ShoreTel acquires Agito for $11.4M

* The acquisition allows ShoreTel to offer native support for leading mobile devices including BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Nokia and Windows-Mobile smartphones

ShoreTel announced it has acquired Agito Networks for approximately $11.4 million. ShoreTel, supplies unified cCommunication (UC) solutions based on its IP business phone system, while Agito is focused on enterprise mobility, extending voice and UC to cell phones. The Agito acquisition allows ShoreTel to offer native support for leading mobile devices including BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Nokia and Windows-Mobile smartphones. With the all-cash deal, ShoreTel acquires Agito's intellectual property, customer base and distribution network.

Tech M&A deals of 2010

Agito's "RoamAnywhere" network appliance provides the enterprise user with mobile voice and data applications over enterprise wireless LANs and carrier cellular networks, remaining agnostic to customers' wireless carrier and UC vendors. 

The technology also supports presence and location-based delivery; the location aware feature connects the mobile user to the best possible wireless signal and seamlessly switches calls between access points and cellular networks to maintain call quality. Agito has demonstrated interoperability with other vendors' UC systems including those supplied by Cisco, Avaya and Microsoft along with legacy TDM PBXs.

Commenting in a statement, Don Girskis, interim CEO of ShoreTel said, "This is a key strategic investment that creates a significant differentiator for ShoreTel in enterprise mobility. Dependence on smartphones continues to skyrocket." He continued, "By integrating the Agito technology with ShoreTel’s brilliantly simple UC system, we free users to use any network (Wi-Fi or cellular), leveraging the power of the desk phone, and taking advantage of industry-leading call quality and call controls from their smartphone."

Our observations: We concur about the growing need for UC suppliers to include support for enterprise mobility, evidenced by the growing use of smartphone. For example, in its Q3 2010 earnings reports, AT&T disclosed that more than 80% of its postpaid wireless sales were integrated devices, (handsets with QWERTY or virtual keyboards in addition to voice functionality). At the end of Q3 2010, 57.3% of AT&T's subscribers had integrated devices, up from 42.0% a year earlier.

AT&T's third-quarter integrated device growth also included 5.2 million iPhone activations, the most iPhone activations ever in a quarter, according to the company. We see nothing but upside for those suppliers who support enterprise mobility as an integrated feature with IP telephony and UC systems.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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