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ShoreTel Delivers High Availability Contact Center 4.6 Application with Universal Queue for Voice, Email and Chat

Distributed Architecture Increases Network Reliability, Cuts Costs and Improves Customer Satisfaction by Intelligently Routing Any Contact to Any Agent Irrespective of Location
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SUNNYVALE, CA, December 11, 2006 - ShoreTel, Inc., the fastest growing IP PBX company worldwide, and the leader in customer satisfaction, today announced the availability of ShoreTel Contact Center 4.6. This significant feature release introduces a universal queue, auto answer for inbound calls, release with reason codes and several other productivity enhancing features.

ShoreTel Contact Center is an integrated suite of contact center applications running on the ShoreTel distributed IP communications platform. The distributed IP platform allows agents to be located anywhere and enables administrators to manage the contact center from a single user interface. The design of ShoreTel's distributed network architecture inherently provides contact centers with the flexibility to hire agents based on expertise – not locale – and in turn, to save on operational costs while maintaining a centralized contact center. ShoreTel Contact Center uses an enterprise resource matching function to select the right agent for each individual call by comparing customer and agent profiles and then directing the call to the best agent anywhere on the network. Contact Center 4.6 enhances this enterprise resource matching function by allowing any contact – voice, email or chat -- to be efficiently routed to an agent with the appropriate skills based on configurable business rules. In addition, ShoreTel's redundant server provides increased network uptime through continuous monitoring, further improving the reliability and performance of contact center operations.

"The latest version of ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center has been a big success with our customers, and it has helped us improve the productivity of our agents,” said Maria Kahl, customer contact administrator for Summit Credit Union. “Our customers can contact us the way they choose, and we can route contacts to the right agent based on the service the customer requires. In addition, auto-answer and release with reason codes have helped supervisors increase productivity and improve customer service, because calls are automatically connected to available agents and supervisors better understand each agent’s status in real time."

The following new feature enhancements to Contact Center solutions are available immediately:

Universal queue

Routes all contacts—voice, web chat, email and fax—based on an enterprise’s standard business rules; customer identity and/or intent can be used to efficiently route contacts to an agent with the appropriate skills

Auto answer for agents

Automatically connects an inbound call to an available agent; gives supervisors more control over the customer's experience and agent productivity

Release with reason code

Ability to create customized release codes, which provide managers with real-time agent status (such as "on break," "at lunch," "personal appointment," etc.)

These sophisticated contact center features help enterprises deliver a higher level of customer service. Other features such as easily customizable historical reporting capabilities and email integration with agent and supervisor tools provide the resources necessary to more rapidly address and resolve customer issues.

ShoreTel's Contact Center solution takes advantage of the unprecedented reliability of the ShoreTel phone system and Contact Center 4.6 improves this reliability with an optional backup server and a resilient agent feature. In the event that the primary server is unavailable, the backup server automatically takes over control from the primary server. Calls connected to agents remain connected. Agents are automatically logged into the backup server to continue processing incoming calls. Agents can also be configured to remain logged into the contact center if their desktop computer fails, further increasing agent availability.

"Contact Center 4.6 extends ShoreTel’s leadership in providing the lowest total cost of ownership systems in the industry,” said Steve Timmerman, vice president of Marketing, ShoreTel. “ShoreTel’s approach makes it possible to efficiently manage distributed call centers to deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Our Contact Center solutions allow customers to contact enterprises using the customer’s media of choice and to enable intelligent routing of contacts to agents regardless of location."

For more information on ShoreTel Contact Center solutions, please visit http://www.shoretel.com/products/contact_center/

About ShoreTel, Inc.

ShoreTel is the fastest growing IP PBX company worldwide and the leader in customer satisfaction. The company has shipped its groundbreaking solutions since 1998 and continues to outpace the rapidly expanding VoIP market with technological advances and sales that are doubling year over year. ShoreTel voice systems are designed to make businesses smarter, setting new standards for usability and manageability while reducing telecommunications costs. A uniquely distributed architecture extends enterprise-class voice services to every office and outpost, keeping employees fully connected wherever they go. A select, worldwide group of channel partners provide top-notch service and support. For more information, visit http://www.shoretel.com/ or call 1-877-80SHORE