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SIP Trunking with ShoreTel Helps America's Car-Mart Enhance the Customer Experience

ShoreTel's Brilliantly Simple Solutions Help Slash Communication Costs
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SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 27, 2010 – ShoreTel® (NASDAQ: SHOR), the leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems with fully integrated unified communications (UC), today announced that America's Car-Mart, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRMT) is saving money and improving customer service thanks to its ShoreTel UC system.

Car-Mart, which operates 95 automotive dealerships in eight states, is using its ShoreTel UC system and SIP trunking provided by EtherSpeak, a ShoreTel Certified Technology Partner, to eliminate more than 300 traditional telephone lines, and end frustrating busy signals from call congestion. This results in thousands of dollars in saving per month on line costs and long distance calls.

Car-Mart is the largest publicly-held automotive retailer in the U.S. and operates dealerships primarily in small cities, selling quality used vehicles and providing financing for nearly all its customers. The company needs a reliable, full-featured communication system to support its commitment to superior customer service and to building strong personal relationships with its customers.

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Prior to ShoreTel, Car-Mart typically relied on four or more regular telephone lines at each dealership for a total of nearly 450 lines, including some 60 lines at its headquarters. The company switched to SIP trunking and eliminated more than 300 of the regular telephone lines, leaving just one at each dealership.
  • By using SIP trunking and the least-cost routing capability of the ShoreTel system, Car-Mart has slashed its costs for long distance calls by 63 percent. With its original phone system, once all the lines were in use at a given location, callers received a busy signal, even if additional phones were available at another location. With SIP trunking, Car-Mart only subscribes to the number of trunks used based on the need for simultaneous call paths by dynamically being allocated additional trunks as needed. This allows for unlimited inbound and outbound trunks and virtually eliminates busy signals.
  • The ShoreTel UC system offers exceptional flexibility for failover and rerouting incoming calls.
  • SIP trunking allows Car-Mart to maintain a local community presence by providing local direct inward dial (DID) numbers in all markets with a dealership, while still providing a single point of management and administration. The result is ultimate flexibility in call routing.
  • Prior to deploying ShoreTel, the company relied on completely isolated systems from Nortel and other vendors at each dealership. After initial training from ShoreTel reseller, TeleComp of Bentonville, Ark., the Car-Mart team migrated all 95 dealerships to ShoreTel in less than six months. The single, fully integrated ShoreTel UC system is far easier to manage.
  • SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, trunking allows the ShoreTel UC system to establish multimedia sessions, including voice calls, on IP networks, reducing or eliminating the need for standard telephone lines. SIP trunking services are provided by a variety of ShoreTel Certified Technology Partners.
  • ShoreTel's native SIP extension interface supports a wide variety of SIP-based devices, including leading WiFi and DECT phones, and conference room phones.
  • The ShoreTel UC solution was built from the ground up for IP networks, helping to eliminate the complexity typically associated with other solutions, which results in high maintenance and management costs. By designing a powerful yet brilliantly simple solution from the start, ShoreTel drives down the TCO, helping organizations realize dramatic cost savings year after year.
  • ShoreTel recently announced it won a total of seven 2009 MarketTools CustomerSat Achievement in Customer Excellence (ACE) Awards. It is the third year in a row ShoreTel received the highest award, demonstrating ShoreTel's long-standing commitment to delivering unmatched customer service and satisfaction to its global customer base.
  • ShoreTel's brilliantly simple architecture delivers a lower TCO and dramatically greater value than the more complex and less reliable solutions offered by other vendors.

QUOTES

"Establishing personal relationships with our customers and ensuring they have a great experience is an important key to our success. The easy-to-use and easy-to-manage ShoreTel system really supports us in this effort by eliminating busy signals and allowing us to expand our local calling areas. The fact that the system is easier to manage and has significantly reduced our costs also means we can shift additional resources to ensuring a great customer experience."

- Rick Combs, IT director, America's Car-Mart, Inc.

"Like many highly distributed organizations, Car-Mart discovered the powerful benefits of combining ShoreTel's UC system with SIP trunking to achieve a highly flexible system that slashes costs, supports customer service excellence, and establishes a communications solution that is dramatically easier to manage."

- Kevin Gavin, vice president of marketing, ShoreTel

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About Etherspeak Communications, LLC.

Headquartered in Culpeper, Virginia, EtherSpeak Communications, LLC., is an industry-leading provider of open standards communication solutions for ShoreTel customers. EtherSpeak enhances IP-based communications by ensuring flexible, simple and reliable voice, fax and video integration beyond the customer's network edge. For more information, please visit www.ietherspeak.com.

About ShoreTel, Inc.

ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOR) is the provider of brilliantly simple Unified Communication (UC) solutions based on its award-winning IP business phone system. We offer organizations of all sizes integrated, voice, video, data, and mobile communications on an open, distributed IP architecture that helps significantly reduce the complexity and costs typically associated with other solutions. The feature-rich ShoreTel UC system offers the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) and the highest customer satisfaction in the industry, in part because it is easy to deploy, manage, scale and use. Increasingly, companies around the world are finding a competitive edge by replacing business-as-usual with new thinking, and choosing ShoreTel to handle their integrated business communication. ShoreTel is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices in Austin, Texas, United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia and Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.shoretel.com.