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Smartphone Unified Communications

HP, ShoreTel Make Midmarket Unified Communications Upgrade Push

ShoreTel and Hewlett-Packard Co. have jointly promoted a midmarket unified communications upgrade effort to selected customers since about May of this year. Based on that early work, I’m curious to see if or how Hewlett-Packard’s enterprise team expands the ShoreTel relationship to reach more midmarket customers worldwide.

Under a May agreement, HP has been providing services solutions across ShoreTel’s entire product suite, including technical architecture, consulting, outsourcing and support services. Take a closer look, and you’ll discover that HP bundles its networking hardware with some of the ShoreTel customer wins.

The twist? The HP-ShoreTel deal inked in May focuses mostly on the Australia market. Overall, the unified communications market appears ripe in Australia. Roughly 32 percent of midmarket businesses plan to deploy UC systems in 2015, and 90 percent of Australian businesses don’t have such a system in place, according to Telsyte.

Bigger Plans?

I think the HP-ShoreTel dance in Australia could trigger additional activities worldwide. HP has spent the past two years preparing to split into two companies — Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (servers, storage, networks, etc.) and HP Inc. (PCs and printers). On the enterprise side of the house, HP has faced intense competition from traditional hardware rivals plus new competition from cloud infrastructure providers.

HP’s enterprise business has some history in the voice market, part of which dates back to the 3Com buyout of 2009. Still, ShoreTel’s solutions — available both on-premises and as a cloud service — could bolster HP in a growth market at a time when HP is struggling to grow organically.

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