In a previous post, we discussed the real cost of VoIP-based unified communications telephony systems, and why organizations need to thoroughly analyze total cost of ownership (TCO) and balance short-term savings with long-term operational costs.

The 2013 Nemertes Research benchmarking study of IP telephony TCO suggests that product and implementation costs are generally known and fairly consistent, but operational costs can be dramatically different depending on the vendor. This study shows that ShoreTel is among the lowest-cost providers for both first-year costs and long-term operational costs.

An important factor to consider when calculating TCO is what features are included in a vendor’s core product. Many vendors will offer a bare-bones version with minimal features and functionality for a low base price, but you’re then forced to purchase additional features that you require to operate effectively and efficiently. This not only increases TCO, but it complicates the procurement process.

ShoreTel lowers TCO by including more features and capabilities in its core product – and base price – than competitive solutions from other vendors.

ShoreTel has a long history of innovation, and continues to add business-enabling features into each new product release. Built-in features for ShoreTel 13, the latest ShoreTel Unified Communications solution, include:

  • Enhanced Video Support: ShoreTel Communicator, ShoreTel 13’s call manager application, enables participation in room-based video conferences using industry-standard H.264 AVC technology from LifeSize. This allows for simple, seamless video communication via laptop or desktop computers.
  • File-based Music on Hold: Users can upload and play multiple WAV files as a music source without using an analog input.
  • Conferencing for iOS: The ShoreTel Conferencing solution enhances productivity and flexibility by enabling users to host and attend web conferences using iPhones and iPads.
  • QoS Traffic Prioritization: Users can increase performance by modifying DSCP priority parameters used for network signaling traffic.
  • Instant messaging: IM is now available to all users through ShoreTel Communication with Personal Access at no additional cost.
  • SIP Media Proxy: ShoreTel Media Proxy ports now support more SIP trunk features.

All customers with a current maintenance agreement can upgrade to ShoreTel 13 at no charge.

Another important part of the TCO equation is unplanned downtime. After all, what good are added features if the system is unavailable? According to Aberdeen Group, ShoreTel has the least unplanned downtime of any vendor. ShoreTel’s distributed architecture and N+1 redundancy deliver five-nines availability for business continuity.

That’s important given that ShoreTel users rely upon their ShoreTel system as a core element of their business processes. Greater uptime translates to lower TCO through greater productivity and revenue.

Let us help you leverage the ShoreTel system to keep short-term and long-term costs down, and show you how the exciting new features available in ShoreTel 13 can help you improve the way you do business.

Additional reading: How to Evaluate TCO for IP Telephony Deployments” — Webinar Discussion Highlights by Webtorials

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