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UC recap: ShoreTel, HP and Ingram Micro partner on hosted UC service

In this week's recap, ShoreTel, HP and Ingram Micro have partnered to create a hosted UC service aimed at SMBs, while analysts discuss collaboration vendor relationships and Polycom's first quarter performance.

ShoreTel, Ingram Micro and HP have partnered to create a hosted UC service offering for small and mid-size businesses. The platform will be sold through Ingram Micro's channel partner network and include ShoreTel cloud services and HP routers and switches.

"This is HP's first offering for the ShoreTel Sky cloud solution and will help SMB customers realize benefits including ease of management, increased efficiency and lower costs," said Bob Johnson, vice president of HP Networking Americas. He said the service will complement the existing premises-based HP-ShoreTel UC offering.

The service will be called HP Networking for ShoreTel Solutions and will be available in the third quarter this year.

Evaluating collaboration service vendors

Analyst Jon Arnold discusses how an organization's vendor relationship can impact collaboration adoption. Enterprises will find that most collaboration service providers do not have "organically developed" collaboration platforms, rather platforms grown from standalone applications. As a result, enterprises may find their vendors need them to conform to their offerings, instead of the offerings conforming to business needs, he writes.

Enterprises must take a new approach to selecting a vendor and carefully evaluate how well a collaboration service provider understands the need for collaboration to drive business outcomes. There are vendors who have done a good job of developing platforms that can give enterprises what they need from employees, Arnold writes.

Read more about how the cloud can improve collaboration platform management.

Polycom revenue weak, despite solid financials

Andrew Davis, Wainhouse Research senior partner, discusses Polycom's financial performance in the first quarter. He writes that Polycom had a solid financial performance, despite weak revenue. He cites the first quarter revenue decrease from the fourth quarter of 2014 as a seasonality effect that is common in the video game industry. Polycom had an overall solid bottom line thanks to cost cutting and product mix shifts.

However, sales of UC group systems, which make up the majority of Polycom's business, were weak. He writes that in Polycom's conference call, the company admitted to having weak sales in the Americas, particularly Canada and Brazil, due to losing market share to Cisco.

Read more about what Davis thinks could be affecting Polycom's revenue growth.

Next Steps

Ten questions to ask potential collaboration service providers

Cisco collaboration platform lures SMBs

Dig Deeper on Unified Communications Architecture and Service Models

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Did the ShoreTel-HP-Ingram Micro partnership surprise you? Why or why not?
Since HP has been and still is pursing the policies off outsourcing, offshoring and just plain discrimination  this does not surprise me at all.  A lot of small businesses distrust hosted systems because these businesses distrust the hosting system because the hosting systems do not really care about them, they only seem to care about them selves and not have the best interests of the small company in mind.  This is something as a consultant that has to go in and repair things that I see all the time.