ShoreTel has released ShoreTel 12, the latest version of its UC software. The company says that through a single hardware appliance and unique distributed software architecture, ShoreTel 12 provides a full-featured collaborative UC solution with plug-and-play set-up and simplified management capabilities to streamline and enhance business communications for companies of all sizes.
Designed to take advantage of the uptake in enterprise spending on audio conferencing, web conferencing and Instant Messaging (IM), ShoreTel 12 gives end users easy access to several new collaborative and productivity-enhancing features: High Definition (HD) audio conferencing, zero-download desktop sharing, XMPP-based Instant Messaging, presence, Microsoft Outlook scheduling and multimedia recording are all integrated in the ShoreTel core platform and available at the user’s fingertips.
For IT and system administrators, enabling collaboration for an enterprise can now be completed in less than 10 minutes. New users can be added to the system with just one click through the ShoreTel 12 simplified initial set-up and configuration process. With ShoreTel Director, an intuitive browser-based administrative interface, the system can be distributed across an organisation of up to 20,000 local or remote users, providing a seamless experience to the end user.
“ShoreTel 12 simplifies UC deployment and management while preserving the exceptional reliability, security and flexibility businesses have come to expect from ShoreTel,” said Kevin Gavin, chief marketing officer at ShoreTel. “With ShoreTel 12, organisations can expect a significant productivity boost as end users leverage a powerful feature set that facilitates collaboration for any business task on any device, anywhere, anytime.”
Megan Fernandez, principal analyst of Networking & Communications at Gartner, Inc., stated, “Seamless integration of UC applications is a key to improving usability and the overall value proposition of communications platforms. Having a common user interface for a breadth of collaboration capabilities goes a long way towards delivering an intuitive and integrated UC experience.”
ShoreTel 12 Feature Highlights
Collaboration Tools for Every Employee: Users are empowered to increase collaboration with integrated audio conferencing, Web conferencing and IM incorporated into its core architecture, simplifying deployment and management of the system.
Support for Large Enterprises: ShoreTel 12 doubles the capacity from its latest software release and allows enterprise customers of up to 20,000 users to be supported under a single image.
Microsoft Outlook 2010 Integration: Users can schedule and join audio conferences with one-click directly on the Microsoft Outlook feature menu. Presence indications are also available within Microsoft Outlook, allowing users to initiate a call or IM conversation and flag for presence changes.
Microsoft Exchange 2010 Integration: ShoreTel 12 adds Microsoft Exchange 2010 as an option to act as Unified Messaging Server, allowing customers to leverage any existing investment in Microsoft Exchange deployments.
Native Apple Macintosh User Support: In support of the rapidly growing number of Apple Macintosh users in the enterprise, ShoreTel 12 now features a native Mac application called ShoreTel Communicator for Mac.
Support for Mobile Users: ShoreTel Communicator now extends UC features to support mobile users on the Apple iPhone, BlackBerry and other popular mobile devices.
“Our experience with ShoreTel Integrated Collaboration has been great and I’m very happy with it,” said Troy Kuskie, IT manager at RMH Group. “ShoreTel is easy to use right out of the box and doesn’t require a lot of training. It really is brilliantly simple.”
“Most organisations view collaboration as an important component of unified communications,” said Rich Costello, senior analyst, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure at IDC. “Previously slowed by complicated solutions, organisations now have the opportunity to leverage integrated collaboration tools in an effort to reduce costs and increase productivity through methods such as teleconferencing and telepresence.”