Switchvox PBX Compared to Shoretel PBX

Today, I received a copy of a Shoretel slam piece from a customer who is considering a Digium Switchvox PBX from TeleDynamic and a Shoretel PBX from a competing vendor.

It incensed me to read a document that clearly meant to mislead a potential customer considering a Switchvox PBX. The peddling of fear on Shoretel’s part was startling. On the positive side, it motivated me to respond to the Shoretel Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt document. I thought I’d share:


TeleDynamic prefers to compete on the merits of our product and service and not take cheap shots at our competitors. However, when backed up against a wall, specifically when falsehoods are stated, we’ll stand our ground.

#1. Switchvox….requires a lot of:

Time and resources: I challenge Shoretel to compete in a “time to implement” race against the Switchvox.

Knowledge of Linux administration: Shoretel, have you ever seen a Switchvox system? There isn’t even engineer access to Linux in the Switchvox. You should learn more before you spread mis-truths. Oh by the way, since you’ve mentioned it, why do you use Microsoft OS on some of your platforms, and proprietary OS on others? 

Knowledge of TCP/IP Networking: Yes, one should know basic networking… after all it’s a VOIP solution. Shoretel doesn’t use IP? Then just what type of technology do they use?

Knowledge of VOIP/TDM telephony: Let’s see, to configure a Shoretel with PRI and IP phones, wouldn’t that be VOIP/TDM telephony?  

#2. Redundancy is limited to cold servers: 

We can configure Switchvox with cold spares, warm spares and dual registration. Our phones can register with any virtual provider for the ultimate in resiliency (whereas hardware redundancy is so narrow in scope).

#3.  Superior ease of deployment, management and scalability:

  1. If Shoretel is so easy to deploy and manage, why are there 13 Shoretel Technical Training Courses and three separate Shoretel certifications? In comparison, complete Switchvox training and certification takes two days. 
  2. Ease of scalability: Need to add a phone to Switchvox? Buy a phone, plug it in. Need to add a SIP trunk? Buy the trunk, turn it on. There is never the need for an additional piece of equipment, another server, more licenses, etc. Shoretel, what do you say?

#4.  Architecture – Shoretel insists on Distributed Architecture: 

Switchvox can be configured as centralized, distributed, hybrid, or in the cloud. Shoretel loves to sell you lots of expensive hardware.

#5.  Customer Satisfaction – No track record of customer satisfaction: 

2.8 Million devices have been installed on Digium products. Last year, Digium grew by 40%. Those numbers aren’t one of a company with a shoddy product. Shoretel, you have rated yourself a “90”. Well, congratulations to you. We’re busy satisfying customer’s needs not wasting time on self-congratulation.

#6.  Features:  

It’s widely known that 95% of the 400+ phone features on a modern pbx go unused. They are growing increasingly irrelevant as less and less people use traditional desk telephones. The true test of functionality and pertinence of a PBX today is all about mobility, apps integration and ability to comply with the industry standard of SIP.

 Shoretel Hardware Farm Inventory







Voice Mail



SIP trunking

External SBC


Call Recording




Licensing Server

No licenses





Mobility Router


#7. Call Control Availability:

If you are a hardware-intensive solution, you need lots of hardware for redundancy. See the above list and imagine the expenses to create a truly redundant Shoretel.

#8. Ease Of Scalability: 

The Switchvox presently supports 400 users. That’s its marketplace. There are no 10,000 user Shoretel systems deployed either so that’s quite the empty boast. 

#9. Analyst Opinion -Gartner doesn’t recognize Digium as a significant player:

October 8, 2009: Digium®, Inc., the Asterisk (News – Alert)® Company, today announced it has been positioned in the Visionaries quadrant of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony report.

Shoretel may want to purchase the last three year’s issues of the Gartner Report. With the high price of their product, certainly they should have the money. Oh wait, they lost $11M last year. Darn.

#10. Market Share – Small number of customers, not included in Synergy Research:

With 2.9 million devices installed on Digium platforms, Digium has 18% market share in the U.S. Shoretel is HUGE in Sunnyvale, CA. with a tremendous market share in their county.

#11. Vendor Complexity – Relies on third party phones: 

Buyers are not forced to buy their phones from the PBX manufacturer like Shoretel. Switchvox customers can choose between Digium phones or any SIP phone on the marketplace. We offer a choice, they offer a vendor lock-in. That’s the “advantage” of buying a proprietary PBX. As Switchvox is 100% SIP, it complies with the world’s telecommunications standard. Shortel speaks its own proprietary language. How 1990’s!  The whole world is opening up, while Shoretel touts the value of the magic black box.


The Shoretel system is a very 1990’s-type of approach to the PBX:

  • Expensive Licenses
  • Server Farm
  • Proprietary Phones
  • Adaptors Needed for SIP compatibility 

Switchvox. A modern Communications System for Today:

  • Standards-Based
  • Open Standard (SIP)
  • Software, not Hardware
  • No Expensive Licenses

We offer business-class communication solutions with responsive local support

To learn more, call us today at (510) 785-2480