This is the story of a how a cloud guy went to work for the best IP-PBX company in the business and lived to tell the tale.
I hated PBXs. They were ugly. They were complicated. They depreciated faster than cars.
I made it my personal mission to destroy them. I was going to take down a multibillion-dollar industry and show customers how they didn't have to hate their phone system. Even cooler, I was going to show how a cloud phone system could help them grow sales, improve service levels, and integrate into their cloud applications that ran their business.
For six years I ran sales at M5 Networks evangelizing this. Then we got acquired. I admit I was devastated. How could we sell out to the enemy?
Our CEO said "Get to know them...they are not so bad.” I felt like he was a politician who changed his view for a key demographic right before election time.
But then I started playing with their product. It was easy. It was a breeze to administer. It integrated into applications like Salesforce.com and Netsuite. It even had a world class Mobility application that worked with cloud and on-premise solutions (even stinky ones).
This was unified communications!
The enemy wasn't the phone system; it was dumb phone systems! The enemy was too many servers, no embedded continuity plan, and no business intelligence.
I wasn’t a sellout. Some businesses were a better fit for premise-based and some were a better for cloud and all of them needed to work with your smart phone.
I went home to my wife and told her I liked a manufacturer. She looked at me befuddled and asked what I was talking about. With the confidence of a new adventure I said "Never mind. I have… a plan.”
We were going to create a new category. And not just unified communications but UC combined with refining the mobile workplace. Any iPad or Android you wanted. Working anywhere in the world, anytime you wanted, just like the office. Real actionable metrics to give you the leading indicators of where to take the business in 2012 and beyond.
And my soul was saved. I asked her to slap me which is why I write this blog from the comfort of the emergency room of St. Francis hospital of the holy phone system (She was a little too excited and apparently had been waiting for the opportunity to slap me for a while).
ShoreTel – your phone, our phone, real business impact. I have exorcised the demons. This room is clear.