IBM Lotus Foundations and ShoreTel (3-22-10)

3-22-10 IBM Lotus Foundations and ShoreTel “UCC-in-a-Box” Integrated Communications and Collaboration Solution

Highlights: ShoreTel is teaming up with IBM Lotus Foundations to debut a new unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solution for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with 500 or fewer phone lines at VoiceCon. This “UCC-in-a-box” solution will be available in Q2 2010, and integrates ShoreTel’s IP-based communications technology with the IBM Lotus Sametime unified collaboration platform. It offers comprehensive UCC functionality, including mobility, security, email, presence, instant messaging and advanced IP telephony with automatic backup and autonomic self-healing and management capabilities. SMBs can set up the solution with a few clicks—and without any IT expertise. Autonomic self-healing and self-managing features eliminate infrastructure management hassles.

Quick Take: I’ve been following Lotus Foundations for a while and have been impressed with it. Caleb Barlow from IBM Lotus provided me with a live demo of the UCC in a box solution it at Lotusphere in January, and it really is drop dead simple to deploy and use. Everything is automatically integrated, so when you add a user, you automatically add that user on both the appliance and PBX, and the basic PBX features and functions are configured autonomically. Users can self-configure their phones by plugging into an Ethernet jack. Once up and running, users see an integrated interface with everything they need to communicate and collaborate. For instance, they can dial directly from Sametime, Notes or contacts, see if co-workers are available, view and manage voicemail, and log and manage calls. The two-chassis solution is redundant, so if one goes down the other keeps working. SMBs will be able to buy the solution from ShoreTel VARs, IBM Foundations and Lotus VARs and telcos. IBM is also continuing an aggressive push to recruit more Microsoft-centric VARs to the fold.

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