ShoreTel announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire M5 Networks (“M5″), a recognized leader in hosted Unified Communications. As a result of the acquisition, ShoreTel will be uniquely positioned to provide customers a choice between on-premise and hosted UC solutions.
“The acquisition of M5 positions ShoreTel as a leader in the fast-growing cloud UC market and delivers a suite of hosted telephony solutions that is unmatched in the marketplace,” said Peter Blackmore, CEO of ShoreTel. “This acquisition is a critical step in our evolution and enables the company to capitalize on trends in cloud computing and advance our enterprise communications strategy.”
“We’re eager to learn more about how these two great companies will integrate, and how we’ll be able to leverage this technology with clients that prefer a hosted or Cloud-based model for their communications systems,” said Don Gulling, CEO of Verteks Consulting. “We’re looking forward to having a ShoreTel-provided cloud communications offering, since some of our clients prefer a solution that doesn’t require up-front capital investments and is on a pay-per-user model.”
M5 pioneered hosted UC in 2000 and today provides more than 2,000 companies with enterprise-grade communications on a subscription basis. This acquisition positions ShoreTel to be a leading provider in the emerging UC as a Service market, enabling it to extend its technology and industry-leading customer satisfaction that are the hallmarks of its value proposition into the cloud through a hosted offering.
ShoreTel is acquiring M5′s entire operation including its customer base, distribution capability, and proprietary network, and will be extending offers to substantially all of its employees.
Following the close of the acquisition, M5 will be operated as a ShoreTel business unit and will be led by M5 CEO Dan Hoffman, who shares ShoreTel’s brilliantly simple approach to unified communications, and an intense focus on customer satisfaction. Hoffman will become president and general manager of the new business unit.
While the engineering teams will remain separate they will cooperate and coordinate in order to leverage the innovation and best practices of both groups so that both product roadmaps will benefit from the combined capabilities.
“M5 is proud to be one of the leaders in the UC cloud market. We have achieved this position with a very strong management team and an excellent product offering that is the simplest in the industry,” said Dan Hoffman, CEO of M5 Networks. “Joining forces with ShoreTel enables us to reach our ambitions of scale and cement our position in the hosted UC marketplace.”