ShoreTel has announced the launch of ShoreTel Connect featuring a single platform and user interface that provides business communications from the cloud, onsite or a hybrid combination of both. The service is available using three deployment options. In separate announcements, ShoreTel also introduced new features and upgrades for contact center environments.
With ShoreTel Connect ONSITE, customers own, maintain and control their platform including IP PBX telephony services, ShoreTel desk phones, and applications such as a client app, mobility application, a collaboration suite, and a browser-based administration portal. ShoreTel Connect CLOUD is a fully hosted and managed end-to-end UCaaS solution, offering the same services and features as the premise-based solution. ShoreTel Connect HYBRID provides onsite customers with cloud-based applications delivered via the cloud such as ShoreTel Fax and ShoreTel Scribe (voicemail transcription.)
ShoreTel has had separate cloud and premise based solutions, and ShoreTel Connect offers a more fully integrated solution to provide a mix and match of options. ShoreTel Connect has also added new features with capabilities that include:
- Personalized call handling and call routing for both office and mobile devices
- Advanced collaboration tools
- Seamless feature integration and collaboration apps for smartphone, tablet and wearable devices
- Specialized apps like voicemail to text, emergency notification, integrated call recording, and enhanced paging.
Commenting on the new ShoreTel Connect platform in a statement, Rich Costello, senior research analyst at IDC said, “The new common platform enables ShoreTel to offer customers what they want: a choice of premises, hosted, or hybrid solutions with a consistent user experience across a common software stream. The common platform also makes UC&C easier for its channel partners to deploy and support as well as for customers to migrate from one model to another as needed.”
ShoreTel also introduced ShoreTel Connect Contact Center as a solution scalable to 1,000 users for both ShoreTel Connect CLOUD™ and ShoreTel Connect ONSITE. Built ShoreTel’s Enterprise Contact Center, ShoreTel Connect Contact Center extends contact center features to the ShoreTel Connect CLOUD, along with a new agent interface for all customers.
The new platform integrates CRM applications with deployments for both the ShoreTel Connect ONSITE and ShoreTel Connect CLOUD. ShoreTel designed the CRM integration to create feature parity for customers no matter which deployment model they elect to deploy, offering capabilities such as embedded call control, screen pops, click-to-call, and call activity record correlation with business data. The integration with third-party systems systems to date includes Salesforce, Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Desk.com, and NetSuite.