As ShoreTel experts and now Mitel’s top reseller, we receive a lot of questions about what the end of life announcements mean to ShoreTel users. We can say confidently, “You do not need to discard your ShoreTel investment!”. Mitel has committed R&D and future development on the Connect Platform. This is accomplished by expanding on-premise capabilities along with connecting the existing platform to the cloud to offer hybrid products to form a single platform with uniform functionality and features. This blog addresses the most frequently asked questions around migrating to Mitel Connect, whether that be on-premise, 100% in the cloud or a hybrid approach.
First, Mitel has declared that support will officially end for ShoreTel 14.2 software, Enterprise Contact Center and Mobility 8 in December 2019. The good news is Connect, which is the latest and greatest available from Mitel, is just an upgrade away. Also, as of June 30, 2018, SG switches (SG30, SG50, SG90(V), SGT1K, SG220T1, SG220T1a) were no longer available for purchase, making the end of life announcement very real. However, there is one last batch of SG90 and SG90V that have been manufactured by Mitel and are available through an approval process. If this interests you please reach out. Packet Fusion will always carry refurbished equipment to fulfill our customer’s needs.
Second, you can expect support and future enhancement as long as you are under a support agreement with Packet Fusion. Packet Fusion offers an easy migration path from ShoreTel 14.2 to the Mitel Connect platform. This enables you to take advantage of both onsite and cloud options, 40 advanced custom apps, CRM integration, collaboration tools, mobility and more, all allowing you to collaborate and communicate better.
Get the Top 7 Most Asked Questions (and Answers) about Migrating from ShoreTel to Mitel Connect
1. When you tell me that ShoreTel has reached the end of life, what does that really mean?
Mitel acquired ShoreTel in 2017. The Connect platform changed in brand name only. The ShoreTel technology underpins the Mitel Connect platform, which is now called Mitel MiVoice Connect. Mitel announced the end of life of the ShoreTel 14.2 software and all previous software releases. And while ShoreTel 14.2 will still be supported through December 2019, all future bug fixes will be rolled into Connect releases. Support for software updates/bug fixes will no longer be provided for ShoreTel 14.2 beginning 2020.
2. What are the requirements for us to upgrade to Connect?
While there are not many “requirements” for upgrading to Connect, there are some infrastructure requirements that should be noted:
- Must be on ShoreTel version 13.x or 14.x
- If you are using Enterprise Contact Center, you will need the 8.x or 9.x versions to upgrade to Connect Contact Center
- Mobility needs to be on 8.x
- 64bit Windows is required
- VMWare ESXi 5.5 or 6 is needed if you are looking to utilize any of the virtual switches and appliances
- 30 GB HDD is minimum
3. Will we be able to use the same desktop handsets?
All handsets continue to be supported on Connect Premise. Only the 400 series handsets are supported on the Connect Cloud. With Connect, the EdgeGateway will replace the VPN Concentrator. The phones from the VPN concentrator will not work with the EdgeGateway. Only the 400 series phones work with the EdgeGateway.
4. Are there any free perks with the migration to Connect?
When migrating to Connect from 14.2 there is a free license upgrade to Essentials Bundle for All Extension & Mailbox license. With Connect you also have access to extra features such as:
- EdgeGateway – The ability to have remote users connect their Connect Client and/or 400 series phones without the need for VPN.
- Connect for Mobile
- Connect Telephony for Microsoft (Skype for Business integration)
- Connect for Chrome
- Web/App Dialer
- Video License
- Google Chrome Extension
5. Are new licensing bundles associated with Connect?
All ShoreTel models have been bundled into the Connect licensing based upon 5 bundled licenses:
The good news is that you will have the ability to upgrade every license type except Courtesy. If you want to talk more about licensing options, please contact your account executive.
6. Will the new Connect Client be hard to learn?
While different than the existing client on 14.2, the Connect client offers a more modern user interface that has been well received in the market. Simplicity and ease of use is the hallmark of Connect. In addition, Mitel has invested large amounts of R&D dollars to ensure their platform continues to best in class. Continued learning and training for Connect is available through built-in links to the latest Connect Client User Guide and Training videos.
7. What is involved in this migration as far as downtime and cost?
Depending on the size and sophistication of your system, downtime for a migration to Connect is estimated to be between 2-6 hours. As for cost, all the labor and licensing to upgrade the core platform to Connect is no charge as long as you are under a support agreement with Packet Fusion. Server and OS costs are not included. Any onsite training for your end users would also be an additional cost.
In summary, everything you have remains as is. Your investment is sound. We have already begun migrating our ShoreTel customer-base and there is no cost as long as you are under a Packet Fusion support agreement. If you do not have a support agreement, our advice is to start evaluating your options now – before you find yourself in a time critical situation.
As CEO of Packet Fusion, Matt sets the tone and vision for our company and our customers. His 20+ years in telephony gives him a deep understanding of unified communications and collaboration technology. He is an engaging presenter and has a knack for breaking down the often over complicated VoIP technologies into plain and simple English. Outside of PFI, Matt’s happy place is on the golf course or on a bike ride with his daughters.