This content is part of the Conference Coverage: Enterprise Connect 2017 conference coverage

ShoreTel launches team collaboration tool for remote workers

A new ShoreTel team collaboration tool supports persistent, virtual chat workspaces for remote and mobile employees, jumping into that market offering flexible ad hoc workspaces.

ShoreTel has jumped into the team collaboration game with the announcement of Teamwork -- a team collaboration tool based on ShoreTel's Summit communications platform as a service (CPaaS). With Teamwork, users can create virtual chat workspaces ad hoc or for long-term projects for remote teams.

"Persistent team messaging is the next critical app in unified communications," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Michael Brandenburg.

Persistent team messaging is another term used to describe for team chat, team messaging and workstream communications -- a relatively new type of communications application gaining a foothold in enterprises that allow workgroups to communicate in persistent chat rooms or channels, according to Nemertes Research. As workforces become more dispersed, employee collaboration habits have become more mobile and messaging focused. The initial release of Teamwork is a mobile app that includes features including task management, file sharing and personal dashboards.

Team collaboration tools have been a hot topic at Enterprise Connect 2017. According to Nemertes Research, the amount of company-supported deployments of team collaboration apps increased from 2% in 2015 to 30% in 2016.

The vendor's team collaboration tool is available with ShoreTel's Connect UC suite at no additional cost. ShoreTel vice president of product management Stefan Zschiegner said the team collaboration tool has a tight integration with ShoreTel's UC stack, which allows users to escalate communication from chat to voice.

Brandenburg said the integration with ShoreTel's UC stack makes it part of a greater ecosystem.

"The adoption of messaging in workspaces is there and not stopping," Zchiegner said. "But at the end of the day, it's all about choice and finding the right method of communications."

Later releases of the team collaboration tool will use Summit's CPaaS architecture to offer an open application program interface (API) to allow developers and organizations to embed Teamwork capabilities into other productivity tools and specialized workflows, Zschiegner said.

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