ShoreTel Expands Unified Communications with Mobility

How do you bring the benefits of Unified Communications securely to your iPhone, Android and Blackberry?

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Oct 12, 2011
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The promise of Unified Communications (UC) gear is just that, unifying communications from multiple mediums. In the modern wireless world, UC also needs to include mobile devices, which is what a new version of ShoreTel's mobility platform is all about.

"It's about having all of the desk phone and UC capabilities available on your mobile and being able to use VoIP as well as cellular at any time," Pej Roshan, VP of Mobility for ShoreTel told InternetNews.com.

The new ShoreTel mobility release enhances security, so the risks to an enterprise of a lost device can be minimized. Roshan said that what ShoreTel has built is a secure UC container.

"We do encrypt everything, so the second a ShoreTel mobility launches a call, it's authenticated and encrypted back to the corporate network inside of a secure bubble," Roshan said.

Roshan explained that, if the device is lost, it's just a matter of unchecking a box on the management console, which then deletes the security context for the user, rendering their client un-usable. He added that the phone application doesn't store items locally on the device other than some configuration information.

The secure UC connection is made via an SSL-VPN connection in the ShoreTel app and it goes back the ShoreTel Mobility router that sits in the datacenter. The ShoreTel client app works on Apple iOS, Blackberry and Android.

Roshan noted that the ShoreTel Mobility appliance is based on a hardened version of Linux as the base operating system. The mobility router appliance connects to a PBX, which doesn't necessarily have to be a ShoreTel PBX.

Roshan said that the mobility router can connect with all of the leading PBX vendors including Cisco, Asterisk, Avaya, Mitel and Alcatel-Lucent among others. Getting the mobility router to integrate with all of the different PBX solutions required a lot of work from ShoreTel. Roshan noted that most PBX vendors use SIP however they all have their own proprietary approaches to SIP implementation.

"We don't claim to support every PBX that is out, but certainly we have support for all o f the leading PBX's including some legacy TDM based systems like legacy Nortel systems," Roshan said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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