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In operations since 1996, ShoreTel is one of the longest established providers of VoIP services. Operating on a global spectrum, ShoreTel is widely regarded as chief innovators in digital communications and propriety software and devices, all made possible by venture capital funding.





The Pros

ShoreTel’s primary business mission is to deliver highly reliable and scalable communications services to businesses large and small. ShoreTel Sky, the company’s most popular service, is a managed VoIP platform engineered with 90 feature-rich unified communications functions and calling tools, such as:

  • Automated attendant
  • Rich IVR menus
  • Transcribed voicemails
  • Call forwarding
  • …and more

Each one of these features is provided to ShoreTel customers as part of their value-added premium VoIP service. In addition to Sky, ShoreTel also offers a highly sophisticated premise-based voice switch that delivers comprehensive unified communications uniquely designed for the business world.

Devices are engineered specifically to leverage the power of the Cloud, and ShoreTel controls the first and last mile of service so that its VoIP customers do not need to worry about things like configuration and setup. From the moment a service agreement has been signed, the support team will oversee everything from deployment to complete system support and guarantees superior quality which each feature.

Despite the company’s tightly closed stance on device support, a large number of popular ERP and CRM applications can be easily integrated into the ShoreTel cloud platform. For example, companies relying predominantly on Salesforce can easily link accounts in order to streamline the communications process. As an added bonus, leading Internet browsers, like Google Chrome and Firefox, have the ability to leverage plug-ins to simplify the calling process.

One of the most impressive features is the availability of a highly secure private connection. This private connection gives businesses the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their communications are secure.

The Cons

Customers seeking a black and white cost model may have difficulty finding the information they need simply by browsing the company website. While ShoreTel claims that the majority of their customers pay, on average, $35 dollars per user, it would appear that this price can vary. When compared to many other leading VOIP providers, this is a hefty price tag – even when taking into account the number of feature sets provided.

The closed-source model used for app development and hardware functionality means that customers are met with restrictions when using ShoreTel products and some Cisco devices. For some users, this means that the use of more robust phones can present interoperability challenges.

The Plan

ShoreTel delivers a technologically robust VoIP service suitable for businesses of all sizes. Customers enjoy access to 90+ features and tools.

  • 90+ unified communications features, including automated attendant and voicemail transcription
  • New account setups of 25+ users include free phones
  • Propriety system limits the use of 3rd party systems and applications
  • Mobile apps for desktops and smartphones provides easy access to the main system (based on user privilege)

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While ShoreTel markets their system to businesses of all sizes, it appears that user experiences can vary. For organizations needing to keep costs low, this may not be the most suitable way of receiving the most bang for their buck. The VOIP solution offered is geared towards companies looking for a posh communication platform.

For those businesses maintaining ample resources, and not minding above-average costs, ShoreTel delivers great results. As far as managed VOIP providers go, ShoreTel remains among the elite. Granted their costs exceed most of their competitors, however, few are able to rival them in terms of product quality and support. This is a tangible solution for organizations demanding superiority and expert hands-on support.

Nextiva Features


Use via computer

Use via cellphones

Use via phones

Minutes per Line

Money Back Guarantee

Min. Contract Length

Customer Service Hours

Call Hold

Call Forwarding

Call Logs

Call Transfer

Call Waiting


Custom Tagging

Dial-by-name Directory

Local Number Portability

Music on Hold

Automatic Callback


Call Blocking

Call Conferencing

Multiple Devices on 1 Extension

More Features

Online Backup & Storage

Priority Alert


Push to Talk

Seven-Digit Dialing

Unified Inbox

Outbound Call Control

Outlook Integration

Remote Office

Video on Hold

Virtual Extensions

Call Recording

Group Intercom

Call Queuing (ACD)

Call Groups

Switchboard Software

Internet Fax

Toll Free Number

Virtual Mailbox

Professional Greeting

iOS App Support

Android App Support

Salesforce Integration

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