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ShoreTel Launches in Australia with award-winning IP telephony platform

ShoreTel delivers feature-rich IP PBX functionality to branch offices and small businesses
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SYDNEY, Aust, January 23, 2007 - ShoreTel, Inc., a leading provider of IP telephony solutions worldwide, today launched in Australia announcing a go-to-market strategy for its award-winning voice platform targeted at businesses seeking key system behavior from their IP phone systems.

Mr Tony Warhurst has been appointed ShoreTel managing director SE Asia. He has enjoyed long-time experience in the VoIP market in Australia and is a recognised IP telephony specialist.

Key resellers have been appointed including Fast Track Communications, Qtech, PureTel, PTS Communications, ITT Communications, HEDLOC, Davicom, On-Line Communications Systems and CCG3 Communications. Connector Systems Ltd is the distributor for ShoreTel in Australia and New Zealand.

ShoreTel has also announced that insolvency firm Ferrier Hodgson has selected a 130-user IP telephony system from ShoreTel at its Sydney office.

Mustafa Mohabbat, IT manager at Ferrier Hodgson said: "We reviewed the ShoreTel phones and found them to be more functional and easier to use than other VoIP offerings on the market. There are a lot of ‘smarts' in the handsets, which means less training for staff. We looked at systems from Avaya and Samsung, but ShoreTel won out on value and the company's approach to service."

He added: "It provided the most simple deployment and administration out of all the systems we tested. You can control everything via a web interface and the clients can be pushed out using Microsoft's Group Policy Management Console."

"Our customers have responded well to ShoreTel," said Nigel Sinclair from PTS Communications, a ShoreTel reseller located in Sydney. "The brand is recognised among people who have an interest in adopting VoIP. And ShoreTel 6.1 is an ideal voice platform for businesses with branch offices, franchise operations, and smaller businesses that need key system behavior from their phones."

He said the the ShorePhone IP 212k, was a standout for customers looking for a high value and reliable VoIP system.

"It features an ergonomic IP key system telephone with 12 programmable buttons, exceptional audio quality, and big LCD display. Users find it easy to navigate and can expect a productivity lift from its voice messaging and access capabilities."

Announcing details today, Tony Warhurst said the positive response to the launch of ShoreTel in Australia was an endorsement of the quality of ShoreTel's offerings and recognition of its market leadership role in the IP PBX sector.

Tony Warhurst said ShoreTel offers the only key system emulation that is part of a single hardware and software platform that spans all levels of key system and PBX functionality, addressing the needs of organisations with 10 to 10,000 employees.

"ShoreTel 6.1 introduces new key system capabilities that combine the features IP telephony users expect with the flexibility, manageability, usability, and cost-effectiveness of ShoreTel's unique VoIP technology.

"The ShoreTel platform offers attractive price points for all sizes of offices and continues to feature the ease of use and management that keep customers satisfied," he said.

Other features in the ShoreTel 6.1 release include a gigabit IP phone, the IP 560g; a new staff IP phone, the IP 230; expanded support of international requirements; Centrex flash capabilities; personal-assistant and Caller-ID enhancements.

Redefining IP key systems

The new ShorePhone IP 212k key system phone has 12 self-labelling programmable buttons that use tri-colour LEDs to make paper labels a thing of the past. There are eight hard keys-for Transfer, Conference, Intercom, Redial, Voicemail, Hold, Options, Directory-and two soft keys. A high-contrast LCD display is vertically oriented to mimic the look and feel of a key system telephone.

The ShorePhone IP 212k key system phone enables very fast call handling through a new type of extension called a bridged call appearance. Designed for businesses with shared call answering requirements, this extension is programmed onto buttons on multiple phones, with a button for each call. As a result, calls can be answered, held and retrieved among multiple phones very quickly.

The brick-and-mortar constraints of other key system solutions are eliminated by ShoreTel's unique distributed call control architecture, which allows bridged call appearances to span locations and thus virtualise key system behavior across the enterprise. The bridged call appearance extension can also be programmed on the ShorePhone IP 560, IP 530, IP 230, and BB 24, and docked in the Operator Call Manager interface to allow key system behavior on PCs.

Designed as a branch office solution or for single-site businesses, the ShorePhone IP 212k accommodates up to 12 lines. If more lines are needed, the solution can be expanded to an impressive 108 lines by using it in combination with as many as four ShorePhone BB 24 button boxes.

Centrex flash, more ShorePhone models

Small offices can also benefit from a new Centrex flash feature in ShoreTel 6.1 that reduces trunk requirements. One of the buttons on a ShoreTel IP ShorePhone can be programmed for Centrex flash, and then users simply push it to flash an ordinary analogue loop start trunk and access Centrex service features. This includes initiating Centrex conference calls.

With Centrex flash, external calls can be transferred to external numbers without tying up trunks for the duration of the transferred call. Without this capability, a small office with four trunks would have to tie up two of them-half the office's trunk capacity-to accommodate these external transfers.

Another new ShorePhone model being introduced with ShoreTel 6.1 is the IP 230, which offers complete functionality for a very reasonable price. Targeted at general office workers and ACD agents, the ShorePhone IP 230 features 3 programmable buttons supported by green LEDs, and a high contrast LCD display providing four display lines plus a fifth line for four soft keys.

The ShorePhone line is also being extended at the high end with the IP 560g, a gigabit phone aimed at graphics-intensive desktops equipped with gigabit Ethernet drops. It is built upon the existing IP 560 with an upgraded Ethernet switch that supports 1 Gbps operation. The IP 560g ShorePhone features six programmable buttons with tri-colour LEDs, and a backlit LCD screen that accommodates six lines of display plus four soft keys.

Like the IP 212k, the ShorePhone IP 230 and IP 560g have eight hard keys, self-labelling buttons that eliminate the need for paper labels, and PoE support. All three are available in black or silver with an optional wall-mount kit, and feature the same ergonomic design and high-quality audio with integrated speakerphone as the entire ShorePhone line.

International Enhancements

An enhancement in ShoreTel 6.1 exposes the QSIG interface to the ShoreTel Director, ShoreTel's system management tool, making it easier to configure PRI tie lines to third-party devices such as legacy PBX systems. This addition is driven by requirements in parts of Europe where QSIG, rather than Euro-ISDN, is the standard for PBX-to-PBX networking.

Availability

ShoreTel 6.1, the ShorePhone IP 230, ShorePhone IP212k key system phone and the ShorePhone IP 560g are available now.

About ShoreTel, Inc.

ShoreTel is a leading provider of IP telephony solutions worldwide since 1998 and well known for exceptional customer satisfaction. ShoreTel voice systems are designed to make businesses smarter, setting new standards for usability and manageability while reducing telecommunications costs. ShoreTel's 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 service and support. ShoreTel is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California and has regional offices in the United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia and Munich, Germany. For more information, visit http://www.shoretel.com/ or call 1-877-80SHORE.