Unified communications and call center platform vendor ShoreTel (NASDAQ: SHOR) has updated its enterprise contact center software for a new age of analytics and multi-channel communications with the new version of ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center. Version 8 puts emails and chats on par with voicemails, both inbound and outbound, for call center agents, and adds more sophisticated yet simplified analytics to the mix. Here’s the scoop.

Steve McElderry, product line manager for the product at ShoreTel (and a veteran of companies such as Cisco, Avaya and Nortel), told MSPmentor that managed service providers have implemented the Contact Center themselves and then sold it as a hosted service to customers. For them, the new platform’s analytics, which puts webchat and email on par with voice calls, provides a new level of transparency to end-user companies looking to optimize their operations.

“First and foremost version 8 is about multichannel,” McElderry said, referring to the enhanced webchat and email capabilities. “Second we’ve invested in areas related to TCO by making it easier to manage the system end to end.  For instance, we’ve simplified the installation process. And now if you are adding capacity to system in terms of new agent licenses, you don’t have to take system off line.”

Existing customers can upgrade to version 8 free of charge. Shoretel also offers a cloud version called ShoreTel Sky based on the company’s acquisition of M5 last year.