Shortel Gets Enterprise Mobility Platform With Agito Buy

BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia Symbian and Windows Mobile phones are interoperable with Agito's platform, which enables users to communicate on any device at any location over any network.

William Gardner

October 23, 2010

2 Min Read
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A new world will open up for many mobile business workers with smart phones as a result of ShoreTel's acquisition of Agito Networks. Smartphone users on the road will be able to easily connect to their company PBX and make calls as though they are at their desks.

Smartphones outfitted with the application's software automatically search for Wi-Fi, then cellular when the user initiates a call.

"The application is completely transparent to the user," said Kevin Gavin, ShoreTel's vice president of marketing in an interview Friday. "All smartphones have Wi-Fi now. Calls go over Wi-Fi first. Even if a call is initiated inside a building over Wi-Fi and the caller goes outside, the call is switched to cellular. The user never knows (of the transfer.)"

Still a small startup, Agito has had successful installations of its platform-agnostic system for three years and Gavin believes with ShoreTel's 900 resellers and partners behind the application, it will take off, even become disruptive. He cites the growing example of the mobile worker who makes an international business call. With the Agito system, the call is routed through the user's company PBX and a 2 or 3-cent IP charge is recorded. Without the router, the call would cost $2 or $3.

The automatic sensing of Wi-Fi bypassing expensive cellular also translates into savings for users. "Cost savings are the most compelling feature for customers," said Gavin, adding that companies also like the application's ease-of-use.

The Agito technology is available in three appliances that sit next to PBXs. Gavin said an entry-level device is priced at $5,000 and serves up to 100 users, a $7,000 device is for 100 to 1,000 users and a $15,000 device is for 1,000 to 5,000 users. The hardware consists of a simple pizza-box style server. End user licenses are $200 each. Savings for business users making many international calls can be enormous, Gavin notes.

Although ShoreTel is a major supplier of IP PBXs, the company plans to continue Agito's agnostic approach to the market. The system operates easily with PBXs from Cisco, Avaya, Nortel, Alcatel-Lucent and Siemens. Likewise, most major smartphones are interoperable with the Agito system including BlackBerries, iPhones, as well as Nokia Symbian and Windows Mobile phones. Plans are underway to make the application interoperable with Android handsets.


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