Shoretel was co-founded in September 1996 by Edwin J. Basart and Mike Harrigan both of whom were already partners in another company they founded called Network Computing Devices. The company has a main headquarters based in Sunnyvale, CA. They do have some regional offices in the United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia and Munich, Germany. Originally the company was incorporated in California under the name Shoreline Communications. In April of 2004 the company had changed its name from Shoreline Communications to Shoretel. Then in June of 2007 the company was registered in the state of Delaware. The company was created to be a provider of commercial, closed sourced products based on Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology. Its target market was businesses that had anywhere from 10 to 20,000 employees. The systems they designed and sold included IP based telephone headsets as well as desktop and mobile communications applications.
In 1998 Shoretel started shipping out its 1st line of products. In October of 2010 Shoretel decided to acquire Agito Networks. They were an enterprise mobility provider that was based out of Santa Clara, Ca. In February 2012 Shoretel announced they were going to buy M5 Networks, based out of New York City. The company M5 services were branded as Shoretel Sky, within the cloud division of Shoretel. After the acquisition was completed new services were introduced, including integrated instant messaging and conferencing.
They primarily sell and market their products through channeled partners, including Tier 1 carriers such as AT&T, Version and Cal Net Technology to name a few. The products they carry have a distributed architecture with a single image for administration. While traditional time division multiplexing (TDM) systems or competitor VOIP solutions require full redundancy. They mastered redundancy by balancing the load on Unix based solid state voice appliances. Shoretel’s appliances use embedded flash memory and do not have any spinning media or hard drive.
Shoretel has some amazing products to choose from. Whether you are a small office or large corporation you will find something that will suit your office needs. For instance the Shoretel IP 100 series is an excellent basic phone series. The Shoretel IP 110 is an outstanding single line phone. It is a very cost effective phone ideal for low call volume environments. It has some standard built in features along with a 1 line visual display. It does also have an integrated Ethernet switch. The Shoretel IP 115 is similar to the 110 in looks as well as feature wise. The only difference in the 2 is that the 115 comes with a built-in 10/100 Ethernet switch. It also comes with a 2 way speakerphone that is great for hands free tasks.
The Shoretel IP 200 series was designed for the small office environments. They have 4 different models in this series. The Shoretel IP 230 and 230G are both multi line phones that can support up to 3 lines. They both come with plenty of standard features. There are a few differences in them like, 230 has an integrated 10/100 Ethernet switch. And the 230G comes with Gigabit Ethernet connectivity along with an integrated VPN client. Now the Shoretel IP 265 is also a multi line phone that can support up to 6 lines of communication. Like the others in the 200 series it comes standard with plenty of features. This model comes with an integrated 10/100 Ethernet switch along with a fantastic color screen display. The Shoretel IP 212k is a multi line phone that can support up to 12 lines of communication. It is well suited for those offices that require a key system behavior from their phone system. It comes standard with a lot of superb features along with an integrated 10/100 Ethernet switch.
The Shoretel IP 400 series is another outstanding design. This series was built for the small to medium size office. The Shoretel IP 420 is a 2 line phone that is ideal for lobbies or class rooms. It comes with a half duplex speakerphone and a built in 10/100 Ethernet switch. The Shoretel IP 480 and 480G are both multi line phones that can support up to 8 lines of talk. They have some 1st class features like visual voice mail as well as expanded call history for instant past call looks. Some of the differences are the 480 comes with a built-in 10/100 Ethernet switch. The 480G comes with a built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet switch as well Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. The Shoretel IP 485G is very similar to the 480 along with the 480G. They have a lot of the same features except those come with standard displays. This exceptional model the 485G comes with a vibrant color backlit display.
In the Shoretel IP 500 series there is 1 magnificent model. The Shoretel IP 560G is a multi line phone that supports up to 6 lines of talk. This is a very ideal design for the phone intensive employees in the office. It comes with many standard features along with some others, like color lit line buttons to provide instant call recognition as well as identification. It comes with Gigabit Ethernet connectivity along with an Integrated VPN client.
The Shoretel IP 655 is 1 of their flag ship most advanced model designs. This is a multi line phone that can support up to 12 lines of communication. It comes with some stellar features such as a very large color touch screen display. It has visual voice mail along with advanced microphone array technology. It does have Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and also includes a directory with presence indication.
Shoretel also created what is the Shoretel IP phone BB24. This is the only IP-based device of its kind on the market. The BB24 includes an Ethernet switch and also provides PoE power forwarding for one downstream device. This device has 24 programmable buttons that can be customized, to suit any of the needs by the employee. It also has self labeling keys so there is no need for any paper.