TMCnet Feature
May 30, 2013

ShoreTel Adds Visual Dashboard, Introduces Small Business Package and New Devices

By Sandra M. Gustavsen, Analyst, Business VoIP

ShoreTel (News - Alert) has introduced several new capabilities recently, including an update to its premises-based ShoreTel business phone system that is known for a simple and unique, distributed architecture suitable for businesses small or large (scales from 24-20,000 users in a single system image). A new version of the company’s call processing software, ShoreTel 14, enhances the diagnostic and monitoring capabilities of the ShoreTel Director management interface with a new dashboard that gives administrators a visual view into system status and resource utilization across all sites in the network. ShoreTel 14 also supports a new IP DECT (News - Alert) phone (ShoreTel IP 930D) for on-site mobility.

Additionally, ShoreTel has refreshed its bundled hardware/software package for smaller businesses (ShoreTel Small Business Edition) and will roll out a new iOS docking station (ShoreTel Dock) this summer.

So, What’s New?

  • Diagnostics and Monitoring: ShoreTel 14, the latest update to the ShoreTel IP-PBX call processing software, significantly improves the diagnostic and monitoring capabilities of the ShoreTel Director management interface. The company has taken a big step forward with the new ShoreTel-developed application called ShoreTel Diagnostics & Monitoring Enterprise Edition. This Web-based application is launched directly from ShoreTel Director’s Quick Look page and starts with a high-level, graphical view of six key areas: Call Volume, Call Quality, Bandwidth Utilization, Trunk Group Usage, Feature Usage and Average CPE Usage. Administrators can easily take stock of the overall health of the system and immediately view any anomalies in connections, trunk groups, bandwidth, voice quality, switches or servers with color-coded alerts (informational, warning and critical alerts in green, yellow and red). Administrators can then drill-down into the site-specific hardware and software elements to get the details needed to diagnose and resolve any issues.
  • On-site Mobility: With ShoreTel 14, the company introduces the new ShoreTel IP 930D DECT phone for on-site mobility. The functionality of ShoreTel’s earlier three-line IP Phone (News - Alert) 230 is incorporated into this new cordless handset that communicates with a base station and repeaters using DECT technology. Mobile staff can make and receive calls via their phone extension as they roam throughout their location. ShoreTel recommends this solution for small and mid-sized enterprises as it typically supports 24-40 users (North America) or 48-80 users (Europe, Australia, New Zealand).
  • Small Business Package: ShoreTel has updated its Small Business Edition (SBE (News - Alert)) bundled hardware and software package with additional capacity to 100 users across up to five locations (up from 50 users and three locations with the earlier SBE). The SBE delivers the same ShoreTel feature set, including voicemail, unified messaging, conferencing, basic workgroups, extension mobility and options for more advanced applications, but with reduced capacities at a small business price point that starts as low as $1,995 for a 15-user bundle. Customers deploy a ShoreTel “HQ” (headquarters) server running the SBE 100 software at their primary site for system management, voicemail and other services. The server can be either the new rack-mount ShoreTel UC Server 20 or an industry standard server that meets ShoreTel’s specifications. ShoreTel Voice Switches are deployed for call control and station and trunk connections according to size requirements (up to seven Voice Switches and a total of 100 phones and 100 trunks).
  • iOS Docking Station: This summer, ShoreTel plans to release a new enterprise-grade docking device that attaches an Apple iPhone (News - Alert) or iPad mobile device. Users will be able to mount or ‘dock’ their mobile device and use it as their desktop phone, communicating via the dock’s handset or speakerphone over the in-office Wi-Fi network (the Dock is not a phone, rather calls are routed via the ShoreTel Mobility client running on the docked iOS device). The dock also charges the mobile device. Currently supported Apple devices include iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation) and iPod touch (4th generation). ShoreTel Dock ($349 USD) will be available for ShoreTel’s premises-based system and for ShoreTel’s hosted/cloud-based service.
  • Availability: ShoreTel 14, including the new diagnostic and monitoring dashboard, is available now as a free software upgrade for existing customers under the company’s software assurance plan. Also generally available are the ShoreTel IP 930D DECT phone ($599 for starter system with one handset and one base station) and the SBE 100 small business bundle which starts at $1,995 for 15 users (ShoreTel Voice Switch and licenses, but without the ShoreTel UC Server 20) or $2,495 (ShoreTel Voice Switch and licenses and the ShoreTel UC Server 20). ShoreTel Dock ($349), due out in third quarter 2013, will be available in the U.S. and English-speaking countries, with other countries to follow.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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