IP telephony company ShoreTel has bought enterprise telephony company Agito to expand its unified communications offering.

Agito had made its name bringing enterprise phone systems to mobile devices. Its RoamAnywhere product has been used to reduce mobile phone roaming costs for employees on the road.

The acquisition by ShoreTel means that the company has now incorporated a means of allowing enterprises to use smartphones as PBX extensions, enabling a reduction in mobile costs.   A PJA/Toolbox survey last month showed that the use of smartphones had overtaken other mobile phones for the first time – this follows similar surveys from Nielsen and Forrester earlier in the year.

“This is a key strategic investment that creates a significant differentiator for ShoreTel in enterprise mobility,” said Don Girskis, interim CEO of ShoreTel.  “Dependence on smartphones continues to skyrocket, but many workers still struggle with poor coverage areas, inferior call quality, expensive international roaming fees and limited feature sets. By integrating the Agito technology with ShoreTel’s UC system, we free users to use any network (Wi-Fi or cellular), leveraging the power of the desk phone. This not only has a positive impact on productivity, but it also positively affects the bottom line with significant savings on mobile and international usage fees.”

It’s not just enterprises that have reaped the benefits of Agito technology. Last year, Hertford Regional College rolled out Agito across its campuses to allow users to connect their mobiles to a fully integrated PBX and wireless network. "The result is a campus-wide mobility solution that is easy to use, offers outstanding sound quality and works at any location, even where cell service is not available.  Employees are reachable on their business phone number all times from their mobile device, while we've been able to cut our costly cellular services expenses in half," said  Daniel Hidlebaugh, Network Services Manager, Hertford Regional College.

The Agito acquisition is valued at $11.4m