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Shoreline Teleworks Introduces CrystaLAN Voice Communication System

First Network-based Telephony Solution to Leverage the Power and Open Standards of Networked Computing Environments
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, July 20, 1998 - Shoreline Teleworks, the emerging startup serving the voice communications industry, today introduced its CrystaLAN network-based voice communication system. Designed to meet the telephony needs of medium- and small-sized businesses, CrystaLAN is a complete, cost-effective communications solution that provides advanced telephony capabilities and is a scalable replacement for expensive, proprietary PBX systems, Key Telephone Systems and Centrex services.

Using data networking standards, client/server software, off-the-shelf analog telephones and existing telephone cabling, the CrystaLAN system combines the capabilities of a world-class PBX system with the point-and-click ease of a personal computer.

"Businesses need a voice communications system that combines the reliability of the traditional PBX with the advantages of today’s new communications technologies," said John Fazio, president and CEO of Shoreline Teleworks. "Shoreline Teleworks is the only company that has successfully merged these technologies and created a new category of product that is having a major impact on both voice and data communications. One of the greatest advantages of our CrystaLAN solution is its stackable, distributed network design, which offers much more flexibility than the all-in-one, chassis-based solutions. The CrystaLAN architecture allows customers a wide choice of applications, best-of-breed network and computing hardware and standards-based technologies. This important facet of our design protects customers from the technological obsolescence, and the associated unplanned costs, imposed by traditional chassis-based platforms."

Mr. Fazio said that of the $7 billion annual market for telephone systems in the United States, the target market for the first release of CrystaLAN represents nearly $3 billion. This market is comprised of companies with less than 100 employees per site.

"As these businesses chart a course towards open standards, client/server technology and LANs, they demand a new generation of networked PBX systems to meet their communication needs," he said. "CrystaLAN is, and will continue to be, the product that meets that demand."

CrystaLAN – Reliable, Flexible, Easy to Use and Manage

The CrystaLAN open communications system makes sophisticated telephone functionality easy to use with its visual voice mail, easy access to PBX features and Web-based system management. Because the CrystaLAN architecture is built around Internet Protocol (IP), the system can easily scale to accommodate new users and future generations of voice-over-IP technology and computer-based telecommunications applications.

The system is comprised of:

CrystaLAN IPBX

A dedicated switching platform that is the first stackable, networked PBX providing distributed plug-and-play expandability. It is a scalable IP-based network voice switch that supports standard analog telephones. CrystaLAN IPBX has 12 ports, each individually configurable to support either a standard analog telephone or a voice trunk.

CrystaLAN Server

A Microsoft® Windows NT® Server application that provides the foundation for integrated and 3rd party voice applications and system-wide management. System management is provided through CrystaLAN Director, a telephony system management interface that provides administrators flexible system-wide control through features such as Web-based remote access and off-line configuration capability for plug-and-play IPBX installation.

CrystaLAN Voice Services

A comprehensive application suite built for CrystaLAN Server that includes PBX control, voice mail server and auto-attendant software. CrystaLAN Voice Services provide a comprehensive voice communications solution that is easily installed and customized using CrystaLAN Server installation and management utilities.

CrystaLAN Desktop

A Java™-based application that lets users visually control their telephone and voice mail using a point-and-click interface.

Based on an innovative, multi-tier failover design, the CrystaLAN architecture provides the highest possible levels of phone service in the event of system component or power failure. The CrystaLAN IPBX is a dedicated voice switch based on highly reliable function-specific hardware. It even provides emergency phone service during a total power outage. Unlike PC-based telephone systems, the CrystaLAN system does not rely on PC hardware, disk drives or a PC operating system for primary telephone operations.

"No company can afford telephone downtime," Mr. Fazio said. "Telephone service is an organization’s lifeline. While e-mail downtime might be irritating, telephone downtime is simply unacceptable. That is why we created the technology necessary for the CrystaLAN system to deliver PBX-class reliability."

The system’s use of open standards, including IP, Ethernet, TAPI, Java and HTML/HTTP, makes it a platform for the future. Unlike proprietary legacy systems and all-in-one chassis-based solutions, the CrystaLAN open architecture supports a best-of-breed approach, enabling companies to cost effectively manage their voice and data technology migration . IPBX switches and server-based applications can be added to the network without impacting existing users, allowing companies to transparently scale the system.

Availability, Price and Configuration

The CrystaLAN system is the first full-function voice communications product to be sold through the data networking reseller channel. This allows companies to work with their current network integrator as the single, most competent sales and support channel for both data and voice.

Orders are now being accepted with shipment scheduled for mid-August 1998. List price for a complete 60-user system, including auto attendant, visual voice mail, point-and-click call control and Web-based system management is under $50,000.

The CrystaLAN system works with any standard analog telephone and requires a Pentium 233 MHz PC server with 128 MB of RAM and a 2GB hard disk.

About Shoreline Teleworks

Shoreline Teleworks brings the power and scalability of data networking to business voice communications. The company’s CrystaLAN products combine the reliability of legacy PBX systems with standards-based computer telephony functionality and are available through data network Value Added Resellers.

With a management team experienced in both voice and data communications and a strong financial consortium composed of Crosspoint Venture Partners, Foundation Capital, Matrix Partners, JAFCO America Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners, the company is creating a new category of business voice communications systems.