ShoreTel's New AppFuse Goes 'Cloud-To-Cloud' With Salesforce


ShoreTel Tuesday launched an application integration product for tying UC and contact center systems to Salesforce.com, marking the first new product since ShoreTel's rebranding of its cloud services business as ShoreTel Sky.

The product, dubbed AppFuse, leverages Salesforce's CTI adapter technology to tightly integrate Salesforce CRM capabilities with ShoreTel's cloud-based UC and contact center offerings. Among its key features are what ShoreTel describes as a "20/20 Activity View" -- in which the phone system's call records are captured whether a user is logged into Salesforce or not -- as well as voice-mail transcription and the use of Salesforce intelligent routing to move customer callers around to sales reps and contact center agents.

Because AppFuse is "cloud-to-cloud," meaning no desktop clients are required, more and varied mobile devices can be supported, said Keith Nealon, ShoreTel's divisional vice president, revenue. That's a big difference in the depth of the integration between the communications and CRM systems.

"Not every vendor has true cloud-to-cloud," Nealon said. "If you have to install a desktop widget to integrate with Salesforce, from a technical perspective [that's not] cloud-to-cloud."

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Nealon said that more business customers are buying with that level of integration in mind -- that being able to tie CRM systems to UC functions isn't just a luxury.

"It's the question of selling to line-of-business owners vs. just IT," he said. "For the channel it opens up a chance to make their services more sticky."

ShoreTel will be demonstrating AppFuse at Dreamforce in San Francisco this week.

ShoreTel closed its $146 million acquisition of hosted VoIP specialist M5 Networks in May, after which M5 began doing business as ShoreTel's Cloud Division.

The Sky rebranding, unveiled Sept. 5, kicks off a number of developments specific to the cloud portfolio over the next few months, Nealon said, leading up through ShoreTel's annual Champion Partner Conference in Orlando, Nov. 7-9.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 18, 2012