Beyond VoIP TMC

ShoreTel Beefs Up It's SMB VoIP Platform

May 15, 2006
The SMB market for VoIP continues to gain steam, as more and more vendors offer compelling new products and features that strive to match and even surpass the capabilities of traditional key phone systems -- the traditional mainstay of the SMB crowd. ShoreTel, touted as one of the fastest-growing IP-PBX companies worldwide, recently announced some new goodies.

ShoreTel's upgrade of it's IP telephony platform adds fundamental key system features and functionality, including bridged call appearance, which enables every phone in the office to see and interact with calls. With this feature, a user can answer an incoming call and place it on hold, enabling a second user to pick up the call on a different handset.

Another new feature, called Centrex flash, provides trunk optimization that frees up analog trunks when calls are transferred to outside extensions or during conference calls. It can be a crucial feature for small businesses and branch offices that typically have only a handful of available trunks at any given time.

Along with the upgrade (ShoreTel 6.1), ShoreTel also has a new lineup of IP phones. The IP 212k, due at the end of the month, is a $299 handset that sports 12 programmable buttons to support multiple call appearances. A $429 IP 560g Gigabit Ethernet handset is scheduled to ship this August, while the new low-end $249 IP 230 handset is available now.

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