17 Frequently Asked Questions about Upgrading to ShoreTel Connect
By Chris Mitchell, Vice President of Solution Architecture
At Inflow, we host several webinars each month and last month’s Upgrading to ShoreTel Connect webinar we had over 250 attendees.
Here is what we covered during the one-hour time :
- the biggest changes the software offers,
- changes to come with future roll outs,
- what you need to know as a current ShoreTel customer,
- what are some costs you may need to plan when upgrading,
- system requirements when upgrading.
Recap is available here: webinar recap
The Q&A session, however, was by far the most enriching interaction. This is why we compiled here the most insightful questions. Make sure you read this before making the leap to Connect:
- Does Connect Support IP110 and IP115 headsets?
The only IP phones not supported in Connect are the IP210s – so your IP110/115 will all be fully supported. Since the IP115s were officially end-of-sale early this year, they will be supported in future releases for at least 6 years. If you have any IP530s they will officially be no longer supported in the next year or so as they are past 10 years since end-of-sale.
- Will the Connect Client allow for logging in/out of a single workgroup when a user is a member of multiple?
As Mike mentioned in the webinar, when you Log In/Out in Connect, you are automatically logged in/out of all workgroups you are a member of. Using ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center gives you more flexibility and the ability to log in and out of specific queues as needed.
- Will softphone with connect work within remote desktop?
Softphone via Remote Desktop isn’t supported but I have seen a few clients get it to work. It involves connecting the PC to the remote desktop environment and mapping the softphone through the connection so that communicator can see the softphones device (either mapped audio/mic ports or most commonly USB headset). I’ve never seen this function very well as USB mapping via RDP can be a bit of a pain.
- What about terminal services?
Softphones register to the ShoreTel system MAC address and UDP port 2427 so in a TS environment all users would be attempting to use the same port number ad mac address. Currently there are no plans to support softphone in a TS environment.
- Will connect operate via cloud while a client is connected to a remote desktop session? As in, running behind the remote desktop connection?
Using Connect Client users can use the softphone without a VPN because of the Edge Gateway appliance. This allows users to run the client locally on their computer with a softphone and then use RDP for other work applications.
- Is there a timeline for ESXi 6.5? Also, will the licensing be cleaned up in Connect on-premise vs. 14.2 being a long-term customer?
Based on the latest Connect roadmap, ESXi 6.5 will be certified June/July with Server 2016 in September.
- Where is Edge Gateway best/typically installed, in front of/behind firewall, in DMZ?
The edge gateway has 2 interfaces Eth0 is the LAN port and Eth1 is the WAN port which can be in the DMZ.
- Does Edge Gateway support multiple WAN interfaces for redundancy?
The Edge gateway only has 1 WAN interface so at this time there is no WAN redundancy. However, you could have 2 Edge Gateways for redundancy.
- How does the Connect Client change for an operator?
The Operator features are very similar in Connect. They still have the drag and drop options as well as delegation capabilities to change user’s modes. The big difference I’ve noticed is that with the new people view, I can’t see who someone is on the phone with unless you hover over a user’s name.
- Also losing the web version of client…
ShoreTel does plan on bringing the web version of the client back but no sooner than 2018.
- Does the chat come with the Connect and if so can you disable it?
Upon upgrading to Connect, ShoreTel will issue free licenses keys for Softphone and Video calling. You can also spin up a VMware Service Appliance for no cost that can host Instant Messaging. As with all features of ShoreTel, they can be turned on or off for each user.
- Will you support set up of labs?
Some of our customers are setting up test lab environments and you have two options: you can install Connect and use the 45-day trial window or there is an option to buy some actual lab licensing to setup a permanent lab environment.
- Can you clarify about the edge gateway implementation costs? What costs are associated for connecting 485gs remotely without having a VPN in place already?
$0 for the Edge Gateway appliance ($0 SKU the partner orders). For each 4xx phone you want to connect there is a remote phone license and list price is $100 each. If you have VPN concentrator licensing, those licenses can be migrated over to that remote phone license. With the newer license bundles there are other ways to get the remote phone license as well that might be more cost advantageous depending on your scenario.
- Will you have any way for us to test the upgrade?
Some customers are setting up test lab environments and Inflow offers a Connect upgrade proof of concept where we take your current 14.2 configuration and restore it to a lab system then do a Connect upgrade and run through a full connect post upgrade checklist. There is a fee for the Connect upgrade testing.
- Will we need a license for the desktop client to work outside the network?
No – as long as you have a client for the user they can access outside the environment through the Edge Gateway. No cost for licensing a remote connection for a remote software user. Only license for Edge Gateway is for physical phone (400-series) connections through Edge Gateway.
- Will the connect client be able to show user pictures from AD?
For Office 365 customers you can integrate exchange picture into Connect.
- Can we migrate from a windows HQ server to the new Linux VM directly? Is the Linux server meant to be the replacement for new deployments or is a windows server still the preferred path?
The Linux DVS is only for use as secondary voicemail servers, it can’t replace your current HQ server that still needs to on a windows server.
Founded in 1997, Inflow Communications is a national leader in unified communications and Contact Centers. With over to 100,000 endpoints under Inflow’s innovative support plans around the world, their dedication to knowledge, innovation, and unrivaled customer support has landed them in ShoreTel’s top 2% in global customer satisfaction, and as a winner of ShoreTel’s coveted Circle of Excellence Partners award. For two years in a row, Inflow is a ShoreTel Platinum Partner, the highest level of partnership, and is their fastest growing partner globally. In addition, Inflow is one of the few Cloud Contact Center providers that offer implementation, ongoing support, and comprehensive consulting and training programs. Inflow services clients across the globe and has local offices in over 10 major cities in the US.