Mitel vs ShoreTel

Many business owners are unsure which Unified Communications (UC) solution to choose, particularly owners of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Mitel and ShoreTel are two companies that offer UC services and they are very similar competitors. They also, however, have very important differences.

  • Unified Communications: The term refers to rerouting communications to reach the recipient through another means, such as using text messaging to respond to voicemail. In this context, UC services enable work to be accomplished off-site, information and tools to be hosted in the cloud and communication to be streamlined.

In this article, we will compare and contrast Mitel and ShoreTel, so you can decide which service is right for your organization. As always, features, plans and pricing are subject to change at any time. If your business is having trouble picking one or the other, this article will help you compare features and make your decision.

UC services can:

  • Provide you with enterprise-grade phone communications technology
  • Help your business build an effective phone system
  • Allow you to communicate with customers and prospects
  • Enable you to develop your own call center using a variety of customizable tools

We will discuss each of these areas, comparing Mitel and ShoreTel for you:

  1. Technology
  2. Support and documentation
  3. Features
  4. Uses
  5. Who’s it for?

1. What is the technology like?

Mitel and ShoreTel both have a variety of hardware choices. Some software integrations are available, too, making it easier to customize Mitel and ShoreTel to your company’s needs.

Mitel

You have your choice of computer-based phones, Mitel hardware or mobile devices. Not all mobile devices are necessarily supported, so you will need to verify that your devices are included on the list. Mitel’s phones support only the Mitel proprietary MiNet protocol, which is something to keep in mind if you ever need to use a different protocol. If you invest in purchasing Mitel equipment, you may stuck with Mitel since your phones are unlikely to work with other UC providers.

ShoreTel

ShoreTel, however, does not necessarily support mobile phones. ShoreTel phones are typically used. ShoreTel phones support the standard SIP protocol and probably will work with other UC providers if you ever decide to switch.

This UC integrates well with a number of popular CRMs, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and applicant tracking systems (ATS).

2. How does the support and documentation compare?

Getting support when you need it is important, and it is particularly vital whenever you have problems with an important system. Your UC system needs to continue functioning properly and you need to get the answers and help you need when something does go wrong.

Mitel

Phone and online support are available if you need questions answered or help with your Mitel service. Unfortunately, Mitel does not offer an online knowledgebase or video tutorials. So, it may be more difficult to solve your own problems with Mitel if you prefer to figure out the solution on your own.

ShoreTel

ShoreTel offers phone and online support for questions and assistance with ShoreTel products. They also have an online knowledgebase and video tutorials. If you are confused about something and need to go online looking for tutorials or knowledgebase help, ShoreTel offers tools that can help you self-educate and solve the problem quickly.

3. Features

When it comes to UC features, there are many similarities and important differences between ShoreTel and Mitel.

  • Active Directory Integration–Mitel: yes, ShoreTel: no
  • CRM Integration–ShoreTel: yes, Mitel: no
  • Call Recording–ShoreTel: yes, Mitel: no
  • Call Routing–Mitel: yes, ShoreTel: no
  • Call Reporting–ShoreTel: yes, Mitel: no
  • Monitoring–Mitel: yes, ShoreTel: no
  • Real Time Data–ShoreTel: yes, Mitel: no
  • Real Time Reporting–ShoreTel: no, Mitel: yes
  • Computer Telephony–ShoreTel: no, Mitel: yes
  • CTI Integration–ShoreTel: no, Mitel: yes
  • Automatic Call Distribution–ShoreTel: yes, Mitel: no

As you can see in the above list, ShoreTel and Mitel have very different features and, in the above areas, there is no overlap. If you are determined to obtain specific features on this list, you should strongly consider picking one UC provider or the other. If call recording is absolutely necessary, for example, you should probably choose ShoreTel since Mitel does not offer that feature. Mitel does offer call routing, but ShoreTel does not. Only ShoreTel offers CRM integration, so if that is important to your business, you probably will not choose Mitel as your UC provider.

4. Uses

Both UC providers offer decent VoIP platforms for your business. You can use either of these providers to establish a business phone system with cloud-based resources, data center support and assistance from professionals to keep your system going if you encounter problems.

5. Who’s it for? Considering Mitel or ShoreTel?

Mitel and ShoreTel both have business clientele, but there is definitely a difference in who most frequently uses these systems. Depending on the size, needs and industry of your business, you may choose Mitel or ShoreTel and find that one company definitely meets your needs better than the other.

We have already considered many different UC provider features and characteristics. If one company does not have the priority features you are looking for, you may overlook other qualities and decide to choose a competitor. Ultimately, the best UC provider for you is the one you are comfortable using. If they offer most of what you need, it may work well for your organization.

A great UC provider may very well be worth the investment, so it does pay to do your own research. Take our advice and shop carefully for the UC service that is right for you. Ask questions, do your homework and do not be afraid to consider the opinions of others. Your own team may also be a source of valuable input.

When shopping, consider these questions:

  • “Is this the right technology for our company?”
  • “Does this provider offer the support and service we need?
  • “What are the full costs of this service? Hidden or recurring costs?”
  • “Can I change providers and keep using the same hardware?”
  • “How is this system maintained, and what are we responsible for?”
  • “How secure is this system?”
  • “How does this vendor prevent downtime in my system?”
  • “What does the licensing look like for this system?
  • “What is the audio quality like?”

Mitel

Mitel is more popular with small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), because Mitel offers a great end-user experience and friendly system tools. Mitel also allows you to use some compatible mobile phones, making the system easier to use for small businesses that want to bring mobile phones into their business phone systems.

Multiple products are needed to use Mitel, making it somewhat harder to scale. In other words, larger enterprises have more difficulty adding a big number of users to Mitel’s systems. When larger companies choose a UC provider, they may be less likely than smaller businesses to opt for Mitel. Mitel is, however, a great investment for many companies looking to get a phone system.

ShoreTel

ShoreTel is very popular among larger enterprises because of the scalability of ShoreTel’s technology. Large numbers of employees can normally use the system without causing significant issues, slowing the system down or causing disruptions. ShoreTel also supports standard SIP protocol, making it easier to keep technology. Large enterprises that already invested in ShoreTel technology can easily switch to another UC provider, making ShoreTel phones a good investment for many companies.

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