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ShoreTel 14.2 to Mitel Connect – Is it Worth the Move?

When Mitel acquired ShoreTel for $530 million in late 2017, we started hearing a lot of questions about Mitel Connect.

The acquisition has accelerated Mitel’s shift to the cloud, further solidifying the company’s position as a leader in unified communications and collaboration (UCC). But for companies hanging onto aging communications solutions, there’s one real question to answer—is Mitel Connect really worth the change?

Mitel declared that support would officially end for ShoreTel 14.2 software, Enterprise Contact Center and Mobility 8 in December 2019.  The good news is Mitel Connect, which is the latest and greatest available from Mitel, is just an upgrade for clients on ShoreTel 14.2 or earlier versions.   Also, as of June 30, 2018, SG switches (SG30, SG50, SG90(V), SGT1K, SG220T1, SG220T1a) were no longer available for purchase, making the end of life announcement very real.  But don’t let that scare you. If you are ShoreTel users, we have some good news ahead, and we hope this blog will clear up any questions or concerns you might have related to your ShoreTel purchase.

With Mitel and ShoreTel coming together to support the Mitel Connect Client for Mobile Devices and the backend Mitel Connect Server, you can communicate and collaborate across multiple channels, locations and projects with a simple app-driven interface. The age of intelligent communication has arrived.

What does ShoreTel End of Life mean?

In 2017 Mitel purchased ShoreTel, that’s no longer new news. ShoreTel end of life simply means that the replacement parts and support of the ShoreTel 14.2 or prior versions will no longer be supported by the manufacturer. The new news is that Mitel has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring the former ShoreTel Connect platform up to Mitel standards, hired hundreds of customer experience staff and updated the back-end data facilities to bring the Mitel Connect client up to the standards you would want in a modern communication system.

The end of life announcement by ShoreTel provides users with options. While the ShoreTel platform will continue to provide great value, now is the time to consider bundled upgrade options to the cloud or a hybrid option that provides the flexibility of the cloud without having to move your entire infrastructure to a hosted model.

What Is the Mitel Connect?

The Mitel Connect Client runs on mobile devices and provides a complete suite of UCC functionality for your workforce. Mitel offers three types of products – MiCloud Connect which provides robust hybrid or in the cloud communication collaboration services, MiBusiness which offers an onsite option, and MiCloud Flex which provides a private cloud alternative for more advanced enterprise features that live onsite, under your administrative care and in the cloud with advanced applications and collaboration functionality.

Mitel Connect

This new version of the Mitel Connect replaces the existing the former ShoreTel Onsite, Hybrid and Cloud offering all under one umbrella.

ShoreTel and customers on other vendor products who migrate to Connect unlock benefits such as:

  • Enhanced Customer Experiences: Integration with the Mitel Connect Contact Center enables your workforce to foster the most profitable customer relationships, engaging people over the phone, chat, and email.
  • Improved Business Intelligence: Go beyond the typical capabilities of your CRM with advanced applications and integrations into Google Docs, Chrome AutoDailer and Outlook with Mitel Connect.
  • Seamless Collaboration: Take conference calls to new levels of productivity with integrated messaging, web sharing, and video for more effective online meetings.
  • Ubiquitous Access: Your employees will never miss calls because Mitel Connect mobility integrates desk phone functionality with mobile devices. This gives your workforce the tools it needs no matter where work is done.
  • Empowered Mobile Workers: Unlike traditional desktop communications, Mitel Connect delivers advanced features such as visual voicemail, one-click meeting access, secure remote connections, and dynamic switching between WiFi and cell connectivity to your mobile devices.
  • Enterprise UCC Features: In addition to mobile telephony support, the Mitel Connect Client offers many enterprise UCC features such as high-quality video-conferencing, presence/availability statuses, instant messaging, corporate contacts, recent call lists, and more.

Bonus Items for Existing ShoreTel Clients

When migrating to Connect from 14.2, there is a free license upgrade to Essentials Bundle for All Extension & Mailbox license. Connect you also have access to extra features such as:

  • EdgeGateway – The ability to have remote users connect their Connect Client and 400 series phones without the need for VPN.
  • Connect for Mobile
  • Connect Telephony for Microsoft (Skype for Business integration)
  • Connect for Chrome
  • Web/App Dialer
  • Softphone
  • Video License
  • Google Chrome Extension

All of these benefits contribute to the ultimate goal of transforming your business for the digital age. When Mitel first acquired ShoreTel, Frost and Sullivan’s analysts identified the growing need for cloud support:

Regardless if you are a small business owner or the IT director for a Fortune 500 company, digital transforming your organization to leverage business applications in the cloud, connect remote workers, and access collaboration tools that work in and out of the office, can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to mean ripping out everything already in place or stranding investments already made. Companies need a pragmatic blueprint to move to the cloud, and with ShoreTel solutions now part of Mitel’s portfolio, Mitel is better-positioned to offer that kind of rational choice to more businesses.” 

Both implementations of the Mitel Connect Server give you the full breadth of benefits with the Mitel Connect Client included. Additionally, you get service redundancy, high scalability, and deep integrations with software like Salesforce and Microsoft Office.

In either case, you’re getting an enterprise-level communications system. However, choosing between the two deployment options will come down to your unique business/technical needs.

Next Steps for Adopting Mitel Connect

Making a move to Mitel Connect is a matter of evaluating your options and deciding how much flexibility in the cloud, you want and need to meet your business objectives. Security is always a concern, and Blue Fox group offers bundled security packages to ensure not only your phone data is secure but that your entire network is monitored and protected around the clock.

The Mitel/ShoreTel acquisition has given rise to the powerful Mitel Connect UCC solution that businesses of all sizes can benefit from. The only challenge is creating a roadmap for upgrading your existing equipment that’s reaching the end of life.

Want to learn more about the benefits of making the Mitel Connect switch?

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