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ShoreTel allows customers to have dual personalities

LAS VEGAS — Everyone wants to use their personal devices for work, hence BYOD was born. But while using a personal mobile phone instead of a desk phone can be helpful — especially for working remotely — there are downsides associated with just anyone knowing your mobile number.

At Interop 2012, ShoreTel demonstrated enhancements to its cloud-based phone system following its acquisition of M5. The new portal –an M5 offering — can give users the ability to manage their personal preferences including call routing and voicemail management.

The portal can be downloaded onto iPhones and tablets, as well as Android and Blackberry mobile devices, and it allows the user’s mobile device to serve as an extension of the PBX in every way, said Kevin Gavin, chief marketing officer for ShoreTel.

If a user is working from home, calls can go over the Wi-Fi, saving the user money, Gavin noted. If the user wanted to leave the Wi-Fi area and still be on the call, the portal then can switch the call to the user’s service provider for their cellular service without interruption to the call, he said.

Via the portal, the users can make calls through any mobile device and still appear as if they are calling from their work, home or personal mobile phone number. This allows users to have a “dual persona,” said Bernard Gutnick, senior director of product marketing for ShoreTel. “The user has the ability to make choices about what ID makes the most sense when placing a call,” he said.

And the portal can also make decisions for the caller. If the user is placing a call to a contact already in their phone, the mobile identification of the user will be selected to display to the contact on the other line. The opposite is true if the user calls an office number.

“People want to bring their own device to work, but leave their personal ID at home,” added Gavin.

And really, who doesn’t want to have their cake and eat it too?

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