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This site was created as a place to share stories, tips, and troubleshooting help with ShoreTel/Mitel systems. ShoreTel/Mitel is obviously the MOST exciting VoiP platform on the market right now, and we realized there was no centralized place to discuss this platform, but now there is. Please feel free to join and share your experiences.

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  • Support - get it from vendor or from ST?

    Hi all. I am new to ShoreTel and just about to purchase the system for our bank home office and then the branches. We turned down Cisco as being just too expensive over the short and long haul.

    We are thinking about going with a five year support contract with our local vendor, who provides 8x5x4 hr support.

    Is there a different/better option with ST directly? Should I be looking at a 24x7 contract with them? I wonder if I should drop back to a 1 year support contract with my local vendor and then investigate my options a year from now?

    Also, if I do contract with my local vendor, does ShoreTel then "step back" from the picture (at the expense of their expertise perhaps?)?

    Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get the best information. After dealing with the vendors on this, my brain is frazzled...

    Thanks,

    Greg

  • #2
    support

    We have only had partner support, so I cannot compare the two for you.

    However, I can tell you that partner support can be VERY frustrating at times. Once you have partner support, shoretel won't even talk to you anymore. I think that this is complete ridiculous. You end up relaying questions through the vendor, and much gets lost in the translation.

    We have had several occasions where our vendor comes on site, calls shoretel, and sits on the phone with them while they troubleshoot things....a couple of days will go by, and shoretel wants to do some more tests, will they talk to you? Nope. You have to schedule another call with the vendor and have them come back on site to "troubleshoot" (Open a remote session).

    Want a status update? Call the vendor. Vendor calls shoretel. Shoretel calls back vendor. Vendor calls you back. 3 day round trip.

    I really think that while the partner should be the *Primary* means of support, that customers should be able to call shoretel directly for things if they think it is necessary.

    No way in hell would I sign a 5 year partner support contract. Too much can happen to a partner in 1 year, much less 5.

    We really like our vendor and do not want to switch away from partner support, but the decision would be a lot easier if Shoretel would be a little more flexible. I just spent 100k+ on the system and couldn't talk to a support engineer at shoretel for ANYTHING.

    I think partner support is your best bet, especially for the first year. Having someone local is worth its weight in gold. I do think that 5 years is way to long though.... I also don't like the idea of no 24x7 support for a new installation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Did you have 24x7 on your last system? Does 24x7 cover the server if something where to happen or is it just phones and shoretel switches?
      Five years seems a little much, but a one year is the right way to go. I work for a partner, so I know the customers gets frustrated sometimes. My company has experience with the ShoreTel system (sense 2002) so we don't have to get on the phone with tech support for much, but we occasinally do. The other option is going direct with ShoreTel, but there is something nice about have someone local and to have the presser on their shoulders.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's worth mentioning that if one buys enterprise support one can buy hardware/software directly from CDW and one can get direct access to Shoretel documentation.

        In my opinion, if you have spare time and need to address phone issues quickly enterprise support might be a better choice.

        Personally we have small IT department and need local support. Even though vendor takes it's time to work on the problem (months had passed and we have no fix, just workarounds) we need them.


        mr-s
        Last edited by mr-s; 02-19-2008, 02:23 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Going with partner or enterprise can be a tough decsion.

          Whichever way you go you will be dealing with your Partner. Enterprise is sold through a partner. Enterprise is not cheap either.

          For me it all comes down to the Partner and there level of competency. I have seen some great ones and a few that have lots of room for improvement.

          Is the Partner a Data VAR installing Shoretel or are they a PBX VAR installing a Shoretel? I would much rather have the Data VAR.
          Are you willing to pay T&M for onsite support if needed, Shoretel just ships you the parts to replace.
          There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that donít.

          Comment


          • #6
            I started to think about this after I first read it, and then I did a little research. Our company has not had a Service Request opened with Shoretel since 10-17-2007. We only have 1 customer on Enterprise, and oddly enough, they've never had to use it.

            I think it all comes down to the partner and how technically savvy they are. We are an IT organization selling VoiP. We get it. I've had several customers purchase based on our knowledge of the system, and the ability to answer just about any question in the Demo, no matter how technical.

            To me, Partner > Enterprise for organizations that rely on outside IT firms for there network (or with lower level admins running the show)

            and Enterprise > Partner when you plan on managing the system 100% yourself, have an IT department, and maybe even rolling out a few sites.

            Charles

            Comment


            • #7
              Vendor vs ST

              Originally posted by southeasternMI
              Did you have 24x7 on your last system? Does 24x7 cover the server if something where to happen or is it just phones and shoretel switches?
              Five years seems a little much, but a one year is the right way to go. The other option is going direct with ShoreTel, but there is something nice about have someone local and to have the presser on their shoulders.
              The five years leaves the support directly in the vendor's hands and locks in our cost for maintenance contract (priority handling) during that period.

              As for 24x7 support on my last system, (Comdial BTW) it was a different business and didn't really need it. However, this vendor explains that they have on call support after hours billed at time and a half. They way it works for after hours support is the vendor eats the regular time support costs and they bill us for the 'half' portion of the time and a half support.

              I figure that's a decent gamble such that when our system is down, it has at least a 33% chance of being down during the day versus after hours.

              Greg

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree it all comes down to the partner and how technically savvy they are. Hula Networks is an IT organization selling VoiP. We have over 36 years combined experience and we understand it. Our engineering staff is not only well certified on Shoretel products but on all of our lines including Cisco, Juniper, Adtran, Bluecoat, Riverbed, A10, Force10 and many more. We have Cisco certified CCIE's on staff that can help you with every portion of your network from you LAN, SAN, Routing, Switching, security, WAN acceleration, and much much more.

                We pride ourselves on our ability to support you at any level anywhere.

                Enterprise support is all done out of CA from HQ thus if you want onsite support make sure you set up a relationship with a good partner.


                Joe
                Direct 650-625-4107
                Fax 650-625-4101
                [email protected]
                Last edited by Hula Networks; 05-30-2008, 11:44 PM. Reason: bad url

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know this is an older thread, but i thought I would ad some incite to this great question.

                  First Charles and Joe from Hula really nailed it down, "I need to be careful here"

                  It is interesting coming from the Internal side, I spoke to both Enterprise and Partner support. It is a tough situation to be in, I am not sure what I can say or cannot. I can tell you how frustrating it was not to support a customer who is expecting 3rd party support from a enterprise contract and understood how frustrated they are.

                  From a liability standpoint, we worked on "ShoreTel" and would not touch or recommend. I know that was equally frustrating to the customer. My suggestion to anyone would be.

                  Tour your prospective Partner or Service Channel, Understand what you get for Enterprise. There are Thousands of Honest and Hard working Partners Like Hula and Archer Group who have a great reputation and they also know the bad ones

                  So Enterprise vs Partner Support? I suggest you ask ShoreTel for a score card, for Enterprise, it is a matter of do you have a Person / Persons who can understand, administer and deploy a VOIP system on your network? If you do not, thats where I come in

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One of the major sticking points I have with Partner support is that one of my proposed vendors won't give me access to the Shoretel Knowledge Base directly. I'm a pretty technical guy, and want to be able to tech out my own problems and reference documentation when needed. How important is the knowledge base and access to it? Should I press my partner for access?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jmjstevens View Post
                      One of the major sticking points I have with Partner support is that one of my proposed vendors won't give me access to the Shoretel Knowledge Base directly. I'm a pretty technical guy, and want to be able to tech out my own problems and reference documentation when needed. How important is the knowledge base and access to it? Should I press my partner for access?
                      I can understand your frsutration, I would press your company to go Enterprise, then approach your reseller for the Enterprise contract

                      the Enterprise give you access to KB, download for software, RMA and direct call in to TAC and more.

                      Now with that said, understand as Partner support, if they give you access to the KB articles and such what is next on the request list?

                      Get my drift, To be Enterprise, You also have to be Trained / Certified on the administration of the system (I believe that is part of the Enterprise contract as well) Dont hold me to that.

                      It is the way the Tiered support program works and each Partner / Reseller agrees to with ShoreTel. If a reseller / partner breaches or is found breaching this, they can and have been dismissed as resellers

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Let's clarify...

                        The Shoretel knowledgebase is less than a year old. Originally, only Enterprise support customers could access it. Shoretel has changed that policy, and ALL NEW Shoretel Customers can get access. If you are an existing "partner support" customer, you can contact your partner to get the Partners Customer login information.

                        Hope this helps
                        Charles

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Charles View Post
                          Let's clarify...

                          The Shoretel knowledgebase is less than a year old. Originally, only Enterprise support customers could access it. Shoretel has changed that policy, and ALL NEW Shoretel Customers can get access. If you are an existing "partner support" customer, you can contact your partner to get the Partners Customer login information.

                          Hope this helps
                          Charles
                          Indeed? Excellent. Thanks so much Charles.

                          I have not yet purchased Shoretel, but am leaning that way.

                          Now the rubber hits the road. How do I prove to my partner that I should have this access? Is there any Shoretel documetnation to this effect, or should I call someoen at Shoretel and talk to them and have them contact my prospective partner?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Charles View Post
                            Let's clarify...

                            The Shoretel knowledgebase is less than a year old. Originally, only Enterprise support customers could access it. Shoretel has changed that policy, and ALL NEW Shoretel Customers can get access. If you are an existing "partner support" customer, you can contact your partner to get the Partners Customer login information.

                            Hope this helps
                            Charles

                            Charles,
                            Sorry, unless ST has changed this policy since i left two weeks ago, then this is incorrect "Partially"

                            The Knowledge base and some documents are availabel to the General public. With Enterprise you get access to the KB, and in the KB many articles are established for Internal Only, INternal / Partner only and Internal / Partner / Enterprise

                            There are a few levels. In the KB search or doc search if you see a Locked Lock, this is indicating two things, One you have not logged in, or two your logged in and do not have access to that level doc.

                            Hope it helps clear things up, there is a reason why ST locks the KB and Documents.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jmjstevens View Post
                              Indeed? Excellent. Thanks so much Charles.

                              I have not yet purchased Shoretel, but am leaning that way.

                              Now the rubber hits the road. How do I prove to my partner that I should have this access? Is there any Shoretel documetnation to this effect, or should I call someoen at Shoretel and talk to them and have them contact my prospective partner?
                              BUy a Enterprise Contract on your ShoreTel Purchase, you will not get direct access as a non Shoretel customer or simply because you have asked for it. Believe me it will not happen

                              If your "Yet to be Partner" will not offer or sell Enterprise Contracts, then contact SHoreTel Direct and ask for a Partner in your area who will. Many partners only sell Enterprise, many partners do not.

                              I can as a non anybody now at ST do a search say for DNIS and get the following DNIS Search I think personally ShoreTel does a good job at allowing material out. Yes some of it is a pain, but ask yourself, would I give away free what I can add as a value to a contract for incentive.

                              I used to get calls from 3rd party (Non ShoreTel) resellers wanting app notes and access to the KB articles. they also demanded I help them, My question back is, would you offer free service to a non participating entity and how would your "PAYING" customers feel about that?

                              The Universe will have its order
                              Last edited by Jlorenz; 07-03-2008, 08:07 AM.

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