Unified communications (UC) vendor ShoreTel (NASDAQ: SHOR) is looking to turn the Apple iPad and iOS-based devices into complete enterprise UC devices with the release of its most recent versions of  Apple iPad, ShoreTel Mobility 6 and ShoreTel Conferencing. ShoreTel Senior Director of Product Marketing Bernard Gutnick briefed MSPmentor on both solutions and how they can transform an iPad into a business communications tool. Here are the details.

ShoreTel Mobility 6 converts the iPad into a complete enterprise UC device, bringing business value to what is often a BYOD device, according to Gutnick. The solution delivers a native iPad user interface, allowing users a variety of ways to communicate with each other. Mobility 6 transforms the iPad into an enterprise desk phone with the ability to extension dial, transfer, place callers on hold, desk transfer, and retrieve voicemail.

iPad Focus Explained

The release also allows users to place and receive calls with their desk phone caller id (without giving out their personal phone number), exchange instant messages, and create multi-party calls by dragging names from enterprise directories together on a touch screen. ShoreTel Mobility 6 is available for iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry devices, but its primary focus is on the iPad. Gutnick said that the company has focused on the iPad because of its popularity among users.

ShoreTel Conferencing

The other offering, ShoreTel Conferencing, enables conferencing, application sharing and collaboration capabilities. iPad users can share presentations and pictures through the conferencing. Desktop sharing, sharing from a user's library, recording the conference, and muting are also features available to users through ShoreTel Conferencing. This solution is not available to Android users. Gutnick said that the company is evaluating the conferencing capability for Android.

"People have always wanted to collaborate, but it has just been difficult," Gutnick said. "They want to be able to collaborate using any device. I believe in choice, and I want to be able to choose the device I have at the moment. People do not live at their desks anymore."

While the iPad may be the company's primary focus, the company noted that the iPad still has limitations. Complex tasks, such as creating presentations, will still usually require a Mac or PC .

ShoreTel Mobility 6 and ShoreTel Conferencing are universal client applications available as free downloads from the Apple App Store. Both applications are available for Apple iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch users, with some functionality limited on smaller screens.