SIP Trunking Featured Article

July 19, 2012

ShoreTel Extracts Added Value from SIP Trunking with Video Conferencing Capabilities

By Susan J. Campbell
SIP Trunking Report Contributing Editor

The implementation of Unified Communications platforms within the enterprise is further enhanced by the integration of all communication channels onto the network. This complete approach, however, demands SIP trunking to optimize complete connectivity and quality of experience. When video is added in the demanded mix, SIP is no longer a luxury – it’s a priority. 

For those companies seeking to take advantage of ShoreTel’s latest move to expand the instant messaging and video conferencing capabilities of its UC platform, employee productivity is expected to increase with access to collaboration tools. The integration of SIP trunking ensures the always-on availability of these channels. 

A recent eWeek report highlighted this advancement for ShoreTel in the release of its ShoreTel 13, which leverages key components within the ShoreTel Communicator call manager application. With it, users can use laptops or desktops supporting the H.264 standard to participate in room-based video conferences.

Companies already leveraging SIP trunking capabilities can easily integrate this offering, enjoying the productivity-enhancing tools within the platform. Providers such as LifeSize Communications, Polycom and Logitech have already begun to integrate this new offering into their systems, as ShoreTel works to achieve certification with other vendors. Personal Access within ShoreTel 13 introduces instant message capabilities for the ShoreTel Communicator. 

At no additional cost, ShoreTel users gain access to IM, eliminating the need to pay for this once add-on feature. As users continue to demand presence capabilities, especially in combination with the use of video conferencing, IM must be considered a basic capability within the given product set. The key to the collaboration and video communication benefits in this latest release is the use of the H.264 protocol. 

This move is part of ShoreTel’s effort to embrace open standards such as SIP trunking and Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) to help make Unified Communications more ubiquitous. ShoreTel’s latest release emphasizes the openness of the platform. Contact center agents stand to gain increased capabilities and benefits from this release, according to this TMC piece, especially for those services enabled by SIP trunking service providers. 

According to ShoreTel, customers have the option of leveraging standards-based IM servers, including the ShoreTel XMPP IM server, or protecting existing investments to use with the ShoreTel Communicator. Companies are consistently searching for ways to improve communications and employee productivity, and reduce the cost of operations. Systems already in place are often tapped to communicate with others, straining the network or the technology if the proper capabilities aren’t readily supported. With ShoreTel 13, current standards are already supported where SIP trunking is in place, eliminating the need for another video standard. 

The simplicity in this approach is a key differentiator for ShoreTel, as well as its ability to easily integrate into leading platforms. As open standards and collaboration continue to take center stage in corporate strategy, ShoreTel is well positioned to enjoy strong demand.

Edited by Juliana Kenny
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