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ShoreTel 13 launches worldwide; stresses open partner ecosystem

ShoreTel 13 rolls out to 48 countries with a special focus on integration for third-party apps from the likes of Polycom, Microsoft and LifeSize.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

ShoreTel is expanding its reach with the launch of its latest unified communications software release to the international market.
ShoreTel 13 is now available in 48 countries. The software upgrade itself is free of charge to all existing customers with a maintenance agreement. With this upgrade, ShoreTel touts improvements in performance and ease on at least four core factors: deployment, management, scalability and use across a single-image system.
The latest version of ShoreTel software includes support for open standards and products based on SIP, XMPP and H.264 along with enhanced capabilities for video communications and instant messaging.  
Through ShoreTel Communicator, customers can participate in room-based video conferences using industry-standard H.264 AVC technology either from their desktop or laptop from either the office or remote locations.
Furthermore, ShoreTel partners Polycom and LifeSize have also been working to support these new video features. ShoreTel reps especially tout the partner ecosystem because it offers consists of an array of open interfaces that allow seamless integration of third-party apps from other video collaboration and communications providers.
For example, enterprise customers can leverage standards-based IM servers or protect already-installed technologies, such as Microsoft SIP-based Lync, for ShoreTel Communicator.
The open ecosystem for video collaboration rings of Polycom's announcements earlier this week surrounding new open APIs for its RealPresence platform. During a media presentation at the company's new San Jose headquarters last week, Sudhakar Ramakrishna, president of products and services for Polycom, asserted that "video collaboration is becoming more and more ubiquitous."
Polycom execs also stressed that while they obviously want enterprises to be using its solutions, they don't want customers to be worried about what kind of technology might be used by the colleagues they are calling on the other end of the line.
In concurrence with that, Kevin Gavin, chief marketing officer at ShoreTel, remarked in a statement that as video becomes mainstream, "people need the flexibility to connect by video from their desktop not only into the corporate boardroom but also with customers, partners and others with varying system types from Polycom, LifeSize and others."

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