Although we are best know around the Asia Pacific Region for our great IT Helpdesk and Support team, AINEO start was telephones. Yes, some would say another server on the network, but telephone systems are VERY important to most businesses.
In Japan, the predominant player (and the system AINEO installs the most of) is NEC. NEC systems are great and richer in features and more adaptable to MNCs than their competitors, (Fujitsu, Panasonic, Iwatsu, and several other players). The problem has been that NEC features are not really a good match for international firm. They are great systems, but many times people like to use what they are familiar with in their home country.
Since 2003, AINEO has been looking for an alternative that is good for some of our smaller partners (clients). We soon discovered Avaya’s IP Office. We had some concern as Avaya is known for pulling product from the market, so we watched to see what Avaya Japan would do. Within what seemed to be a year, Avaya pulled the product. Unfortunately, 100 sites were left with little to no support for a dead product.
We continued our search and evaluation and looked at various other product lines,
Altigen– We would not recommend putting your telephone system on Windows at this point. We found many small windows based telephone systems such as this.
Interactive Intelligence– Another Windows-based voice system. More specialized on contact centers.
Siemens– Unfortunately, uses huge adapters to connect to NTT.
Mitel– Seem to be strong in Australia, but near non-existent in Japan.
Intertel– Started out with aggressive sales in the 1990s. We felt their phones need a redesign.
In the last few years we have seen a few brave souls install Asterisk Open Source PBX solutions. But as the telephone system is such an important part of almost any major business, we could not see why you would want an unsupported open source PBX. The vast majority of people agree. In the US, it is mostly LINUX web hosting companies (Asterisk is LINUX based) who are using the system.
Then in early 2007, we discovered ShoreTel. We made contact and June and developed a great relationship with the ShoreTel team. We certified our sales team in April of 2008, and our engineering team in June of 2008. After localization, Alpha, and Beta testing we will begin distributing ShoreTel in Japan with our team of resellers. We will keep you posted as we prepare a great product for the market.