Shoreline Adds New Features, Contact Center Apps to VoIP Platform

The latest version of the vendor's IP-PBX, Shoreline4.3, integrates a new softphone that enables users to make and receive calls from their PCs or laptops over a remote VPN connection as if they were in the office.

Combined with the system's ability to detect the presence and availability of its users, the new ShorePhone SP 100 softphone can help remote workers stay connected and accessible to other employees, said Ed Basart, CTO and founder of Shoreline, Sunnyvale, Calif.

"[Colleagues] can see if you're on the phone or not, and the softphone just looks like another endpoint," Basart said.

The upgrade also adds a new "find me" feature that gives users the ability to automatically route their incoming calls to a different phone, such as a cell phone, hotel phone or an extension in another office.

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With the new release, Shoreline is also introducing its first contact center software for over 20 agents, a product solution providers said would enable Shoreline to be more competitive with other vendors.

"The Shoreline system comes with basic call center features that let you set people up in workgroups, but it's not quite robust enough for some customers," said Scott Strochack, president of Xtelesis, a Burlingame, Calif.-based solution provider. "This will certainly put Shoreline on a level playing field with everyone else out there," Strochack said.

The new application comes in two flavors: Contact Center, which handles in-bound voice calls only and is targeted at call centers with 10 to 40 agents; and Enterprise Contact Center for larger call centers that want to integrate chat and e-mail communications as well as voice.

The offerings include skills-based routing capabilities, interactive voice response scripting that prompts callers for information before call routing, reporting tools and supervisor tools that enable real-time monitoring of agents.

When designing the new products, Shoreline kept its channel partners and their needs in mind, continuing its history of offering easy-to-use, easy-to-deploy solutions, Basart said.

"If our channel partners don't like it, we're going to flop," he said.

Shoreline President and CEO Thomas van Overbeek credits the privately held company's strategy of targeting mid-range customers through solution providers for its recent growth.

The company saw 113 percent growth in its first quarter of fiscal 2004 compared to the same quarter the year before, giving Shoreline its third consecutive quarter with over 100 percent growth, van Overbeek said.

Shoreline began selling its wares through an indirect sales model within the last two years.

Available now, Shoreline4.3 carries an approximate price of $800 per user. Shoreline's new contact center applications, which support up to 600 agents, are scheduled for availability in January. Pricing for Contact Center is $500 per agent, while Enterprise Contact Center is priced at $1,500 per agent.