Shoretel is a Sunnyvale California based Phone System vendor. They offer some of the most affordable and powerful phone systems available today. Shoretel has made a name for itself by providing an easy to use GUI for administrating their system, low total cost of ownership, and ground-up redundant systems.
Shoretel operates using a Linux based proprietary software system. Their softphone applications are second to none, but their current phone equipment has been called bland and unappealing. Their hardware is definitely effective, but it is not aesthetically pleasing, although this might not be a primary concern for most businesses. Like most PBX systems, it runs great but outages can be a hassle when they occur. As with most other vendors, Shoretel has a strong reseller channel and they promote their systems as being some of the most technologically proficient examples of Unified Communications available.
Shoretel is positioned as a strong value player in the PBX world. I’ve never seen a Shoretel system in what I would consider a “large” phone system installation, but I think it’s a great alternative for small to medium enterprise. I think the key selling points are the administration and the cost of the components, but Shoretel lacks the defined application nature of other PBX systems.