ShoreTel ‘Dock’ Brings Apple to the Desk Phone

by Matt Klassen on May 7, 2013

While not making the headlines of late, unified communications provider ShoreTel has quietly gone about building a business phone systems empire across the nation, offering cutting edge communication solutions to the enterprise sector. To that end, in a press release yesterday the UC provider announced the creation of the ShoreTel Dock, “the industry’s first business-grade docking station that transforms iPhones and iPads into desk phones when paired with ShoreTel Mobility”

Tapping into both the growing BYOD movement and the ongoing popularity of Apple’s product suite, ShoreTel has brilliantly capitalized on the two to create one simple and straightforward package, “fusing the convenience of mobile devices with the power of a business communications system.”

Though certainly nothing revolutionary, the new ShoreTel Dock is the sort of technology that will continue to sweep across the business phone systems market over the next few years, collaboration tools that, while offering nothing new per se, tap into current trends and offer business users the sort of communication tools they need to have on the communication devices they want to use.

Truth be told, I dread writing product stale product reviews, but there’s just something about ShoreTel that has always impressed me, an upstart UC solutions provider that has managed to constantly bring innovative collaboration tools to market dominated by much larger and more established players.

Again, with such docks already widely available as consumer products, its not like ShoreTel has reinvented the wheel with its new docking system, but by tweaking the dock design to incorporate unified communications technology, the company has ostensibly introduced the BYOD movement to the desktop handset as well, completely replacing all business communication options—both mobile and desktop sets—with your favourite Apple product.

Now just in case you think ShoreTel has thrown too many of its eggs in the Apple basket, company reps are quick to point out a recent report from Good Technology that found that 77 percent of all new smartphones and tablets activated in the enterprise sector during Q4 2012 were Apple products…take that Blackberry.

Regardless if the stats are accurate—and I’m sure I could find a different survey from a different firm that would offer different findings—there’s no question that the BYOD movement has introduced a resurgence in interest in the Apple brand, as those waiting in the wings for an enterprise ready Apple phone or tablet were quick to grab the same old consumer oriented product—with no more security features than before mind you—when it became widely acceptable to do so.

Back to the product at hand, not only does the ShoreTel dock allow business users to turn their favourite Apple products into their business phone system, when using ShoreTel’s Mobility app, the iOS devices are equipped with ShoreTel’s video, instant messaging, and other useful UC services, offering business users a complete range of communication and collaboration tools.

In the end, while its nothing mind blowing, the ShoreTel Dock is an insightful and innovative piece of technology nonetheless, fusing multiple trends in the enterprise sector into one useful communications tool.

At a price tag of $349, the Dock is slated for release this summer.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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