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NEWS & EVENTS  |  FEBRUARY 3, 2009

SouthTel Communications Partners with ShoreTel™ to
Bring Next-Generation VoIP Solutions to Businesses

- IP Telephony Leverages Data Applications and Infrastructure;
Delivers More for Less -

For Immediate Release: February 3, 2009

ATLANTA, Georgia - SouthTel Communications and ShoreTel, Inc., the innovation leader in enterprise IP telephony, today announced that they are partnering to bring the benefits of next-generation voice technologies to business in the southeastern United States.  SouthTel is now using ShoreTel's award-winning ShoreTel 6 IP PBX platform to create cost-effective business phone systems that can bring voice and data together in powerful ways, including voice-and-data conferencing and virtual contact centers.

IP voice systems reduce voice signals to standard Internet Protocol data packets, so conversations can run over data networks. This eliminates the need to build and maintain two separate networks, and enables business applications that combine voice and data. It also gives voice the routing flexibility and location independence that makes a website on another continent seem closer than the shop next door. 

"Thanks to the simplicity and reliability of ShoreTel's IP voice technology, convergence is no longer restricted to the bleeding edge," said Jack Brumlow, SouthTel Communications CEO & President.  "It is now a practical alternative for businesses of all types, sizes and geographic configurations. Voice and data are moving inexorably together, and ShoreTel's unique IP voice systems are now giving our customers a head start on the future as well as the competitive advantage today."

"We are delighted to welcome SouthTel Communications to the ShoreTel team of channel partners," said Joe Vitalone, ShoreTel's vice president of sales and business development. "Unlike traditional phone systems, IP voice is extremely flexible and provides endless opportunities for customization and adding value. However, this requires intimate knowledge of specific customer needs, which we rely on our channel partners to possess. SouthTel is not merely installing our products, but also elevating the business phone system from a taken-for-granted utility to a productivity-boosting environment."

The applications bundled into the enterprise-class phone system include voicemail, an automated attendant, automatic call distribution, call detail recording, unified voice mail, and desktop call control. Everything is accessed from the same intuitive Windows-based interface, making the system very easy to use and manage.

Multiple Locations, One Phone System
The ShoreTel voice communication system and all of its applications operate across multiple sites, so businesses with more than one location leverage a single phone system.  Calls are automatically routed among sites, enabling receptionists and assistants at one office to transparently field incoming calls for another.  Interoffice calls that extend beyond the local dialing area bypass toll and long distance carriers and "ride for free" on the data network.

Users interact with the ShoreTel system through a Windows-based Personal Call Manager application and can check the presence of other employees anywhere on the enterprise network before placing or transferring calls to them.  Integration with Microsoft Outlook enables automated point-and-click and dial-by-name dialing.

When calls come in for people not currently present on the network, ShoreTel Smart™ systems can check outlook calendar information before deciding how to handle the call.  This is one of many features that make the ShoreTel system particularly adept at support increasingly mobile workforces.

"ShoreTel's IP voice communication system is user-centric, associating phone numbers with people, not offices," said Anthony Kubek, SouthTel VP of Sales.  "Your calls find you whether you are at your desk, working at a branch office, or using a PC-based softphone at home, in a hotel room or some other remote location.  You give out a single contact number and have a single voicemail box, eliminating a lot of redundant phones calls and duplicate messages.  And you get to use a consistent voice environment, wherever you want to work.

Better Conferencing and Contact Center Options
SouthTel Communications and ShoreTel also offer conferencing and contact center solutions that integrate with the ShoreTel system, reducing costs and improving customer service.

ShoreTel's converged conferencing combines audio conferencing with data sharing, providing a much richer communications environment for collaboration or interactions with customers.  It eliminates the need to reserve time on costly conferencing services, or to engage them at all.  Ad-hoc conferences can be set up as needed.

ShoreTel contact center solutions operate across multiple locations as virtual contact centers, and can do skills-based routing to match the most appropriate agent to a particular caller.  When integrated with a customer database, the system can check order status and other variables before routing the call.  Supervisor tools enable agent monitoring and historical reporting of agent performance, and provide real-time statistical views.

"IP telephony represents a new voice paradigm," said Jack Brumlow.  "Using ShoreTel's unique VoIP solutions, we can minimize the disruption of this paradigm shift while providing businesses with a powerful new communications environment."

About ShoreTel, Inc.
ShoreTel is the innovation leader in enterprise IP telephony.  The company has shipped its groundbreaking intelligent phones systems since 1998 and continues to outpace the rapidly expanding Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) market with technological advances and 100% year-over-year growth.  ShoreTel Smart™ technology and a world class channel organization bring the full promise of VoIP to the enterprise, setting new standards for usability and manageability while reducing telecommunications costs. A uniquely distributed architecture extends enterprise-class voice services to every office and outpost, keeping employees fully connected wherever they go.  For more information, visit www.shoretel.com or call 1-877-80SHORE.

About SouthTel Communications
SouthTel Communication, founded in 1988, is a design and engineering company focused in providing advanced networking technologies in voice, data, video and web integration.  With headquarters in Atlanta, GA, SouthTel Communication provides total communication solutions that include hardware, software, professional services, local and long distance services, network integration services and customized implementation and support for all of their clients. Information about SouthTel can be found at: www.southtel.net

Media Contacts:
Shelly Kubek
SouthTel Communications
800-472-8811
skubek@southtel.net
 

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