality that they enjoy on a ShoreTel office handset. Also, when in range of WiFi, the mobile phones operate on the available data connection rather than over the more costly cellular network.

“The mobile app is the icing on the cake. Our staff members don’t want to be carrying around both a personal mobile and a work one. This way, they can use the app on their own mobile device and have all the benefits of unified communications while they are on the road, on the same phone they use every day,” said McArdle.

“We operate over an incredibly large area from Darwin and Adelaide – over 3000km north to south. We have a whole fleet of drivers we need to contact all the time. With ShoreTel Hosted Voice we will have transparency. We will be able to see each other, and use the best channel available at the time to reach someone.”

The transport and freight industry is highly competitive and time-sensitive. A cost-effective telephony system that extends not only to all five sites but also to its remote and travelling staff, will enable connectivity and business continuity for McArdle Freight, and few missed calls. ShoreTel Hosted Voice also offers the company the flexibility it needs to scale up or scale down the service to meet the changing demands of its dynamic industry.

“If a job comes up and no-one answers the call, the customer will just ring the next freight company on their list. With ShoreTel, we won’t miss these opportunities.”

McArdle Freight is also installing a ShoreTel IP handset at Tamara McArdle’s home. She has a young family, and will have the flexibility of working from home without compromising on her access to corporate services and communications. ShoreTel Hosted Voice only requires broadband Internet for that connection to be fully operational as an extension on the corporate telephony network.

About ShoreTel, Inc.
ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOR) is a leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems and unified communications solutions powering today’s always-on workforce. Its flexible communications solutions for on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments eliminate complexity, reduce costs and improve productivity. Recognized for its industry-leading customer experience and support, ShoreTel’s innovative business phones, application integration, collaboration tools, mobility, and contact center applications enable users to communicate and collaborate no matter the time, place or device, with minimal demand on IT resources. ShoreTel is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has regional offices and partners worldwide. For more information, visit www.shoretel.com.
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ShoreTel and the ShoreTel logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of ShoreTel, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks, trade names and service marks herein are the property of their respective owners.

Media contact:
Martin Aungle                                                   Linda Motherwell                                  
Explore Communications Pty Ltd                       ShoreTel                                              
Tel: +61 2 4872 4981                                         Tel: +61 2 +61 2 9959 8020                   
Mob: +61 415 917 381                                       Mob: +61 414 397 797                          
Email: maungle@explorecomms.com.au             Email: lmotherwell@shoretel.com