SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Zeus Kerravala | August 19, 2014 |

 
   

ShoreTel Finally Sees a Path to Video

ShoreTel Finally Sees a Path to Video ShoreTel announced a major update to its ShoreTel Mobility client that brings video into the fold, and I think the solution hits the nail on the proverbial video head.

ShoreTel announced a major update to its ShoreTel Mobility client that brings video into the fold, and I think the solution hits the nail on the proverbial video head.

ShoreTel has been one of the leading unified communications (UC) solution providers for many years. However, despite their strong product suite, the company had a big hole in its portfolio - it didn't have a video solution. Last week ShoreTel announced a major update to its ShoreTel Mobility client that brings video into the fold, and I think the solution hits the nail on the proverbial video head.

Historically, video may have been UC's ugly stepchild, but it has been gaining momentum over the past few years and now is considered a core part of a UC solution. There are still some video skeptics out there, but these tend to be older, stodgy people that don't fully appreciated the value that video brings.

Video usage has shifted over the past five years. Historically, enterprise video was done primarily in board rooms or conference rooms and used mainly for scheduled calls. Today though, video is being used more and more on mobile devices and laptops.

In fact, in a global video survey done by ZK Research last year, mobile video usage was stronger than all other types of video. The question asked was, "How often are the following types of video used at least once per day within your organization?" Mobile video ranked No. 1 with 83%, followed by laptop/desktop video at 82%. Next were executive systems at 75%, followed by room systems and telepresence systems both at 57%. Notice a pattern here? The more personal the solution, the higher the utilization rate, and this is why I like the new ShoreTel offering.

ShoreTel Mobility 8 enables users to communicate via video utilizing the ShoreTel Mobility Client. Through the client, workers can participate in a video session with a single click on any smart phone or tablet running Apple's iOS or Google's Android. The solution also works on Windows laptops using ShoreTel Communicator. Additionally, users of the ShoreTel video client can join multi-party video sessions on room-based systems that support H.264/SVC.

The thing I like most about ShoreTel's approach to video is that the solution is being positioned as an extension of the organization's mobility solution and not desktop UC solution. In fact, the video capabilities are supported as a feature on the newly virtualized ShoreTel Mobility Router. So customers who want to enable video can do so on an existing ShoreTel appliance or by running the Virtual Mobility Router on a virtual machine. The virtualization of the Mobility Router allows customers to roll out video to any location in mere minutes.

The "mobile first" strategy by ShoreTel should give the company a shot at gaining some share on the traditional vendors. If you've read my stuff in the past, you know my philosophy is that share shift can only occur at moments of market transition. Had ShoreTel decided to come to market with a more traditional video solution that treats video as a fixed asset, I'm not sure they would have much success. Why? Well there are already a number of established vendors in the "traditional" video space and, given the size of the market, I don't think there's much opportunity for a new entrant. However, as my survey indicated, the mobile video segment is hot right now and should give ShoreTel an opportunity to establish itself as a mobile video vendor.

One of the things I didn't see in the press release was when the mobile video capabilities would be available through the company's cloud-based Sky platform. ShoreTel has indicated that they would eventually be unifying the code base of the premises and cloud offerings, so I'm sure cloud-delivered mobile video will be available sooner rather than later.

On a related note, the mobile video capabilities should be appealing to the ShoreTel channel partners, as it gives the resellers a much more complete mobility portfolio. The ability to pitch a collaboration solution that leads with a visual experience should be particularly appealing to channel partners that are focused on organizations with a high number of younger workers.

I had been expecting ShoreTel to have a video solution for some time now, but given the focus on mobile video, the release is well timed with current market trends.

Follow Zeus Kerravala on Twitter and Google+!
@zkerravala
Zeus Kerravala on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.