ShoreTel SoftPhone | Global CTI

ShoreTel SoftPhone

ShoreTel – SoftPhone (Professional Communicator)

The ShoreTel Professional Access license allows for enhanced features to the Personal Communicator.

Enhanced Features added:

Call Control

Personalized call handling based on who is calling, when the call arrives or based on the user’s call handling mode

Contact Viewer

Detailed telephony presence (ringing status, connect time)

Instant Messaging presence

Instant Messaging presence change alert

Presence privacy management

Person-to-person and multi-party IM

Client side IM logging

Mobility SoftPhone:

Number pad for DTMF entry, swift change from phone to SoftPhone, G.711/G.722 Codec


High-quality, low latency video: H.264/SVC protocol, 640 x 480 (VGA), up to 30 frames per second

With the above enhanced features, the SoftPhone adds mobility for the user.

The ShoreTel SoftPhone functionality is built-in to the ShoreTel Communicator for Windows client. No additional software or installation is required.

In ShoreTel versions 10, 11, & 12 the SoftPhone is a licensed feature that is enabled via a checkbox within the user’s profile page in ShoreWare Director. Licenses for the SoftPhone are bundled with the ShoreTel “Professional Access License” level (and above). One SoftPhone license is provided with each Professional (or above) Access License purchased.

Note: The SoftPhone licenses that are provided with the Professional (and above) Access Licenses can be used for any user on the system. You are not required to enable SoftPhone for the same users that you assign the Professional Access Licenses.

The SoftPhone is initiated, or launched, by selecting “SoftPhone” from the Extension Assignment drop down menu in the Windows Communicator client.


The ShoreTel SoftPhone is only available on the Windows Communicator client. It is not part of the ShoreTel Communicator for the Web or the Communicator for the Mac clients.

(Note: Testing has concluded that the ShoreTel SoftPhone will run on Windows 7 under VMware Fusion and Parallels 7 Desktop for MAC. See below)

When the SoftPhone is initiated, your ShoreTel extension is unassigned from any previous device or location and is assigned, by the ShoreTel system, to exist solely on your PC-based Communicator client.

Using the ShoreTel Communicator client to operate the ShoreTel SoftPhone is identical to using the Communicator client to control your extension when it is assigned to a standard telephone. All features of the Communicator client function in the same fashion.

SoftPhone – Initial Registration

When the Communicator for Windows client is started for the very first time, it must authenticate to the HQ server to determine which licensed features have been assigned and activated for that user’s extension. If the Communicator client cannot authenticate with the HQ server when first launched, the client will not be able to verify that the user is authorized to use the SoftPhone feature and the SoftPhone option will not be available.

If the user’s voice mail box is on Distributed Voice Mail server (DVS), or the user’s primary IP desk phone’s ShoreGear switch is controlled by a DVS, the Communicator client will be instructed by the HQ server to register to the DVS server. Knowledge of this DVS server re-assignment is cached by the Communicator client and will be used in subsequent launches of the client.

Regardless of whether the Communicator client is being serviced by the HQ server or by a DVS server, once a user selects the SoftPhone option (under the Extension Assignment drop down menu) the SoftPhone component of the Communicator client must communicate to the HQ server. If, when launched, the SoftPhone cannot communicate with the HQ server it will not initiate successfully and the user’s extension will not be reassigned to the SoftPhone.

Support for Windows 7 – Default Communication Device

The Communicator’s SoftPhone leverages the Default Communication Device feature, available in Windows 7.

This feature is enabled in ShoreTel release ST12.1 GA2 (17.21.5240.0).

In Windows 7, there are two default settings for Windows audio devices:

  • Set as default device – Audio from all programs will be played through this audio device unless otherwise configured
  • Set as default communications device – All audio calls, as well as video call audio, will be played through this audio device unless otherwise directed.

Windows 7 will commonly recognize modern USB headsets as the Default Communication Device, as long as the default system related to sound has not been modified. Starting with ShoreTel 12.1, when you make a SoftPhone call, it will direct the sound to the Default Communications Device, if it exists, instead of the default (audio) device.

VMware Fusion 4 and Parallels 7 Desktop for MAC
I have completed testing with the ShoreTel Communicator SoftPhone running Windows 7 under both VMware Fusion 4.1, and Parallels 7 Desktop for MAC. Mac OS X Version 10.7.3 (Lion)