Integrated collaboration brings power to unified communications by enabling instant virtual gatherings and by merging unified communications tools with documents and software tools. Many organizations have seen the benefits of integrated collaboration, especially for outward-facing communications, when resources for travel or meetings could be limited. Collaboration tools save time and money, benefitting the company and customers alike.
To bring the power of collaboration to all, ShoreTel has integrated instant messaging (IM), audio conferencing and web conferencing into its core architecture. ShoreTel 12.3 brings new capabilities especially beneficial for larger organizations, which usually have a greater need for collaboration within distributed teams, teleworkers, outsourcers, and employees who must travel frequently—or even among very large co-located groups.
ShoreTel’s integrated conferencing capacity has been increased through the Service Appliance 400 (SA-400) to accommodate larger conferences, ensuring that everyone who needs to share in the conversation can participate. Each SA-400 appliance supports 200 audio ports, 100 secure web ports and 2,000 IM users.
In addition to the benefits of improved communication and saved time and money, deployment is brilliantly simple: IM, audio and web functionalities run as services on top of ShoreTel platform. Companies need only a single web interface to manage everything.
IM for Faster Communication
Speed of communication can often mean the difference between a sale or no sale, or a big production error or smooth operations. In many organizations, IM is the “new dial tone.” Employees can send an IM faster—and often get a faster response—than by using the telephone. IM thus reduces the human latency of the phone when voicemail isn’t picked up. The larger capacity of ShoreTel 12.3 means a four-fold increase in the number of employees who can IM.
In addition, IM is faster and more casual than email. With it, people can chat one-on-one or in groups, and with ShoreTel 12.3, escalating to audio/video is easy when IM isn’t enough. Contact is simplified because users can chat from Outlook when they see that someone is available. And IM isn’t the only way users benefit from calendar functionality.
New Conferencing Capabilities
While ShoreTel supports casual, ad hoc and reservationless conferencing, scheduled collaboration is a key trend for busy employees who travel or work remotely. And the larger the group, the more important scheduling becomes.
Calendar integration with conference scheduling has never been simpler, now that ShoreTel 12.3 offers a tight integration between ShoreTel Communicator and Microsoft Outlook 2007/2010. Just one click on the Conference button in the Outlook ribbon schedules the conference and tells the host and participants how to join. When the conference begins, the system changes participants’ availability to In Meeting and plays a user-defined greeting. Better tools enable sharper audio and more effective communication. And the instant recording feature, which can be initiated from any interface, enables users to archive or broadly distribute the conference recording and Web presentation. Up to 100 simultaneous secure Web ports make it happen.
Audio conferencing. Whether meeting participants are internal or external, colleagues, partners, or customers, they can dial directly into an audio conference in a single step. With up to 200 simultaneous audio conferencing ports, larger organizations can include everyone in the meeting who needs to be there. ShoreTel Conferencing also supports wide-band codecs, providing clearer, more lifelike voice communications and greatly improved intelligibility so everyone can feel more involved in the conversation.
Web conferencing. Now collaborating on documents by sharing a desktop is simple, whether participants are PC or Mac users. For example, a sales team can conduct presentations for prospective customers. Attendees just click a link—but don’t download anything—and within seconds see the shared desktop. Meeting leaders can manage documents in their personal or public library and use the pointer or whiteboarding session for greater clarity. Users can also use the web interface to manage any audio conference.
Collaboration is a Natural
With ShoreTel 12.3, collaboration is for everyone—not just key employees who can afford a per-account-basis hosted service. Now organizations can install this cost-effective functionality and realize the full benefits of improved, faster, communication and integrated collaboration throughout the entire organization. The result will be saved time, saved money, and better internal and customer relationships.