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Shoreline Communications IP PBX Telephony System Replaces Avaya Legacy PBX at SPI Polyols

Chemical Company Expects Three-year ROI on New VoIP System That Will Unify Multiple Locations into Single Phone Network
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SUNNYVALE, CA, December 16, 2002 - SPI Polyols, a Delaware-based chemical company, has selected voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology from Shoreline Communications to replace an Avaya Definity PBX and create a single, seamless telephone system that will connect almost 300 users across four U.S. locations and a fifth site in France.

The Shoreline IP PBX was installed in mid-November at SPI Polyols' headquarters in New Castle, Del., and a facility in Lewes, Del. A site in Grand Haven, Mich., will be rolled out in January. Manufacturing plants in Mapleton, Ill., and near Marseilles, France, will be added later in 2003.

"Maintenance was killing us," David Greene, SPI Polyols' information technology director, said of the Avaya Definity PBX the company had used for six years. "Costs were rising 20 percent a year, and that didn't include expensive software upgrades. Furthermore, since our growth was partly through acquisition, we had four locations with four different phone systems. We couldn't do four-digit dialing between locations; we paid high long-distance tolls just to call our own offices; and if you wanted to leave a message for two people in different offices, you had to leave it twice. It didn't make us feel like we were one company."

After evaluating a number of solutions, including an upgrade to the existing Avaya system, Greene contacted Shoreline, which arranged for a month-long system trial at SPI Polyols. Greene justified special funding for purchase of the Shoreline system – which originally wasn't in his budget – by citing a projected three-year return on investment.

The Shoreline system provides numerous features unavailable with the company's old PBX, including PC-based call management, call center capability, and the ability to set up call groups across multiple locations. Because Shoreline supports many kinds of telephone handset – analog and IP, wired and cordless – SPI Polyols uses a mix of standard, readily available phones. The Avaya solution would have required proprietary phones, with its cordless units costing more than $1,000 apiece, Greene said.

Shoreline has caused no disruption or hardware additions to the existing network infrastructure. "Last year we upgraded our network backbone without even considering the potential impact of VoIP," Greene said. "But there was no impact. Shoreline was simply laid on top of the network and connected through a gigabit port on our backbone."

Another major advantage was the ease and low cost of installing the Shoreline equipment. "To upgrade our Avaya system, we were looking at spending 25 percent of the total cost on installation," Greene said. "With Shoreline, one of our network managers did the whole installation himself. Three days after the system was up and running, he went on vacation. Now we're our own service providers, no longer dependent on outsiders for programming support or system changes. We have full ownership and control of our company's phone service."

About SPI Polyols

SPI Polyols, Inc., is an application-oriented ingredients company that develops and markets a wide range of polyols, or sugar-free sweeteners, for the food/confectionery, oral care, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and industrial markets. Headquartered in New Castle, Del., with manufacturing facilities in Delaware, Illinois and Brazil, the company has served the global market for more than 65 years. SPI Polyols is a subsidiary of Associated British Foods, a leading international food company with revenues of more than $7 billion. Additional information can be found at http://www.spipolyols.com.

About Shoreline Communications

Shoreline Communications Inc. has been shipping IP phone systems since October 1998, with more than 71,000 IP voice stations installed. The award-winning Shoreline IP Voice Communications System is a platform based on Shoreline's Distributed Internet Voice Architecture, designed to meet enterprise requirements for scalability, reliability, and manageability. In addition, the Shoreline system provides both a rich set of integrated voice services as well as standards-based interfaces to 3 rd party voice applications that enhance personal and organizational productivity. For more information, visit www.goshoreline.com or call 1-877-80SHORE.