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Shoreline First to Deliver A Unified Voice Communication System Over the IP WAN at Half the Cost of Legacy PBX Systems

Shoreline Also Triples the Capacity of its High Reliability Platform to 360 Ports; Adds New Applications, T1 Support
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SUNNYVALE, CA, August 9, 1999 - Shoreline Teleworks, the innovative leader in high availability IP voice communication systems, has expanded the capabilities of its award-winning Shoreline Communication System to leverage the power of IP and deliver the first unified voice communication system for distributed, mid-sized enterprises.

Mid-sized companies now can have a voice communication system across their enterprise that simply and cost-effectively supports multiple sites while continuing to function and be managed as a unified system. Prior to this solution from Shoreline, single voice communication systems spanning multiple sites have been limited to large corporations willing to buy the expensive, complex PBX systems. By leveraging the power of IP, Shoreline has built a unified voice communication system that supports multiple sites at a fraction of the cost of the large PBXs.

"We needed a cost-effective voice communications system that we could deploy at our separate offices yet have it appear as a single system from the perspectives of our users, our administrator and our customers," said George Dies, vice president of Palo Alto Products International, of Palo Alto, CA. "We wanted full PBX functionality, but we didn’t want to pay the enormous costs or have the complexity of managing two sites.

Shoreline’s solution was perfect for our needs – it’s cost effective and it scales very easily. What’s also impressive is the Shoreline architecture, which ensures the reliability and ease of installation that we just have to have."

Also part of this announcement, Shoreline continues scaling the capacity of its solution to 360 ports, which eclipses all other IP-PBX and even legacy hybrid solutions and puts Shoreline squarely in the marketplace for medium-size enterprises. Shoreline is also debuting new applications, including AnyPhone™ and TAPI 2.1 dialing support. Shoreline has also added support for T1 interfaces on its IPBX switch, to enable the system to host a digital T1 trunk with up to 24 channels of voice service.

"Shoreline is defining the next generation voice over IP systems – this announcement is a major step forward for the Enterprise IP Telephony industry," said Nick Lippis, an independent industry analyst. "By greatly increasing the number of users it supports, by adding the WAN capability, and by integrating intriguing applications like ‘AnyPhone’ into their system, Shoreline has raised the bar significantly for its competitors."

"This is an exciting announcement for Shoreline, as we now begin to deliver on our vision of a unified voice communications system, including the applications and network convergence that the mid-range enterprise is looking for," said John Fazio, Shoreline president and CEO. "The Internet has changed everything, including the way voice communications should be handled. We’re breaking the rules of traditional telephony and finding new ways to innovate voice communications."

Single Voice System Across Distributed Enterprises

There are many benefits for distributed mid-sized enterprises to have a single voice communication system across their multiple sites. With one voice mail system to use and manage (instead of many), and one administrator for the whole system (instead of one per site), and the ability to connect anyone calling from outside the company to anyone in any location within the company, a cost-effective, single voice system for the entire enterprise is an attractive solution.

For mid-sized enterprises with multiple locations, bringing it all together into one cohesive system has been a complex, costly proposition – until now. The Shoreline System does it while still offering all the features expected from a full-featured PBX system.

Shoreline’s Focus on the Mid-Sized Enterprise

Shoreline has tripled the capacity of the system to 360 ports and put the system squarely in the market for mid-sized enterprise customers. The architecture of the system enables customers to add to the capacity as they need, starting at 12 ports and increasing the system all the way up to 360 ports, without needing to replace any of the investment they’ve already made.

"From a system scaling perspective, we’ve blown through all the key systems and hybrids and are now knocking on the door of the PBX’s," said Steve Mullaney, vice president of marketing at Shoreline. "Small and medium enterprises should never buy a key system or hybrid ever again. We offer a system solution that starts at 12 ports, and scales incrementally to 360 ports. The legacy voice systems can’t do that -- the user has to throw out one system and buy another, or make the decision to overbuy on a big PBX upfront even though the system is way too large for the current company."

Shoreline Adds Application Richness

Shoreline has also added new applications to the system, further extending its leadership position in this area. Included in this release is the new AnyPhone application, which gives mobile workers the flexibility to use their own phone extensions wherever they travel within the enterprise. Regardless of where a worker may be, he has the ability to effectively make any phone in the enterprise his phone. There’s tremendous value for a user to be able to log into the network from any location and in effect, have his own office communications environment with him.

Another new application included in this release is TAPI 2.1 support, which enables users to perform their dialing function directly from any third party contact management software, such as Act! or Microsoft Outlook. This support leverages the contact management database already in use, and eliminates the need for a separate phone dialing database. This saves time spent looking up a phone number and dialing, or mis-dialing, since a single mouse click can execute the dialing function instead of manually inputting the 11 digits usually required.

Shoreline has also added a workgroup application, which provides Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) functionality for informal call centers and support groups with agents located anywhere on the network at corporate and branch offices.

The Shoreline System

The Shoreline Communication System is comprised of ShoreWare server and client software, and the ShoreGear IPBX voice switch family. The entire system is administered with the ShoreWare Director software.

The ShoreWare server software is the foundation of the system. The server hosts the ShoreWare Voice Services and ShoreWare Director software. The ShoreWare Director is a browser-based management tool that provides complete management and administration of the system. Advanced web technologies such as Active Server Pages and dynamic HTML provide a secure, sophisticated management interface. The ShoreWare Voice Services is a comprehensive set of business telephone services that run on the ShoreWare server.

The ShoreWare Desktop client software is a Microsoft Windows graphical user interface (GUI) for managing calls, voice mail and system features. It eliminates the need to memorize cryptic telephone keystrokes.

The ShoreGear IPBX switches extend enterprise networks to enable converged voice and data IP communications while delivering PBX-grade reliability. The ShoreGear IPBX-12 uses dedicated hardware and software for critical telephone connectivity and provides 12 universal ports to support either a trunk or station connection. Standard telephones connect to the ShoreGear IPBX-12 with Cat 3 wiring. The distributed IP architecture of the Shoreline System allows it to efficiently scale to 360 ports by simply adding additional ShoreGear IPBX units to an enterprise network.

Pricing and Availability

The pricing of the complete Shoreline system is virtually unchanged from the original LAN-only solution, with a list price as low as $550/user. This is far less than the typical per user cost of a full-functioned PBX system, with list prices typically starting at $1,000 per user. The new ShoreGear IPBX-T1 voice switch, with the T1 interface, has a list price of $3,995. The system with all the enhancements described in this release is now shipping.

About Shoreline Teleworks

Shoreline Teleworks was founded in 1996 to develop a solution that addresses the small- and medium-sized enterprise customer’s desired integration of voice and data networks. Shoreline has been shipping its IP-based CrystaLAN voice application since October 1998. The CrystaLAN system, which is sold exclusively through VARs, is an intuitive solution that is easy to install, use and manage by bringing the power and flexibility of data networking to voice communications.