We’ve had a great week in sunny Orlando, Fla., as a sponsor of the Annual ACUTA Conference. ACUTA (the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education) is an international non-profit educational association that supports information communications technology (ICT) in higher education.

Schools expect top-notch communication service and collaborative capabilities that incorporates the latest and greatest technologies, often integrating these tools with their existing legacy infrastructure. And although institutes of higher education are focused on learning, I don’t know of a single one that has the ability (or the interest) to spend hours in training just to grasp basic phone features. Fortunately, ShoreTel provides a brilliantly simple solution for educational institutions, leaving faculty the ability to impart.

I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with ShoreTel education customers like the College of William and Mary – who recently replaced a 30-year-old PBX telephone system with several thousand ShoreTel licenses. Educational institutions all share a need for advanced, reliable communications systems. Students, staff, parents and teachers regularly communicate to share critical news and updates, and these days they often do so from satellite campuses, remote locations or mobile devices. (This is certainly a far cry from the communication options from when I was in school.)

The interest in ShoreTel Mobility from Avaya and Cisco customers was extraordinary. I demonstrated it on the exhibition hall show floor, placing calls from my Sunnyvale, Calif., number on my iPhone (across from the big networking company that wasn’t able to get their own demonstrations to work during the show).

I was especially pleased to see the technology team from my school—The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. They have definitely invested in technology, if for no other reason than to keep in contact with me for my annual donation to the school. (I don’t think I’ll ever be mobile enough to escape that, but I could certainly try with ShoreTel Mobility.)

This year’s ACUTA was also a great place to demonstrate how the Wi-Fi calls automatically hand off to the cellular network if you decide to soak up some sun by the pool to end your day—which really does sound like a great idea right now.

What a fun time it was for ShoreTel to be the sponsor for their annual Gala event—featuring a KISS cover band and full performance: “You wanted the best / You got the best. / The hottest UC solutions company in the land! / SHORETEL!”

See you back at headquarters tomorrow!

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