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Partners On Board with ShoreTel’s Transformation

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2016 ShoreTelOne Global Partner Conference logo

The 2016 ShoreTelOne Global Partner Conference took place this past week at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Fla. The conference kicked off on Dec. 6 with a keynote speech from ShoreTel CEO Don Joos who shared ShoreTel’s strategic vision for transformation with the hundreds of ShoreTel partners in attendance.

Read the article below, originally published in Channel Partners Online on Dec. 7, 2016, for the reactions of several ShoreTel partners who attended this year's event.

ShoreTelOne Global Partner Conference — ShoreTel’s partners are reacting enthusiastically to the company’s transformation beyond UC and focus on acceleration because their businesses also are changing rapidly.

During Tuesday’s kick-off of the ShoreTelOne Global Partner Conference in Orlando, Florida, Don Joos, ShoreTel’s president and CEO, told partners he was afraid “we were becoming just another app in the network." He outlined the changes taking place to be “more than a phone company and to be a leader."

Eugenia Corrales, ShoreTel’s senior vice president of product, said the four major parts of the company’s product strategy include multipoint video capabilities, a new teamwork mobile app, going live in the United Kingdom with ShoreTel Connect CLOUD, and Google G Suite integration.

“It’s the whole trend along the mobile workstyle — what is that mobile use case for that mobile worker?" she said.

“We’re all excited about where things are going," said Matthew Pingatore, Packet Fusion’s CEO. “The traditional VAR of yesteryear is no longer and if you’re not making the transition to cloud, to UCaaS, even now to communications platform as a service (CPaaS) ... you’re going to get left behind. They (ShoreTel) are looking out for what’s going on and they’re going in the right direction, and we need to follow the manufacturers. So we’re big fans."

Rich Long, ScanSource’s president, said all partners, to some degree, are at various stages of that transformation, “so I think that message resonated."

“Firstly, it was important to know where they are in that transformation, and I think Don (CEO Joos) isolated exactly where they are in that transformation and where they have left to go, what they have left to transition to," he said. “That openness, that genuine side of where they are in that stage, I think that was important for partners to hear. I know it was for us. And then being able to reflect and measure that up with where we are in that transformation because we are going through that same thing."

Pingatore said that, like ShoreTel, Packet Fusion is “uniquely positioned" to transition to the cloud compared to others because it has a large install base.

“I have 700 paying ShoreTel customers that can fuel and fund my transition to this cloud-based OpEx-type payment schedule that doesn’t transition to money as quickly as the CapEx does, and we get to live off our install base until the transition’s done," he said. “It’s very much the same as ShoreTel, so we’re very much aligned on that. We’re taking it head on and hitting it hard on the cloud sales."

ScanSource is on a journey with both its reseller partners and ShoreTel, providing both with what they need for success, Long said.

“ShoreTel needs us to be a little bit more pro-services oriented; they need us to help them with certifications in the field, they need us to help them in sales and marketing a little bit differently than we’ve done in the past," he said. “So some of what we do and invest, and tilt our resources for are in response to what ShoreTel needs and where they’re going, as well as our resellers that we’re supporting."

Joe Rittenhouse, Converged’s president of business development, said his company is “in line and we’re trying to accomplish the same thing" as ShoreTel.

“So we’ve deployed ShoreTel Summit applications, we’ve hired developers and we’re looking forward to that next chapter of what’s going to come on to layer on top of the ShoreTel portfolio," he said. “It’s been different. We’ve had to look at it from a totally different angle. You have to look at it from a disruptive point of view and understand that you have to get outside your normal comfort zone … to understand that things are changing, customers are demanding more and more, and the business analytics are getting more and more in depth and are driving that business."

Last week, ShoreTel announced PartnerStart, a new program that allows partners to take ownership of the installation process for ShoreTel Connect CLOUD customers.

Heather Tenuto, ShoreTel’s vice president of global go-to-market strategy and programs, said “clearly the market is demanding different kinds of solutions, so it’s not enough for ShoreTel to build different solutions, we have to take our channel with us."

“Along with coming to market with things like Summit and Connect, and PartnerStart, we’re working with our channel to make sure they can capitalize on those opportunities and turn them into revenue for them as well," she said. “If they need to do some changes to their business model, which we all know cloud has forced them to do, we want to help them on that journey and provide them with the resources they need to make the transformation with us."

View photos from the 2016 ShoreTelOne Global Partner Conference here.

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