ShoreTel Mobility 8 will be released on Tuesday, for Resellers or enterprise support customers. The Server downloads are ready now, but the clients will not make their way to the app stores until Tuesday.
The upgrade contains these main features:
- Virtualised ShoreTel Mobility
- Mobile Video Calls
- Control your Mobile from Communicator on your computer.
Virtualised ShoreTel Mobility
Like the rest of the ShoreTel portfolio, Mobility has now become virtualised. It is not replacing the hardware platform, it is an ‘and/or’ solutions. It scales up to 1000 users so is in the same league as the mobility router 4000. If you already have a Mobility router then there is very little to gain by moving to the virtulised version, but as a new mobility customer this is the way to go. The server license with 10 clients costs £1,271.00. The basic hardware version would cost £3,258 and for the hardware, which could scale to the same max number of users costs £4,570. (At this point I am unsure if these hardware prices include any client license costs at £96 per a user)
Once the server is installed the licensing stays the same, you just buy client licenses as you need them, this is a small shame as there is no 45 day grace period, like other ShoreTel licensed products, removing the option of offering a 45 day trail to customers.
Mobile Video Calls
For most ShoreTel mobility users, this is the big one. With the release of ShoreTel mobility 8, video calls from the mobile are introduced. The video calls will only be Peer-to-peer (so, two party video calls). At present it only works with IOS and Android phones. I am not sure what the future plans are for other platforms. You will be able to do
- Mobile to Mobile Video Calls.
- Mobile to desktop communicator video calls
- MobiletoMultipoint Conference Unit (MCU)
- These currently include LifeSize UVC Multipoint and Polycom RMX . However ShoreTel says that they are going to start supporting Standards (so Sip/h323) not vendors, so this list is going to get bigger.
This feature will be enabled as soon as you upgrade and tick the ‘allow video calls’ boxes in the user group profile. No additional hardware or software is required. You will be able to initiate a video call from most screens within the mobility client.
Interoperability With ShoreTel Communicator
If you have used mobility with ShoreTel Communicator before, you know it is poor, The same level as integration you would expect with a 3rd party sip phone, or extension assignment. When you called a number from your desktop, your mobile rang, then you needed to answer it before it would ring the remote party and you couldn’t use it to answer incoming calls. This was never a huge issue, but very annoying when using the ShoreTel dock as a desk phone. With this new release this all works, with more functionality as a standard desk phone as it will allow you to also IM and make video calls. Making the ShoreTel Mobility Dock a real usable solution and not some gimmick.
Below is a table from the ShoreTel Mobility 8 release notes displaying the new compatibility.
Other new features include:
- For android users, the client is no longer hosted on the router, it has moved to Google Play Store.
- Enhanced the “Today” feature to join GoToMeeting and WebEx audio conferencing as well as the always-supported ShoreTel audio conferencing.
One important note is that in order to enable these new features, as well as the client and router need to be at version 8 the ShoreTel PBX must be upgraded to ST14.2 19.43.1700.0.
As the Servers release are out now I have upgraded our servers. The ShoreTel Mobility 8 upgrade is like any other mobility upgrade, except from the first attempt timing out, that I put down to the mobility server running slow as it has not being restarted since the last upgrade, so after a restart the upgrade was uneventful.
The release notes say that mobility client 7 works with mobility server 8, but when opening the client, you get a message saying you need to upgrade. If you press cancel it will close the app, click ‘App Store’ then go back to the app and all is ok.
I think with ShoreTel mobility 8, especially with the new video call and ShoreTel communicator integration, ShoreTel are making the mobility solution much more than just a cost save solution, they are bringing a new level of Enterprise UC to the users mobile.
Tomorrow (the 12 August 2014) I will be downloading the new client, if there is anything more to report on, that has not been mentioned here, I will either update this entry or make a new one. Also, as soon as I get a chance to play with the new Virtual Mobility server, I will post my thoughts and findings.
For more information check out the ShoreTel mobility page. Any Comments or questions please use the comment field below.
UPDATE 11/8/2014 21:26: The iPhone client was release early. I simply upgraded the client and all the features are working. I do like the ability to start a call from the desktop client with no need to unlock my iPhone, my initials impressions are good!