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A Close Look at ShoreTel Sky


In our last post we discussed the reasons why a cloud-based IP phone system makes sense for many organizations. A cloud-based solution delivers business-class telephony features without the upfront investments associated with an on-premises system. The service provider houses most of the equipment and provides the resources and expertise needed to support the system, relieving customers of the headaches associated with ongoing maintenance and upgrades as well as the risk of equipment obsolescence.


Because the service provider monitors the system around the clock, a cloud-based solution also provides a high degree of confidence that performance issues will be resolved quickly. Robust security protects against cyber threats while redundancy and failover capabilities help ensure system availability.


While these benefits are well proven, not all cloud-based IP phone systems are created equal. ICG’s engineers evaluated various cloud-based phone systems and found that ShoreTel Sky delivers key features that stand apart from competitive offerings.


For example, many service providers utilize core technology licensed from a third party. ShoreTel developed and continues to enhance the Call Conductor software at the heart of the Sky platform. By engineering its own phone system software, ShoreTel is better able to innovate and respond to customer needs without relying on a third party. Because the technology is all from ShoreTel, support teams have intimate knowledge of all components, from the ShoreTel Sky platform to devices and applications. In addition, an all-ShoreTel solution provides investment protection by ensuring smooth upgrades and future support.


ShoreTel’s approach to hosted VoIP provides seamless integration with a wide range of cloud and unified communications applications for an enhanced user experience. ShoreTel also provides an API for integration with other packaged solutions or home-grown systems.


The Call Conductor software was engineered for reliability. In addition, ShoreTel’s Tier III data centers feature redundant call-handling equipment and carrier network connections for high availability. Customer configuration data is backed up daily and server virtualization is used to quickly restore to new hardware in the event of a failure.


Service quality is ensured through the use of private circuits via managed routers. Best-of-breed firewalls and intrusion detection and prevention systems protect against threats, and all customer communications are secured with robust authentication and authorization and encryption.


The ShoreTel Sky end-to-end experience includes white-glove implementation with a dedicated account team, custom-designed call configuration, best practice guidance, procurement of phone numbers and private circuits, and end-user and administrator training. This is all delivered on a platform developed, hosted and managed by the ShoreTel customer support organization.


At ICG, we are proud to offer ShoreTel Sky to our valued customers. We believe that ShoreTel Sky offers the right mix of features, performance, quality and price backed by ShoreTel’s comprehensive support. Let us show you why ShoreTel Sky is the compelling choice for your cloud-based IP phone system, and design a solution that precisely fits your needs and budget.