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Shoreline Is First to Integrate Converged Conferencing into an IP Phone System

ShoreConvergedConference Slashes Conferencing Costs in Half and Provides User-Centric Collaboration
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SUNNYVALE, CA, June 2, 2003 - Shoreline Communications, a pioneer in the development of multi-site IP PBX systems, today announced ShoreConvergedConference, a powerful new conferencing platform that integrates voice and data collaboration into the company's award-winning IP phone system. By making converged voice-and-data conferencing an integrated feature of the IP PBX, ShoreConvergedConference greatly improves the productivity of both scheduled and ad hoc collaboration while dramatically reducing conferencing costs. In a related announcement, Shoreline unveiled significant additional enhancements to its IP phone system.

Voice conferencing and data conferencing, which businesses traditionally have accessed separately through expensive outside services, are being brought together by Shoreline in a unified solution that is an integral part of the IP phone system. ShoreConvergedConference gives businesses cost-effective audio conferencing and also raises collaboration to a new level with its integrated data-sharing capabilities. This convergence of voice and data creates a much richer communications environment than either medium could provide by itself.

"Shoreline's in-house converged conference solution removes the cost barrier for conferencing and provides users with dramatically easier access to multi-site collaboration," said Thomas T. van Overbeek, Shoreline president and CEO. "By eliminating expensive and cumbersome outsourced conferencing services, ShoreConvergedConference can slash the cost of audio conferencing in half and eliminate data conferencing bills." For example, a 300-person healthcare product company is currently spending $180,000/year on conferencing. With ShoreConvergedConference, the company can have a six-month ROI.

According to Mark Ricca, executive vice president of InfoTech, "Our research shows that conferencing is one of two applications that is expected to pull demand for VoIP. Therefore, Shoreline's addition of this capability into its IP phone system makes a lot of sense."

Scheduled Conferences

ShoreConvergedConference extends Shoreline's existing ad hoc voice collaboration platform by enabling users to schedule conferences as well, and by increasing the number of potential users to accommodate any size of workgroup. Even more significant is the ability to enhance the voice conversation with integrated document sharing that requires no additional client software or outside web-conferencing service.

ShoreConvergedConference's intuitive browser-based interface enables users to set up voice and data conferences easily, saving time and IT resources and improving productivity. Users have the added convenience of access codes that enable "reservationless" conferencing. Conference initiators can distribute reusable codes to workgroups for recurring meetings, or opt for a one-time-only code as a security measure. Data conference attendees don't need special client software on their PCs to participate, greatly reducing the setup time for conferences.

ShoreConvergedConference is a Linux-based conferencing solution available in 12-, 24-, 48- and 96-port configurations. Ports can be assigned dynamically to multiple simultaneous conference sessions, as long as the total number of participants across all sessions doesn't exceed the port capacity of the switch hosting the bridge.

While many conference bridges are integrated with voice switches via an extra trunk card, the 12- and 24-port ShoreConvergedConference configurations are available in an all-IP option that plugs directly into an Ethernet network. Its IP address is automatically discovered by Shoreline4.2, making for easy implementation and management.

Instant Conferences

The Shoreline phone system is well known for integrated voice conferencing capabilities that enable spontaneous collaboration. Traditional collaboration technologies have fallen short of expectations because they are IT-centric, imposing inconvenient constraints and burdensome overhead on virtual meetings. Shoreline delivers a platform for user-centric collaboration, letting people work together from anywhere as easily and effectively as in a face-to-face meeting.

A Shoreline user who is talking to a customer and suddenly needs to pull in a colleague with some specialized knowledge can glance at the Shoreline interface, see the "presence" status of the people in the company who have the needed expertise, and conference in one who is immediately available. The actual location of this person—whether in the same building or across the country—is transparent. Using Shoreline's integrated, intuitive drag-and-drop document sharing, everyone can view all necessary data for making important business decisions.

"When people have easy, on-demand access to converged voice-and-data conferencing, instant collaboration will be both simpler and more effective," said van Overbeek. "Businesses will be able to get maximum leverage out of enterprise and extranet resources, make more informed decisions and respond much more quickly to customer needs and changing market conditions."

Availability

ShoreConvergedConference for scheduled voice-and-data conferencing will be available this month from Shoreline's channel partners. Ad hoc voice-and-data conferencing will be available in Q1'04.

About Shoreline Communications

Shoreline Communications, Inc., provides next-generation voice systems that are IP Phone Systems by Design. Thousands of enthusiastic users are taking advantage of the company's award-winning distributed IP PBX technology, leveraging expertise and resources across multiple sites to improve customer service, increase employee productivity and lower operational costs. Shoreline has a select group of channel partners that provide top-notch service and support. For more information, visit http://www.shorelinecommunications.com or call 1-877-80SHORE.