ShoreTel buys Agito for mobile networking gear

FRAMINGHAM (10/21/2010) – Unified communications manufacturer ShoreTel Inc. has bought Agito Networks for its wireless technology that enables handsets to switch between Wi-Fi and cellular networks while attached to corporate networks.

The US$11.4 million cash deal brings with it Agito’s mobility router and smartphone client software that connects mobile phones to corporate PBXs via the least expensive wireless option available at the time.

The gear is interoperable with IP PBXs from Cisco Systems Inc., Avaya Inc., Nortel Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens and other vendors as well as unified communications systems including Microsoft’s Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 and legacy TDM PBXs. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Agito supports handsets including RIM’s BlackBerry, Apple’s iPhone, Nokia and Windows Mobile phones.

With Agito mobility products, calls to and from mobile phones are routed through corporate PBXs. The router keeps track of users’ whereabouts via Session Initiation Protocol presence capabilities and location information from mobile phones.

The routers can use Wi-Fi, cellular and 3G networks to connect handsets to the corporate network and through it to the public phone network. This routing can save international roaming costs as well as improve coverage area for individual mobile devices.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based ShoreTel says it has acquired all of Agito’s intellectual property, customers and distributors, and it has hired some of its employees.

ShoreTel sells a unified communications platform based in hardware and software as well as supplemental contact center and conferencing software. It also sells IP phones.

In August it reported fourth quarter revenue was US$42.2 million, an increase of 14 per cent over its third fiscal quarter and 30 per cent higher than the fourth quarter of 2009. However, it reported a net loss of US$3.7 million in Q4. For fiscal year 2010, revenue was record US$148.5 million. But the GAAP net loss for the fiscal year was US$12.8 million. The loss included US$10.7 million in stock-based compensation expenses, the company said.

Its next quarterly financial report is due Oct. 28.

One of ShoreTel’s biggest competitors is Ottawa’s Mitel Networks.

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