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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.

Please Note: This site IS NOT owned, funded, or managed by ShoreTel/Mitel, Inc. although you may find ShoreTel/Mitel employees sharing there experiences and expertise. If you would like more information on ShoreTel/Mitel systems, contact BTX at [email protected]

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  • Honest opinion of Shore tel system

    Hi all,
    First time poster whose company is thinking of moving to a Shore tel system when our office moves in June. We are an architectural firm of 32 employees, and are not a phone intensive business. Currently we are using an old Inter tel access system over a Cbeyond T1 VOIP system.

    But enough about me and my company, I want to hear about you and your company's experience with Shore tel. I want to hear it all. The good, the bad and the ugly.

    Thanks for all the feedback you can give me.

    John B

  • #2
    Honestly, coming from an analog phone system to Shortel Voip system was like a breath of fresh air. Administration is so easy and pretty straight forward. This is just me, but we haven't had any major issues since we installed a year ago. 40+ handsets and a T1 1.5M up and down, Surveying company. I can't, however, compare it to other voip systems as this is the first one I have ever worked with.

    Our ISP on the other hand doesn't play nicely with it and we've been in a battle with them for about a year to get one of the features to work properly(Caller ID forwarded outside of our office (any number not on our list of DID's will not get forwarded, the digits i mean, the call with go though but just say "Unknown")).

    I would definately recommend the system. However, it is rather expensive.


    • #3
      I came into an already established ShoreTel environment, but it was setup by a less than competent consultant firm who quickly went under. It's a mess to clean up, and I will agree with the ease of administration, but the support leaves much to be desired.

      It could have a lot to do with the isolation of the area, but our vendor is 2 1/2hours away. ShoreTel (Corporate) seems to be ok, but I am stuck with going through the local service provider. Nice guys, but they have their hands full, and it effects their abilities to "be on top of things". I'm also still on an older version that the vendor is not framiliar with, so I'm trying to schedule an upgrade for the slow times.

      All in all, I would say that ShorTel could be a good solution for a smaller company, who doesn't want to dump the money into Cisco, Avaya, Noretel, etc.


      • #4

        I doubt you would be anything other than extremely happy. We came from a vodavi system and it has been wonderful.

        We have found that support can be a bit slow at times... especially with software bugs.


        • #5
          I won't reply, I'm biased

          Okay, maybe I will reply. We were a Cisco CME dealer. Once we picked up Shoretel, we dropped CME like a hot potato. We recently entertained bringing onboard a second manufacturer for smaller sites (Allworx or ESI, etc) but decided we love and trust Shoretel too much to get mixed up in anything else. Shoretel is just so easy, I don't want to deal with something that's complex or doesn't work right.

          We are a Shoretel customer and Reseller, with 2 locations and some virtual employees.
          Last edited by Forum; 04-09-2008, 01:03 PM.


          • #6
            We have done quite a number of installations (been selling Shoretel for about 3 years now) ranging from 10 users to over 1200 users and single site to multi-site. We don't have a single customer who isn't ecstatic about the system. Every single one of our accounts is referencable and are happy to talk to other people going through the decision making process on a phone system.

            We only carry one phone system.

            *Obviously you should consider me a bias source given that we sell Shoretel and I am also a shareholder.


            • #7
              We used to have three separate phone systems each in our different offices. While I was in charge of the largest of them I was terrified of it since it was so darn complicated. We knew we wanted to unify all the offices on one IP based system and looked at just about everything. In the end we chose Shoretel and I couldn't be happier. The system is a dream to administer and even upgrades/upgrades are easy.

              We had our fair share of issues to begin with but the reseller was great and we worked through everything. I sometimes feel bad for these guys (our reseller) becasue the system works so well and is so easy that we rarely need to call them for any support or services.


              • #8
                ShoreTel won't be your issue, the system is great. It lives up to all the promises of ease of admin, ease of use, etc. The important thing to remember (and it's been highlighted above indirectly) is that your relationship is with the reseller. Satisfy yourself that your reseller will provide the service levels you expect and then go for it without regret.

                * I work for a reseller and when I hear of one that hasn't maintained the high standards we strive for and ShoreTel expects it really annoys me.


                • #9
                  Simply Its A Great System!


                  • #10
                    I bet my IT position on ShoreTel, So far I'm still here

                    So far ShoreTel has delivered.

                    The Risk:
                    I bet my IT position on ShoreTel & so far Iím still employed. The company employee feedback to the Execís has all been good & everyone likes the ShoreTel system and satisfied with the implementation.

                    The Business Requirement:
                    As the sole IT manager for a small company, I was tasked with upgrading our two legacy analog phone systems at our two hazmat chemical manufacturing sites with a single enterprise phone system. Bring down two receptionist managed phone systems & replace it with a single receptionist enterprise phone system.

                    The Decision:
                    I had an open technology RFP, and received traditional & VOIP system proposals. ShoreTel wasnít the lowest bidder, but I reasoned was the best technical solution. I was not up on VOIP technology, but read up enough to determine that the technology was mature enough to bet the next decade on itís implementation.

                    The ShoreTel:
                    3 ShoreTel 120/24 switches, 1 ShoreTel T1, 70 phone ports total, PCM, Workgroups, Hunt groups, current analog phones in the plants, IP120ís, IP110ís in the offices & 1 - IP560 w/4 BB24 operator station. 1 PRI, 1 T1-VPN, 1 T1- MPLS WAN with failover, Voip 802.1Q Vlans w/tagging. AT&T Cisco edge routing managed ISP (VPN & COS MPLS WAN), Juniper SSG-5 Firewall, Dell 3424P, Linksys SRW224-G4P, SRW208P managed POE switches.

                    The Converged Data Network:
                    I had to in-house design and implement a wan network upgrade to support the VOIP converged data network. I also took down some wireless lan segments and put in an OSP fiber plant at one site, and keep analog phones at the other site's wireless lan segment on an existing analog plant. I plan as an add-on to test crossing the one site's wireless lan segment with a bridged managed switch envelop and place IP230 & IP115in some of the remote manufacturing plant offices.

                    Somehow I pulled it off myself with a little final outsourced Vlan implementation. Also to tested the network and prep for ShoreTelís mandatory network assessment testing before the final ShoreTel on-site install & production implementation.

                    The Set-up:
                    Myself, with the help of the ShoreTel account manager & ShoreTelís Technical Support over the phone pre-installed and configured 90% of the system. Played with the system in-house for a few months in a parallel configuration, better hands-on then any training. Actually I never did finished the Web cast administrator training, plus I delivered user training sessions pre-ShoreTel onsite training myself.

                    Production Switchover:
                    The ShoreTel on-site implementation only took 2 days per site which included 4 user training sessions. Most of the implementation was call flow programming plus the ShoreTel Tech helped with some of the paging & analog punch down tasks, which were my responsibility and not part of ShoreTelís SOW.

                    The Result:
                    AAA+++ rating for ShoreTel, Well above the call of duty.

                    The Hindsight:
                    Donít implement VOIP, until you get the network & Wan design & implementation tested & verified to be bulletproofed.

                    ShoreTel has some good VOIP network design whitepapers, but the network design, your legacy paging & analog punch down up to the Telco demarcations is your baby, your resellerís or your outsourced vendors.

                    With just a little AT&T/ ShoreTel partnership technical advise, I was able to do alot of the effort inhouse at a considerable cost savings.

                    Outsourcing alone could cost double vs. the total hardware cost.

                    I also put in place an long range alternate wireless solution at the one site.
                    We have some night shift security guards that were watching a strobe light and listening to a night ringer to answer the phones for after hour calls. I couldnít find any intrinsically safe wireless phones needed for the hazmat areas, and the total plant area to be covered was about 800 acres. What I used were long range analog cordless phones. The EnGenius DuraFon 1X phone covers 3000 open acres, the guards just keep the phone is their truck while on their rounds. Also at the other site I use a Philips 6.0 Dect Cordless Phone, good 300í range, inside and outside of buildings.

                    Mark Showacre
                    Information Service Manager
                    Orion Safety Products


                    • #11
                      Shoretel strengths:

                      It's an easy way to get into a voip system without requiring a lot of technical knowledge. Moves/Adds/Changes are fairly quick and simple. There's a lot of low-hanging fruit (voicemail into email, call handling, etc) that most users will take advantage of and appreciate. The interface is about as user-friendly as you'll get for a complex system. We've had the system four years now, and we'd buy it again.

                      Shoretel weaknesses:
                      Their channel strategy is a complete disaster. They seem to be an organization focused on the technology, and not the sales, and it has hurt them. Choose your reseller *wisely*, because if they abandon you/Shoretel, Shoretel will leave you holding the rope. I speak from experience.

                      Technically, you won't be getting cutting edge stuff - that's Cisco's ballgame. You'll need to wait for things to trickle down. Which is fine, most people don't need/want cutting edge in regards to dial tone.


                      • #12
                        sorry to dig up and old thread. Over here at the moment and i am very impressed with our companys shoretel system.

                        Back in the UK i have used various BT and Nortel Systems but this seems much better and is much much cheaper


                        • #13
                          I Agree with JLear and Showacre

                          I have to agree with Jlear and Showacre, their comments were right on the money.

                          We moved from brand-x to ShoreTel about 1-1/2 years ago and we've never thought about going back.

                          The Good is that it does everything that it promises.

                          The Bad is that it might seem to your management that the startup expense is high but the total cost of ownership is actually very low compared to others.

                          The Ugly is like JLear said, a bad reseller/installer can impact your career. Picking ShoreTel is the easy part, picking the installer is the hard part.

                          We have two staff members who have gotten their ShoreTel Certified Installer certificates and we get our support directly from ShoreTel. And we are extremely happy campers.

                          Good Luck,

                          Last edited by Bzawlocki; 01-05-2009, 05:44 PM.


                          • #14
                            Simply the best of breed

                            I got my introduction to VOIP on a Tadiran PBX as an add-on, and after that fun took on a Cisco VOIP deployment. The Tadiran integration was clunky at best and unreliable at the worst, not to mention very expensive as well as typical to legacy telephony, completely proprietary.

                            The Cisco was a small deployment for a single department for 15 users that ran in excess 100k for the equipment, and the setup and management was akin to running ones teeth along the curb on a daily basis. I am still in therapy from the Cisco project.

                            We just rolled out a Shortel system at 5 sites using a variety of connectivity and to this point has been painless, and less than half the cost of the Cisco.
                            We replaced 1 Nortel, and 4 separate Toshiba PBX systems. Our deployment included 2 SG-90 and 3 SG-50, with about 60 phones at the 5 sites. I would and do recommend ShoreTel to anyone looking to change their current legacy PBX or VOIP systems.


                            • #15
                              I have been installing and supporting ShoreTel systems in the uk for nearly 2and a half years and would select them everyday of the week and twice on Sunday's.

                              As a IT man with 20 years experience in Networking and Comms the ShoreTel system has been designed to integrate very easily with the network.

                              I wouldn't choose any other system.