ShoreTel Reveals Bullish Plans for Europe

By Sara Driscoll  |  Print this article Print


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The IP PBX vendor looks to replicate U.S. growth in Europe through its unified communications strategy.

ShoreTel is planning for aggressive growth in Europe, with hopes of mirroring its U.S. strategy in the region.

The IP PBX provider is looking to more than triple growth in Europe, according to Mark Swendsen, managing director EMEA.

"We want to be the equivalent size in the UK and Europe that we are in the U.S.," he said in an interview with eWEEK. "We have very aggressive targets for where we want to be within the next four years. We want to grow our channel to enable us to this do and double our number of partners by next July."

Swendsen said the vendor is looking for an additional 20 top-tier VARs to enable the company to cover Europe. "We are not looking for data-specific or voice-specific resellers, but partners who want to make the transition into the VOIP [voice over IP] sector and the convergence space and we are planning to invest heavily in resources to enable us to do this," he said.

Although in the United States ShoreTel has a direct relationship with its VARs, in Europe the company is distributed by Horizon and Cohort Technology.

Simon Welch, marketing director at Horizon UK, said Horizon intends to drive the vendor's offering hard in the UK.

"We are taking a unified communications approach to this and right now there is a cracking opportunity here," he said. "We're looking for the IP PBX resellers, but more vitally for the partners that can see the opportunity with unified communications, especially tied into Microsoft's Office Communications Server [OCS]."

Welch added that OCS will be the real trigger for this market.

"Most of the vendors have stopped their own software development to work directly with Microsoft on OCS," he said.

For its fiscal year 2007, which ended June 30, ShoreTel revenues were $97.8 million, up 59 percent over the previous year. The company generated $6 million in profits, a jump over the $4 million it garnered in 2006.

Sara Driscoll began her journalism career at 16 years old on her local newspaper, The Watford Observer. Working part time, she covered a range of beats. Leaving to complete her Journalism Degree at Bournemouth University, UK, Sara then went on to graduate and work for Emap. She began as a reporter on APR, Emap's construction title, being promoted to senior reporter with a year.Sara then joined VNU Business Publications as Deputy News Editor on CRN, the weekly trade title for channel players. She covered industry/business news from vendors, distributors and resellers, product announcements, partner announcements as well as market and trend analysis, research and in depth articles to predict up and coming trends in the sector. She was promoted within a year to News Editor, a year later to Deputy Editor and the following year became Editor. Sara remained editor of CRN for three years, launching the magazine on new platforms including CRN TV and eBooks, as well as several magazine and web site redesigns. She was called on for expert industry comment from various publications including appearing on live BBC news programs. Sara joined Ziff Davis Enterprise as Editor of eWeek Channel Insider. She runs the title in all formats – online up to the minute news, newsletters, emails alerts and events. She also manages the brand of Channel Insider in all formats - events, shows, awards, panel debates and roundtables.Sara can be reached at:sara.driscoll@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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