CISCO vs ShoreTel Comparison

Two leading VoIP providers compared

By Jerry Olsen
Updated: August 11, 2011

As far as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems are concerned. Cisco and ShoreTel are considered the two most prominent communication providers in the industry. If you’ve boiled your choices down to either one of these two companies, as always, it pays to do some research before making a final decision.

Focus Research, a market research firm in California, recently studied ShoreTel’s IP Phone System and compared it with Cisco’s Unified Call Manager/Media Systems. Both systems are specifically designed for small to medium sized (SMB) businesses.

Both systems also offer the following features/functions: interactive voice response (IVR), call center support, software/hardware platforms, security, internet protocol (IP) station capacity, easy installation, reroute to public switched telephone network (PSTN), and more.

The Cisco Series 7800 software platform runs on either Windows or Linux, and the hard platform is called Cisco CallManager. The ShoreTel phone system comes with a VXWorks software platform, and proprietary switches.

ShoreTel's Unified Communications system incorporates phones, switches, and software that are designed for easy deployment and rapid flexibility.

In terms of installation and configuration, the ShorTel IP phone system is easier and more intuitive. Focus Research said that the Cisco phone system is complex and requires more analysis and testing.

With the ShoreTel system, initial setup is much easier than Cisco, and the software configuration are more intuitive.

ShoreTel leads you through the installation process step-by-step with clear choices. The ShoreTel phones are easy to use and are easily configured by the administrator. More importantly, the voice quality to be very high, and there is no detectable latency during calls.

Given the fact that pricing is always a consideration, the marketing research company said that Cisco’s system is more expensive than ShorTel.

At the end of the day, both Cisco and ShoreTel both offer excellent solutions, but for different reasons. If you already use Cisco equipment in your business, it might behoove you to stick with the same equipment instead of switching to ShoreTel and paying more money.

On a different but related note, the City of Oakland, California has been using a Cisco VoIP system for ten years, but recently switched to ShoreTel. For further comparisons, check out http://www.comparebusinessproducts.com.

Featured Research
  • 7 Ways the Wrong Phone System Can Haunt Your Business

    The wrong phone system could be haunting your business - and we’re talking about problems more serious than ghosts and ghouls. From increased costs to issues with scaling, we’ve identified seven important ways that a less than ideal phone system could be holding you back. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this can make to your bottom line too. more

  • Ditch Your Fax Servers

    An in-house fax server gives an IT department centralized management and monitoring over the entire enterprise's faxing. This can help your company track usage and better maintain records for auditing and record keeping. However, there are serious drawbacks that come with utilizing an in-house fax server solution and these range from security to cost-prohibitive pricing. more

  • The IT Manager's Survival Guide

    As an IT manager, maintaining physical fax servers and infrastructure is not a high priority. However, fax capability remains a business need simply because chances are your industry is dependent on its security. What if there was a way to reduce the amount of time spent handling fax complaints and maintaining physical servers? And this way took into account security, cost savings, and freed up your IT resources. Would you be interested? more

  • VoIP: Your New Secret Weapon for a Strong Year End

    As the end of 2017 nears, you may be feeling pressure to make sure you close the year out strong.If you’ve been sitting on the fence regarding VoIP, this may be the perfect time to switch. VoIP options had never been better or more full-featured than they are now, and it may be just the thing your business needs to see a productivity and profitability boost. more

  • Is Your Phone System Stealing Profits?

    Having the wrong phone system can dramatically cut into your profits. Despite this, many businesses just sign up for a plan or platform that seems ‘good enough’. If you haven’t carefully considered your options and the included features, there’s a very good chance that you are leaving money on the table in some way. more