Telephone systems have come a long way from the days of picking up a receiver on a wall mounted phone and ringing a local operator who patches you through to various destinations. Telephones have really evolved from electrical signals to electronics. From the analog phones of yesteryear to the digital and now prevalent IP phones we see globally from Cisco, NEC, Avaya, Mitel, ShoreTel, Aastra, and many others.
AINEO recognized the innovation of California-based ShoreTel and brought the product to Japan. AINEO localized the product for Japan with the ShoreTel development team in the US to connect to Japanese carries. AINEO officially introduced ShoreTel to Japan in 2008.
In 2010, AINEO was the first company to implement ShoreTel’s mobility solution. This was not just the first in Japan but also the first implementation in all of Asia Pacific.
What is mobility?
Mobility has different definitions to different suppliers in different industries. To software firms like Citrix Systems, mobility means using your devise to access your computer desktop or servers. To telephony suppliers, mobility means your desktop on your smartphone or tablet computer to telecom equipment providers. In some cases it even includes desktops.
ShoreTel mobility is software and hardware that connects to a ShoreTel system. It is a not a simple implementation as most ShoreTel distributors have found. Training for both technical and sales team members is time consuming with challenging testing.
AINEO began using ShoreTel Mobility extensively in Japan in 2012. ShoreTel Mobility allows a user to get their extension on their device. In short, that means you can get your landline number on your smartphone and run your telephone over the packet services of your iPhone, Android, or Blackberry devices. Therefore instead of using a mobile Japan number prefixed by a 090 or 080 number that is more expensive to call from and to, you can enjoy the same rates as if you are sitting at your desk.
What are the general benefits?
Call coworkers for free by extension to extension calls
Reduce mobile carrier calling plans to minimum and run all calls through cheaper land lines.
Use your local number when traveling abroad or other cities and eliminate IDD (international direct dial) calls and high long distance charges
Cut back on number of IP or digital phones in the office space and just run app on iOS, Android, or other devices.
Using ShoreTel Mobility is a business life changer. No more PHS or other proprietary wireless phones necessary in office.
Is it all peaches and cream?
There are drawbacks to mobility. For example, you are reliant on having good internet access. AINEO found with iPhone 4, 4s and other three 3G related smartphones, the carrier services were somewhat sketchy. Softbank Mobile, KDDI’s AU, and even the best coverage at NTT Docomo weren’t good enough. In our tests we found AU to have the best connectivity.
Now with LTE, things have changed. If you run the service on a Samsung Galaxy 4 or Apple iPhone 5 or better the connectivity dramatically improved. Our tests showed the best carriers in Japan were KDDI’s AU and NTT Docomo. Softbank Mobile was a bit spotty, especially outside of metropolitan areas.
If you are looking for a mobility solution, the ShoreTel offering is a great contender. The beauty is that it works with every major IPT/PBX vendor such as Cisco, Avaya and Mitel switches. Its just a matter of having a certified ShoreTel Japan installer implementing connecting the router to your equipment.
You can implement ShoreTel Mobility at your company or even go hosted with AINEO’s iPBX Hosting services mobility application and avoid all the initial installation and equipment costs. It’s wireless and running over an internet that is best effort so Mobility from any supplier is not always perfect, but ShoreTel’s Mobility is a very good choice for minimizing corporate expenses and better communications with your team… wherever they are on the planet. That’s all with internet access of course.