Unified communications vendor, ShoreTel, today announced its agreement with IBM to deliver the Unified Communications (UC) and collaboration offering combing a small business appliance, presence awareness, instant messaging and VoIP telephony in an ‘out-of-the box’ integrated solution for SMBs.
ShoreTel says its offering leverages the newly announced Lotus Foundations Reach, which customises and extends the IBM Sametime UC and collaboration capabilities, in an appliance designed for SMBs that does not require an enterprise administrator.
Under the agreement, ShoreTel says it will integrate the IBM Lotus Foundations platform with its intuitive Director Management platform in a single “office in a box” appliance.
According to ShoreTel’s president and CEO, John W. Combs, the result is designed to be a tightly integrated solution that delivers on ShoreTel’s commitment to “brilliantly simple solutions and lets SMB customers quickly realize the productivity gains and simplicity associated with UC solutions.”
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Coombs said the combined solution would bring enterprise-class reliability, rapid scalability and lower IT costs to the SMB market that “frees them from vendor lock-in and upgrade requirements.”
Coombs also says that the combined simplicity and autonomic management capabilities of ShoreTel and IBM help eliminate the complexities of UC typically associated with other systems, and, he maintains, “result in a simple, affordable and comprehensive communications solution.
And, according to Caleb Barlow, director, Lotus Foundations, at IBM, just this year, “over 1,000 Microsoft partners have turned to IBM Lotus Foundations as a simple, fast to deploy and inexpensive alternative to Microsoft Small Business Server and Essential Business Server.”
Barlow said the combined solution from IBM and ShoreTel provided SMBs with a “complete set of communications and collaboration tools that are easy to use and affordable.”
Both companies say the agreement represents a significant opportunity for both to gain additional market share in the expanding UC sector, which they say continues to attract major vendors from other IT fields because of its rapidly growing popularity.