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ShoreTel Receives an A+ for Performance and Savings in Education

ShoreTel's Easy-to-Use, Easy-to-Manage UC System Drives Costs Down While Creating an Advanced Communications Infrastructure
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SUNNYVALE, Calif., November 4, 2009 – ShoreTel® (NASDAQ: SHOR), the leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems with fully integrated Unified Communications, is getting straight A's when it comes to providing educational institutions with an advanced communication system that facilitates classroom teaching and administration while driving down telecommunications costs.

Recent ShoreTel deployment success stories in the education sector include the Amarillo ISD in Texas, the Perkiomen Valley School District in Pennsylvania, Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, and the Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston, Texas.

Current economic conditions have put the squeeze on school district budgets across the country, adding tremendous pressure to reduce costs. But lowering costs without cutting educational programs requires taking a hard look at reducing infrastructure and administrative costs.

The ShoreTel UC system easily helps schools make the grade—for example by reducing the number of required phone lines schools must pay for, and by eliminating costly charges for having consultants perform moves, adds and changes (MACs). Meanwhile, The ShoreTel system is qualified under E-rate, which allows schools to acquire productivity-boosting UC systems when budgets are tight.

SELECT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS USING SHORETEL

Amarillo ISD, Amarillo, Texas
With 53 campuses and two other facilities, an, easy-to-manage communications system was a must for the Amarillo Independent School District. With its ShoreTel UC system, the district has established a single receptionist for the entire district, dramatically improving call management, while the ability to perform MACs in-house has reduced administration costs. The district also plans to assign a phone number to every instructional staff member. While they won't have handsets, they can use ShoreTel voicemail boxes as communication hubs. Voicemails are delivered by the ShoreTel system to Microsoft Outlook email inboxes, allowing staff to easily respond by email or any phone.

Perkiomen Valley School District, Pa.
Prior to deploying its ShoreTel UC system, the Perkiomen Valley School District, which serves about 5,800 students, faced rising costs and hours of frustration related to its hosted Cisco voice over IP (VoIP) system. With the highly reliable ShoreTel UC system, the district has estimated it is saving approximately 75 percent of the cost of the hosted system, enabling it to reallocate budget toward additional educational resources. In addition, easy system management from anywhere on the network frees up time for the IT group to focus on other mission-critical projects without requiring additional headcount.

Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio
Out of 1,200 community colleges in the nation, Sinclair Community College is one of 20 board member colleges of the League for Innovation in the Community College. With its current PBX system no longer supported by the previous vendor, the college sought a state-of-the-art platform that would improve communications between students and faculty and support a call center that can reach 20,000 calls a month. Sinclair chose the ShoreTel UC system because of its distributed architecture, support for analog phones and the ability to deploy in phases—which meant it could leverage existing equipment—ShoreTel's lower TCO, and the system's ease of administration and maintenance.

Spring Branch ISD, Houston, Texas
Prior to deploying its ShoreTel UC system, the Spring Branch Independent School District faced a daunting communications challenge: each of its 46 campuses and eight other facilities had its own aging, independent phone system. After an extensive RFP process, the district selected ShoreTel based in part on its ease of use and management, the resilience of its distributed architecture, and the system's communications features. With the single system in place, it's now easy and cost-effective to manage the entire system, including MACs, from a single location. The E911 emergency notification application is connected to the local police department and the county, and in the event of an emergency call, they will know exactly where the call originated. Spring Branch is also using a custom application developed by ShoreTel Professional Services that keeps outside calls from ringing classroom phones during school hours, but still allows principals to call the teachers when required.

QUOTES

"The ShoreTel UC system has brought communications sanity to our large and geographically distributed school district. It's extremely reliable and easy to use and administer, which has significantly reduced our ongoing costs. And integration with Microsoft Outlook has enabled us to introduce new capabilities that make it much easier for our teachers to communicate with parents, administrators and other teachers."

– Gary Allen, CTO, Amarillo ISD

"The ShoreTel UC system is not something I spend very much of my day on, and that peace of mind is very important. The system is always up and running and that has meant many other intangible benefits, such as time savings, increased efficiency and faster responses. The schools can always get a call in or out—for a public education service like ours, this level of continuity is vital."

– Mike Balik, IT Manager, Perkiomen Valley School District

"The distributed architecture and features of the ShoreTel UC system make it ideal for an educational institution. ShoreTel's Enterprise Contact Center solution has enhanced our ability to manage our call center, and easily satisfies the call volumes we experience, so we did not need a separate solution. The distributed architecture has also meant we can phase in the deployment across our new sites, while leveraging the investment in our current hardware. The ability to develop a cost-effective deployment strategy was vital to our decision."

– Scott McCollum, Director of Information Technology Services, Sinclair Community College

"Everyone likes their new phones and the features available through the ShoreTel Call Manager. Most users don't see how easy it is to deploy a ShoreTel UC system, and how resilient and reliable the system is. They also don't see how easy and cost-effective a ShoreTel UC system is to manage. All of this adds up to a very low TCO. We love our new phone system!"

– Venu Rao, CIO, Spring Branch Independent School District

"Educational institutions across the country and around the world face many of the same challenges as today's businesses: improve communications efficiency and reliability, and add modern communications capabilities that make staff more productive, but do all this in the face of tighter budgets and with lower recurring costs. ShoreTel makes this possible, and that's why more and more school districts have become ShoreTel raving fans."

– Kevin Gavin, Vice President, Marketing, ShoreTel

About ShoreTel, Inc.

ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOR) is a provider of business communication solutions whose brilliantly simple unified communications platforms, applications and mobile UC solutions promise a new rhythm of workforce engagement and collaboration. With costly complexity eliminated by design from its award-winning, all-in-one IP phone system, UC and contact center solution, and its industry-leading hosted phone system, workers enjoy a freedom and self-reliance that other providers can’t match. Users have full control to engage and collaborate, no matter the time, place or device, for the lowest cost and demand on IT resources in the industry. ShoreTel is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has regional offices and partners worldwide. For more information, visit shoretel.com or shoretelsky.com.

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