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May 27, 2011

Total Cost of Ownership Sets Shoretel Apart from Avaya, Cisco: Exec


By SIP Trunking Report Contributor



The communications industry is currently in a state of flux, with more SMBs and enterprises moving to IP-based phone systems each day. This transition was on full display at Interop 2011 in Las Vegas, where a number of VoIP communication vendors were introducing new solutions and making waves in the industry.


TMC chief executive Rich Tehrani was on site at the business technology conference and had the opportunity to sit down with executives from several major players in the communications space, including Kevin Gavin, CMO at Shoretel, a provider of commercial VoIP hardware and software products.

Sunnyvale, California-based Shoretel is coming off an extremely strong third quarter of fiscal year 2011, where its revenue increased to $51.6 million, up 39 percent increase from the same period of last year. The company has reported four consecutive quarters with at least 30 percent growth.

Gavin attributed Shoretel's recent success to the simple and intuitive nature of its IP phones and unified communication solutions. He added that prospective customers are starting to recognize the Shoretel name, which has helped the company better compete with rivals like Cisco and Avaya.

As for what sets Shoretel apart from its closest competitors, Gavin pointed to the total cost of ownership associated with the company's product line.

Solutions developed by Avaya and Cisco tend to be complicated, says Gavin.

"You need a partner, you need trained staff and you need certifications. This complication ultimately leads to costliness. The total costs of ownership isn’t just the upfront purchase price… it is also the ongoing maintenance and support," Gavin told Tehrani.

"When the system is fundamentally easier…the cost of ownership over time is dramatically less," he added. "We urge customers to look into how complicated [the system] is and what is the total cost of ownership over time. When people go into that level of detail, we have a very high win rate."

Gavin also "fundamentally rejected" the notion that Shoretel's line of products is less feature-rich than solutions provided by competitors like Avaya and Cisco.

Tehrani and Gavin wrapped up their talk by touching on the waning desire for green products and the future of the cloud and virtualization markets. In addition, Gavin gave Tehrani an update on Shoretel's new mobility solutions.


Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves